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Help troubleshooting 'metallic' after taste

Hello,

My first two all grain batches (both very young, amber ale is at 2 weeks in the bottle, 4 weeks total, IPA is at 1 week in the bottle, 3 weeks old) have slight “metallic” after tastes. I’m not sure if this is only because they are still “green”, or if it’s something in my process. From what I’ve read, this can be caused by one of three things:

  • boil kettle (I’m using a ‘ceramic on steel’ stock pot, so I don’t believe this is the issue)

  • too much Star-San (I am using Star-San, and it is possible that I used a little too much in my first couple batches, I’m paranoid)

  • water chemistry (the amber ale seemed to have much more of a metallic after taste than the IPA, and is darker…a difference of about 10 SRM or so)

Any thoughts? Something else it could be?

Thanks for any help!!

Water chemistry possibly, the other 2 are so doubtful that you can probably forget about them. Oxidation also can give that kind of flavor. And it could be because they’re young.

+1 on aging. I had a AAA with a similar problem while it was young. I cellared it for about four weeks and the change was quite noticeable.

Thank you very much for the help!

So, I’m going to let both beers age a few more weeks.

I’m also brewing again this weekend, so I’m going to try the RO water method and add salts. Can anyone point me to a good “how to” guide using this method?

Thanks again!

My guess is it’s the water. If you switch to RO, I think you can make most types of beer if you add perhaps 1 teaspoon calcium chloride and maybe 1/2 teaspoon of gypsum, plus or minus, something like that. Brewing software such as BeerSmith or StrangeBrew can be used to determine exactly how much salts you need for a certain beer style based on your RO water quality.

I really appreciate everyone’s help, and I believe it definitely is my water. I use the same water for my drinking water, but run it through a Brita filter. Would this also work for brewing water? Or is the RO method better?

Thanks again, this is a great forum!

The Brita filter should work fine. Good luck.

[quote=“iheartbeer81”]I really appreciate everyone’s help, and I believe it definitely is my water. I use the same water for my drinking water, but run it through a Brita filter. Would this also work for brewing water? Or is the RO method better?

Thanks again, this is a great forum![/quote]

I wouldnt use a brita filter, flow rate, age, etc all will play a part in that you may not remove all the chlorine, just get some campden tablets to throw in.

Hard to beat RO, Walmart has it cheap.

Campden works great on chlorine, but I don’t know if it will help on metallic flavors, which is the subject of this thread.

Campden works great on chlorine, but I don’t know if it will help on metallic flavors, which is the subject of this thread.[/quote]

chlorine can cause some of those flavors (flavors are very subjective) which is the topic of this thread

I had your same problem on my first few brews. Turns out my water was hard enough to bounce quarters off of. My recommendation is to do what I did (on the advice of some people on this forum):

  1. Get your water tested (lots here use Ward Labs, link here: http://www.wardlab.com/images/SampleForms/wsis.pdf)

  2. While you’re waiting for the results, educate yourself on brewing water adjustments. Just use google, there is plenty of free wisdom out there.

  3. Download and get to know one of the free brewing water adjustment calculators (I like Bru’n Water, link here: http://sites.google.com/site/brunwater/)

  4. Once you get your Ward results back, plug them into the spreadsheet you’ve chosen, and follow the directions for whatever type of brew you’re making.

I can easily say that understanding water chemistry was one of the major improvements in my brewing. The nasty metallic twang disappeared immediately when I started doing this.

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