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I am exploring what in my process could have possibly caused this flaw, but it is likely old yeast propogated in a starter and then pitched, as this has not happened to me ever before.

What I am trying to figure out, is if flavor additions (and cold serving temp) made to the beer after it has already been kegged could mask this flaw adequately for a weekend's worth of consumption (Labor Day party).

Here are the stats:

-Jamil's American Wheat with the rye addition (50% 2-row, 30% white wheat, 20% rye)

-1.056 OG, 1.008 FG, hopped with centennial and amarillo; US-05

-since primary, the beer has had a band-aid aroma (again, this question does not contemplate how this happened)...my wife likened the early flavor to dirty dishwater

-tried zesting 2 oranges, one lemon, boiling zest in 2 cups water, straining, cooling, and pitching into keg. After 24 hours, this seemed to dissipate the flavor. Also, I have 2oz of Amarillos in a muslin bag in the keg.

-tonight, I may try adding more 'zest extract' to help out the front end of this beer's taste.

-is it possible to salvage? If I ruin it further, I have a fermenter of California Common on deck that I can keg up.

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after a taste (it still seems somewhat band-aidy), zested two oranges, one lemon, boiled zest, strained, added zest water (boiled with irish moss, cooled) and zest itself in a muslin bag. Unsure if its salvageable, but I'm going to the mattresses at this point. – Pietro Aug 29 '12 at 1:34
Sometimes you get unlucky in brewing, and "band aid" beer is pretty much unfixable in my opinion. Its such a weird & distinct flavor that you are going to have to overboard to cover it up. Having said that, there's no reason not to try even more spice at this point. – Graham Aug 29 '12 at 12:34
yeah, if its not better tonight, going to keg and quick carb the california common. Then I might rack the band aid beer, add some chopped apricots and do a true secondary fermentation. It can't get any worse at this point! Will report back and answer my own question. – Pietro Aug 29 '12 at 12:38
Have a party and bring it out when your friends have had a few already :) – paul Sep 5 '12 at 17:48
what was it that you did that worked - please add an answer so others can benefit. Thanks. – mdma Oct 5 '12 at 22:36
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Answering my own. Conducted a secondary fermentation with 5lbs of dried apricots (heated to 170 then cooled in some water) after every other adjunct didn't have much of an impact. The beer now has another flavor component and is a bit more enjoyable to drink, however, my wife still perceives the band-aid (and I can too, but her palette is a bit more sensitive).

If a beer has a flavor component, including an off-flavor, it will likely stay with it. Fusel alcohols can oxidize and become a bit more pleasant, sometimes acetaldehyde can dissipate, but for the most part, they are there to stay. This particular phenol certainly is. The key to making a good fruit beer is to MAKE A GOOD BEER...then add fruit to it.

So, long story short, if you have a flaw, you can add additional flavors to mask it, but it is beyond me how to get rid of it. Maybe some apricot extract IN ADDITION to the secondary fermentation would have helped. Though then again, maybe its just best to dump it sometimes....

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Some wild yeasts produce "band aid" aromas. I suspect that the yeast you used had some wild yeast mixed in. Did you smell the starter before you pitched it? If that had an off aroma, your whole batch will have the same problem. I always have some dry yeast on hand in case my starter smells off.

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