New Brewer dove in head first and landed on my head. Help!

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by BilliardGuy74, Aug 7, 2016.

  1. BilliardGuy74

    BilliardGuy74 New Member

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    Hello! Well, like it says I've only attempted 4 batches so far and I just dumped my last keg because it had a strong cleaner, medicine, strong alcohol type of taste. Local brewmaster at the home-brew store thought it was from Star San. My question is could that also have been from too high of a fermentation temp? First batch brewed in January and back room was cooler. The rest have been in a closet and the air temp is about 72 degrees. I'm pretty sure the fermentation temp was too high. So, I just converted my upright freezer with a temp controller to a fermentation chamber to address that. Had cloudy beer also, and got a Brewers Best immersion chiller to address that. Next, with sanitation while boiling if you put your spoon in to stir and take it out and lay across the top of the kettle, does that have to be re sanitized before stirring again? I'm getting paranoid at this point because I just tapped my last beer and that has some of that taste as well. That was fermented at room temp though. My first beer using the new setup with the fermentation chamber and immersion chiller is fermenting now. I'm just half afraid to brew right now but want to SO bad! Also, my local homebrew expert really likes One Step and says that is safe for a cleaner and it will sanitize as well. That is safe to use wet too, so you don't have the dry time like Star San. I do have both though. Someone please point me in the right direction. Thanks, and sorry for rambling.
     
  2. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

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    Re: New Brewer dove in head first and landed on my head. He

    I never sanitize anything that touches the wort before the boil is over. Boiling provides sanitation. Did you immerse the chilled with 10 minutes left in the boil? Best way to sanitize that.
     
  3. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    Re: New Brewer dove in head first and landed on my head. He

    just a few precautions
    use a campden tablet to eliminate any chlorine flavors, get a ph meter and start testing and using acid to lower your ph,

    clean and sanitize everything then rinse the sanitizer, especially hoses or autosiphon or racking cane and kegs

    boiling will sanitize everything it touches, but buckets and lids need the most attention

    fermentation temperature should be on the low side of the range 65 air is fine, 60 is better

    don't sample, you cant change it anyway just add to the fermenter add oxygen close it and leave it for 10 days

    hope this helps, good luck
     
  4. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Re: New Brewer dove in head first and landed on my head. He

    Star San isn't the problem. It's a no rinse sanitizer, safe to use wet. Your problem sounds like either chlorine in your water, bleach as sanitizer or, as you mentioned, fermentation temperature. You mentioned cloudiness. That could be pointing towards a bacterial infection. I'm guessing temperature. My advice: Get back on the horse. We either have made drain cleaner or we will. Do something easy a few times to get the feel of it and to get a few successes and you'll be brewing like a pro in short order.
     
  5. BilliardGuy74

    BilliardGuy74 New Member

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    Re: New Brewer dove in head first and landed on my head. He

    Thanks for the info! I thought Star San actually had to dry first. Didn't realize that. I used bottled spring water, so it wasn't chlorine. I also don't use bleach. I'm REALLY hoping it was the fermentation temp, since I converted my upright freezer and that shouldn't be an issue anymore.
     
  6. artbreu

    artbreu Member

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    Re: New Brewer dove in head first and landed on my head. He

    What you're describing here is called fusel alcohols and they are a direct result of an overly warm fermentation. Now, this might not be the ONLY problem, so returning to a sanitation first mindset is still warranted. What yeast are we talking here? Will give us a better idea of how far off your fermentation temps were.

    Two more points. You don't mention your volume. Small-batch fermentations are much more susceptible to these off flavors, so if you're brewing one of those one-gallon kits you'll have to tighten all the bolts before you'll get that tasting great. Second, some people have reported aging out these flavors by leaving them on the cake for a month or so. So, maybe just as an experiment, don't dump these beers. Use them as experiments for how they improve over time.

    Cheers.
     
  7. BilliardGuy74

    BilliardGuy74 New Member

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    Re: New Brewer dove in head first and landed on my head. He

    I don't see anywhere on my instructions the exact yeast that it was. It was the dry yeast in a Brewers Best 5 gallon American Pale Ale extract kit. I'm thinking it was Safale?
     
  8. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

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    Re: New Brewer dove in head first and landed on my head. He

    It was probably S-05. BB rarely states the yeast type on the instructions.
     
