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General Category => Kegging and Bottling => Topic started by: whitey on April 06, 2011, 11:11:04 PM

Title: I'm confused
Post by: whitey on April 06, 2011, 11:11:04 PM
A few months ago, I made a 3 5gal corney kegs of beer, Belgian Triple, Alt and an Oktoberfest. After sitting for a few weeks, 2 of the three developed what I could only describe a very strong taste that overpowered everything about the beer. I thought that I had screwed up the recipe, so the next few batches I made I bottled, and they turned out fine.

I made another 2 batches a few weeks ago, cleaned and santised the crap out of everything and kegged them again, with the intent of having them available for National Homebrewers day. I sampled it last Saturday, and it tasted awesome. I also noticed that my newly refilled CO2 was almost empty. There was a noticible lack of carbonation, but it still tasted fine.

By Sunday, the tank was empty, so I took it to be refilled on Monday. Got it back on Tuesday, hooked it up and discovered a leak at the regulator/tank connection. Sorted that out and let the Beer (Belgian Tripel and Dark Wheat) sit for a day at 12psi (apparently the middle ground for all beer). Sampled the Belgian Tripel and that strong overpowering taste is back.

So I'm begining to wonder if there is such a thing as too much carbonation, and if so, would it impact the flavour as violently as this?


Thanks for your time.
Title: Re: I'm confused
Post by: tumarkin on April 06, 2011, 11:22:43 PM
well, you may be tasting Carbonic Acid from the CO2. one way to tell is to take the beer that you thought had this negative flavor, leave it sit in an open mug for a bit, maybe even stir it gently to encourage the CO2 to degass. then taste it and see if that flavor is no longer there. if that's not it, can you further describe the overpowering flavor? give us more to work on.
Title: Re: I'm confused
Post by: whitey on April 07, 2011, 12:33:28 AM
funny you should mention that. l took my time drinking the mug that I'd poured, and it did start to taste less violent. I'm sorry, but I lack the wherewithall to give you an accurate description of what it tasted like.

I have since drained all the CO2 in the two kegs, and set the psi to 8.5. Will this work? or should I let the whole thing sit with no gas for a day then try to recarbonate?

Thanks for the feed back
Title: Re: I'm confused
Post by: theDarkSide on April 07, 2011, 01:14:23 AM
Hey Whitey, where's your hat?  :D

What temperature are you carbonating at?  If you're at 40 F, 12psi is about 2.5 volumes...not a huge amount for a Tripel.  I would look at your regulator to make sure it's not wonky.  Do they seem extremely carbonated when you pour them?

Title: Re: I'm confused
Post by: whitey on April 07, 2011, 09:29:49 AM
37 degrees in the fridge right now, I tasted the two again this am, there's still that flavour in the Trip, although not as bad. The Dark Wheat is ok.

I read somewhere that once kegged, one shouldforce carb for a period of time, then shut the CO2 off only to be turned on when needed to apply enough pressure to serve. Any truth to this?
Title: Re: I'm confused
Post by: liquidbrewing on April 07, 2011, 01:05:57 PM
The moment I start force carbing, my beers never leave the gas.  I start out with a cold keg, pressurize at 30 psi, shake the crap out of it for a minute.  Leave it at 30psi for two days, vent and then set at 10 psi, which is roughly my serving pressure.  (9-10 psi)  I've never heard anything about taking your beer off the gas.  The whole point is to equalize the pressure from the regulator to the keg.  It takes a few days to equalize the pressure.  And yes you can "de carb" this way too, much to my dismay, I found out, by leaving a Pale Ale at 4 psi for a few days, unknowingly, poured a glass and it was hardly carbed like it was the week before...
Title: Re: I'm confused
Post by: tschmidlin on April 07, 2011, 04:11:29 PM
As long as your system is tight (ie no leaks) then there is no reason to take it off of the gas.  If your system leaks, then putting pressure on the keg and then shutting off the gas isn't a bad idea.

