Author Topic: Sanitizers  (Read 1601 times)

Offline dons

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Sanitizers
« on: July 29, 2011, 07:14:10 AM »
I use Star-san exclusively.  My friend uses the iodine-based one Amberdyne.  They are both touted to be no-rinse
solutions and we treat them as so. 

Two questions:
All of my friends beers have a common taste element to them (ALL beers, Scottish, IPAs, Belgians, etc).  Just a hint, but it is always there.  My beers do not have that taste.  After effectively eliminating water as the culprit (at least seeing that the PH of his home water is okay), I'm starting to question his sanitizer.  Is that possible?

Also, he said after just a day or 2 he gets a film on top of his sanitizing solution and he has to make a new batch.  I keep mine for sometimes 2 weeks and it seems fine.  How long CAN you keep Star-San?  I have heard that it will become cloudy as it loses its effectiveness, but have never pushed the envelope past 2 weeks.

Thanks.
I've finally figured out my problem.  I have Cenosillicaphobia.

Offline a10t2

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Re: Sanitizers
« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2011, 07:52:21 AM »
Checking the pH of your friend's water doesn't eliminate it as a possibility. The pH of the tap water has essentially no impact on the beer. Is he brewing extract or all-grain? Can you describe the off-flavor?

Star San can be kept as long as its pH is <3. If you mix it with distilled water, or your tap water is very soft, that can be weeks. With hard water, it's only a couple days. I don't know if cloudiness is a reliable indicator or not, and I don't know that I'd chance it. A $5 pack of pH test strips would be all you'd need.
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Offline Kit B

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Re: Sanitizers
« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2011, 09:26:46 AM »
His water is likely to be the culprit of his sanitizer issue.
Is his mineral content higher than yours?
I bet if he used R/O or distilled, that would change.

Extract or all-grain brewer?
« Last Edit: July 29, 2011, 09:29:29 AM by Kit B »
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Offline tom

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Re: Sanitizers
« Reply #3 on: July 29, 2011, 10:14:24 AM »
There is a homebrew club report somewhere on the interwebs where they added larger and larger amounts of iodine to beer and it was tasteless in the beer at the usual concentrations.
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Offline dons

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Re: Sanitizers
« Reply #4 on: July 29, 2011, 10:18:28 AM »
He is extract brewing - switching to AG now.  The taste is rather medicinal with a metallic type edge to it.  Hard to explain, I know.  So, if PH does not matter at this point and it is not the sanitizer, seems to still come down to the water - all other things being equal.  Next week he is brewing from the exact recipe I just brewed.  We are hoping to further analyze the problem, presuming there will still be that taste once he moves to AG.
Thanks.
I've finally figured out my problem.  I have Cenosillicaphobia.

Offline a10t2

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Re: Sanitizers
« Reply #5 on: July 29, 2011, 10:35:22 AM »
The taste is rather medicinal with a metallic type edge to it.

Things I would check, in order of descending likelihood:
1. Under-pitching and/or pitching and fermenting too warm. Easy fix.
2. Using a bleach-bearing cleanser without a thorough hot water rinse. Easy fix.
3. Water composition, with chlorine/chloramines being most likely. Chlorine can be removed by boiling the liquor or leaving it out overnight; either can be removed using sodium/potassium metabisulfite (Campden).
4. A persistent low-level contamination. Have him replace all plastics and pasteurize everything else (15 min at >180°F).

Here's what HTB has to say:
Quote
Medicinal
These flavors are often described as mediciney, Band-Aid™ like, or can be spicy like cloves. The cause are various phenols which are initially produced by the yeast. Chlorophenols result from the reaction of chlorine-based sanitizers (bleach) with phenol compounds and have very low taste thresholds. Rinsing with boiled water after sanitizing is the best way to prevent these flavors.