  9. BilliardGuy74

    BilliardGuy74 New Member

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    Re: New Brewer dove in head first and landed on my head. He

    That could be it. Thanks. So, that batch was fermented at room temperature and it was about 72 degrees in the room. Is that where I picked up the off flavor, too warm? I've converted my upright freezer and am now fermenting my next batch at appropriate temps. That was the last I did without it. Would it be better, or even could I buy a smack pack or liquid yeast for my kits to make them ferment and taste better? I don't have the stuff and have never tried to do a starter? Thanks for the help!
     
  10. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

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    Re: New Brewer dove in head first and landed on my head. He

    When I first started brewing, I had no basement. I brewed the BB extract kits. 72° was a common temperature for me then. I have a basement now, so my temps are anywhere from 64-70° depending on the time of year. I always dry pitch. I never rehydrate. I don't believe I ever experienced the issue you are describing.
     
  11. BilliardGuy74

    BilliardGuy74 New Member

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    Re: New Brewer dove in head first and landed on my head. He

    Uh oh. I was really hoping that was the issue, because now I have no idea whats happening. I really try to sanitize well before anything touches the wort and during racking and kegging. I gotta figure this out or its gonna drive me nuts. Tired of making $40 batches of drain cleaner.
     
  12. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

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    Re: New Brewer dove in head first and landed on my head. He

    That's just my opinion. I have doubts that 72° fermentation temperature would create bad tasting beer.
     
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  13. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    Re: New Brewer dove in head first and landed on my head. He

    72 air means up to 80 fermentation temps
     
    Gerry P likes this.
  14. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

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    Re: New Brewer dove in head first and landed on my head. He

    That may be. I used to brew everything at 72° years ago. BB ale kits use S-05 a lot. I never produced anything undrinkable. Many times I even covered it with a blanket to keep the light off of it. That would tend to hold the heat in.
     
  15. artbreu

    artbreu Member

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    Re: New Brewer dove in head first and landed on my head. He

    What are you fermenting in? Bucket? Carboy? Using an airlock?

    As mentioned above, 72f ambient means 79-80f peak fermentation temps which is not ideal. That is one issue, but sounds like there's more than one issue involved. Is this an extract brew? Maybe if you detail your process a bit more something will jump out.
     
  16. BilliardGuy74

    BilliardGuy74 New Member

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    Re: New Brewer dove in head first and landed on my head. He

    I'm fermenting in a bucket and Ive been racking to a glass carboy. Last batch I didn't use a secondary as some people have said that just introduces more chance for oxidation. They have all been Brewers Best kits and I've been following the instructions for the boil times and additions. I've been using One Step for cleaning and sanitizing. I do have Star San, but have been sticking with the One Step. Thanks, I appreciate any help and info to get to the bottom of this. It's driving me crazy!
     
  17. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

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    Re: New Brewer dove in head first and landed on my head. He

    One Step supposedly isn't really meant to sanitize. Interesting discussions on that if you look it up. Supposedly it costs more for the producer to label it as a sanitizer, so they don't. Many people say it does work as a sanitizer. One Step is what I use for cleaning/sanitizing when I'm kegging. I use soap and bleach for everything else, including bottles, when I did that.
     
  18. artbreu

    artbreu Member

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    Re: New Brewer dove in head first and landed on my head. He

    Was the bucket sealed with a airlock? Is the bucket new? Plastic easily gets scratched and those are essentially nucleation sites for infection.

    Why not just ferment in the carboy and eliminate the bucket as a possible source of contamination? I agree there's no need for a secondary especially if you're experiencing issues.

    Also, I'm assuming this is an extract kit. If not, then post your mash process.
     
  19. BilliardGuy74

    BilliardGuy74 New Member

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    Re: New Brewer dove in head first and landed on my head. He

    Yes, the buckets were all sealed with airlocks. I might have only done 2 batches in the bucket at most since it's only my 4th batch and I got extra buckets for fermenting and cleaning and sanitizing in. Yes, they have all been Brewers Best 5 gallon extract kits.
     
  20. TheZel66

    TheZel66 Member

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    Re: New Brewer dove in head first and landed on my head. He

    72F isn't gonna cause fusel's, especially if you're using Ale yeast. Star San isn't it either. The most that would do is sour your beer, and that's if you added pure Star San to the bottles. what's the temp of the beer when you pitch the yeast? and you're using dry yeast? age should be a factor, but do you re-hydrate before you pitch or just sprinkle on top. I've always used liquid yeast in my 25 years of brewing.

    If you are using kits, maybe the ingredients are bad/old/stale. taste the wort next time to ensure the problem isn't with the ingredients. save a quarter cup after the boil, let it cool and taste.
     

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