Found a cause of off flavours in my recent beers

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Truman42

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The last couple of brews ive done have had a sort of stale taste in the beer. After discussions and some suggestions from QLDKev (Onya Kevo) I carried out an experiment to try and track down the culprit.

First I connected up my food grade hose to my HLT and filled it with 10 litres of water, boiled it for 5 mins then drained to a vessel, cooled and tasted the water. It tasted like crap, stale and sort of a furry bitter taste on the tongue and a plastic taste.
I repeated this in the MLT and the kettle and whilst not as bad still had this stale bitter taste. I also filled a conical and boiled it on the stove and while still not as bad as the taste from the brew vessels it still had a slight stale taste. I boiled some tap water from the kitchen in a conical as a control and that was fine.

I started to see what the problem might be so repeated the experiment in the HLT and kettle but this time filled them with a jug. The water was fine, no stale off taste. So the culprit was my supposed food grade hose.

Now this hose is stamped as food grade but I think the problems been that as I coil it up and it sits there for a month the moisture in the coiled hose must be going stagnant. Thats why the HLT was the worst taste and the kettle and conical not as bad, as the water had flushed out the bad taste by then. I filled a glass with some water via the hose after doing these experiments and it tasted fine.

One thing that did surprise me was the plastic taste. It was similar to when you drink water from a garden hose. As this hose is foodgrade I wouldnt have expected a plastic taste from it.

But could the moisture sitting in the hose for a month cause the chemicals in the hose to leach out perhaps??
 

wbosher

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Maybe some bacteria growing in the hose over that time? Sounds like flushing it out before you use it will sort out this problem.
 

Maheel

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just buy some silicone tube

high chance it's not food grade rated at boiling temps


i hang my hoses after use to dry and also starsan them all at the end of the brewday and again prior
 

QldKev

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Maheel said:
just buy some silicone tube

high chance it's not food grade rated at boiling temps


i hang my hoses after use to dry and also starsan them all at the end of the brewday and again prior
This is the hose used to fill the vessels, not the hoses on the brewery itself.
 

Truman42

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Maheel said:
just buy some silicone tube

high chance it's not food grade rated at boiling temps


i hang my hoses after use to dry and also starsan them all at the end of the brewday and again prior
As Kev said its the hose running from my front tap to my HLT to fill up my HLT so does not need to be rated at high temps. It only has cold water running through it. All my brewery hoses are silicone.
 

iralosavic

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Truman said:
As Kev said its the hose running from my front tap to my HLT to fill up my HLT so does not need to be rated at high temps. It only has cold water running through it. All my brewery hoses are silicone.
So I shouldn't be filling my HLT with a normal garden hose?! That's all I do... I just water the garden first for a bit to clear it out.
 

CosmicBertie

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I had some concern about this with my syphoning/transfer tube, and seeing some black growths in it.

My current process is once i've finished transferring, I flush the tube with clean water. Then I fill it and add approx 2ml of idophor and join the ends together and then store it. The only downside is that the idophor slightly stains the tube brown.
 

Truman42

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iralosavic said:
So I shouldn't be filling my HLT with a normal garden hose?! That's all I do... I just water the garden first for a bit to clear it out.
You may get a plastic taste from a normal garden hose. Taste it and see. Mine is food grade but I was obviously getting bacteria growing in it.
 

GalBrew

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What if you ran your garden hose through a 2-stage water filter to fill up your HLT. Would that remove any of that plastic taste? Does anyone do this on their setup?
 

stakka82

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Finding the cause of a problem, then fixing it, is the best.
 

wbosher

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I'd probably just hose fresh water through it, then syphon some starsan through it. Plug the ends until next use.

Rinse and repeat...:)
 

WarmBeer

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I fill my HLT from the cube I'm about to store my wort in. This gets filled directly from the outdoor tap, no hose involved.
 

Truman42

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wbosher said:
I'd probably just hose fresh water through it, then syphon some starsan through it. Plug the ends until next use.

Rinse and repeat... :)
So if its just moist starsan sitting in the line would this be okay and not go stagnant? I assume so? plugging the ends will be a pain as I have a brass click on fitting at one end and a female stainless quick disconnect at the other end but I suppose I could rig up something. Might see what I can come up with.
 

Truman42

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WarmBeer said:
I fill my HLT from the cube I'm about to store my wort in. This gets filled directly from the outdoor tap, no hose involved.
i used to do this but my HLT now gravity feeds my MLT and is up high. The top of the HLT is level with my head when I stand on a milk crate so I was trying to avoid OHS issues by lifting and pouring from a cube. But until I get this hose problem sorted and determine that it is just stagnant water and not the hose itself i will have to do just that. I hope to run some more testing tonight and if all good brew tomorrow.

I will clean the hose with sod perc then starsan then run fresh water through it for awhile and fill my hlt and boil then taste. If all good will use the hose tomorrow to brew.
 

wbosher

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Hmmm, maybe. I've sanitised bottles, put the tops on, and left for a couple of weeks without any issue, so I guess it should be ok. Maybe tape the ends up?
 

iralosavic

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It (phosphoric sanitiser) goes yuck and leaves a solid film on stuff if you leave it exposed to the air for long enough - and it can be a pain to clean out from un-scrubbable locations.
 

Truman42

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wbosher said:
Hmmm, maybe. I've sanitised bottles, put the tops on, and left for a couple of weeks without any issue, so I guess it should be ok. Maybe tape the ends up?
Good idea... We have plastic caps at work for blocking off hydraulic lines so I might be able to find some that fit inside the hose fittings. But failing that some duct tape would probably work.
 

wbosher

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iralosavic said:
It (phosphoric sanitiser) goes yuck and leaves a solid film on stuff if you leave it exposed to the air for long enough - and it can be a pain to clean out from un-scrubbable locations.
I've never had any problems, but I usually give the bottles a good rinse out and sanitise again before use though.

Could just run a shit load of water through the hose before next use...then I guess you just do that without even bothering to sanitise in the first place.
 

QldKev

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I would not stick tape to it, you will end up with all sorts of dirt and shit sticking to it. I'd piss the hose off and don't make life any harder on brew day. How long is the run from tap to HLT?
 

iralosavic

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wbosher said:
I've never had any problems, but I usually give the bottles a good rinse out and sanitise again before use though.

Could just run a shit load of water through the hose before next use...then I guess you just do that without even bothering to sanitise in the first place.
I expect the solidification phenomenon may not occur if you put the lids on between uses. I've had a container with sanitiser sitting in it with no lid on and forgotten about it and after a couple of months it was like syrup on top and solid on the bottom and I ended up chucking it out because I coudln't get it clean.
 

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