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Should I bottle

Well plans fell through. A friend was going to bring me his C02 tank and regulator yesterday to our baby shower but the weather was bad and he couldn’t make the trip. I have a sierra madre pale ale in the primary going on 5 weeks tomorrow. Not concerned about it sitting on the yeast cake as much as I wanted to see if my bottling equipment or process was causing an issue with my beer. Seems like every batch tastes great when taking measurements and at bottling time but doesn’t come out of the bottle like I expect. Doesn’t seem to age any better either. Not sure when I will get the rest of my kegging system.

The first time I took a measurement was 4 weeks. OG was 1.052 and what I assume is FG is 1.010 and it tasted great. Really want it to taste like I expect if I end up bottling.

In my latest batch a nut brown ale I could only describe the flavor as phenolic. Almost like a German wheat beer. It also tastes watery. Slightly sharp finish. No gushers.

Might be a good idea to go over your bottle cleaning, sanitizing and filling before we try to answer this question. Would be helpful to do this if you think the problem may originate with the bottling process.

Bottling may not be the problem though. Something in the brew process may be the culprit.

My bottles were new. PBW washed and rinsed well a few days before bottling. Bottling day I rinse them with hot water a couple times then sanitize them with star san. Bottles sit upside down in fast rack until I’m ready to fill. Some foam stays in.

Spigot, washers, and nut are sanitized in another 5 gallon bucket before assembling bottling bucket. Then I pour the solution into bottling bucket. Throw in my hoses, auto siphon, bottling wand, spoon and pyrex measuring cup. Let in sit then I put a hose on the auto siphon and siphon star san into the extra bucket stop halfway and connect the hose to spigot and run the rest out into extra bucket. Throw the loose parts into the full bucket. I’ll spray around the carboy neck. Pull off the stopper and air lock and quietly siphon the beer into the bottling bucket. Once I know the exact amount thats in my bucket I weigh out the priming sugar. Add it to 1-2 cups of distilled water into sanitized pyrex and zap it in the microwave until boiling maybe 3-4 minutes. Let it cool briefly then pour it down the side of the bucket and stir with a spoon. Then I attach a sanitized hose and wand to the spigot and fill. Putting a sanitized cap on each filled bottle before capping all of them. Sometimes stopping halfway to start capping. I don’t have any issues with amount of carbonation.

Last batch I switched from soaking caps star san to 100 proof vodka. But this off flavor isn’t new to this last batch.

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Almost exactly what I do. Is your rinse water for equipment and the Star San solution free of chlorine or chloramines?

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This may be a dumb question but do you drink from a glass of out of the bottle. Bottle conditioned beers need to be carefully poured in a glass. Just a thought.

I use tap water so no.

Pour them slowly without tipping past horizontal leaving the yeast sediment and some beer behind.

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Is your tap water from a private well or municipal supply? All municipal water is treated with chlorine or chloramine, sometimes both.

I’ve used distilled water for making star san before however for some reason I don’t remember it being in any of my notes.

Municipal, I don’t remember seeing chlorimine only chlorine in the water report online.

Your water could be the problem with the chlorine and chlorine dioxide components. The off taste may become evident after some of the hop aroma and flavor mellows.

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As somebody who is super sensitive to phenols (I think shock top is a challenging beer to drink), I’m thinking back to someone on here who mentioned that bottle conditioning at high Temps was problematic (I can’t remember who). They mentioned that if primary fermentation at 70 leads to off flavors, why wouldn’t conditioning? I think there may be something to that.

Assuming 5 oz of priming sugar and 7 pounds 10 ounces of corn sugar (gives a 1.050 SG) the priming sugar is 4% of the total fermentables, so the priming sugar fermenting at 70F doesn’t contribute a lot of off flavors relative to the primary fermentation at 70F.

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I don’t think I’m sold on that. It isn’t the same fermentation in the bottle as in the primary.

Oh, It’s definitely a weird theory. I wish I could remember where I read it from… I’ve always been curious to experiment with it, but I don’t know how conclusive any results would be.

Well I setup my chest freezer to hold my bottles around 70°. While it’s only been a few days I couldn’t help myself and had to try one to see if I could detect the problem I was having. At the moment the distilled water rinse prior to the distilled water star san solution seems to have fixed the issue. I’m hoping that it was an issue with chlorophenols.

I used tap water in my star san on brew day and at 4 weeks when I pulled my first sample to sanitize my thief, hydrometer and test jar. I bottled just shy of 6 weeks. Not 100% sure why I can’t taste the issue before bottle though if it was chlorine. Maybe the surface area of the bottles leaving more chlorine to a smaller amount of beer?

Looking up about chlorine dioxide and brewing water and found this:

No off flavors at all? Definitely love peer reviewed papers to set the mind at ease. Wonder if it’s a subjective thing

I was trying to figure out if chlorine dioxide causes chlorophenols along with chlorine and chloramine. Since it’s listed on my water report with chlorine. Looks like it’s used in brewing for certain tasks.

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