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General Category => General Homebrew Discussion => Topic started by: Beer Monger on June 06, 2011, 12:47:56 PM

Title: A 'sanitizey' taste?
Post by: Beer Monger on June 06, 2011, 12:47:56 PM
My latest batch of IPA has been in the keg for 1 week (after being in the fermenter for 31 days).  I had my first taste last night and it has a decidedly 'sanitizer-like' taste to it. 

Any ideas what might cause this?  I use Star San for all my sanitizing - and even though it's no-rinse, I usually rinse a bit. 

It's similar to that 'young' type taste I get in some homebrews if I taste them too early, but it's more prominent this time. Anyone else experienced this?  Will it dissipate over time? 

I was planning on dry-hopping this batch in the keg.  Would that help to reduce that sanitized-like taste? 

Thanks guys. 
Title: Re: A 'sanitizey' taste?
Post by: tomsawyer on June 06, 2011, 01:13:29 PM
Can you describe that taste a little better?  Starsan doesn't really have a flavor.  Is it medicinal?  If so thats maybe from a too-warm fermentation temp or sometimes from using chlorinated tap water.  Or if its apple (acetaldehyde) or diacetyl (butter, butterscotch) its typically from racking early but sounds like this isn't the case.  Maybe the ferm temp was cool and the yeast quit early?
Title: Re: A 'sanitizey' taste?
Post by: Beer Monger on June 06, 2011, 01:16:41 PM
Almost slightly chloriney.

It's not from my water though - I've used the same water for ever batch & I've never had this taste before.

Also, the batch finished out to 1.012, so I don't think the yeast pooped out. 
Title: Re: A 'sanitizey' taste?
Post by: tomsawyer on June 06, 2011, 01:24:13 PM
I never know if a municipal water supply might not have seasonal differences in chlorination levels.  Maybe they had a bloom of something or a test came up positive for a bug and they're reacting to that.  It could result in higher levels of residual chlorine at times.  I don't know thios for a fact but if you are sure there was no other way to have introduced chlorine, it seems possible.

Maybe you got some old hops, those can produce some odd aromas.  Seems unlikely to be an infection unless you saw a scum growing on top of the beer at some point.
Title: Re: A 'sanitizey' taste?
Post by: Slowbrew on June 06, 2011, 01:35:34 PM
Here in Des Moines our water gets very high in chlorine every Spring during flood season.  It hasn't been bad this year (yet) but I really need to watch it.  Sometimes its almost like pool water.

Unless you treat your water to deal with chlorine every time you brew you may not want to rule it out so quickly.

Paul
Title: Re: A 'sanitizey' taste?
Post by: Mark G on June 06, 2011, 01:49:01 PM
If it's chlorine-like, I'd look at your water first. Maybe have someone else try it and see how they perceive the taste to be sure it's chlorine-like, and not just too young beer. I'm pretty sure it's not the Starsan. It tastes more citrusy to me.
Title: Re: A 'sanitizey' taste?
Post by: Beer Monger on June 06, 2011, 01:55:11 PM
If chlorine is the issue - is there anything I can do about it at this point?

Will dry-hopping help the situation/make it less noticeable? 
Title: Re: A 'sanitizey' taste?
Post by: tomsawyer on June 06, 2011, 02:55:40 PM
Not sure theres much to do if its chloramines.  Dry hopping might help, it'd be worth a shot since hop prices are reasonable.

I think a lot of people run their tap water through activated carbon as a preventive measure for chlorine.  Or you can pretreat with a little potassium metabisulfite, that quickly reacts with chlorine and turns it to salt.
Title: Re: A 'sanitizey' taste?
Post by: Beer Monger on June 06, 2011, 02:59:35 PM
OK.  I'll try the dry-hop.  I've just never had this flavor nearly so prominent before - as in it was 100% un-noticeable before but it's really there in this batch.  Thanks.
Title: Re: A 'sanitizey' taste?
Post by: denny on June 06, 2011, 03:26:38 PM
Almost slightly chloriney.

I can't imagine how that kind of flavor could be attributed to StarSan. 
Title: Re: A 'sanitizey' taste?
Post by: Beer Monger on June 06, 2011, 03:33:38 PM
I can't either - I just wanted to mention what I used for my sanitization so you'd know I didn't use bleach to sanitize & not rinse enough or something. 
Title: Re: A 'sanitizey' taste?
Post by: denny on June 06, 2011, 03:35:59 PM
Got it.
Title: Re: A 'sanitizey' taste?
Post by: Hokerer on June 06, 2011, 03:48:04 PM
I can't either - I just wanted to mention what I used for my sanitization so you'd know I didn't use bleach to sanitize & not rinse enough or something. 

I haven't seen you mention it but just what do you do about de-chlorinating your water?  Also, since you rinse when you don't need to, what about chlorine in the rinse water?
Title: Re: A 'sanitizey' taste?
Post by: Beer Monger on June 06, 2011, 03:55:23 PM
I don't treat my water - but again, I've never, ever had any 'chloriney' taste in any of my beers before - ever.  And it's pretty prominent in this beer - to the point where I would have easily been able to smell chlorine in the water as I was preparing to brew - and I definitely did not smell any at all.

