12

This screams out "mash water problem" to me. Anytime you go from good extract beers, to "bitter/astringent/chalky/burnt" flavors in all grain, you can bet your buns that its a mash water pH problem. Also, a mash pH of 5 sounds really low to me. I shoot for 5.5 on average. Water chemistry for all-grain is honestly the most "sciency" part of home brewing, and ...


10

Upvote on the question, and someone will undoubtedly come by with a better answer, but here goes off the top of my head: Acetaldehyde (a-cee-tal-de-hide....nobody says it right!) is a precursor to alcohol. It is an intermediate compound that is formed prior to the formation of EtOH/ethanol during fermentation. So the weird thing is that acetaldehyde is ...


8

My understanding is that the most common cause of sour flavors is a wild yeast or bacteria infestation. In a beer that is deliberately sour, a Brettanomyces yeast strain is introduced along with bacteria to create the sour flavor. Ideas: Do you bake a lot in your home? It is possible that you have airborne yeasts in your home if you bake bread at all. Try ...


8

You don't want to clean a copper chiller so it is shiny - if you remove the dull color (stable oxide), the metal is more likely to react and form the toxic blue-green oxide (verdigris). http://byo.com/stories/projects-and-equipment/item/1144-metallurgy-for-homebrewers Copper is relatively inert to both wort and beer. With regular use, it will build up ...


7

Q1) No chance of off flavors just from this. Q2) Yes, this is normal. The post boil gravity will always be higher than pre boil because of the water lost to evaporation. In your case about 12% of the water was boiled off, resulting in a 12% increase in gravity. Assuming a 5 gallon batch, you boiled off about 0.6 gallons.


6

As a suggestion: Heat your beer to 70 deg. Celcius (sorry, I'm metric and don't do Church-of-England units but I'm sure you can convert it to Farenheit yourself) in order to kill yeast and bacterial infection. About 10 mins at 70 deg. C should do the trick. This will also decarbonate your beer. Cool as quickly as possible, and watch out for hot side ...


5

Someone gave me a tip when I started that I followed, and it might make a difference for you. The grain bed is your best filter. Once you are done mashing you will sparge to separate the sugar from the grain. During this stage you want to make sure that the wort is running clear before you start collecting it. I use a pitcher to collect from the grain and I ...


5

I had something similar with an Oatmeal Stout I used S-04 with. I fermented it a bit warm (room and pitch temp), but the yeast went totally nuts during the first three days. Overall, it didn't seem to have much bad effect. There was a minor note of fruity/floral-ness that was introduced, which wasn't present in subsequent iterations of the beer, but it was ...


5

I can think of 2 things...it might be CO2 coming from the airlock. It might also be fusel alcohols from fermenting at such high temps. In spite of what Chris White says, my own experience is that my beers come out much better fermenting at lower temps. Don't let someone else tell you what to do when your own experience says otherwise! It might also be a ...


5

The problem could be from temperature, alcohol tolerance and pitching rates. While the solvent character will fade with time to some degree, it can take a many months to do so and will not completely disappear. Although I can't find published figures from Fermentis, S-04 has reportedly an alcohol tolerance of 10-11% in various forums. Your 1.111 beer gives ...


5

No, it doesn't go away - the photochemical reaction produces compounds that do not degrade quickly and are not broken down by the yeast. Professor Beer writes: When light hits beer, it provides the energy necessary to drive a reaction that transforms the iso-alpha-acids into 3-methyl-2-butene-1-thiol. The “thiol” part of that somewhat cumbersome ...


4

How would you describe the off flavor? Most likely scenario is that the beer picked up an infection somewhere between primary and the keg. Maybe you've got something funky growing in your lagering fridge? In the jumper hose? The keg itself? I'd suggest replacing all the beer line, and sanitizing anything you get bleach on.


4

It could be from bacterial contamination, old yeast, or from stale ingredients. BJCP page, Mead Faults, lists some typical causes: Vegetal Smell or taste of plants or green vegetables. Cooked, canned or rotten vegetable (cabbage, celery, onion, asparagus, parsnip) aroma and flavor: Encourage a fast, vigorous fermentation (use a healthy, active starter to ...


4

Banana and Bubble Gum Produced intentionally in certain styles (like Hefeweizen), the flavor is reminiscent of banana candy or "Juicy Fruit" bubblegum. The flavor comes from esters produced when (1) fermenting yeast at a higher temp range than optimal, or (b) under-pitching the yeast, or otherwise stressing them out (not enough oxygen, etc).


