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Author Topic: Metallic taste in pale lagers  (Read 3705 times)

Offline BrewBama

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Re: Metallic taste in light lagers
« Reply #15 on: December 28, 2022, 09:36:56 pm »
I don’t use a SS plate or immersion chiller but I do use my SS HERMS coil to chill by removing the hot water and replace it with cold and recirculating thru it. It takes ~45 min to an hour to get from boiling to pitching temp.

Offline Big Harry Deehl

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Re: Metallic taste in light lagers
« Reply #16 on: December 28, 2022, 09:48:20 pm »
Have you tried Brewtan-B in the boil?

I was going to recommend the same, although I would expect to see the off-flavor in every brew (not just lagers) if there were metal ions present at a high enough concentration. Still this is easy insurance, and will make a huge improvement if metal ions are the cause. I'd add it to you mash water (in case the water source is contributing), and just prior to putting your chiller into your kettle.

I am completely unfamiliar with Brewtan-B but am going to research it.....
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Fire Rooster

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Re: Metallic taste in light lagers
« Reply #17 on: December 29, 2022, 01:52:16 am »
Personally I would remove all questionable copper from your process and go with SS.

As an additional precaution you can check your tap water.
I use this kit - https://www.amazon.com/PondCare-Mars-Copper-Test-Kit/dp/B001D73YCA/ref=sr_1_4_mod_primary_new?crid=3ETLI9WKTQV5Y&keywords=copper+test+kit&qid=1672303345&sbo=RZvfv%2F%2FHxDF%2BO5021pAnSA%3D%3D&sprefix=copper+test+kit%2Caps%2C96&sr=8-4
Getting a water report from your water company is not relevant, it doesn't account for the copper pipes it goes though in your home.

I have very acidic well water that was turning the inside of some copper pipes in home greenish (Statue of Liberty color),
and leaching borderline unsafe copper levels in the home.  The copper and PH levels are monitored periodically.
My whole home water filtration system has a large calcite tank that rises PH which is replenished by me annually,
or when PH is dropping.  When the PH to the home is kept between 6.6-7.0, the copper levels drop well within safe levels.

You can find many articles online about unsafe copper levels in drinking water, and the very bad health effects.
Acidic water turns copper green, which in turn leaches copper into water.  I personally wouldn't be as concerned
with the taste of beer than possible high copper levels going into my body.

( Years ago I had a salt water fish hobby, and learned all about testing water for PH, Nitrite, Nitrate, Salinity, Copper,
   Ammonia, etc..)

I know I went off on a tangent, but that's my story and I'm sticking to it.


Cheers








« Last Edit: December 29, 2022, 09:14:31 am by Fire Rooster »

Offline HighVoltageMan!

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Re: Metallic taste in light lagers
« Reply #18 on: December 29, 2022, 08:30:48 am »
I think the source metallic flavor is pretty obvious. Get rid of the copper unless you can keep it a dull brown.

I cannot see the inside of the CFC coil, but I run a boiling water loop through it for @15 mins while mashing to both pasteurize and to flush any green out of it (which some does come out).  I also run boiling wort through the CFC coil at 15 mins left in the boil just to be extra safe. After use, I flush with water, drain as best I can,  and store.

Lets say I were to run acid through it, would I then need to re-passivate it?
Time is one way to turn it brown, but from what I gather and have experienced is that a high pH solution will cause the copper to form a dull brown color and protect it from oxidizing. You could clean it/soak it in an acid solution to get it bright and then soak it in a baking soda solution or you could clean it with PBW to turn it brown again. The key is to get rid of the bright cooper and the green copper. Brown copper is the best for brewing and food safety in general.

You can Google how to put a brown patina on copper and a bunch of stuff comes up. Personally I stop using any copper in the brew system, but this isn't always an option. Some of the stuff that needs to be replaced can be expensive

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Re: Metallic taste in light lagers
« Reply #19 on: December 29, 2022, 08:38:23 am »
I'm not as sold on the copper theory as others seem to be
« Last Edit: December 29, 2022, 09:10:14 am by denny »
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Fire Rooster

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Re: Metallic taste in light lagers
« Reply #20 on: December 29, 2022, 09:17:30 am »
I'm not as sold on the copper theory as others seem to be

I don't know what the threshold is to taste copper in water.
I retracted that statement.  I think unsafe copper levels in water
could possibly not be detected by drinking.

 

Offline HighVoltageMan!

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Re: Metallic taste in light lagers
« Reply #21 on: December 29, 2022, 11:08:46 am »
I'm not as sold on the copper theory as others seem to be
It could also be iron in the water or yeast autolysis. But if you have green color on copper, that can easily get into the beer. Go for the most obvious answer first, eliminate it and if it doesn't fix the problem, then it's something else. It's basic trouble shooting.

Some people are more sensitive to metallic flavors. I can't taste diacetyl very well, but I pick up on metal long before anyone else. Modelo has a slight metallic flavor on the finish that no one else in my family picks up on. It could turn out to be nothing wrong at all, just someone picks it up when others don't.

Online denny

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Re: Metallic taste in light lagers
« Reply #22 on: December 29, 2022, 11:36:59 am »
I'm not as sold on the copper theory as others seem to be
It could also be iron in the water or yeast autolysis. But if you have green color on copper, that can easily get into the beer. Go for the most obvious answer first, eliminate it and if it doesn't fix the problem, then it's something else. It's basic trouble shooting.

