Author Topic: HELP.... off flavor issue  (Read 1093 times)

Offline mexjj

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HELP.... off flavor issue
« on: January 02, 2015, 12:57:38 PM »
Mystery Off flavor
(Any thoughts on what this could be? )

I've been brewing the same beer a few times now (Vienna Lager) and the last couple of batches have begun to exhibit a bad after taste in the beer, very noticeable on the finish and when you burp you can notice even more of this off taste. Its very mediciny or chemicaly. I can slightly notice it in the fermented beer before I keg and carbonate, but after filtration and kegging and carbonating, I can notice it even more.

I thought it might have been a chlorine issue, and that it was chlorophenols causing this to happen, but I have a 10 inch activated carbon filter that filters all my municipality water? I Will check it again to make sure the filter is not failing after water runs through it for a while… My system is 1200 liters, so maybe its letting some in after it runs for a couple hundred liters ?

I then thought I was getting a Iron Ion reaction with the freshly cleaned stainless kettle,, none oxidized metal can do this Ive read? But haven’t had a problem in the past from this?

Then I thought the sparge water PH was maybe to high? Above 6.0 they say can cause this? So will lower it below 6 on the next brew to be sure..

Im almost scared to do another brew until I find out what this could be as I cant afford to throw out 1200 liters. the taste is that bad!!!

Other things I’ve considered:
Wort pitching temp.. 24c this should be fine.
Aerating wort after pitching.. yes
Fermentation temp 24c with saflager s23 yeast have fermented at this temp before and it has worked fine for many brews. So???
Within a few hours have very active fermentation,, attenuates down to 3 brix from 12 in 6 days
It wont go below 3brix,  thought maybe it hadnt completed fermentation, but no activity and is a 3 brix,,  only once it went to 2.7 brix..   unfermented beer can also contribute these flavors, but Im sure its done?? 24 hrs after one reading, it still didnt go lower?

Thoughts ? cheers John
« Last Edit: January 02, 2015, 01:03:51 PM by mexjj »

Offline klickitat jim

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Re: HELP.... off flavor issue
« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2015, 01:02:12 PM »
Random guesses until you rule out chlorine and pH. Since you arent certain, those are my guesses.

Offline Stevie

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Re: HELP.... off flavor issue
« Reply #2 on: January 02, 2015, 01:13:19 PM »
Carbon filters are not perfect. Check to see if your water utility switched to chloramine for its disinfectant. Chloramine is tougher to get out with a filter. And I think RO, distilled, and campden tablets are the best option

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Re: HELP.... off flavor issue
« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2015, 01:29:16 PM »
Buy strips to check for chlorine/chloramines in you water post filter. Before you move forward you must rule this out first. The strips are cheap and work well and you can find them at Home Depot.

Offline kramerog

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Re: HELP.... off flavor issue
« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2015, 03:21:41 PM »
24 C (75 F) is a very high temperature for a lager yeast.

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Re: HELP.... off flavor issue
« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2015, 03:36:13 PM »
24 C (75 F) is a very high temperature for a lager yeast.

Now, I'm not sure how u missed this, but, yeah, you can't ferment ales that warm and expect a good beer, let Lang lagers.

For lagers you can not ferment much warmer than 52 F or 11 c or it won't taste like a lager. For ales you really need to keep the temp under 20c or you will start to develop off flavors. Remember that fermentation is exothermic so your fermentation will be several degrees over ambient, you need to track temp of beer not ambient.

Offline erockrph

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Re: HELP.... off flavor issue
« Reply #6 on: January 02, 2015, 06:22:29 PM »
While the description off the off flavor doesn't sound like something that is typically hops-related, the "notice it even more when you burp" thing makes me think of hops. Just to rule that out - have you used the hops from this batch in other batches? If so, did they turn out OK? Do the hops smell good, with no off aromas?
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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: HELP.... off flavor issue
« Reply #7 on: January 02, 2015, 06:45:57 PM »
24 C (75 F) is a very high temperature for a lager yeast.

Now, I'm not sure how u missed this, but, yeah, you can't ferment ales that warm and expect a good beer, let Lang lagers.

For lagers you can not ferment much warmer than 52 F or 11 c or it won't taste like a lager. For ales you really need to keep the temp under 20c or you will start to develop off flavors. Remember that fermentation is exothermic so your fermentation will be several degrees over ambient, you need to track temp of beer not ambient.

this! phenol producing yeast will go crazy at that high a temp.
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Re: HELP.... off flavor issue
« Reply #8 on: January 02, 2015, 07:04:28 PM »

While the description off the off flavor doesn't sound like something that is typically hops-related, the "notice it even more when you burp" thing makes me think of hops. Just to rule that out - have you used the hops from this batch in other batches? If so, did they turn out OK? Do the hops smell good, with no off aromas?

Yeah, but I get that with phenols too.

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: HELP.... off flavor issue
« Reply #9 on: January 02, 2015, 07:07:03 PM »
24 C (75 F) is a very high temperature for a lager yeast.

+2.  An ale wouldn't even be clean at that temp.
Jon H.

