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General Category => All Grain Brewing => Topic started by: roberba on December 08, 2009, 11:31:10 PM

Title: "Belgian" spice flavor wierdness
Post by: roberba on December 08, 2009, 11:31:10 PM
I brewed a small ale recently with 1/2 lb of 40l crystal and 60l crystal with 9lbs of base malt...generally pretty light. The hops came from my a backyard and the variety is unknown although it is not very strong in AA. The yeast was Wyeast 1056 American Ale. The fermentation temp was about 65F. It didn't finish for almost three weeks. I bottle conditioned it and let it set for three more weeks before trying it. It has the flavor of a Belgian spice that I was not expecting.
Q: Is this spicy flavor common with this yeast? Am I running into something else?
I was aiming for a more typical but less hoppy American ale.
Thoughts?
TIA
Title: Re: "Belgian" spice flavor wierdness
Post by: majorvices on December 09, 2009, 02:26:27 AM
Wyeast 1056 is as clean as they come. The flavor you are talking about very well could come from a wild yeast infection. How are you sanitation procedures? The other problem could be chlorine/chloramines either in your water or whatever you use to sanitize. Are you filtering you water.
Title: Re: "Belgian" spice flavor wierdness
Post by: a10t2 on December 09, 2009, 02:52:37 AM
Major's are probably the more likely explanations, but if it's truly spicy (as in peppery, specifically) it could be from your mystery hops. Saaz and Styrian Goldings in particular remind me of pepper, so I'm sure there are other varietals that could do the same thing.
Title: Re: "Belgian" spice flavor wierdness
Post by: MDixon on December 09, 2009, 01:22:02 PM
I vote hops or the yeast was something other than 1056.
Title: Re: "Belgian" spice flavor wierdness
Post by: majorvices on December 09, 2009, 01:31:20 PM
Is the off flavor like Clove or Band aid? Plasticy? Banana? Or is it peppery?
Title: Re: "Belgian" spice flavor wierdness
Post by: roberba on December 10, 2009, 01:34:07 AM
The spicieness is a kind of pumkin/clove flavor
Title: Re: "Belgian" spice flavor wierdness
Post by: majorvices on December 10, 2009, 09:09:45 PM
Two things will give you clove: wild yeast (in other words "infection") and chlorine/chloramines. Are you using straight tap water of sanitizing with bleach?
Title: Re: "Belgian" spice flavor wierdness
Post by: roberba on December 11, 2009, 01:48:35 AM
I use a dilute bleach spray in my primary and let it air dry for a couple days. I then sanitize with Star-San. The water is city tap water but I boil it for 15 minutes and then let it sit in a closed container until cool enough to use. I've used this method in the past when brewing a Bass clone using the extract method. They do put chlorine in the water but I don't know about chloramines. I've read that sulfiting the water with campden tabs will clear the chloromines. I have not tried this or talked to anyone in the area about it yet. I will talk to the folks at the local brew shop and see what they have to say.
Any other thoughts are greatly appreciated.

Cheers,
Title: Re: "Belgian" spice flavor wierdness
Post by: brewsumore on December 11, 2009, 02:23:47 AM
per 20 gallons of water, finely crush 1 campden tablet, mix it well into a little hot water and then stir that into your brewing water.  Wait a few minutes then go ahead and begin heating it.
Title: Re: "Belgian" spice flavor wierdness
Post by: bluesman on December 11, 2009, 02:28:11 AM
I would eliminate any chlorine in your cleaning/sanitizing process and stick with just starsan solution for sanitizing. Boiling your water should drive off the chlorine and/or campden tabs will work too. I would also consider using distilled and/or bottled water if you continue to have a problem, but you need to determine the source of your problem by eliminating one variable at a time.
Title: Re: "Belgian" spice flavor wierdness
Post by: brewsumore on December 11, 2009, 02:32:59 AM
+1 for sure never use bleach solution without rinsing first and like bluesman says - get a better sanitizer, either star san or iodophor at the recommended concentration  -they are truly no-rinse if used correctly.
Title: Re: "Belgian" spice flavor wierdness
Post by: majorvices on December 11, 2009, 02:14:57 PM
Yep, the bleach is almost certainly your problem. For the record, Star san is a more effective sanitizer than bleach. No need to use both - Star san is all you need and even the smallest amount of bleach must be rinsed or will cause the exact off flavors you are mentioning.

My cleansing and sanitizing regime is as follows: I soak for at least 20 minutes with chlorine-free Oxygen cleaner (I use Sun). Lightly scrub. Rinse. And then rinse with Star San.
Title: Re: "Belgian" spice flavor wierdness
Post by: roberba on December 12, 2009, 01:12:58 AM
Thanks to everyone for the timely and informative replies. It's clear now that "Bleach Bad"! ::)
I will use the Oxy cleaning method and use a one-step from now on and save the bleach for the cloths and kitchen counter tops.

Brew on!

Cheers,
Rob