Some people are more sensitive to metallic flavors. I can't taste diacetyl very well, but I pick up on metal long before anyone else. Modelo has a slight metallic flavor on the finish that no one else in my family picks up on. It could turn out to be nothing wrong at all, just someone picks it up when others don't.

Metallic flavors can also come from oxidation. But as you say,the prudent course is to start eliminating possible sources.
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Offline Big Harry Deehl

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Re: Metallic taste in light lagers
« Reply #23 on: December 29, 2022, 10:15:35 pm »
https://www.northernbrewer.com/products/northern-brewer-stainless-counterflow-chiller?variant=11365963300908&gclid=CjwKCAiAkrWdBhBkEiwAZ9cdcAJmhaF-6T58DX70z3Gf0NdkPAuxsSp7rOqlCb_ZMB3QRFiwvAVvbxoCb0EQAvD_BwE

Thanks all.  I bought this tonight and will be bending some new SS whirlpool and pickup tubes in the morning. There's been copper in my brewery for 23 years but I've decided that I'm eliminating it all.  I've mainly been a hoppy ale brewer until the last few years and I think the bitterness has been masking some of that metallic flavor.....

My club is holding our first competition in May (Alabama Brewers Cup) and I want to medal with my Pils!

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Offline jeffy

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Re: Metallic taste in light lagers
« Reply #25 on: December 30, 2022, 01:53:17 pm »
https://www.northernbrewer.com/products/northern-brewer-stainless-counterflow-chiller?variant=11365963300908&gclid=CjwKCAiAkrWdBhBkEiwAZ9cdcAJmhaF-6T58DX70z3Gf0NdkPAuxsSp7rOqlCb_ZMB3QRFiwvAVvbxoCb0EQAvD_BwE

Thanks all.  I bought this tonight and will be bending some new SS whirlpool and pickup tubes in the morning. There's been copper in my brewery for 23 years but I've decided that I'm eliminating it all.  I've mainly been a hoppy ale brewer until the last few years and I think the bitterness has been masking some of that metallic flavor.....

My club is holding our first competition in May (Alabama Brewers Cup) and I want to medal with my Pils!
I know I'm the only one to suggest that 34/70 may have caused the off flavor, but it might be a good idea to change yeasts for your Pils to medal.
Jeff Gladish, Tampa (989.3, 175.1 Apparent Rennarian)
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Offline Big Harry Deehl

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Re: Metallic taste in light lagers
« Reply #26 on: December 30, 2022, 08:07:41 pm »
I know I'm the only one to suggest that 34/70 may have caused the off flavor, but it might be a good idea to change yeasts for your Pils to medal.

Jeff, I agree on the 34/70, but I have had the same metallic comment on my Diamond pitches as well.  Honestly, after brewing today I think it could be an over crushing issue that others perceive as metallic when it is more tannic.  I might have misperceived this as well, but one way or another  I am going to solve it.  AFA the yeast(s) go, I'm going to do a double batch and ferment with 2 yeasts and pick the best.  I will have a HUGE WLP 833 cake and a decent 4l starter of Wyeast European Lager to toss on the Pisner. Anybody used the Euro lager yeast?  Looks like a good German Pils yeast.  Is it Carlsberg??
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Online denny

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Re: Metallic taste in light lagers
« Reply #27 on: December 31, 2022, 08:43:04 am »
I know I'm the only one to suggest that 34/70 may have caused the off flavor, but it might be a good idea to change yeasts for your Pils to medal.

Jeff, I agree on the 34/70, but I have had the same metallic comment on my Diamond pitches as well.  Honestly, after brewing today I think it could be an over crushing issue that others perceive as metallic when it is more tannic.  I might have misperceived this as well, but one way or another  I am going to solve it.  AFA the yeast(s) go, I'm going to do a double batch and ferment with 2 yeasts and pick the best.  I will have a HUGE WLP 833 cake and a decent 4l starter of Wyeast European Lager to toss on the Pisner. Anybody used the Euro lager yeast?  Looks like a good German Pils yeast.  Is it Carlsberg??

I've gotta say I've never heard of anyone confusing tannic with metallic. And overcrushing along e will not cause either.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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Offline Big Harry Deehl

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Re: Metallic taste in light lagers
« Reply #28 on: December 31, 2022, 01:56:39 pm »
I've gotta say I've never heard of anyone confusing tannic with metallic. And overcrushing along e will not cause either.

As long as you've been around surely you've heard someone misinterpreting an off flavor or palate sensation...... I'm sure its pretty dang common.  ;) 

This is from Cicerone.org
Astringent: Tastes/Smells Like: Tart, vinegary, tannin, drying,puckering sensation, may feel powdery or metallic in the mouth, like sucking on a grape skin or a tea bag
« Last Edit: December 31, 2022, 02:32:09 pm by Big Harry Deehl »
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Offline chinaski

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Re: Metallic taste in pale lagers
« Reply #29 on: December 31, 2022, 02:17:44 pm »
If you can reach out to some trained judges to taste the metallic beer- they might offer better ideas than "spit-balling" on a forum.  Let us know if the equipment changes make a difference.  I use a copper immersion chiller and have no issues that have come up.