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Coop

Toxic taste

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I brewed my first batch ever followed all directions. After 3 weeks of carbonation I refrigerated all bottles. I drank 1 bottle that same night and it wasn't bad. Did have a tinge of a strange after taste. 1 week of refrigeration later and all bottles were undrinkable. Strong chemical taste. Any help?

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I used well water. I got some advice on this through another post. I wasn't sure where to post my problem due to my noobie status in the forums. But I'm still very appreciative of any other input. I think my beer was pretty green and definitely needed more conditioning. However the bad taste was more medicinal or "band aid like" than yeasty. But I'm no expert. The first bottle was a little yeasty on the finish. The bottles I left refrigerated were far worse and you could taste it from start to finish. Needless to say they got dumped. I have a batch of Aztec bottled right now. I sampled one after 2 weeks and it had that similar finish. More yeasty. I'm going to wait 5 or 6 weeks before trying the rest to see if it was simply too green or if it's something else.

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Try using different water (not distilled). One of the main reasons for a band-aid or medicinal flavor is from chlorine/chloramines (these chemicals create chlorophenols), which are common in tap water. Even private wells can have some chlorine/chloramine through the leeching of surrounding water supplies. You can usually get inexpensive testing kits to test your well water for chlorine and/or chloramines.

 

If it's not the water, it could be from bacteria, but this is less common, especially if you sanitized properly. I recommend trying to use bottled water instead of your well water until/unless you know for sure it's chlorine/chloramine free. One option that may help your Aztec improve would be to add 1 campden tablet (potassium metabisulfate) to your batch a week before you bottle. Don't worry about the yeast, they are pretty tolerant to campden at low doses (a normal dose is 1 tab per gallon). The campden tablet will neutralize the chlorine/chloramine. Just crush it into a powder and add it to the beer. Give it a very gentle stir with a SANITIZED spoon trying not to disturb the sediment too much. If you do disturb the sediment, don't worry, you can always cold crash the beer for 12-24 hours before bottling (cold-crash = place the fermenter in the fridge to promote settling). Try not to leave the fermenter lid open for too long. Stir it in and shut it as soon as you can to prevent contamination or oxidation (though campden tabs are actually an anti-oxidant, too, and should help prevent oxidation ;)). 

 

While we don't sell campden tablets (yet), you can find them at your LHBS or online. It's really inexpensive stuff and has many uses.

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Thanks for the advise. On another topic I will be trying the st. Patrick kit soon. It came with the lme packet. Can you tell me exactly how to add this so I don't screw it up. Boil water, remove from flame, stir in wort. Should lme be wisked in immediately following? Or am I doing the whole thing wrong? Sorry for being clueless. I only had directions that came with the kit. Trying to get educated in these forums.

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9 minutes ago, Coop said:

Thanks for the advise. On another topic I will be trying the st. Patrick kit soon. It came with the lme packet. Can you tell me exactly how to add this so I don't screw it up. Boil water, remove from flame, stir in wort. Should lme be wisked in immediately following? Or am I doing the whole thing wrong? Sorry for being clueless. I only had directions that came with the kit. Trying to get educated in these forums.

 

The LME goes in at the same time as the can of brewing extract. Simply pour the can in and stir in the LME right after (or before...doesn't matter). Like the can of brewing extract, helps to immerse the LME packet in hot water (not boiling - just hot tap water) to soften it up so it's easier to get out.

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52 minutes ago, Coop said:

I used well water. I got some advice on this through another post. I wasn't sure where to post my problem due to my noobie status in the forums. But I'm still very appreciative of any other input. I think my beer was pretty green and definitely needed more conditioning. However the bad taste was more medicinal or "band aid like" than yeasty. But I'm no expert. The first bottle was a little yeasty on the finish. The bottles I left refrigerated were far worse and you could taste it from start to finish. Needless to say they got dumped. I have a batch of Aztec bottled right now. I sampled one after 2 weeks and it had that similar finish. More yeasty. I'm going to wait 5 or 6 weeks before trying the rest to see if it was simply too green or if it's something else.

 

You're not drinking them out of the bottle, are you?  If so, that's your problem.  You need to GENTLY pour from the bottle into a glass, not disturbing the trub at the bottom of the bottle, and as soon as the yeast starts to flow out, stop pouring.  You'll toss the last 1/4 inch or so.  NEVER drink from a bottle of homebrew.  