Offline mexjj

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Re: HELP.... off flavor issue
« Reply #10 on: January 02, 2015, 07:30:34 PM »
thanks for all the feed back..  to answer a few..   I have fermented this yeast even higher..28c    it can handle it.. wasnt by choice, but just happened to be that high and couldnt lower it.. but it turned out fine..   I normally ferment this s23 at room temp.. 22 to 24 c   never have an issue.. you can do this with some yeast,, s23 is able to ferment this high.. Im using dry yeast, so you can train it to do what you like really,,  but I will try and lower the temp to 20c ,, and see if there is any difference. as not all batches of yeast, dry or liquid will be 100% the same,, maybe I got a batch that couldnt handle the 24c temp??? possible!! 

I changed the carbon filter today,, the old one was still working fine as there was no signs of chlorine even after passing 500 liters through it,, but changed it anyways as im not sure if this municipality uses chloramine,, maybe the old carbon filter was not removing chloramine if they do use it?  so a new filter will maybe tell me something?

The yeast might be an issue,, but not sure.. I know lots of people using this yeast at higher than recommended temps and its never been an issue ? but who knows,, maybe its pushing the envelope for it..?  15c is the high end on the label, but weve pushed this yeast before for many years and not had issues.. so not sure why 3 bathes have now suddenly gone off?   Im scratching my head on this one..

acid washed the stainless kettle today.. so no chance of bare metal ...  checked PH again on water,, its 6.5   so will add some acid to the sparge water.. keep it down under 6   
other than this.... im at a loss .. will keep you all posted    cheers

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Re: HELP.... off flavor issue
« Reply #11 on: January 02, 2015, 07:37:07 PM »
thanks for all the feed back..  to answer a few..   I have fermented this yeast even higher..28c    it can handle it.. wasnt by choice, but just happened to be that high and couldnt lower it.. but it turned out fine..   I normally ferment this s23 at room temp.. 22 to 24 c   never have an issue.. you can do this with some yeast,, s23 is able to ferment this high.. Im using dry yeast, so you can train it to do what you like really,,  but I will try and lower the temp to 20c ,, and see if there is any difference. as not all batches of yeast, dry or liquid will be 100% the same,, maybe I got a batch that couldnt handle the 24c temp??? possible!! 

Unfortunately, I have to disagree with you. Sure, the yeast love that warmer temp, they just don't produce the best tasting beer at that temp. It is too high for ale temp, let alone "lager". At the very last, clarify what you are brewing. You can't be brewing a "lager" if you aren't fermenting at lager temps with are 45-54F respectively. Is this the off flavor you are experiencing? Maybe not but I guarantee you are producing off flavors fermenting that warm. And there's simply no way you can ferment a lager at 75% F and expect it to taste like a lager.

Offline klickitat jim

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Re: HELP.... off flavor issue
« Reply #12 on: January 02, 2015, 07:59:06 PM »
thanks for all the feed back..  to answer a few..   I have fermented this yeast even higher..28c    it can handle it.. wasnt by choice, but just happened to be that high and couldnt lower it.. but it turned out fine..   I normally ferment this s23 at room temp.. 22 to 24 c   never have an issue.. you can do this with some yeast,, s23 is able to ferment this high.. Im using dry yeast, so you can train it to do what you like really,,  but I will try and lower the temp to 20c ,, and see if there is any difference. as not all batches of yeast, dry or liquid will be 100% the same,, maybe I got a batch that couldnt handle the 24c temp??? possible!! 

Unfortunately, I have to disagree with you. Sure, the yeast love that warmer temp, they just don't produce the best tasting beer at that temp. It is too high for ale temp, let alone "lager". At the very last, clarify what you are brewing. You can't be brewing a "lager" if you aren't fermenting at lager temps with are 45-54F respectively. Is this the off flavor you are experiencing? Maybe not but I guarantee you are producing off flavors fermenting that warm. And there's simply no way you can ferment a lager at 75% F and expect it to taste like a lager.
I agree 100%

Offline mabrungard

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Re: HELP.... off flavor issue
« Reply #13 on: January 02, 2015, 08:06:44 PM »
The flow rate through the carbon filter was not indicated. For chlorine removal, we can generally get by with a flow rate of about 1 gallon per minute for the 10-inch filters. For chloramine removal, the flow rate has to be dropped even further to about 0.1 gallons per minute. If you were pushing water through the filter faster than this, it is likely that there was residual chlorine or chloramine in the brewing water that does create chlorophenols. Be aware that the taste threshold for chlorophenols is very low and it only takes a teeny bit of the chlorine or chloramine to ruin the beer.
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Offline goschman

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Re: HELP.... off flavor issue
« Reply #14 on: January 02, 2015, 09:01:47 PM »
My buddy runs s23 @ ale temps all of the time but I don't think it ever reaches 70F. He crashes and lagers normally however I don't think he classifies his beers as 'lagers'.

I am still not sure that my palate understands the difference between ales and lagers. I have a disorder known as 'dumb palate'. I guess I would have to do two identical batches with an ale yeast and a lager yeast for comparison. 
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