Elastoplast Off Flavour -I feel ready to quit homebrewing


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Post by PistolPatch » 2 years ago

Some really excellent posts above including yours Non.OP :salute:,

After reading through your processes, which I thought were very good practice, the main things that struck me were location (which Dave mentioned). I'm not sure thois will be it as wild yeast causes more sourness than bandaid (I think :scratch:) You definitely can get this bandaid flavour though from infections, not just bleach etc.

Are you chiling with the kettle fully covered?

Is your whirlpool effective or can you skip[ that part? (Removing chiller and stirring with an implement allows opportunities for nasties. I don't think this is your problem though unless stirring with a wooden spoon.)

The fermenter tap which you don't use, are you removing it from the fermentor after each brew and cleaning and sanitising the thread and the tap? (You mention though that you bought a new fermentor. Did you buy a new tap as well? If so, did the problem go away for a while?)

What about buying a new bottling wand, syphon and bottling tubing? Have you tried the nostril test on the and tubing?

....

Running out of time but one other thing might be to smell your hoses. Some vinyls are crap and will give you that band-aid flavour. Usually it only occurrs though if the hoses get hot. Definitley smell them though.

Nice work :peace:
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Post by blu_afro » 2 years ago

Non-op no technical advice, just a note to add some moral support! Hope you find the root cause of your woes, sounds like a an ideal six sigma example! Anyway, stick with it buddy, bottoms up :drink:


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Post by non.operational » 2 years ago

Huge thanks,
I am considering all of your advice very keenly, and will post my "plan" once I have decided upon it.
N.O.


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Post by BDP » 2 years ago

Hi, I've never actually tasted an elastoplast or bandaid. I imagine that they taste a lot worse than they smell, but I'm not going to put that to the test :) From what I've read, it seems that solventy, medicinal off-flavors (if that is what you are describing) can arise from almost any aspect of the brewing process (including mash pH of all things!), and I think that all the suggestions and questions posted here reflect that same sentiment. It sounds to me like you're taking great care with cleaning and sanitizing and water already. I'll go out on a limb and suggest to look to the pitching rate and fermentation temps. I think someone has already suggested this.

I once piped my brewing liquor from my kitchen faucet to my kettle using a short section of garden hose. I didn't taste the water. Later that day my wife complained that her tea tasted strange. I'd also filled the tea kettle using that same hose. That's when I started to get worried about what my beer would end up tasting like. It was an American stout style recipe, and there were strong medicinal off-flavors. But then I think I also over pitched and ran the ferm temp too high, so who really knows at the end of the day ... So hard to pinpoint these things.

I'm still very much a novice at all of this, so take with a pinch of salt (gypsum, if it pleases you :) ).

Good luck!! :peace:

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Elastoplast Off Flavour -I feel ready to quit homebrewing

Post by Contrarian » 2 years ago

Have you brewed again yet mate? From where I am sitting your cleaning regime seems pretty solid and unlikely to be the problem.

I recall reading a similar thread on another forum where it took a brewer months to locate the source of an infection and it was related to either wild yeast or bacteria where he was brewing. A quick google reveals that brettanomyces, often used in certain styles, can cause a band aid smell and flavour. Given that the problems seemed to start when you moved this sounds critical. There may be a colony of Brett somewhere near where you brew that is sneaking in somehow.

As suggested above try brewing with a fresh wort kit to eliminate any possible hot side issues but I would also suggest buying a brand new fermenter and fermenting the beer and bottling at another location like a friend or relatives house. Try to eliminate any equipment that has been at the new place.

Assuming this produces beer that tastes fine you can gradually start reintroducing your own equipment. Start with producing wort and no chill into the cube you just acquired for free with the fresh wort kit but still ferment and bottle somewhere else. Brew by brew reintroduce equipment to your process to determine where the issue is.

I feel for you as my cleaning and sanitizing regime is far less rigorous than yours and I have been lucky so far but most people who have these kind of issues figure the culprit out eventually and go on to make lots of great beer!

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Elastoplast Off Flavour -I feel ready to quit homebrewing

Post by ShorePoints » 2 years ago

I hope that Non-Operational has not given up. All the variables discussed so far include the usual suspects and then some. Experience from my former job might open some more possible problem sources. If you made good beer at your new location before things went South, something changed and your super sanitising efforts haven't overcome that change.. Local wild yeast invading your batches is an interesting theory, but inverted empty bottles, covered vessels and proper pitch rates & temperatures should win over the wild one. (see the mythical Tom mentioned earlier). If the beer is still O.K. in the fermenter, I suspect the transfer steps with priming sugar. Your bottles and caps will be as good as the (never heated, close to room temp) fermenter was from its start-to-finish contact with the beer.. That leaves your siphon, hoses, bottling wand and anything else your conditioning sugar touched as sources of the funk. Sanitising all of the surfaces (the outside parts of hoses that touch beer, too) might not get to the parts that harbor the bad guy because the hoses get stretched, or the attachment points get squeezed, the siphon pulls a slight vacuum just enough to bring it out. If every single bottle was bad at the same time, then the entire batch was set to fail before the first bottle got filled. (Sorry). That would be where the priming solution was mixed. If the early bottles were different in degree of badness compared to the final bottles at the same time, then maybe the contaminator was enriched early and faint or gone late in the bottling - the priming solution mixture was still good, but the opportunity for bad came next. Only because I have seen equipment get "conditioned" by the presence of a desired product, in your case, beer - early stuff different from late stuff - would I suggest new, clean hoses for each step in addition to all the other things brought up.. If the transfer from fermenter to conditioning sugar mixer vessel used the auto-siphon and hose A, use hose B for bottling (and a cleaned auto-siphon, too).. Grasping at straws - did the alcohol content of the fermented beer (a new solvent combination) extract something bad from the same equipment you have previously used on water- only liquid? The bad actor maybe got in by alcohol extraction from equipment surfaces and crevices contacted during & after the fermenter.. Water (even with cleaning agents) didn't get to all of it.
If your sanitising agents and acid/base exposure doesn't clean it out, then there are more severe cleaners, but get experienced help from someone who has used them..
Have you had someone watch everything you do? Or, maybe video?
Good luck.


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