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 No, I poured into a glass. I was careful not to stir the sediment on the bottom of the bottle. I appreciate your help Rick and I do think I should have conditioned longer. I still don't really understand why it went from a little yeasty finish to undrinkable with the extra week in the fridge. I get that it won't condition in the fridge but don't really get why it got worse. Much worse. And like I said I wouldn't describe the latter as yeasty. It was more medicinal. So if chlorine was the culprit wouldn't the earlier bottle have been as bad?

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Refrigerate only those you are going to drink. Let the others sit at room temperature. Wait, Wait, Wait, four weeks or more for the beers to carbonate and condition. The Irish Stout will be great 2,3, or 4 months from the time you bottle. As suggested, Use bottled water this time. Try and keep the fermentation temperatures on the lower side 64-68 deg F. Good luck.

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Thank you. I appreciate the input. As for the st. Patrick stout. You say 2,3 or even 4 months after bottling. I was reading a review on this beer and a couple people said they had good results after 30 days. I can wait a 2 or 3 months but do you think it's necessary? Probably depends on temp to an extent?

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3 minutes ago, Coop said:

Thank you. I appreciate the input. As for the st. Patrick stout. You say 2,3 or even 4 months after bottling. I was reading a review on this beer and a couple people said they had good results after 30 days. I can wait a 2 or 3 months but do you think it's necessary? Probably depends on temp to an extent?

 

It's not necessary, but it does help. You will usually find that the last beer you drink out of a batch is the best because it aged the longest.

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3 hours ago, Coop said:

Thank you. I appreciate the input. As for the st. Patrick stout. You say 2,3 or even 4 months after bottling. I was reading a review on this beer and a couple people said they had good results after 30 days. I can wait a 2 or 3 months but do you think it's necessary? Probably depends on temp to an extent?

 

It will be ready to drink 4 weeks after bottling. What the guys are trying to say is it will get even better with more conditioning.

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So I just mixed my third attempt. St.Patricks Irish stout. Was meticulous with sanitization and used bottled water. My only concern was mixing the ingredients in a metal pot with my metal wisk. Tried not to beat the sides of the pot but still concerned about metal flakes messing the whole thing up.  That aside I'm pretty excited. Three weeks in the lbk and then I'm gonna go 2 months before I sample. In the mean time I'm gonna get a batch of Canadian blonde going this weekend. Mex cerveza is still conditioning for a couple more weeks. See if that improves. I know I'm kinda jumping in with both feet before even making a good batch yet but oh well. It's fun and if your not trying your not learning. I'm studying in the forums in th

e meantime.

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Also I did use a wisk in the pot but I just stirred with it. In the lbk I wisked but tries not to touch the lbk. Hopefully it's OK. None the less I will follow your instructions going forward.

 

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A metal whisk can scratch the LBK.  Scratches will harbor bacteria.  A silicone whisk won't.

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13 hours ago, Coop said:

Also I did use a wisk in the pot but I just stirred with it. In the lbk I wisked but tries not to touch the lbk. Hopefully it's OK. None the less I will follow your instructions going forward.

 

 

As long as you were careful, you'll be fine, but I agree with Rick that you should probably use something a bit less abrasive to the plastic of the keg. I use a plastic paddle (the ones we sell on our website). But even with that, one should be careful not to stir too hard and hit the sides too much.

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3 hours ago, MRB Josh R said:

 

As long as you were careful, you'll be fine, but I agree with Rick that you should probably use something a bit less abrasive to the plastic of the keg. I use a plastic paddle (the ones we sell on our website). But even with that, one should be careful not to stir too hard and hit the sides too much.

 

Josh, I don't see the plastic paddle you speak of.

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59 minutes ago, gophers6 said:

 

Josh, I don't see the plastic paddle you speak of.


Let me rephrase that: "like the ones we used to sell on our website". It slipped my mind that we had discontinued those. :'(

 

In any case, even they were a bit solid and could do damage to the keg if you hit the sides too hard. I've found the best tools are the powder coated whisks as RickBeer suggested, and those rubber spatulas for putting frosting on cake.

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26 minutes ago, MRB Josh R said:


Let me rephrase that: "like the ones we used to sell on our website". It slipped my mind that we had discontinued those. :'(

 

 

 

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On 2/16/2016 at 2:33 PM, MRB Josh R said:

Try using different water (not distilled). One of the main reasons for a band-aid or medicinal flavor is from chlorine/chloramines (these chemicals create chlorophenols), which are common in tap water. Even private wells can have some chlorine/chloramine through the leeching of surrounding water supplies. You can usually get inexpensive testing kits to test your well water for chlorine and/or chloramines.

 

....

 

Why should you not use distilled?

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Because distilled water lack's the minerals nessary for brewing,as all the minerals have been boiled out(distilled)

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