Metallic
Metallic flavors are usually caused by unprotected metals dissolving into the wort but can also be caused by the hydrolysis of lipids in poorly stored malts. Iron and aluminum can cause metallic flavors leaching into the wort during the boil. The small amount could be considered to be nutritional if it weren't for the bad taste. Nicks and cracks ceramic coated steel pots are a common cause as are high iron levels in well water. Stainless steel pots will not contribute any metallic flavors. Aluminum pots usually won't cause metallic flavors unless the brewing water is alkaline with a pH level greater than 9. Shiny new aluminum pots will sometimes turn black when boiling water due to chlorine and carbonates in the water.
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Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Sanitizers
« Reply #6 on: July 30, 2011, 01:54:22 AM »
I think this could very easily be the iodine.  Some people are more sensitive to it than others and it may be what you are tasting.  Does anyone else taste it?  It's easy enough to test - switch sanitzers next time, you mix him up a batch of starsan and have him mix you a batch of iodine.
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Offline uthristy

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Re: Sanitizers
« Reply #7 on: July 30, 2011, 07:11:50 AM »
I think this could very easily be the iodine.  Some people are more sensitive to it than others and it may be what you are tasting. 

That would be me to a T.  I can't use B-T-F Iodophor  anymore as I can taste it in the  proper concentration.

Offline tom

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Re: Sanitizers
« Reply #8 on: July 30, 2011, 07:28:29 AM »
Brew on

Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: Sanitizers
« Reply #9 on: July 30, 2011, 07:35:09 AM »
Note that chlorine and sunlight both degrade Iodophor quickly - I had my only ever infected batch when I used Iodophor on a double brew session day and left the 5 gallon Iodophor sanitizer in the sun the whole time.  It failed to sanitize the second batch adequately and I had an acetobacter infection occur.  Just saying....now I use Star San.
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Offline a10t2

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Re: Sanitizers
« Reply #10 on: July 30, 2011, 07:44:46 AM »
That would be me to a T.  I can't use B-T-F Iodophor  anymore as I can taste it in the  proper concentration.

You mean you can taste the residue left behind after sanitizing and draining a fermenter or bottle? No offense, but are you sure? Have you tried it blind? Even if there were 1 fl oz of 12.5 ppm iodine left behind in a fermenter, diluting that with 5 gal of beer would reduce the iodine concentration to 19.5 ppb. Google is telling me that ionic iodine has a taste threshold of 0.2-5 ppm depending on the source.

I wonder if you could be allergic to povidone. Have you ever had a reaction when having your skin swabbed prior to an injection or something like that?

Edit: Found references to a lower taste threshold.
« Last Edit: July 30, 2011, 07:49:02 AM by a10t2 »
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Offline uthristy

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Re: Sanitizers
« Reply #11 on: July 30, 2011, 10:15:28 AM »
You mean you can taste the residue left behind after sanitizing and draining a fermenter or bottle? No offense, but are you sure? Have you tried it blind?

Oh I'm sure, after I developed the taste for Iodophor it would jump out at me at smaller and smaller doses till I was below the useful dose.

Every keg that had been sanitized with Iodophor had to be washed and soaked with oxyclean & replaced  w/new seals, every beer that had been bottled from said kegs was giving away as I couldn't drink 'em.



Offline Kit B

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Re: Sanitizers
« Reply #12 on: August 02, 2011, 08:56:02 AM »
I think this could very easily be the iodine.  Some people are more sensitive to it than others and it may be what you are tasting.  Does anyone else taste it?  It's easy enough to test - switch sanitzers next time, you mix him up a batch of starsan and have him mix you a batch of iodine.

I also wonder whether it may be due to a high mineral levels, in his water.
These levels can compound with the levels already in the extract & give you funny flavors.
After going to all-grain & using R/O water, I no longer enjoy the taste of most of the extract recipes that I used to really like.
My water is very high in calcium, magnesium & alkalinity.
It gives off metalic-type, back of the tongue sensations, when used for brewing.
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