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General Category => General Homebrew Discussion => Topic started by: homoeccentricus on November 30, 2014, 08:31:33 PM

Title: plastic
Post by: homoeccentricus on November 30, 2014, 08:31:33 PM
I tasted a (commercial) beer yesterday that had a strong plastic flavor. Any idea what that could be? It was barrel-aged, could that have anything to do with it?
Title: Re: plastic
Post by: speed on November 30, 2014, 09:58:03 PM
Plastic is phenolic, usually yeast infection or some yeast at high temps will give this. What beer was it?
Title: Re: plastic
Post by: homoeccentricus on November 30, 2014, 10:42:06 PM
Plastic is phenolic, usually yeast infection or some yeast at high temps will give this. What beer was it?

Nothing one can find in the US. It was an Italian beer at a tasting in Belgium. Could that be a yeast that develops during barrel-aging, or is there no relationship?
Title: Re: plastic
Post by: HoosierBrew on November 30, 2014, 10:56:28 PM
FWIW, I've had a lot of barrel aged beers and never had a phenolic/plastic-y one. So I don't think it's an inherent issue to barrel aging.  I agree that it's likely an infection or fermentation temp related issue. But a barrel related infection in this case is not impossible, by any means.
Title: Re: plastic
Post by: morticaixavier on December 01, 2014, 12:22:12 AM
it can also come from chlorine in the water or incomplete rinsing of chlorinated sanitizers
Title: Re: plastic
Post by: majorvices on December 01, 2014, 12:48:10 AM
Phenols are attributed to many things, as everyone else has pointed out. It could be the barrels were left for a long time empty and a wild yeast took hold during that time, but phenols are not indicative of barrel aging.

Basically phenols are driven from a wild yeast (except in the case of hefeweizen strains and some Belgian strains - though it is important to point out that these strains produce more "clove-like" character and are much more pleasing than the plastic-clove-like character driven by much of the wild yeast) or chlorine/chloramines that are present in the municipal water (or chlorine based sanitizers).
Title: Re: plastic
Post by: epic1856 on December 01, 2014, 06:48:40 PM
It can also be the beer lines since you mentioned commercial. There are some bars that don't clean them as often as they should.