But most likely I think that advice comes from someone who has not balanced their system for the beers they are serving.
Title: Re: I'm confused
Post by: bluesman on April 07, 2011, 04:27:34 PM
Here's a great manual for balancing and general kegging info. that will clear up any misconceptions that may exist.

http://www.kegworks.com/faqs/Draft-Beer-Quality-Manual.pdf

Don't hesitate to ask more questions.

Welcome to the AHA Forum!  8)
Title: Re: I'm confused
Post by: whitey on April 08, 2011, 09:34:18 PM
Thanks for the welcome, and the advice thus far. Assuming it is carbonic acid, is there anything I can do to reverse the effects? I've shut off the line to it and vented the keg. Anything else?
Title: Re: I'm confused
Post by: denny on April 09, 2011, 03:44:59 PM
Just waiting...
Title: Re: I'm confused
Post by: whitey on April 09, 2011, 11:25:07 PM
Well, beer is flat, and I'm happy to say it appears that it's returned to it's delicious self. Now, every place I've looked, I've seen ppl say that a Tripels volumes must be this....only problem is that everyone has different volumes ranging from 1.4 to 4.7.

What is the best, most fool proof way, to get a good level of carbonation? Start low and sample periodically until I find a level that works for me? Choose a specific carb guru's opinion and stick to it?

I'm confused.....again.
Title: Re: I'm confused
Post by: maxieboy on April 10, 2011, 12:21:23 AM

http://www.kegerators.com/carbonation-table.php (http://www.kegerators.com/carbonation-table.php)
Title: Re: I'm confused
Post by: whitey on April 14, 2011, 12:29:51 AM
Ok, so I drained off the co2 in the keg, used the chart and set the psi 9psi, which is  5psi lower than what I had it at (I was trying to carbonate two beers at the same time as I don't have a multiple secondary regulator), and after one day at that psi, that nasty taste is coming back.

So, I've blown off the co2 again, adjusted the psi to 5psi, but beyond that I'm at a loss.

I'm a little miffed, because its lost a lot of flavour.

Do I just bottle it next time? Naturally carb in the keg and use co2 to serv?
 
Title: Re: I'm confused
Post by: oscarvan on April 14, 2011, 12:58:19 AM
I'm a little miffed, because its lost a lot of flavour.

Nothing to do with the carbonation method IMHO.....
Title: Re: I'm confused
Post by: whitey on April 14, 2011, 08:56:55 AM
Odd, because the consensus was that the off taste was as a result of carbonic acid. Once it was blown off, that over powering flavor dissipated. Now since the reintroduction of co2, albeit at lower volumes it seems to be returning. If not co2 what could it be?
Title: Re: I'm confused
Post by: tumarkin on April 14, 2011, 10:44:48 AM
Odd, because the consensus was that the off taste was as a result of carbonic acid. Once it was blown off, that over powering flavor dissipated. Now since the reintroduction of co2, albeit at lower volumes it seems to be returning. If not co2 what could it be?

you weren't able to describe the flavor to us very well. carbonation is a possibility, seems to fit, but......

do you have a keg of another beer without this flavor? if so, you might over-carb that beer and see if it has the same flavor to your taste. if so, then that nails down carbonation as the problem. if not, it's probably something else specific to that one beer. do you have a homebrew club in your area or other access to BJCP trained judges? try to get their opinion. it's difficult to diagnose digitally without better descriptions.
Title: Re: I'm confused
Post by: whitey on April 14, 2011, 06:43:05 PM
Sadly I dont have a brew club near to where I live. I do have a second keg, a dark wheat which is just fine. The closey description to the taste would be rubbing alcohol. Let me ask this: is a Tripel an ale? Woild a high APV beer need special considerations?
Title: Re: I'm confused
Post by: tumarkin on April 14, 2011, 06:50:31 PM
yes, a tripel is an ale. no, a high abv beer doesn't need special consideration in kegging.

however, your rubbing alcohol description leads me to believe you may have some fusels or higher alcohols. though, that wouldn't generally go away with lower carbonation. puzzling. for the future, higher alcohols are more prevalent with warmer fermentation temps. so get your beer down to low 60's before you pitch the yeast, and try to keep the ferm temps below 68-70 in the future.
Title: Re: I'm confused
Post by: whitey on April 14, 2011, 08:11:01 PM
The pitch temp was about 68F, and the Ferm temp was a steady 64F.

