Does anyone have any experience with racking into a carboy that has been cleaned with OxyClean and then not been properly rinsed?
I had my beer in a primary for 2 weeks. When I transferred to my secondary it tasted really good. Took a gravity sample after 5 days in secondary and there was a distinct “plastic-y” flavor that had showed up. I though maybe the flavor was from the star-san I had used to sanitize my tubing that had been sitting in a non-food grade spray bottle for over a month. SG stayed steady so I bottled yesterday. The “plastic-y” flavor is still there and I mixed up a brand new batch of star-san this time.
This could be from the yeast/hops combo I used. I did a little research on the forum before posting this and it looks like that is a real thing. (Wyeast Irish Ale, US Golding, Simcoe & Amarillo)
OR I didn’t rinse my secondary thoroughly enough and there was some OxyClean residue left in the carboy.
IF it is #2, has this ever happened to anyone? Did the flavor ever go away? #2 is the only thing I can think of that could have caused this by my own fault. I have a very strict sanitizing regimen and am very thorough with everything. I will probably be giving it a sample in a week to see if it is subsiding but in the mean time I am looking for some words of encouragement or a kick in the pants for being an idiot.
ALSO, my brewing buddy and I have always used a secondary and never once had anything go wrong. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE do not turn this into a secondary or not debate!
Thanks All. I am sure the simplest solution is the correct one…RDWHAHB
I would think that rinsing with sanitizer would have removed any (most) traces of Oxy left behind.
My regime of rinsing and sanitizing is to put ~.5 to 1 gallon of water (sanitizer) in the carboy and shake/swirl it around. 1 time for sanitizing and 3 times for rinsing. 1 time to rinse may even be enough when followed by sanitizing solution.
No, no. I cleaned the carboy with OxyClean and a carboy brush. Rinsed the thing out until I didn’t get any bubbles when I shook it and then sanitized with Star-San. I know that OxyClean can leave a film and was thinking I didn’t fully get it rinsed off…
Do you use campden tablets? Was there any wheat in your grainbill? A plastic or band-aidy flavor (4-ethylphenol) can come from chlorine, or chlorine precursors (chloromine) that is in a lot of municipal water systems. Wheat malt also has a certain acid in it that can lead to the development of this 4-ethylphenol as well. 1/4 Campden tab per 5 gallons will neutralize any of that, and I think a package of 50 tabs is $4.99 or so on our sponsor.
I do the same thing the poster above does, though occasionally I’ll add a water rinse after the oxyclean cleanse but before star san. Also, I keep sanitizer in a plastic bottle also and I’ve only had one band-aid beer, which had a lot of wheat in it. Campden is cheap insurance against this.
I do not use the campden tablets but have never needed them in the past. I do however let my water sit for for 24-48 hrs before I brew to bleed off any extra chlorine in the water and it seems to work just fine. I have never had any problems with this before. The grains were a little 2 row, some 40L crystal & some 10L crystal. No wheat. I didn’t do a mash, just steep but I held then steeping grains at 155F for over 30 minutes. That should have converted some of the sugars, correct?
Also the flavor wasn’t there in the primary but showed up in the secondary. I don’t know. Maybe I’m freaking out, maybe I ruined a batch…I was really just hoping someone would see the description of what has been going on and say “that happened to me!”.
Oxyclean is a really good source of oxygen. If you didn’t get it all out with a rinse it could stale your beer faster than normal. This would be more of a cardboardy taste though, not plastic. I also don’t think you need to worry about the star san. I’ve never heard of anyone ever getting any kind of flavors due to star san.
again, cheap insurance. One band-aid beer was enough for me.
Keep in mind your tap water changes throughout the year, depending on rainfall, contaminants, etc. Sometimes the municipality/DPW will dose it with more chlorine/chloramine @ different points throughout the year.
If your municipal water source ever uses chloramines in the system, you need to treat your water like they do it all the time as there is no way to predict when it is going to be there. Also, chloramines do not volatilize/evaporate like plain chlorine, so letting your water sit overnight or even a few days does not solve the problem. They are probably the #1 cause of plastic flavors, and the easiest to eliminate with potassium metabisulphite (campden).
A slow carbon filtration can remove them, but there are variables in those filters so I also treat my water with campden after filtering.
This is a problem we have locally, and sometimes very hard to convince new brewers that their water matters.
After being bottled for a week I gave it a try last night. Obviously not fully carbed up yet but I have a new theory:
The flavor is starting to turn to an overly sweet artificial sweetener flavor. I went against my better judgement & limited knowledge and used a steeping grain bill I found online that called for a pound of 2 row, 0.5 lb C40L & 0.5 lb C10L. I know the crystal grain is fine but could that flavor be coming from non-fermentable sugars created by steeping the 2 row instead of mashing it?
Okay. Well, now we’ve totally entered the “How Many Variables Could Contribute to This Problem” territory.
I’d say drink this batch if it’s drinkable, otherwise dump it.
Next - do a proper mash, etc. and clean how you normally clean and then see if it does the same thing. Reduce your variables and work it out.
Honestly, my regimen is 1) Clean with PBW or Oxyclean; 2) Drain; 3)Sanitize; 4) Drain and rinse with cold sink water. This goes for carboys/buckets/bottles/kegs. Almost 5 years of brewing and the only off-flavors have come from not having enough yeast, using infected (poorly accrued) yeast, or not using a starter. Nothing to do with cleaning, really.
[quote=“GeerBoggles”]After being bottled for a week I gave it a try last night. Obviously not fully carbed up yet but I have a new theory:
The flavor is starting to turn to an overly sweet artificial sweetener flavor. I went against my better judgement & limited knowledge and used a steeping grain bill I found online that called for a pound of 2 row, 0.5 lb C40L & 0.5 lb C10L. I know the crystal grain is fine but could that flavor be coming from non-fermentable sugars created by steeping the 2 row instead of mashing it?[/quote]
After only one week in the bottle, the priming sugar would not have been fully consumed by the yeast, so your beer will be sweeter than the final product. My advise is to set it aside for at least 3 weeks, and then give it a try.
But 1 pound of crystal malt is too much for most beer styles IMO and will likely result in a beer that is cloying.
I am thinking it is drinkable. Just not all that great. I am brewing up a new batch tomorrow morning to try and help me get over it. Thanks guys.[/quote]
I feel compelled to reiterate what someone else said above: use campden tablets. A lot of (if not most) municipal water sources are treated with chloramine now instead of chlorine, because chloramine is more stable. Unlike chlorine which is volatile, chloramine will not be removed by letting the water sit out overnight. It must be treated chemically.
The purpose of the potassium metabisulphite when used for chloramines is to break an ammonia/chlorine bond (that’s chloramine) to allow both to dissipate. Free chlorine leaves the water quite rapidly, so simple filters and just time works. You can also use campden to help clear the chlorine. With chloramines unless you break the bond through campden or carbon filtration the compound will affect your brewing.
Honestly, my regimen is 1) Clean with PBW or Oxyclean; 2) Drain; 3)Sanitize; 4) Drain and rinse with cold sink water. This goes for carboys/buckets/bottles/kegs. Almost 5 years of brewing and the only off-flavors have come from not having enough yeast, using infected (poorly accrued) yeast, or not using a starter. Nothing to do with cleaning, really.[/quote]
What do you use to sanitize? I know tap water should be clean, but what is the point of sanitizing your equipment only to touch it with “dirty” water? Both Iodophor and starsan are no rinse sanitizers. If you use starsan the foam left on the equipment is still working, so it helps keep your equipment sanitized until used.