Can you guess what went wrong?

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Buffers brewery

Complicated Brewer
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I can't! Brewed this NEIPA last month. I've done the recipe 3 or 4 times previously with no problems, all with the same process. It finished fermentation a little over three weeks ago and was transferred to a barrel by the same "closed transfer" method I'd used before. The colour of the sample I took to check SG was ok.
The beer was left to carbonate at 20C for 2 weeks. Barrel pressure achieved 15psi after a few days and stayed at that level until the end. Temperature was dropped to 10C for a week and the pressure dropped slightly but was still around 14psi when I moved it to my barrelator yesterday. This is what the first glass looks like!
IMG_20240225_123122824.jpg

Oxidation?
Smells ok but doesn't taste right!
Answers on a postcard?
 
Just because you have CO2 in the pressure barrel doesn't eliminate infection. There are plenty of spoilers that survive without oxygen. I have found that infected beer on the whole doesn't clear, I have one at the moment. Anyway you can describe the taste you are getting?
 
Agree will RoomWithABrew. Most obviously culprit is oxygen in the barrel.
 
#127.

https://www.thehomebrewforum.co.uk/...a-buffers-brewery-brew-day.88546/post-1067568

Enough balloons to give Patrick McGoohan nightmares.

Infection as @foxy suggests. Possible if your expanding plastic with pressure.
Haha. Yes. Balloons. I went through a phase. The method has changed a little. I use bottled gas now rather than fermentation gas and don’t siphon. Use low pressure gas. The coke bottle has been replaced with a stainless steel cup.
Infection!? ashock1 I just assumed oxidation but……:confused.:
 
I guess, if you can't see any obvious areas where this brew differed from the others, then all options need considering.

Do you know the current gravity? Is it different from the previous brews?
 
Just looked through my records and FG are all 1.010 - 1.009. One thing I did notice is I used maris otter this last brew instead of pilsner malt. Would that account for the serious change in colour and taste?
 
I can't tell by the taste if it's infected, but it very much looks oxidised from the colour.

If it went in to the barrel one colour and came out another then it means that was picked up either on the transfer or in the barrel itself.

My bet is that the barrel was not purged as well as you think.... or at all. Do you liquid purge (fill with liquid then push out with CO2)? It's also possible that if you have a small hole or leak somewhere in your transfer setup that was continually pulling ambient air in, like a venturi tube.

Sorry for your loss 😢
 
Just looked through my records and FG are all 1.010 - 1.009. One thing I did notice is I used maris otter this last brew instead of pilsner malt. Would that account for the serious change in colour and taste?
The malt used won't have a lot of impact. The easiest way to find out if it is a bacterial/yeast infection is to degas a sample let it stand for 24 hours and check the gravity. If the gravity has gone down it is infected, remaining the same it is oxidised.
 
Oxidation I am pretty sure.
Water in the barrel lots of DO in it, nothing in the water to scrub that IE ascorbic, sod met or both.
The barrel is filled " so the barrel has very little air remaining in it."
A tiny bit of air has a lot of oxygen in. A few hundred ppm. You need to aim for ppb, I think your DO will be much higher than a few hundred ppm with what was in the water.

Are there silicone tubes being used anywhere? Silicone very permeable to oxygen.
Glad you aren't using bags any more, they will let oxygen and nitrogen in so you were using a gas mix not CO2 alone.

The other issue is the open fermenter which will have oxygen exposure as well.

I'd be expecting off flavours of phenolic, acid and others with infection.

Good beer damaged by a process that isn't as robust as it could be.

Post 3 this thread has all the maths you want re purging kegs, but you have the open fermenter as well.
https://www.homebrewtalk.com/threads/keg-purging-with-active-fermentation.628658/
 
Oxidation I am pretty sure.
Water in the barrel lots of DO in it, nothing in the water to scrub that IE ascorbic, sod met or both.
The barrel is filled " so the barrel has very little air remaining in it."
A tiny bit of air has a lot of oxygen in. A few hundred ppm. You need to aim for ppb, I think your DO will be much higher than a few hundred ppm with what was in the water.
Agreed. Especially with Neipa, it only takes a tiny amount of oxygen to affect it. There is "very little headspace" in a standard bottle but still oxidises a NEIPA a lot. The smart money is on the happening in your barrel.

I've not known infection affect the colour of the beer like you mention. Most likely oxidation.
 
Good beer damaged by a process that isn't as robust as it could be.
Hey @RoomWithABrew sounds like one of my old school reports! I need to try harder! 😂
Looking back through my records, I've brewed this recipe with the same process seven times over the previous 3 years. All except this one turned out fine and lasted six weeks or so in a pressure barrel or PET bottle. So it can work. Clearly something has gone wrong on this occasion and I'm racking my brain cell to figure out what. What's frustrating is I usually photograph the SG sample at the end of fermentation but for some reason didn't on this occasion so can't check the appearance of the beer at that stage. But I think it was ok and whatever went wrong happened at packaging.
Thanks for your contribution acheers.
 
I think your process has oxygen in the barrel to start with. Priming is not going to use the oxygen up quicker than it damages the beer.
I think time to invest in a fully sealed fermenter and spunding valve for your hoppy beers.
Then purge the barrel with ferment gas and closed Transfer. Use some ascorbic acid in mash,sparge and into the purged barrel. Keep it cool once ferment finished and possibly for your dry hop as well.
 
It always amazes me how NEIPA got off the ground as a style, let alone they're market saturation, given it's self destructive nature. Considering how much money commercial and homebrewers alike, have thrown at trying to get them to work consistently. The power of Instagram, I guess.
 

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