Author Topic: Another band-aid off flavor post  (Read 1649 times)

Offline thirdeyeo4

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Another band-aid off flavor post
« on: February 14, 2014, 06:13:36 PM »
On all of my beers that use a phenolic yeast the character is very pronounced. It's the band-aid smell and taste, and very clove-like. I understand these styles should have some of these qualities, mostly clove, just not in this high of an amount.

The styles are
  • Hefeweizens(WY3068) - Tried 62F, 68F ferm temps
  • Wit(WLP400) - 68F ferm temp
  • Tripels(WLP530) - Tried 62F, 68F ferm temps
Other  info
  • I use RO water to brew
  • I don't believe the water I use to clean has chlorine(2ppm from local water report) high enough to do anything
  • None of my other beers have this type of off flavor and in general are pretty clean, so I'm reluctant to say infection
  • I sanitize with StarSan
  • I typically brew 3-4 gallon batches with at least a 1000mL starter on a stirplate
  • I have never used Brett in a beer
Any suggestions getting rid of this off-flavor would be much appreciated. I've researched this up and down and I can't find anything that seems to be a source. Thanks

Offline yso191

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Re: Another band-aid off flavor post
« Reply #1 on: February 14, 2014, 06:21:37 PM »
My first thought is Chlorine.  You say the level is low, but...

What are you fermenting in?  Some plastics will leach.  Over hot sparging may do it too.  But I personally would try filtering the RO Water through a charcoal filter first.
Steve
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Offline thirdeyeo4

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Re: Another band-aid off flavor post
« Reply #2 on: February 14, 2014, 06:33:18 PM »
I ferment in better bottles. The RO water I use to brew with comes from the local grocery store, so I can't filter it. If it did have chlorine in it I'd think it would influence the other styles.

Offline troybinso

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Re: Another band-aid off flavor post
« Reply #3 on: February 14, 2014, 06:49:40 PM »
Have you had a commercial beers that would fit into the styles you have made? The yeasts you are using are all known for giving a clove aroma and flavor. Maybe you are just not used to having that flavor in a beer.

Offline thirdeyeo4

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Re: Another band-aid off flavor post
« Reply #4 on: February 14, 2014, 07:07:55 PM »
No I've had plenty of brews of all of these styles and they aren't like this, this is highly band-aid like. Since I enjoy all these other styles I don't think I'm highly sensitive to it either.

What fermentation temps generally cause this? I've heard conflicting theories on this, people say high temps, but I also know low temps tend to bring out more clove and less fruit(esters).

Offline troybinso

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Re: Another band-aid off flavor post
« Reply #5 on: February 14, 2014, 08:07:31 PM »
As far as I know medicinal phenols are not really temperature dependent. They say that fermenting a hefeweizen cold vs. warm will create more clove vs. banana, but it won't produce a highly band-aid like flavor. You must have something else going on. Bleach can cause band-aid, so can chlorine in your water. Some microbiological contamination can too. Other than that, I am out of ideas.

Offline dmtaylor

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Re: Another band-aid off flavor post
« Reply #6 on: February 14, 2014, 09:07:40 PM »
ANY chlorine is bad chlorine!  Get rid of it with Campden.  Crush 1/4 tablet and add per 5 gallons water before you brew, and the chlorine is gone instantly.  Problem probably solved, right there, easy as that.
Dave

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Offline Steve in TX

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Re: Another band-aid off flavor post
« Reply #7 on: February 15, 2014, 12:17:00 AM »
RO machines have charcoal filters built in. Some have two, one  before the membrane and one after. I think the chance of chlorine getting through is small. Check the service date on the machine if you are worried.
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Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Another band-aid off flavor post
« Reply #8 on: February 15, 2014, 02:07:24 AM »
I tried a Belgian once. (Well water, no chlorine) I got bandaid to the point if it was like drinking from an exam glove. In my view, it was fermentor temp too high. No control at the time, room temp in the winter with a SWMBO who likes to stoke the woodstove till everyone is sweating. So,, temp?

68° ambient in a big beer "could"  be 73-75, maybe higher.
« Last Edit: February 15, 2014, 02:09:07 AM by klickitat jim »

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Another band-aid off flavor post
« Reply #9 on: February 15, 2014, 07:53:13 AM »


68° ambient in a big beer "could"  be 73-75, maybe higher.


That's been my thought, Jim. Any of those strains if fermented too warm could go phenol crazy. Using RO and StarSan is what I do. 62F shouldn't cause what you are describing though. What is your temp control? Override thermostat, swamp cooler? If your thermometer isn't accurate, you might not be cooling the wort to what you target as a pitching temp. FWIW I pitch all those strains ~ 64F, then ramp up after a few days.

Jon H.

Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: Another band-aid off flavor post
« Reply #10 on: February 15, 2014, 09:07:08 AM »
I have a lot of chlorine/chloramine in the local water supply and like OP I use RO water for brewing but clean with municipal water. I do not have problems with chlorophenols in my beer although I used to when I used tap water for brewing. I would not expect OP is having that problem unless a substantial amount of water is being left behind on the equipment immediately before use.

Healthy yeast mistreated can create unpleasant levels of phenols. I'd suggest looking at your fermentation temperature, pitching temperature and aeration/oxygenation of the wort before pitching. How are you controlling temperatures during fermentation? What temperature are you pitching into? How accurate is your thermometer? A 1000ml starter should be ok for a 3-4 gallon batch of low-moderate gravity so underpitching is probably not a factor here but if the yeast are being poorly treated during fermentation then the conditions may be too stressful for the amount of yeast available.

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Offline S. cerevisiae

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Re: Another band-aid off flavor post
« Reply #11 on: February 16, 2014, 09:32:42 AM »
Are you treating your RO water? 

Offline realbeerguy

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Re: Another band-aid off flavor post
« Reply #12 on: February 17, 2014, 07:55:56 AM »
You may have low chlorine, but may have a high amount of chloramines.  Like DM Taylor said, treat with campden.  I had a similar issue when I moved down south from NJ.  Our water company used chlorine there.  Here they used chloramine. 

Ask for an updated water report, and ask if they have upped the chloramine.  My water company just did recently.
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Offline thirdeyeo4

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Re: Another band-aid off flavor post
« Reply #13 on: February 18, 2014, 03:50:01 PM »
I have pretty good temp control during fermentation and pitch within 5 degrees of ferment temps. I have a temp controlled fridge with a controller, or I put the carboy in a plastic bin filled with water to prevent giant swings, this goes in a back room in my cellar that stays cooler(58F in the winter to 72F in the summer). I use the thermometers that stick on the side of the carboy. I have an ambient temp thermometer next to the carboy to watch those temps as well. I oxygenate for about a min with O2.

I don't treat my RO water, would chloramines really only show in these beers and not others?

Thanks again everyone for replies.


Offline macbrews

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Re: Another band-aid off flavor post
« Reply #14 on: February 18, 2014, 06:56:01 PM »
Thoughts:
1) If you have a pump, you can still filter the RO water - its a hassle but it can be done.  Maybe you should test the RO water - maybe its just from a garden hose out back? (I also assume you use food grade hoses in your wort transfer)
2) Are you using any particular equipment only for these beers that might be infected?
3) Do similar style beers by either other home brewers or commercial brewers have the same problems? - maybe you are a "super-senser" of POF
4) Has it always been this way, or was there a time when it started?  Could point to #2
5) Where does your controller sense the temp?  If it is a thermowell or taped to the side of the fermenter it will be accurate.  Anywhere else will be ambient and I have 8-10 degree differences in the 2 during vigorous fermentations - notably hefes.

Good luck,

Mac