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Author Topic: Help me with a strange flavor...  (Read 5862 times)

Offline Village Taphouse

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  • Ken from Chicago
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Re: Help me with a strange flavor...
« Reply #45 on: May 29, 2016, 04:02:29 pm »
Gang:  I was working on a low(er)-O2 batch on Saturday.  In my attempts to lower O2, I racked my mash water from pot to MT using high-temp tubing (white, opaque, very rubbery and bouncy), I also added a very small amount (half a gram) of sodium metabisulfite to my mash water in an attempt to scavenge O2.  This is a suggestion from the German Brewer's paper and I was a little concerned to use it since I have no experience with it and I only used about a third of what was suggested.  I also stirred my mash much slower and quieter.  I made a small hose/hose connection device so I could recirc without splashing, I racked the sparge water to the MT the same way and added another pinch of SMB.  I boiled, chilled with a brand new SS chiller I bought (I cleaned it in hot water and Oxi and then sanitized it in Starsan solution.  I stirred very slowly while chilling so O2 pickup would be minimal.  I let the kettle settle in the sink with ice and water and eventually racked (quietly) to primary.  I was curious to see if the wort tasted any different and when I took a sample sip... HO LEE SNOT... it was the most harsh and astringent taste I have ever had.  I chugged a pint of water afterwards and could still taste it.  I have no idea where it came from.  I have brewed for 17+ years and I have no clue.  I first thought my carbon block filter could be regurgitating everything it had filtered out over the past 6 months but I checked it and the water being filtered was just fine. 

This morning I did a couple tests with the new stuff (tubing, chiller, SMB).  I brought some water to strike temp (about 160°) and racked it from the pot to a glass measuring cup using the new tubing thinking the tubing was not high-temp and plastic leeched into my wort.  I let that water cool and I tasted it.  Fine.  Then I brought the water in the pot to a boil and then put my chiller in there thinking that something was up with this new SS chiller.  I turned off the heat and left the chiller in there for 10 minutes and then grabbed some of that water, let it cool and taste it.  Fine.  Then I took a pinch of SMB and added it to the hot water, stirred, grabbed a sample, let it cool and tasted it.  Fine.  Then I thought my tastebuds were failing me on Saturday when I tasted the wort so I sanitized a bottling wand and took a sample of this beer that is now fermenting (a helles with 2352) and sure enough... harsh, face-wrinkling, astringency.  I can't tell if it's metallic, chemical-like or what but when you swallow it... oh my God, it's awful.  Anyone see any reason why this would happen?  Are new SS chillers supposed to be prepped or seasoned before the first use?  Sorry for the length and thanks for reading.

Is it at all possible that your connection to the MT filtration device had some sort of metal on it, IE a hose clamp, brass or copper fitting, or even stainless plating that has failed and is reacting to the PH or even the MBS you added upon extraction.  It only takes a second for the wort to come in contact with something like that to cause a reaction.
Anything is possible but it would have had to happen just on this last batch because prior batches were fine and nothing else "new" has been added.  I actually plan to brew tomorrow (Monday 5/30) and I just boiled by SS chiller completely to make sure it's ready to go.  I plan to taste the wort all the way through the process to verify that everything is going smoothly.  If I taste anything similar to this bad batch, I should be able to isolate where it came from.  Thanks again for all the replies.
Ken from Chicago. 
A day without beer is like... just kidding, I have no idea.