New answers tagged stout
I would worry about that smell. Several of my local home brewers have made plastic flavored beer, it doesn't go away, just gets stronger. When it happened to me, the beer went away, and the fermenter too.
What kind of water do you brew with? Chlorinated tap water can cause a rubber-like (Chlorophenol) taste or smell. If you pass tap water through a chlorine-removing filter, it might be time for a filter change.
Denny's answer is pretty accurate, I think. After fermentation is mostly complete, the beer is fairly resistant to infection. Regarding what post-fermentation additions people do, the answer is LOTS! Dry-hopping, fruit additions, vanilla, chocolate, wood, liquor, chili peppers, and coffee are all pretty common. I'm sure that I'm leaving out some other ...
Basically, you don't need to worry about it. I add coffee beans without any sanitation at all. I've even added unsanitized mushrooms right out of the woods without problem. By the time you add that stuff, there's not only alcohol n the beer, but it has a low pH. Those two things combine to make it very resistant to infection.
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