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Band aid taste

I brewed a batch of Denny’s Waldo Lake Amber Ale 8/15. Tenth time brewing it.

Decided to use new yeast rather than saved 5th gen slurry. Got it from LHBS on brew day so no time for starter.

Here are my notes from brew day on:

First brew day using pump, second using chiller. Heated strike water in HLT to 164ish shooting for 154 strike, pumped to BK for BIAB mash, undershot mash temp a little. Hit 148. Pump transfer cools it? Heated water to boil in HLT and raised mash temp after about 5 mins at 148, mash pH5.5,
FR 1.065, preboil 1.057 forgot fwh, dropped in after sparge, boiled 60 minutes, chilled to 63 in about 10 minutes, pitched inflated pack 1450 2 weeks from date on pack, fermented at 61-63 for a week, conditioned at 68-70 until kegged 9/17.
1.065 OG 1.013 FG
3 weeks in the keg has a band aid taste very low hop aroma.

phenols? underpitched?

will it possibly age out or should I just cut my losses and free up the keg?

Band-Aid = chlorophenol. Unfortunately, this flavor never ages out. It will be there forever. It comes from chlorine.

This often/usually comes from the water source. Chlorinated water? You can destroy chlorine in your brewing water instantly if you add 1/4 crushed Campden tablet for every 5 gallons water, PRIOR to the mash and sparge.

You can also pick up chlorine from rubber components or garden hose.

Also if you used any bleach as a sanitizer and didn’t not rinse sufficiently.

On very rare occasions, wild yeast will produce chlorophenol. This is extremely doubtful if you had good sanitation practices and rinsed any bleach very well using non-chlorinated water (see above).

That’s it. It’s from one of the above.

I use well water, no chlorine, drinking water hose to fill kettles, star san to sanitize.


there’s a bottle of clorox in the laundry room across the hall, i do wash brew utensils, auto siphon etc in the laundry tub. I suppose there’s a chance the auto siphon was exposed to chlorine prior to sanitizing it.

Agree with the Friar that chlorine is the classic band aid suspect, BUT I doubt exposure to chlorine prior to sterilizing the auto siphon would ruin a batch. I am thinking maybe a funked up keg or lines? This is based on reading of your other successful brews. Some other thoughts: first time with pump? Cleaned prior? Is there an off chance there was water leaking from wort chiller? Any time new gear or processes are added I look to them first…

Also, I don’t subscribe to FWH. If you want hop flavor or aroma, you need late additions.

This is suspect. What kind of hose do you use? Green, black, red, white, clear? If it’s clear tygon, that’s good, but keep in mind that it only lasts about a year before you need to replace it, since it’s really impossible to clean the inside of a hose very well. How old is the hose? Might be time for a replacement. And if you used any colored hose, then beware.

This is suspect. What kind of hose do you use? Green, black, red, white, clear? If it’s clear tygon, that’s good, but keep in mind that it only lasts about a year before you need to replace it, since it’s really impossible to clean the inside of a hose very well. How old is the hose? Might be time for a replacement. And if you used any colored hose, then beware.[/quote]

I thought the blue RV/camper hoses are what you are supposed to use? We have been using one on the 1/2 bbl system for over a year now (granted, with an inline charcoal filter) and haven’t had any issues.

I never heard of folks using blue hoses. If they’re designed for clean drinking water then they’re okay. The real problem is the green and black garden hoses. Ever drink from one of those? The water tastes like chlorophenols right away… and then if you brew with that water, yuck!

I use a white RV water hose. Two of them actually, one is about a year old the other is a few weeks old.

I ran a few gallons of boiling water through the pump, hoses and chiller as a test batch, then ran a couple quarts boiling through it again on brew day prior to use. The chiller had been back flushed with boiling water after the prior use.

I did suspect the new equipment as well…batches brewed since that time have exhibited no ill effects. I’ll disassemble the keg and clean it prior to refilling. It’s probably been 4-5 batches since it had anything more than a rinse and starsan. I can’t remember and didn’t note tasting the beer when racked to the keg. I do recall it had more hop aroma than now but maybe less then expected.

As to the FWH…This beer is a real crowd pleaser around here so I just keep making it the way Denny wrote the recipe.

I see that pH was in correct range but have you calibrated lately. Incorrect mash and sparge ( I know you BIAB but some do a mini sparge) can cause medicinal off flavors as well.

Have you done the boiling water flush other times with no problem? I know that when I was looking for potable water tubing there is always a temp range specified. Could boiling water through the RV water hose possibly have caused a release of some chemical? I don’t know what the max temp is for them or what happens if it is exceeded.

The boiling water doesn’t go through the RV hose. The RV hose is only for filling the HLT to start with all hoses between KLT, pump, BK, chiller, fermenter, etc are silicone tubing.

Do you think it would be a bad idea to re-use the yeast harvested from this batch?


Brewed a saison last spring with a very strong band-aid/medicinal smell toward the end of fermentation. I was pretty worried it was infected, but mellowed out to become a good beer. Give it time, and hope yours fixes itself too!

Yea I’m not hopeful. It seems to be getting stronger and the hops less noticeable with time.

That’s what I was thinking too Dave.

Just to wrap up this thread…I believe I found the source of the problem. I took the ball valve off my kettle today and found that some exposed threads where it threads onto the bulkhead were coated in a thick layer of black caramelized tar. The flow was almost completely cut off by it. It’s no wonder I was having trouble priming from that kettle.

The good news: the last 2 batches I only used that kettle for HLT and boiled in my other kettle where the ball valve is clean as a whistle.

Bad news: I have 3 batches that were boiled in that kettle and drained into the fermenter from that ball valve…one, my Oktoberfest recipe brewed with German ale yeast is starting to taste bad and an IPA is losing hop aroma/flavor and tasting crappy too…the third is a schwarzbier I was really looking forward too…fml

The first batch brewed after I installed the bulkhead/valve on that kettle is the last one that turned out OK. That was my Oktoberfest. Every batch since has gone bad. I’m guessing some trub was sucked into there just as I shut off the valve from draining the kettle. Apparently I didn’t do a good job cleaning it and the next time I boiled with that kettle it just baked that stuff in there.

The valve, a 3 piece has been disassembled and is soaking in PBW. I’m going to install a heat shield on the brew rig in case that was an issue and I’ll be anal about cleaning the ball valves from now on.

That sounds like the culprit. I am glad you found it.

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