What's your opinion on natural fermentation in a keg and only using CO2 to serve?
Title: Re: I'm confused
Post by: denny on April 14, 2011, 08:25:05 PM
If by "natural fermentation in a keg", it works fine but you end up with a bunch of sediment in the keg.  You need CO2 anyway to serve so why not use it to carb?  CO2 is CO2 no matter what the source, so there is no difference in beer flavor between the 2.
Title: Re: I'm confused
Post by: tumarkin on April 14, 2011, 08:31:33 PM
The pitch temp was about 68F, and the Ferm temp was a steady 64F.

What's your opinion on natural fermentation in a keg and only using CO2 to serve?

you've got a puzzler here. at those temps you shouldn't get a lot of fusels or higher alcohols. for the future you might try to cool it just a bit more before pitching your yeast. the ferm temp has a tendency to rise over the ambient temp. sounds like this wasn't the problem here, but still.

on fermenting in the keg..... no difference as far as the carbonation is concerned, though it is harder to control in getting a desired specific level of carbonation. you do end up with more trub in your keg, but that's usually not much of a problem. folks that do it regularly generally cut a bit off the dip tube to better insure that the trub is left behind. but as Denny points out, carbonation is carbonation. you're going to need a tank & regulator to serve the beer anyhow, so it seems better to me to take advantage of the ttank to get your beer carbonated exactly to the level you like.
Title: Re: I'm confused
Post by: whitey on April 14, 2011, 08:57:56 PM
I understand the concept of CO2 being CO2. My concern is that I over carbed the Tripel, is it possible to over carb naturally? or does the beer hit some sort of equilibrium and stop carbing?
Title: Re: I'm confused
Post by: whitey on April 14, 2011, 09:00:54 PM
The only other thing I can think of is that I may not have cleared the keg of O2.
Title: Re: I'm confused
Post by: morticaixavier on April 14, 2011, 09:06:51 PM
I understand the concept of CO2 being CO2. My concern is that I over carbed the Tripel, is it possible to over carb naturally? or does the beer hit some sort of equilibrium and stop carbing?

It sure is possible. If you give it too much sugar it will over carb. In a keg, not such a big deal, you bleed a little off and your good to go. in a bottle... BOOM. well, potentially at least.

Could it be an issue of stressed yeast?
Title: Re: I'm confused
Post by: jeffy on April 14, 2011, 09:14:12 PM
Ya know, a strong beer takes a little time to mellow out.  Sometimes when they are young you can get a solventy type flavor that dissipates in a few weeks.  You don't taste it in the bottled beer because they were bottle-conditioned - a bit sweeter when young from the sugar, but when carbonated the bottles have been aged a bit longer than what you have in the keg.  Does that make any sense?
Title: Re: I'm confused
Post by: whitey on April 14, 2011, 09:43:54 PM
Yes, it does. I'm sorry to keep asking questions, because I've already tossed a tripel due to this off flavour, I really need to solve this.

When I first kegged it, it tasted bloody amazing, Now, it tastes mediocre.
Title: Re: I'm confused
Post by: denny on April 14, 2011, 09:52:27 PM
I understand the concept of CO2 being CO2. My concern is that I over carbed the Tripel, is it possible to over carb naturally? or does the beer hit some sort of equilibrium and stop carbing?

It's much harder to accurately control the carb level via priming than it is through force carbing.
Title: Re: I'm confused
Post by: denny on April 14, 2011, 09:53:21 PM
The only other thing I can think of is that I may not have cleared the keg of O2.

That would have a completely different effect than what you described.
Title: Re: I'm confused
Post by: whitey on April 15, 2011, 11:50:48 AM
What sort of effect would it have?
Title: Re: I'm confused
Post by: narvin on April 15, 2011, 01:29:26 PM
Most Tripels are highly carbonated, so I can't believe that too much carbonation is causing the problem.