4

Puckering / Tea bag When the beer has a drying, puckering quality, this is typically due to increased tannins in the beer. There are two main ways tannins can enter the beer: Fly sparging with water above 5.8pH and temperature above 176°F/70°C, which extracts tannins from the grain husks Boiling a large quantity of hops for a long time. (e.g. 200g/...


4

Great question on a topic that I don't think is discussed much by homebrewers since we tend to stick to ales. This is a more significant issue for creating clean lagers..or at least a more obvious problem in lagers when present. Greg Noonan's New Brewing Lager Beers is about the only place I've found a solid discussion of the topic. On pp 170-171: "...


4

A cheesy smell usually means you have bacteria in your mash and they have access to oxygen. If this were a sour-mashed beer it would be considered a lost cause at this point. I don't know how this kit is supposed to work, but it's sounds like sanitation is the issue.


4

Technically, you can use baker's yeast, but I doubt you'd be as happy as you would by using brewer's yeast. Both yeasts are Saccharomyces cerevisiae, however, they are different strains of the same species that are bred to do two different jobs. Baker's yeast has been bred to produce CO2 and cause bread to rise and brewer's yeast has been bred to survive ...


4

Grats on your first brews! Sounds like yeast stress esters from possibly under pitching or lack of oxygen, maybe even autolysis if it's sitting in a primary for 3 weeks. Suggestions: Use a yeast calculator. Single pack or vials are usually only enough up to about 1.040 OG. Use a starter to grow a proper pitch or use multiple packs. Oxygenate your wort. ...


4

First, technically all beer is infected, since you pitch yeast. To be pedantic, what you're talking about is contamination. And yes, I'd say pretty much all homebrew (and even commercial beer) is contaminated to some extent. The type and severity of the contamination can vary, however.


4

Hops stored in a sealed packet in a fridge should be alright to use - even if the rest of the fridge is "crawling" with bugs. I say this because the hops grew in the open air and since picking have not been treated with anything "antibacterial" or "anti-fungal" (or should not have been). They are just dried and stored and sold. So the hops themselves are not ...


4

Diacetyl is used as a food flavoring and is safe to ingest, It is not safe to inhale diacetyl when heated and/or vaporized, and causes popcorn lung. https://www.fda.gov/Food/IngredientsPackagingLabeling/GRAS/SCOGS/ucm261273.htm There is no evidence in the available information on diacetyl or starter distillate that demonstrates or suggests reasonable ...


3

Was this an All Grain brew, or Extract? Was the flavor apparent from the start, or did it develop over time? Brewing All Grain pale-to-amber beers is pretty easy. If your water isn't slap full of chlorine/iron/etc (ie, tastes pretty good) then you can happily brew away without a care in the world. And a lot of all grain brewers make great beer .... up ...


3

I once made a porter with 4% black (patent) malt. It was nearly undrinkable due to the astringent ashy flavor. Letting it sit for a couple of months in the keg helped, but it was still overly assertive. Carafa III is similar to black patent. In fact some sources claim that one can be substituted for the other. If your grist included more than 1 or 2% Carafa ...


3

I have this exact same problem and it started showing up when I went to all grain. Some of the BSG kits I've done use a steeping grain process where the grains are pre-milled and they all turned out great. My extract brews have also been great. In every case I've used the same water source (tap water)... From the first all-grain batch to my latest they have ...


3

Do you ever notice a little layer of film in the neck of your bottles from the bad batches? That's a "pelicle" and is a sign of Brettanomyces/Pediococus/Lactobasilus activity. For what it's worth, I am leaning towards the theory that you had a contamination in your bottling line, probably in the spigot of the bottling bucket. I've looked in some of those ...


3

Here's some great info from How to Brew by John Palmer http://howtobrew.com/section4/chapter21-1.html


3

Some people say that it's better to include the IC in your boil (if it's copper) as the copper gives off micronutrients (namely zinc) as well as providing a nucleation point which reduces the chance of boilovers. See Pennies in the Boil


3

The yeast odour can really only come from yeast. After 10-14 days in primary, be sure to leave the carboy to cold condition until the yeast have settled out and the wort looks fairly clear. The apple/cidery flavour does sound like acetaldehyde, which can come from to short conditioning period, oxidation, or contamination by acetic acid bacteria. The cider-...


3

It's certainly possible - a starter is only fermented to completion, but not conditioned, so byproducts of fermentation, such as acetaldehyde (green apple) and acetolactate (which becomes diacetyl - butter/butterscotch) are still left in the beer. This have low taste thresholds (50ppb for diacetyl), so it doesn't take much for you to notice then. In a ...


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