Remember poor boil???

What went wrong? Was this supposed to happen? Should I throw it out? What do I do now?

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Remember poor boil???

Postby Fraoch » Thu Sep 27, 2001 1:16 am

The final product was kegged, matured for 2weeks @ 50c, rekegged to cornelius, carbonated as normal and left for a further week, the result is that it is foul!!My wife reckons it tastes of harsh chemicals, I reckon it tastes of saccharine pills, anyway it is sharp to say the least. Smells great at first,tastes good then, BANG!a sharp bitterness that is hard to clear from the palate and to add a further conundrum it didnt carbonate as normal, IE it's flat!Luckily we had 2 other kegs to savour but they are running low. My point?? havent got one, I just wanted to shout,"my beer went horribly wrong" and for the first time in 3 years we are in danger of running out of some really, really tasty beer. Sod it!
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This one requires further info...

Postby Mesa Maltworks » Thu Sep 27, 2001 11:57 am

Sorry to hear you had this problem. Let me know:

1)Am I correct in interpreting your post that you have a total of 3 kegs of the same beer... 2 good & 1 bad ?

2) The "poor boil" you refer to... was it not rolling and too short ?

3) What method and how long did it take you to chill the wort pre-pitch ?

4) What temperature was the wort when you pitched ?

5) How long did it take for active fermentation to begin ?

6) What yeast strain/type (dry/liquid/ready to pitch/starter/from previous fermentation) ?

7) How long did primary fermentation take and at what temperature ?

8) Are you fermenting in plastic/glass/or stainless ?

9) What cleaning solutions and methods do you use ?

10) What sanitizing agents do you use and in what concentration ?

11) The "kegs" I assume are Cornelius (TM) cylinders... how do you clean/sanitize them ?

12) What was you carbonation method... primed, gyled, speised, forced ? If primed, what was the agent and how much did you use ?

Reply back, I'll see if I can narrow it down for you. Any other details no matter how insignificant may help as well.

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Many factors

Postby Fraoch » Fri Sep 28, 2001 5:05 am

I've been through my process and when I think about it there are so many points at which it could have gone wrong that I'm surprised it hasn't happened before. from start to finsh this was not going to be an easy brew. Here goes:
It is only 1 keg that contains this beer, the others are previous brews.
the malts i used were some i had left over uncrushed that I had, but I had an extremely poor mash efficiency. I normally get 80 to 90% eff but only obtained 60%, that threw my IBU out a touch. My yeast was WYEAST Thames Valley, from a previous brew which was put into a starter 4 days previous. activity was very vigorous, so, much so that on day 3 it bubbled through the air lock. Pitched at 20c and 24hrs later no signs of activity, so fermenter which is a 30ltr bucket type (plastic) was put into a sink of warm water @27 - 30c and activity was almost immediate. Primary fermentation was tricky to say the least and would start then stop requiring rerousing often. I dropped it once @ around 1/2 grav(I drop all my beers) but it took 2 weeks for primary ferm @ 18 - 20c. For cold break I normally retrieve from boil which gives me around 17ltr @ 1060 - 1070 depending on recipe and submerge into bath of cold water. Because for this brew I could not achieve a good boil for hours as my gas burner gave up the ghost and had been making this batch from 6am and the time is now near midnight, i put it into the bath and wentto bed!I can normally do a mash etc and pitch yeast 6 hrs later but I'm also juggling a new born baby. For sterilisation I normally rinse with cold to clean any scum/residue, then boiling water and finally leave eveything until needed with a dose of sodium met.approx 10/1 solution. I've since soaked in mild bleach, rinsed, rerinsed,rinsed etc. Kegs are only washed with boiling water(lid on)splashed about etc then force carbonated.
recipe was;
5.3kg pale
300g wheat
25g black
required 1tsp lactic acid to shift ph to ,5.0, mashed @66c, then @2hrs temp raised by injection of steam whilst stiring to 78c, sparge 78 - 80c.
32g fuggle,32g golding pellet for 1hr, but i was forced to stop the heat on boil and go and get another heat source allowing wort to cool. I've since gone electric. I know things can go wrong with a poor cold break but it doesnt smell cheesy which i was led to believe would be attributed to this problem. i did eventually get a good(ish)boil so long as the lid was in place but it took hours!
if you can tell me where it all went bad i would be extremely grateful as, obviously, i never want to repeat it. At the moment I'm inclined to think that you originally start off being extremely scrupulous and over a matter of time,things start to slip and elements of carelessness emerge. These then feed on themselves until you end up where i am at the moment which is with a beer you cant drink and a lot of wasted time and effort.Did I just get slack???
Fraoch
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Grain husks??

Postby andytv » Sun Oct 07, 2001 3:14 pm

I've experienced a similarly crappy sharp taste once when I accidentally raised the mash temperature to 180+. I attributed the result from extracting the bitterness of the grain husks.
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Grain husks

Postby Fraoch » Fri Oct 12, 2001 3:00 am

Thanks for the reply, i have considered this and it is a possibility as when raising the temp using steam, careful stiring is required as the process is prone to producing very hot spots, i have also found that the bitterness is not so bad if served at very low temps. Put it this way, i'm drinking it coz i cant bear to throw it and chalking this one up.
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