One thing about kegging is that you get all the yeast and hop sediment in the first pours, while when bottling it stays at the bottom.  Are you sure this harshness isn't something that is just less noticeable in warm or flat beer?
Title: Re: I'm confused
Post by: denny on April 15, 2011, 02:59:05 PM
What sort of effect would it have?

Oxidized beer (what you'd get if you didn't purge the O2) can taste cardboardy, kind of flat (flavor, not carbonation), maybe a bit like sherry, or have weird caramel flavors to it.
Title: Re: I'm confused
Post by: bluesman on April 15, 2011, 06:06:01 PM
What sort of effect would it have?

Oxidation from poor handling can lend a wet cardboard or staleness in the malt profile. Sometimes it can also be a sherry like flavor. This can be mitigated by purging the keg of O2 with CO2 prior to kegging.

I didn't see you mention whether you made a starter or did you use dry yeast. Also for future reference, I recommend pitching a few degrees lower than 68F for most ales.
Title: Re: I'm confused
Post by: whitey on April 15, 2011, 10:19:22 PM
Now that is an interesting thought, although, the first few pours of it in the keg I thought were bloody amazing. It's only after it sat for about a week, at 11 psi @34F that I noticed this harsh flavour. I de-carbed it and some of the original flavour came back.

what carb vol. should a Tripel have at 34F
Title: Re: I'm confused
Post by: whitey on April 15, 2011, 10:35:07 PM
Quote
I didn't see you mention whether you made a starter or did you use dry yeast. Also for future reference, I recommend pitching a few degrees lower than 68F for most ales.

I Used a Wyeast smack pack and dry yeast

I actually had a discussion about this before pitching which is here:

http://www.homebrewersassociation.org/forum/index.php?topic=6319.0;topicseen

I'll take the advice about under 68 into consideration next time.
Title: Re: I'm confused
Post by: whitey on April 15, 2011, 10:42:27 PM
Having reread the discussion about on the other thread, I'm beginning to wonder if the yeast (ab)use didn't have something to do with this. Although, the last time I made a Tripel and kegged it I only used dry yeast, and it ended up tasting the same.

I'm almost sure it has something to do with the CO2. Although I am wondering about the first pour, I'm taking small samples every few days to see if there are any changes.

Also, when you guys carb a corney. Do you connect to the serve connector to cause the bubbles to move up thru the beer, or not. I haven't done this, but I've been reading about it being the preference at various places on the internet.
Title: Re: I'm confused
Post by: liquidbrewing on April 16, 2011, 01:20:06 PM
Also, when you guys carb a corney. Do you connect to the serve connector to cause the bubbles to move up thru the beer, or not. I haven't done this, but I've been reading about it being the preference at various places on the internet.
[/quote]

You can do that, I don't.  Connecting to the gas and gently shaking will give you the same effect and you don't have to worry about changing your disconnects.
Title: Re: I'm confused
Post by: maxieboy on April 16, 2011, 01:30:53 PM
Curious as to what dry yeast you would use on a Tripel...
Title: Re: I'm confused
Post by: denny on April 16, 2011, 03:04:37 PM
Also, when you guys carb a corney. Do you connect to the serve connector to cause the bubbles to move up thru the beer, or not. I haven't done this, but I've been reading about it being the preference at various places on the internet.

I've done it both ways and it makes absolutely no difference.
Title: Re: I'm confused
Post by: bluesman on April 16, 2011, 03:20:45 PM
Also, when you guys carb a corney. Do you connect to the serve connector to cause the bubbles to move up thru the beer, or not. I haven't done this, but I've been reading about it being the preference at various places on the internet.

I force carbonate from the top but it shouldn't make any difference where you force in the CO2 other than some agitation of the liquid when forcing directly into the liquid.

CO2 is CO2 no matter how you slice it.  :)
Title: Re: I'm confused
Post by: tschmidlin on April 16, 2011, 06:19:53 PM
Also, when you guys carb a corney. Do you connect to the serve connector to cause the bubbles to move up thru the beer, or not. I haven't done this, but I've been reading about it being the preference at various places on the internet.

