Another brew down the drain ??

Discussion in 'General Beer Brewing Discussion' started by Mugatu78, Jun 1, 2019.

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  1. Jun 1, 2019 #1

    Mugatu78

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    New brewer here in distress. Ive had problems with last 3-4 brews and fear i have infection or wild yeast at play. Ive had 2-3 previously with no visible signs but with a very harsh chemically yeasty weird smell. The latest had the same smell but not as strong but it has got worse over time. Day 14 now from pitch and i see this (see picture please). Can anyone tell me what this looks like ? I guess atleast if someone does i will know my problem rather than driving myself crazy wondering whats going wrong.
    Any help appreciated as always.
    Thanks
     

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  2. Jun 1, 2019 #2

    Mugatu78

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    I will add that i did fear i had a fermentation temp control issue but now have inkbird and fridge so it was kept 19deg for first ten days then last few around 20 so its not temp driving the smell. I also added camden tablet to water so not that. Seeing this i fear ive had infection all along which atleast i can hopefully remedy with a diligent cleaning disinfecting kit day
     
  3. Jun 1, 2019 #3

    darkbright

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    Looks ok to me. From the picture, it looks like "yeast rafts". Doesn't look infected. Let it ride.
     
  4. Jun 1, 2019 #4

    Mugatu78

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    Really ? Hmm wasnt expecting that... i wonder if the smell is just a fermentation by product. This is it in secondary vessel. My prev brews i bottled about day 15 and smell/taste hung around to this day. I wonder if i should leave 3-4 weeks instead of the 2 before expecting a bottleable beer. I went with 2 weeks as that seemed to be what i was seeing others do on youtube etc
     
  5. Jun 1, 2019 #5

    Mugatu78

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    I find it hard to describe the smell but its not a nice smell ill say that. Not anything desirable. Harsh chemically when you stick your head in the bucket, prev ones bar an extremely hoppy ipa smelt bad and even that one i feel the hops
    Were masking it
     
  6. Jun 1, 2019 #6

    An Ankoù

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    Does it smell like TCP mouthwash?
    You could have a chlorination issue as the phenols in the hops will combine with any chlorine in the water to produce - well, TCP.
    If you are using bleach or Chempro or any similar chlorine-based cleaner /sanitiser without thorough rinsing (so you can't smell chlorine any more) then you'll get the same problem.
    If it's this, then the beer can't be saved. You can drink it and it won't do you any harm, but wait until you've got flu and can't taste anything.
    The photo looks fine, by the way, just yeast.
     
  7. Jun 1, 2019 #7

    Mugatu78

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    Thanks very much. TCP hmm not wrure its quite as strong as tcp but will keep an eye/nose on it and mby get the mrs to get a sniff she what she thinks it smells like
     
  8. Jun 1, 2019 #8

    Clint

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    Are you possibly mistaking it for a good nose full if C02? This can seem chemical or "off".
     
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  9. Jun 1, 2019 #9

    darrellm

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    Infections are usually slow burners, take weeks/months to take hold rather than in the FV.

    TCP source can be hard to track down, I have an issue where if I divide a brew and bottle half of it and keg the other half of it, the bottles are fine but the keg develops the TCP taste after 4-5 weeks.
     
  10. Jun 1, 2019 #10

    the baron

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    I am with Clint on this I think it could be a nose full of Co2 its very harsh in full fermentation at times
     
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  11. Jun 1, 2019 #11

    Mugatu78

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    Yeah i did wonder that aswell but my last ipa brew for example. 2 weeks in bottles has the same smell. Its like a harsh boozy beer smell. Not the kind you want to drink though. Maybe im expecting too much but it smells rank to me. Even in a glass it smells like a wet bar towel thats been left out a few days haha. In the bucket it is very strong and harsh though. I dunno. I think i will leave this latest one another couple weeks but it didnt help the other fails
     
  12. Jun 1, 2019 #12

    Mugatu78

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    Fermented out well. 1056 down to about 1011-1012 ish. Am i expecting too much too soon ?
     
  13. Jun 1, 2019 #13

    MickDundee

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    I’ve encountered a smell I would refer to as chemically twice - first was when I accidentally pitched at too high a temperature and once when the beer got oxidised.


    I believe under-rinsing if cleaner or sanitiser can also give funny smells/tastes
     
  14. Jun 1, 2019 #14

    An Ankoù

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    That's doesn't sound like a TCP smell. So if you're already controlling chlorine (with half a Campden tablet in the liquor and good rinsing) then I think we have to look further afield.
    Could you post a copy of your recipe and an outline of the stages of your brew day?
    Were the previous "dodgy" brews all using much the same recipe?
     
  15. Jun 1, 2019 #15

    strange-steve

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    Unfortunately it's very difficult to diagnose contamination over a forum, but as others have said, the picture looks perfectly normal.

    A harsh, acidic smell when sticking your nose in the bucket could well be just the CO2, but that shouldn't carry through to the glass.

    The fact that you used a Campden tablet rules out chlorine from the water, unless of course you used a chlorine based sanitiser (bleach, Milton etc) for the fv?

    It's unlikely to be fusel alcohols since you have temperature control. Wild yeast contamination is often accompanied by a lower than expected FG and some unpleasant flavours/aromas, including phenolic which can be spicy/clove-like or medicinal. Unfortunately they can take a bit of time to really present themselves.

    Bacterial contamination is usually more obvious, often making the beer sour or vinegary.

    Btw is this AG or a kit beer?
     
  16. Jun 1, 2019 #16

    An Ankoù

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    ... and to follow on: what's in that hop bag? Anything that can be described a "dank"?
     
  17. Jun 1, 2019 #17

    Mugatu78

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    No they were all different but ended up with same smell weirdly. Standard recipes from online or diy dog nothing crazy. Tried to hit relevant temps 60min mash about 65deg then 60min boil, i colled last two using immersion thinking that mby it was becasue i colled a couple overnight but no difference. I do hv bit of a sparging issue that it takes aaaaages if i dont stir and move the grain around to let water pass through.
    Its a klarstein machfest i think. No recirc so i jst pour water with jug through grain basket after my mash out. I have noticed the grain in basket is def cooler than the temp display says on the unit but i tried to compensate this time to get the mash temp spot on.
    Could it be that im stireing the mash or over sparging perhaps ? I start of with about 18-20litres water for mash but i end up having to add a lot to get my boil volume up to where i want it.
    Ive done a bit reading online and a lot of people dont seem to think mash temp (if low) is a problem as far as i can gather. Not sure if mash out temp would cause this either as i read thats just to help the grain drain better, sorry as you can tell i get all my info from reading posts and other online stuff. I have one book but cant fond anything in there to explain my issue
     
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  18. Jun 1, 2019 #18

    Mugatu78

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    Thats a dry hop of about 65 g of chinook as its all i had left. Sterilised bag in boiling water. Not sure what dank is haha
     
  19. Jun 1, 2019 #19

    Mugatu78

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    Hi. Its an all grain kit and i used vwp which i rinsed and sprayed with non rinse sanitizer from edinburgh brewstore
     
  20. Jun 1, 2019 #20

    Mugatu78

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    I feel ive been pretty good with cleaning but i am very new to this so could be naivety maybe

    I do wonder if its an issue with my mash and sparge. Extracting harsh stuff thats carrying through but its a guess. You can probably tell im a bit lost. Determined to get it right but dont want to kist keep plodding on making s**t beer hoping it will turn out ok. Ideally id crack the source of this taste smell issue but its proving more difficult than i imagined
     

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