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doc280

Metallic Grass like taste, need help

57 posts in this topic

I have been attempting to brew some 5 gallon extract recipe kits but the results have been, well not so good. All the kits have been amber ales or brown ales, but none the same, however each finished beers have the same metallic grass taste. Each sample I have tasted, prior to bottling, has been ok, to this one is going to be great, but the end result still remains the same after four week in the bottle. My Mr. Beer kits still remain great using the the same equipment and bottling procedures.

 

So this is how I am doing things, maybe someone can figure out what I am doing wrong. 

 

1) 2 1/2 gallons of filtered tap water heated to 150F to 160F.

 

2) Grains in the bag and steeped for 20 minutes, a stir of the water at the 10 minute mark and followed by few dunks of the bag.

 

3) Grains removed and wort heated to a boil and flame out. At this time LME added and wort brought back to a rolling boil, hot break observed. 

 

4) Hops added for the 60 minute boil. I have done this comando, but now I am using a hop spider. Hop additions are made at the proper times following the instructions.

 

5) At the end of the 60 minute boil, flame out, hop spider removed, kettle is covered and placed in an ice bath for 30 minutes.

 

6) Two LBKs are sanitized using One Step no rinse.

 

7) Kettle is remove from the ice bath and the wort is transferred and divided into two LBKs and filtered tap water water is added to each LBK, to bring the wort to my 2 1/2 gal mark. 

 

8) The wort is aerated  in each LBK.

 

9) The wort temp is uselly at 65F at this point and the yeast is added. All my batches so far have used S-04.

 

10) The two LBKs are placed in my fermentation chamber and the wort temp is kept at 64F for two weeks.

 

11) After two weeks the wort is transferred into my secondary fermentation LBKs (sanitized with One Step) and placed back in the fermentation chamber for one week. Temp is kept at 64F and if dry hopping is required it is done at this time and I keep the hops in a nylon bag, which are boiled before use.

 

12) After a week in the secondary LBK the fermentation chamber temp is dropped to 40F, for three days. 

 

13) After the cold crash 24 PET 740ml bottles are sanitized using One Step no rinse.

 

14) One teaspoon of Dixie Crystal cane sugar is added to each bottle.

 

15) Each bottle is filled, capped, placed in a box and stored at 70F to 73F for four weeks.

 

I am hoping it is something simple I am missing and just can not see. I have enjoyed brewing the beers, but with undrinkable results, the fun is disappearing quickly.

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It sounds like your methods are correct so it may be either an equipment issue or an ingredient issue.

 

What kind of kettle are you using (aluminum or steel...if steel, what type)?

How fresh are the ingredients you are using? Poorly stored or old grains can cause metallic flavors and old hops can cause grassy flavors.

Also, how long are you dry-hopping? Dry-hopping for longer than 5 days can also result in grassy flavors.

Finally, try using different water. Tap water can sometimes have an overabundance of minerals or chemical treatments that can cause off-flavors, even when filtering. Try using a bottled spring water or purified water (not distilled) on your next batches.

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58 minutes ago, MRB Josh R said:

It sounds like your methods are correct so it may be either an equipment issue or an ingredient issue.

 

What kind of kettle are you using (aluminum or steel...if steel, what type)?

How fresh are the ingredients you are using? Poorly stored or old grains can cause metallic flavors and old hops can cause grassy flavors.

Also, how long are you dry-hopping? Dry-hopping for longer than 5 days can also result in grassy flavors.

Finally, try using different water. Tap water can sometimes have an overabundance of minerals that can cause off-flavors, even when filtering. Try using a bottled spring water or purified water (not distilled) on your next batches.

I starting with a 3 gallon SS kettle, which was to small. It worked but I was using a slow boil to keep things from boiling over and I thought maybe this was my problem. So I purchased a 5 gallon SS kettle and ramped up the boil to rolling boil. This did not correct my problem.

 

The ingredients are fresh as they are packed after I have placed my order. And as the kits have differed, so have the grains, LME and hops.

 

 

The one brew I dry hopped was for one week , as per directions, but the other 4 brews were not dry hopped at all and the same awful flavor remained the same.

 

Forgot to mention, longer conditioning time does not help.

 

I will try a spring water for the IPA, I am brewing sometime next week, so I can check that one off my list. My Mr. Beer kits are fine with the water I have been using, but maybe something form these kits are reacting to my water.

 

 

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I would remove the transfer to secondary as there is zero reason to do so, and you're possibly aerating the wort.  

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8 minutes ago, RickBeer said:

I would remove the transfer to secondary as there is zero reason to do so, and you're possibly aerating the wort.  

 

This isn't entirely true (unless using Mr. Beer kits, which he is not for these batches). There are several benefits of doing a secondary including clarifying the beer, removing from trub for less esters (I do this for my saisons), bulk aging/lagering, and doing fruit/spice/late hop additions.

