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First sips after kegging... not so hot - help?

Hey guys - Recently racked a porter and a wheat to kegs. They are currently carbonating. When I was racking from carboy to keg, I siphoned samples to pint glasses. Both the porter and wheat were delicious, and I just figured they would get better with carbonation, chilling, and time.

Poured a couple half pints of both beers last night (after they had been carbing for 24 hours), to taste and see how far along the carbing was.

More carbonating needs to take place, but the taste tests have me concerned. Neither beer tasted close to as good as the samples taken when racking from carboy to keg. My kegs were sanitized meticulously, so I am 99% sure contamination is not a problem. My keezer, including every component besides the kegs, is brand new. Not sure if it was my imagination or not, but the second half pint of each beer was better than the first (could have been palette fatigue, psychosomatic, or the second beers actually tasted better).

Could it just be the first pours from san star soaked kegs, through sanitized diptubes, new lines, new faucets, etc. don’t taste good? Will moderate, but incomplete, carbonation make a beer taste worse than uncarbonated beer?

I’m just struggling to understand how it could taste so good going into the keg, and worse coming out (assuming no contamination). Thanks in advance for your input!

What was the temp of the beer at kegging versus temp at tasting? Maybe your fridge is really cold and dampening the nice flavor of your beers? Star San shouldn’t affect the flavor unless you forgot to dump it out of the keg before filling.

I’d just give it some time. I’ve never had a beer that tasted good at kegging eventually disappoint.

Agreed. I find that there is way less room for flavor change with blasting CO2 into the beer as opposed to allowing an additional mini-fermentation to happen as with bottle-conditioning. However, carbonation/carbonic acid does add to bitterness. Certain styles shouldn’t have too much (stouts, porters, english pale ales, milds, etc.), while certain styles NEED a lot (pilsners, saisons, etc).

Can you be more specific about what didn’t/doesn’t taste good? It is very likely that 50% Star San/50% beer in a glass will alter the flavor profile adversely…

[quote=“pkrone”]What was the temp of the beer at kegging versus temp at tasting? Maybe your fridge is really cold and dampening the nice flavor of your beers? Star San shouldn’t affect the flavor unless you forgot to dump it out of the keg before filling.

I’d just give it some time. I’ve never had a beer that tasted good at kegging eventually disappoint.[/quote]

Was racked from roughly 68 degree carboy into a 68 degree keg, and then dropped into 40 degree keezer. Beer was 68 when tasting from carboy, and was all the way down to 40 when I tasted from the keg.

Do you think 40 is too chilly? I think I’m just impatient/hypersensitive about the beer not turning out.

[quote=“Pietro”]

Can you be more specific about what didn’t/doesn’t taste good? It is very likely that 50% Star San/50% beer in a glass will alter the flavor profile adversely…[/quote]

You know, it wasn’t a BAD flavor as much as a lack of flavor/aroma. This is what made me think perhaps the new lines/faucets were causing the problem.

Out of the carboy, there was just MORE aroma and flavor. The keg sips just tasted like someone waved a magic wand and took away the flavor…

I’ll keep on drinking it regardless, and doubt it will get worse. If it does, gotta be contaminated, but like I said… I really don’t think that is what’s going on… especially with 2 kegs!

If everything is new and you tasted the first beer through that system, It probably was kind of nasty. You probably pulled up a lot of sediment too. Did you have a clear glass?

The beer comes out clear.

Call me ridiculous, but I actually tasted a bit of star San to see if that is what is coming through. It is not. I only changed the lid o ring when I got the keg, and not the dip tube, post rubber. The flavor reminds me a bit of root beer, which seems like it could be an obvious problem. Considering changing all the rubber on the kegs.

I think most of us have inconsistent pallettes, so I wouldn’t panic over one mediocre tasting. You didn’t taste anything that indicated a major flaw, such as infection, so wait until you’ve tried it another time or two before you start worrying about it.

Also, 40F is too cold for anything that isn’t Budweiser, in my opinion. 44 or so is as low as I go.

Raised the temp, lowered the force carb psi, and things are looking up. The porter still has a bit of root beer ( think I just need to change o rings) but the wheat is back to tasting amazing. Thanks again for all the replies. Cheers

I take apart and clean my kegs after every other beer, unless,something super assertive was in them before. A quick soak in oxyclean helps o remove the buildup of gunk.

New lines are the most likely culprit… it will fade.
In the future you may want to give them a VERY GOOD cleaning… it’s not that they’re dirty, but I have tasted a plastic type character from new lines before.

Or just wait. Bottle/keg shock is real. Let the flavors come back together and harmonize.

Higher temps will age the beer faster and allow for minor amounts of bacteria to take over the beer.

Store the kegs as close to 32*. A couple minutes in a room temp glass will bring the beer up to a good drinking temp.

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