So I moved into a new place back in June of last year and couldn’t wait to start brewing another batch after getting everything settled in… I started brewing over a year ago and got quite a few 1 gallon batches under my belt with pretty much no issues to speak of (other than a pine ale that was atrocious.) Just before I moved, I decided to make the jump to 5 gallon batches. So I bought all the necessary components and got a Saison Extract Kit from NB. I brewed it outside on a turkey fry burner, and added some orange blossom honey to boost the gravity a bit. Everything went well with the boil, the cooling, the transfer, the fermentation, the bottling and the drinking… I couldn’t figure out why I hadn’t made the switch to 5 gallon batches sooner- But as soon as I moved to the new place, all brewing hell broke loose… I started with an partial mash oatmeal stout, electric stove, mashed too high, fermented to warm and bottled. The finished product had a taste I couldn’t quite pin down, but it was gross. Though my roommate assumed it was the oatmeal and that I’d used too much. He gladly finished all of them, but I couldn’t manage to finish a single one.
After that, I tried a Scotch ale, a Brown Ale, an Oktoberfest, and an Irish Stout… All with the same horrible off flavor. I’m losing time and money left and right over this- It tastes like A chlorine or rubber or vinyl, which I’ve looked up, and it’s phenol. I thought it was the water being more chlorinated than the last place, I was so sure of it- So I switched to Poland Springs, but to no avail. Same off flavor… More recently, I bought an Irish Red extract kit (Cheap) But I didn’t want it to be ruined like all the others. So as an experiment, I went back to trying a 1 gallon (or 2, in this case) batch- low and behold, the beer had those pleasantly familiar esters of banana and apple- You know, good things an ale SHOULD have. They were the same boil, but put into two different 1 gal fermentors. The one with the plastic lid and airlock smelled amazing, but the one with the rubber bung smelled- like rubber, just like the other batches. Hopefully taste will be different though. I’ll be bottling them separately later today… So my question is this- What else would contribute? I thought maybe the electric stove wasn’t boiling the wort enough (like the turkey fryer did) or maybe because the Saison used liquid yeast and I’m usually a dry guy, that possibly it was under pitching? I have no idea… I’m just so frustrated from it though.