Off flavors

Hey guys, on my third brew now and so far its all been extract. Each of the three brews had a distinct flavor at the back of the taste that i could only describe as “rubber hose”. It’s really more of an aroma after a sip, and often the foam of the beer has a more pungent taste of it. Otherwise the beers’ flavors have been on par and actually delicious. But I’m looking for some feedback on how to eliminate that flavor.

Some things to note-

  • Ferm temps ranged from 58-65
  • All batches bottle carbed
  • Last beer (Plinian Legacy) was brewed with a yeast starter, others were not

Feel free to ask any questions about my process, I’ll do my best to answer.

First suspect for off flavors is the brewing water. Any municipal water needs to be treated for chlorine and chloramines.

+1. My neighbor who also homebrews uses our city water. His brews always have a rubbery aftertaste. I use distilled water from the store and never get that off flavor.

Hmm, I’ve been using RO-filtered well water but can try distilled for my next batch.

RO water should be okay for extract brewing. Water from a private well should be okay also, unless there is a large imbalance. One brew with distilled water may point to your water supply as causing the off flavor, or if the off flavor still exists, point to something in cleaning, sanitation, equipment, or technique.

Are you getting your RO filtered well water through a garden hose?

No, from one of those typical third spigots that come with most RO systems. The water is great, no flavors at all. I have a hard time imagining that is the source of a bad flavor but you never know. I’ll give distilled a shot.

Also would be surprised if it was my gear or sanitation. I’ve gotten consistent results with the three brews I’ve done so far and am meticulous with sanitation.

Still, thanks for the replies so far.

What are you using as a sanitizer?

Liquid StarSan.

I did some looking around. Found a forum where the rubber hose taste was coming from a bad plastic retainer ring inside a coupler. All of these brewers were using kegerators though. You are bottling, but could you have a bad piece of plastic inside some equipment you are using?

Anything is possible… Im using glass carboys but i will think about my other equipment- im sure something is plastic.

Also Im afraid im not describing the flavor very well since i know that certain byproducts of the fermentation can be very distinct. Just not sure which im dealing with!

Also, the flavor does seem to dissipate with time… maybe fermentation isnt fully complete? Or pitching rate was too low and the yeast are stressed?

Sounds like chlorophenol. You need to get the chlorine out of your water. Try distilled water and the problem will probably go away.