Author Topic: Phenolic  (Read 1178 times)

Offline klickitat jim

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Phenolic
« on: April 07, 2014, 04:01:32 PM »
Little help here. If you're reasonably certain that your pH is 5.4ish could you still get phenolic from sparging too hot? Say 175-180?

I'm trying to track down a faint phenol in an 80/-. I developed one in an IPA shipped to Denny. I think that one was either hop tannins or sanitation. I don't have chlorine anywhere in my process. I'm slightly stumped but leaning toward a dirty serving line on the Scotty. Its faint but I detect it. I think my sensitivity is high because two judges didn't catch a phenolic beer until I mentioned it.

Anyone have a good info source rather than just the bullet points of the off flavor flash cards? I'd like to master this problem

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Phenolic
« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2014, 04:20:31 PM »
OK, we've ruled out chlorine, and Scottish yeast like 1728 or similar are pretty clean fermented cool (I don't get the 'smoky' character the yeast companies claim fermented @ 58F and I remember you saying you go cool with it), so I don't see phenols coming from there. But it could come from an infection - wild yeast or bacterial. Sparging too hot with bad pH can give you an unpleasant astringency, but not what I'd call phenols. I'd bet on infection - I run Beer Line Cleaner through my draft lines once or twice a year - it works. And if you have a cobra tap you could fill a glass through it - if it's good and clean from the cobra, you'll know it's the beer line. If not, infection came from the fermentor or keg. Just a thought.
« Last Edit: April 07, 2014, 05:41:41 PM by HoosierBrew »
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Offline dmtaylor

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Re: Phenolic
« Reply #2 on: April 07, 2014, 06:16:59 PM »
I don't think heat is the problem.  Tannins come out when you have the combination of both factors, high pH AND high heat... but not phenols.  Phenols come from yeast.  Scottish yeast for sure throws a little smoky phenol.  You might just be hypersensitive to it.

It could be contamination from a dirty line, that's certainly possible.

Consider also the possibility that you are imagining things, and your perception of phenol was contagious to other judges.  It happens.

Anyway, what sort of phenol are you getting?  Smoke?  Plastic?  Medicine?  Electrical fire?  Pepper/spice?  Carmex/lipgloss?
Dave

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Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Phenolic
« Reply #3 on: April 07, 2014, 06:55:55 PM »
The phenol I get is bandaid but it's very faint. I got it last night after the keg was untouched over the weekend. Just poured another and it's gone so I think it's time to clean or replace. Or both.

I'm hyper sensitive for sure. I get none in the aroma right now. Frankly none on the palette either unless I try too hard. Then I suppose I could imagine it.

So what's the best education on phenols? I have been wishing that brew strong would get an expert in like bamforth and cover it. They have piece meal but I think it's a complex thing unto itself.

I am pretty sure that there are phenols and polyphenols, of which tannins are one... chlorophenol is from chlorine and phenol combined. Some say that's the bandaid latex thing. But I'm not certain.

If the fault is in my head, I need to get to the bottom of it.

Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Phenolic
« Reply #4 on: April 07, 2014, 06:56:51 PM »
BTW, I doubt it's hops. This only has an ounce or so of EKG pellets.

Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: Phenolic
« Reply #5 on: April 07, 2014, 07:15:23 PM »
If you are super sensitive to it, it could be a slight infection.  I get clove all the time from US-05, FWIW, but others say that it is in my head, as they don't get it at all.  Another one that I am sensitive to is smoke, which I think arises when US -05 is fermented too cold (tried it at lager temps hoping for a lager like ale, but was disappointed by clove and smoke - so I think it stressed the yeast).  Or it was a quirky infection or yeast drift...who knows for sure.

Good luck with tracking it down.
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Online Jimmy K

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Re: Phenolic
« Reply #6 on: April 07, 2014, 09:05:33 PM »
Does it fade in a second pour? I had infected lines once and the first pour had noticeable bandaid. But the second pour didn't because that beer hadn't sat in the lines for long.

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Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: Phenolic
« Reply #7 on: April 08, 2014, 03:52:56 AM »
Does it fade in a second pour? I had infected lines once and the first pour had noticeable bandaid. But the second pour didn't because that beer hadn't sat in the lines for long.

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Yep, with spring I am soaking everything in PBW for an overnight, item by item and will be super cleaning each keg as it blows heading into spring.  Those lines should get BLC every 2-3 months (even with a really busy tap at the homebrew level there is a fair amount of beer sitting in a line for extended time). 
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Offline majorvices

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Re: Phenolic
« Reply #8 on: April 08, 2014, 04:47:36 AM »
If you are super sensitive to it, it could be a slight infection.  I get clove all the time from US-05, FWIW, but others say that it is in my head, as they don't get it at all.  Another one that I am sensitive to is smoke, which I think arises when US -05 is fermented too cold (tried it at lager temps hoping for a lager like ale, but was disappointed by clove and smoke - so I think it stressed the yeast).  Or it was a quirky infection or yeast drift...who knows for sure.

Good luck with tracking it down.

I have an extremely sensitive palette and have never gotten these flavors from US-05 - least of all smoke. I can maybe see some band aid phenolics, possibly. I get some "eraser" like character sometimes from US-05 (chico in general) especially when the yeast is still in suspension.

Not saying you are wrong, just find it interesting. FWIW "smoke" is a sure sign of pedio infection in beers that smoked malt is not present, or charred boil kettle can be ruled out.
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Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Phenolic
« Reply #9 on: April 08, 2014, 04:59:07 AM »
I use 1728 and I get no smoke.

Offline beersk

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Re: Phenolic
« Reply #10 on: April 08, 2014, 06:22:54 AM »


Not saying you are wrong, just find it interesting. FWIW "smoke" is a sure sign of pedio infection in beers that smoked malt is not present, or charred boil kettle can be ruled out.

Interesting, I'd never heard smoke from pedio before. I always thought that was just buttery/butterscotch with slight or strong sourness.
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Offline dmtaylor

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Re: Phenolic
« Reply #11 on: April 08, 2014, 06:24:29 AM »
By chance, did you use any peat smoked malt at all?  If that's the case, then THAT is certainly the problem!!!
Dave

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Offline denny

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Re: Phenolic
« Reply #12 on: April 08, 2014, 08:01:11 AM »
Little help here. If you're reasonably certain that your pH is 5.4ish could you still get phenolic from sparging too hot? Say 175-180?

I can't think of any reason that should cause phenolics.
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Offline yso191

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Re: Phenolic
« Reply #13 on: April 08, 2014, 08:36:18 AM »
You mentioned flashcards...Here is the best I have found.  Maybe you already have this but thought I'd post it anyway.

http://www.bjcp.org/docs/OffFlavorFlash.pdf
Steve
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Offline yso191

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Re: Phenolic
« Reply #14 on: April 08, 2014, 09:48:23 AM »
Again, you may have this but in case you don't here is even a better set of resources:

http://www.unyha.com/index.php/competitions/bjcp-judge-training/217-bjcp-exam-resources.html
Steve
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