Title: Re: A 'sanitizey' taste?
Post by: tschmidlin on June 06, 2011, 04:16:54 PM
The problem is that the chlorine in the water probably combined with wort constituents to form chlorophenols, which have a much lower flavor and aroma threshold than straight chlorine.  So even if you can't smell or taste the chlorine in the water, it can create noticeable amounts of chlorophenols which can smell like bleachy sanitizer.

Invest in some campden tablets, it's a cheap way to make sure it doesn't happen again.
Title: Re: A 'sanitizey' taste?
Post by: bluesman on June 06, 2011, 04:25:55 PM
I recommend investing in an active charcoal/sediment filter which will remove the chlorine and any relatively large size particles from your water. They are well worth the money and will give you peace of mind.
Title: Re: A 'sanitizey' taste?
Post by: tom on June 06, 2011, 04:32:54 PM
1/4 Campden tablet will remove the chlorine from 5 gallons of water.

Carbon filters remove chlorine, but not all will remove chloramines.
Title: Re: A 'sanitizey' taste?
Post by: tschmidlin on June 06, 2011, 04:38:55 PM
1/4 Campden tablet will remove the chlorine from 5 gallons of water.

Carbon filters remove chlorine, but not all will remove chloramines.
True.  Seattle Public Utilities used to supply my water though, and they use chlorine, not chloramines.  Still, the low flow rate of most carbon filters would make me lean toward campden tablets anyway.  It might be worthwhile to have both so large quantities needed in a hurry can be done with tablets.
Title: Re: A 'sanitizey' taste?
Post by: Beer Monger on June 06, 2011, 04:51:39 PM
I guess I'll invest in some campden tabs - bummer for this batch.  :(  
Title: Re: A 'sanitizey' taste?
Post by: denny on June 06, 2011, 04:52:53 PM
I don't treat my water - but again, I've never, ever had any 'chloriney' taste in any of my beers before - ever.  And it's pretty prominent in this beer - to the point where I would have easily been able to smell chlorine in the water as I was preparing to brew - and I definitely did not smell any at all.



Just because you haven't had it before doesn't mean that they couldn't have done a temporary increase in chlorine levels.  I've seen it happen before.
Title: Re: A 'sanitizey' taste?
Post by: Malticulous on June 07, 2011, 12:22:21 AM
I fill water bottles for my brewing water and use them a day or more later. Chlorine will come out of solution over time and especially fast in sun light. It's as easy as filling my water bottles as I boil wort.  If by chance I don't have the water ready I have campden on hand.
Title: Re: A 'sanitizey' taste?
Post by: malzig on June 07, 2011, 10:41:44 AM
I don't think of Chlorophenols (the result of using chlorinated water in beer) as smelling or tasting much like chlorine, more like plastic.  Another thing to watch for are solvent-like aromas (similar to nail polish), that can come from stressed yeast (often associated with high fermentation temperatures) or perhaps a contaminating microorganism.  I would consider contamination a stronger possibility in this case, since you are rinsing your sanitized equipment, which isn't a good practice.
Title: Re: A 'sanitizey' taste?
Post by: bluesman on June 07, 2011, 11:40:46 AM
I don't think of Chlorophenols (the result of using chlorinated water in beer) as smelling or tasting much like chlorine, more like plastic.  Another thing to watch for are solvent-like aromas (similar to nail polish), that can come from stressed yeast (often associated with high fermentation temperatures) or perhaps a contaminating microorganism.  I would consider contamination a stronger possibility in this case, since you are rinsing your sanitized equipment, which isn't a good practice.

I was going to mention this fact yesterday. This is very possible. Starsan recommends "not rinsing" after treatment as this will only potentially compromise the sanitary condition of the equipment.
Title: Re: A 'sanitizey' taste?
Post by: tomsawyer on June 07, 2011, 03:25:37 PM
Tap water is an unlikely source of contamination, and in any case you'd see growth if this were the case.
Title: Re: A 'sanitizey' taste?
Post by: bluesman on June 07, 2011, 03:31:43 PM
Tap water is an unlikely source of contamination, and in any case you'd see growth if this were the case.

An infection from tap water would likely take time (weeks or more) to develop depending on the strain and amount that was present in the beer upon racking.
Title: Re: A 'sanitizey' taste?
Post by: tschmidlin on June 07, 2011, 04:20:31 PM
I don't think of Chlorophenols (the result of using chlorinated water in beer) as smelling or tasting much like chlorine, more like plastic.  Another thing to watch for are solvent-like aromas (similar to nail polish), that can come from stressed yeast (often associated with high fermentation temperatures) or perhaps a contaminating microorganism.  I would consider contamination a stronger possibility in this case, since you are rinsing your sanitized equipment, which isn't a good practice.
There are many kinds of chlorophenols with a wide range of aromas/flavors, some band aid, chlorine, plastic, medicinal, etc.  I'd still lean that way, but obviously nothing is definitive.
Title: Re: A 'sanitizey' taste?
Post by: cheba420 on June 07, 2011, 09:20:13 PM
I've had this problem pop up before. Now I use a carbon filter for my water and treat it with a little metabisulfite just to make sure. Seems to work.