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General Category => General Homebrew Discussion => Topic started by: brewone on December 14, 2010, 06:09:56 AM

Title: Off flavor..
Post by: brewone on December 14, 2010, 06:09:56 AM
So I've been brewing for over a year now and am CRAZY about being sanitary in every part of my brewing.  I have done maybe 3 dozen batches from extract to all grain and they all seem to have a "phenolic" flavor to some degree.  It settles a bit with some age but is always present. 

As for my process I have 2 coolers and an 8g BK with weld less ball valve and therm.  I use star-san in proper dilution, I have fermentation control in a chest freezer with help of a ranco. and I use the 3 piece airlock.

Any insight would be greatly appreciated...
Title: Re: Off flavor..
Post by: jaybeerman on December 14, 2010, 06:54:30 AM
Define what phenolic flavor means to you (i.e. give a more specific flavor)?  Is the beer solventlike, plastic like, astringent (dry or metallic)?  What fermentation temps, type of fermenter and what yeast do you use in your chest freezer? Ever boil grain in any of your brews?

Btw, welcome to the site and don't get too crazy with sanitation.
Title: Re: Off flavor..
Post by: beveragebob on December 14, 2010, 06:57:52 AM
Definitely have to give us more specifics...what's your water profile like? Do you use a water filter? Camden Tabs? More details and we may be able to help.
Title: Re: Off flavor..
Post by: euge on December 14, 2010, 07:05:38 AM
Define what phenolic flavor means to you (i.e. give a more specific flavor)?  Is the beer solventlike, plastic like, astringent (dry or metallic)?  What fermentation temps, type of fermenter and what yeast do you use in your chest freezer? Ever boil grain in any of your brews?

Btw, welcome to the site and don't get too crazy with sanitation.

I wanted to know also- what he said.
Title: Re: Off flavor..
Post by: brewone on December 14, 2010, 09:16:08 AM
Thanks for the responses...

The flavor is more of a plastic type flavor maybe slightly metallic but more plastic. I have never intentionally boiled grains but if some husks sneak through the manifold they will be boiled. 
For fermentation I generally use Cal ale WLP001 and the temps are between 67-69, 70 during a D-rest. 

Since I have moved to Sacramento recently I have been using RO/DI water and if i do any tap I will use a campden tablet, but previously i had been using tap/DI water and campden tablets.
My current water profile is fairly neutral : Ca=14, SO4=2.1, Mg=9, Na=18, Cl=32, CO3=72, Hardness=100, Alkalinity=110 pH=8.2.
Thanks again and if you need more info just lemme know!
Title: Re: Off flavor..
Post by: beerocd on December 14, 2010, 01:12:42 PM
What product(s) do you use for your CRAZY sanitation routine? Could there be enough residual left somewhere to mess up your flavors? Maybe switch cleaner/sanitizer products and see if the taste persists. Do you always use the same yeast, maybe you just don't like that yeast? Try making your next batch from a new kit, or fresh supplies from your supplier?
Title: Re: Off flavor..
Post by: brewone on December 14, 2010, 06:42:36 PM
I have always used 5-star products (PBW and Star San), I have used other yeasts but I will try some new techniques and equipment.  I was thinking of doing a stove top 1 gallon batch to see if it could be my practice or my equipment.
Title: Re: Off flavor..
Post by: jaybeerman on December 15, 2010, 04:31:45 AM
Pretty hard to pinpoint problems over the net, it might just take a little trial and error.  My only thoughts - don't over think sanitation, equip that's used pre boil just needs to be clean and equip that touches the wort post boil should be sanitized but drained.  Don't sweat a bit of husk getting into the boil.  Although I personally have never used it you could try a batch of beer using the ph5.2 stabilizer, see what effect it has on your brew. Not really recommending that you use it all the time but at least you'd know if that was your issue.  Here's couple general thoughts for newish brewers; Don't over crush your grain, use a software program to calc your hop additions, don't sparge over 170F, if you have a plastic fermenter with an obvious gash throw it away.  I can't think of anything else, good luck I imagine you'll figure it out soon.  cheers and let everyone know if it doesn't go away

[edit] oh yeah, what kind of brews are we talking about here (i.e. what grains)?
Title: Re: Off flavor..
Post by: rabid_dingo on December 15, 2010, 04:42:25 AM
Find a brewer or friend to taste test the beer you are talking about. You are your own worst critic. You may
just be perceiving a bad taste when none is there. Getting a 2nd opinion would really help you get to the
problem, if there is one. Then you can fix the issue.