 

Oxygenating the wort isn't much of an issue with fresh beer due to the Co2 still off-gassing. This will protect it. You just want to be sure you don't splash and you're filling your secondary from the bottom up with some tubing and not just pouring it in. You can even add a layer of Co2 to the secondary before filling and there are ways to fill into a secondary with a fully enclosed system (ex. using a keg as a secondary with a relief valve). I even sometimes use a tertiary for big beers with a lot of trub or bulk aging.

 

With that said, if he is getting too much oxygen into his beer somehow in his brewing process, it can also cause off-flavors similar to licorice, sherry, or wet cardboard.

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When I have transfer from the primary to the secondary LBK, I connect the hose to the primary spigot and feed the other end of the hose in the secondary, until it sits on the bottom. Then open the spigot and let gravity do it's thing. This does not agitate the wort. Also, and forgive me for not mentioning this, but some of these batches did not go into a secondary. So secondary or not, same bad taste.

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I have been us

8 minutes ago, MRB Josh R said:

What are you using as a sanitizer?

I have been using the Mr. Beer no rinse and One Step Cleaner. I believe they are the same product.

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15 minutes ago, doc280 said:

I have been us

I have been using the Mr. Beer no rinse and One Step Cleaner. I believe they are the same product.

 

It is. Just making sure you weren't using a chlorine-based product.

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I had a similar problem about 18 months ago.  Do you use a bottling bucket or do you bottle from the LBK?  How old is your bottling wand?

 

In my case, the issue was an infection in my bucket or one of my hoses.  After all were replaced, the issue went away.

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1 hour ago, BDawg62 said:

I had a similar problem about 18 months ago.  Do you use a bottling bucket or do you bottle from the LBK?  How old is your bottling wand?

 

In my case, the issue was an infection in my bucket or one of my hoses.  After all were replaced, the issue went away.

I bottle directly from the LBK spigot, slowly running the wort down the side off the bottle. My secondary LBKs have the new flip style spigot, which I think makes it so easy to fill the bottle without aerating the wort. I do clean the spigot with One Step before bottling.

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Maybe check your grain crush. I was initially going too fine and had some weird tastes consistently happening. New two roller mill corrected the issue. Don’t give up!

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8 hours ago, doc280 said:

I bottle directly from the LBK spigot, slowly running the wort down the side off the bottle. My secondary LBKs have the new flip style spigot, which I think makes it so easy to fill the bottle without aerating the wort. I do clean the spigot with One Step before bottling.

Following the line begun by @BDawg62, do you disassemble your spigots to clean and disinfect?

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And by disassemble, not just remove, but separate the spigot into separate pieces (the Mr. Beer spigot that swings right to left comes apart into two pieces.  Clean throughly, then before brewing sanitize the pieces, then assemble, then install.

 

I would have asked about sanitizing the hose, but you stated you don't always transfer to secondary and still have the issue.

 

For those with bottling wands, disassemble tip, remove washer and wash all pieces, then reassemble.

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I have been very particular with taking apart and sanitizing everything or like my hops bags, I boil them.

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1 hour ago, doc280 said:

I have been very particular with taking apart and sanitizing everything or like my hops bags, I boil them.

I guess that takes us back to Josh's comment about old ingredients. Makes me think twice about buying one.

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I had a rye brown ale in the fermentation chamber which was brewed using my filtered water.

I bottled it, using the One Step, but rinsing the bottles after sanitizing, with distilled water. Also used corn sugar instead of the cain sugar.

The sample taken before bottling, was clear and tasted very good.

 

I have an IPA kit to brew and will be using distilled water and Starsan, in an attempt to obtain better results.

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MrB Josh's point about the milling was not brought up again.

If you are getting the kits from the same place and they mill all the grains there, maybe it is too fine. Or are the problem kits all from different places?

 

So you can analyze - knowing Mr B kit works, and assuming you use the LBK for them what I get is this

 

It has to be the ingredients in the kits you get. Either there is one common bad one or there is some bad process.

The implication is that you get the bad tasting kits from the same vendor.

 

If so test this with a different vendor who makes a kit for similar beers.

 

If the bad tasting kits are from a range of vendors, all I can think it can be somehow  is your process difference, so I would try as close a process to the Mr B as possible.

Or try making a Mr B kit using exactly the same kit /process you make the non Mr B kits kits with.

 

 

 

Bad Beer Taste.png

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13 hours ago, RickBeer said:

Do not rinse bottles after sanitizing.

The One Step, from my understanding works by releasing oxygen during its sanitizing process. 
So when using One Step to sanitize the fermentation equipment should not be a problem because oxygen introduced to the wort is a good thing.

However when using the One Step to sanitize the bottles could be the problem. The residual One Step, left in the bottles after sanitizing, maybe introducing oxygen to the beer after fermentation which could be leading to the bad taste.

Just a theory I am running with, hence the reason for the rinse after sanitizing. Adding distilled water to each bottle, for the rinse, from a sealed gallon jug, seems fairly low risk for contamination.

The use of corn sugar was really the only other thing I could change to the bottling process, which could, maybe, effect the taste.

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