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Chemical off taste

Discussion in 'General Brewing Techniques' started by Tim Smith, 8/1/19.

 

  1. Tim Smith

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    Posted 8/1/19
    Hi everyone, I new to the forum.

    I have two brews in kegs (one tastes worse than the other) with notable chemical flavour.
    I had this in another brew and thought that it was just the flavour of that hop that I did not like.

    Now to have it again I'm scratching my head as to what it could be.
    Very first brew was a can pilsner with saaz hops. These two brews are all grain.

    Ok so I keg, temp control ferment and these are all ales. I secondary rack into clearing tube and cold crash for 2 days. I do force carb my kegs.

    Clean with sodium percarbonate, sanitise with starsan. I hate cleaning so when something is finished with it is rinsed, cleaned and sanitised straight away. Make life easy.

    Do you think that the starsan could be soaking into fermenters, plastic ones and contaminating the brew?

    Or the only other thing I can think of is, Yeast off flavour, I know one brew (the worst flavoured one) had the potential to be maybe 4-5 points high on finishing. These beers are cloudy even after cold crashing.

    Hopefully you got have got this covered for me, being AG I hate to think all that hard work is to be thrown away.

    Thanks
    Tim
     
  2. Tim Smith

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    Posted 10/1/19
    Mmmm, was hoping for some help.
     
  3. Lachie

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    Posted 10/1/19
    Tim
    What are ya brew details,
    What brew process?
    Mash temp?
    How are you chilling?
    What batch size and how much yeast are you pitching?
    What ferment temp and what temp are you pitching at?

    The starsan won’t give a chemical taste unless huge amount of it.

    Could be an infection or off flavor from your ferment.

    Cheers Lachie
     
  4. altone

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    Posted 10/1/19
    ABG likes this.
  5. Ross

    CraftBrewer AHB Sponsor

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    Posted 11/1/19
    Tim, impossible really for anyone to advise from an online description, other than pure speculation. If you have a decent local homebrew store or are a member of a brewclub, take a sample for them to try & advise. We'll happily help you down at CraftBrewer, or if the hours don't suit, pop into our brewery & I'll happily taste & advise (Bacchus Brewing Co). Both at 2 Christine Place, Capalaba
     
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  6. Lachie

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    Posted 11/1/19
    I disagree slightly Ross as they could be something standing out wrong in the process. I do agree though if you can get someone to taste that would be better, preferably with their BJCP accreditation too.

    Regards Lachie
     
  7. Ross

    CraftBrewer AHB Sponsor

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    Posted 11/1/19
    In 3 brews & one was just a simple can. It sounds to me like a wild yeast infection, but it is really just speculation, as peoples descriptions of the same off flavour can & do vary considerably. Even something that looks glaringly wrong in the process, is still going to be speculation without tasting.
     
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  8. ElGuapisimo

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    Posted 11/1/19
    Tim,

    Make sure no surgical rubber tubing has sneaked into your setup.

    It gives beer a taste like lifebouy soap.


    Charlie
     
  9. Lionman

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    Posted 14/1/19
    95% sure it is your water.

    What water are you using?

    If using tap water you need to filter it with an activated charcoal filter and add ascorbic acid or sodium metabisulphite for good measure. This will remove the chlorine from the water which will stop the production of chlorophenols during fermentation which taste nasty and have a very low flavour threshold.
     
  10. wide eyed and legless

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    Posted 14/1/19
    What does Lifebouy soap taste like? I have seen it for sale in our local Sri Lankan supermarket.
     
  11. enikoy

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    Posted 14/1/19
    Tastes like surgical rubber soaked in beer.
     
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  12. Tim Smith

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    Posted 16/1/19
    Sorry for the late reply, I took a sample to my lhbs, he believes the taste is oxidization.

    Not 100% sure but revising my methods.

    If I get a chance I shall bring a sample to you Ross.

    Thanks for the help gents

    Tim
     
  13. Tim Smith

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    Posted 18/1/19
    So a little update, one of the brews that had the chemical taste but on a lesser scale has lost this flavour.

    It is still very cloudy, looks like light coloured mud.

    This one is drinkable now but only a couple at a time.

    Still unsure as to what the issue is.

    Tim
     
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  14. MHB

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    Posted 18/1/19
    Tim
    Ross has already given you the best advice in this thread.
    In any beer (kit, partial or AG) doing the basics right will generally result in making decent beer.
    The basics (as I see them)
    Hygiene - Incorporates cleaning and sterilising, the best beer with bugs in is stuffed.
    Temperature control - Even with everything else right brewing too hot will make pretty bad beer.
    Good ingredients - Make sure everything you use is fresh and in good condition, the old rubbish in rubbish out...
    Patience - good beer takes time.

    There are lots of other things that will affect the beer but stuff like water chemistry (given you have no chlorine in your water) is really minor, sort of the salt and pepper not the steak and eggs.
    Similarly for chemical contamination (not just surgical rubber), boil the jug, run some hot water through your system, make sure it spends time in contact with every component that touches your beer. Put some of the hot water in an airtight jar, allow to cool and smell and taste it. If you are picking up a contaminant it will probably show up, if so break the system down and repeat the process for each section until you pin down where its coming from.

    Been posted plenty of times but work through this, run a search for anything you can think of that might describe what you are tasting (Ctrl F) Complete_Beer_Fault_Guide.pdf

    But the best advice offered so far is to get your beer looked at by someone with more experience. It's most likely to be some sort of persistent infection - it usually is!
    Mark
     

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  15. ElGuapisimo

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    Posted 20/1/19
    I Googled it.

    "Lifebuoy is a brand of soap marketed by Unilever. Lifebuoy was originally, and for much of its history, a carbolic soap containing phenol (carbolic acid, a compound extracted from coal tar). The soaps manufactured today under the Lifebuoy brand do not contain phenol. Currently there are many variants of Lifebuoy."

    Charlie
     
  16. keine_ahnung

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    Posted 20/1/19
    Beautifully said!

    Playing with little "tricks" like perfecting the water chemistry profile, adding adjuncts, artificial enzymes etc is a waste of time if (as MHB has stated) the ingredients are poor, your mash, fermentation and lagering are off and your hygiene is poor. If they're not on spot, you may as well go home. Sorry if that sounds harsh, but they are the absolute essentials of brewing. In fact, they ARE brewing.

    You can put as many spoilers, gauges and carbon-fibre scoops on a Camry as you want, but unless you address the blown head gasket, bald tyres, blown-out suspension and squishy chassis...it's not gonna get it round the Nürburgring any faster!
     
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  17. keine_ahnung

    joeblogsbier.com

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    Posted 20/1/19
    P.s. Not necessarily saying this^ is the case here. But it's something that seems to happen quite often....
     
    Last edited: 21/1/19
  18. Rocker1986

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    Posted 21/1/19
    Never filtered the tap water in any brew I've made, Brisbane tap water is pretty decent already. I do use potassium met to remove chloramines from it though. These days though I make distilled water and use that so I can dial in specific water profiles.

    In any case, whether or not it's my perception level, I brewed numerous batches with untreated tap water for years without tasting chlorophenols once, so I don't know how likely it is that it's the issue. If it is oxidation it could be from not rinsing the percarbonate properly after cleaning the kegs with it too.
     

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