I've done it both ways and it makes absolutely no  noticeable difference.
Fixed it ;)  Physics says it will make a slight difference.  You could also sub in the word practical, appreciable, significant, real, or run it through a thesaurus if you're bored. ;D
Title: Re: I'm confused
Post by: whitey on April 16, 2011, 08:03:39 PM
Quote
Curious as to what dry yeast you would use on a Tripel...

Ahem, the thing you've got to realise is that this is a Brewer's Best kit, if you were to run through the discussion I had on the yeast thread, you'd realise (just as I did, and much to my chagrin) that there are  *things* in those kits that don't make much sense.

That being said, the yeast was called Nottingham yeast. I ended up throwing a Wyeast Belgian Wit yeast (recommended by some chart that the local brew store owner used to figure which smack pack to use and the dry Nottingham yeast together into the wort.

Didnt turn out too bad until this crap happened.

Which brings me to the real reason I'm posting.

Spoke to the local brew store owner, (drove an hour to go see this guy), and he said that he had a dude had the same thing, turned out to be the dip tube in the keg had some bacterial issues, he said that after the guy poured 3 glasses, the nasty taste went away, only to return once he let it sit for a few days.

Now, in my defence, I PBW'd the keg, closed it and connected it to the co2, ran some PBW up thru the diptube and into the line, let it sit for a day or two, then flushed it out with starsan and let it sit for an hour or so.

So I'm about to strip a dip tube out of another keg I have once I've recleaned and sanitzed it, and swap it out with the one in the keg I have the Tripel in.

But before I do this, I wanted to check in with you  guys to find out if there's a better way to do this,or anything I should watch out for?
Title: Re: I'm confused
Post by: tschmidlin on April 16, 2011, 08:06:56 PM
I would just vent the keg, remove the diptube, clean it really well, then put it back in.  And drink the keg quickly, if it really is a contamination issue it's only going to get worse over time.
Title: Re: I'm confused
Post by: Will's Swill on April 17, 2011, 02:23:22 PM
If you dip tubes are really that bad, you may want to try running a dip tube brush through it also.
Title: Re: I'm confused
Post by: whitey on April 21, 2011, 12:01:29 PM
Follow up.

I didnt have the hardware to remove the diptube. So, I cleaned the crap out of another keg, and did a beer transfusion. Happy to say that the original taste returned and all is well in the universe.

Thanx to all for the advice
Title: Re: I'm confused
Post by: maxieboy on April 21, 2011, 03:29:07 PM
Follow up.

I didnt have the hardware to remove the diptube. So, I cleaned the crap out of another keg, and did a beer transfusion. Happy to say that the original taste returned and all is well in the universe.

Thanx to all for the advice

Now I'm confused... It only takes a wrench or socket to do the job, an essential tool when kegging. How was the transfusion done? If it was pushed it out through a suspected funky diptube(and in through a suspect diptube), that wouldn't improve anything. Without being able to get at the diptubes on the new keg, there's no assurance that one's good to go. An infected batch is infected(which it isn't if it tastes fine in the new keg) no matter the vessel it's in.
Could be you don't prefer beers with higher carb levels. Some was lost during the transfusion.
Title: Re: I'm confused
Post by: whitey on April 26, 2011, 07:14:18 PM
Used a hyper sanitised racking cane and moved it from one keg to the other, while leaving the dispensing hose and valve connected to keep most of the funky crap in the tube.

It's been almost a week now, and it still tastes fine.

As I've pointed out on many occasion, I'm a noob, and I learn best by experience. So up to this point I didn't have a suitable socket wrench or a keg cleaning kit. I now realise the benefit to these, and will aquire both. Suffice it to say, I'm happy because my 'heart' transplant appears to have been a success.
Title: Re: I'm confused
Post by: newrocset on May 10, 2011, 08:51:01 AM
Curious: is your kegging equipment new or used?  Did you sanitize the kegs themselves before you kegged those first three batches?