Band-Aid Smell

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Harrowbrewer

Band-Aid Smell

Post by Harrowbrewer » Thu Mar 24, 2016 12:45 pm

I've got a batch of APA that has developed a pretty strong band-aid smell. It's my own fault, as for reasons of idiocy I sparged with near boiling water, and I suspect that is what has caused the production of phenols, as I don't think its a problem with sanitising, since no other current brews have developed it. I've dry hopped it with a big dose of citra to see if I can overpower the taste, but I was wondering if there is any chance it will fade with time or after bottling, or should I just discard it?

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Andy
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Re: Band-Aid Smell

Post by Andy » Thu Mar 24, 2016 1:42 pm

Chuck it. TCP smell/taste won't go away.
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Re: Band-Aid Smell

Post by BrannigansLove » Thu Mar 24, 2016 1:45 pm

Do you treat for chlorine? Or sanitize with bleach (and perhaps failed to rinse adequately)?

AnthonyUK

Re: Band-Aid Smell

Post by AnthonyUK » Thu Mar 24, 2016 2:08 pm

Andy wrote:Chuck it. TCP smell/taste won't go away.
Yep, agree. If chlorophenols these are very stable and will not ever fade.

ManseMasher

Re: Band-Aid Smell

Post by ManseMasher » Thu Mar 24, 2016 3:57 pm

I too think it might be doomed mate.....

Harrowbrewer

Re: Band-Aid Smell

Post by Harrowbrewer » Thu Mar 24, 2016 4:02 pm

Oh well. My own fault. I think it must be down to the sparging. I don't use any bleach based sanitisers, and whilst it might be my water supply, I've not had it with any other brews. Live and learn!

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bellebouche
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Re: Band-Aid Smell

Post by bellebouche » Fri Mar 25, 2016 12:32 am

Do some root cause, walk through your entire process.

Cleaning.
You've mentioned no bleach. What are you cleaning with?

Water source.
How long do you draw it before you brew?
Do you carbon filter?
Do you use Sodium Metabisulphate?

Ph Balance.
Do you know your water profile/Alkalinity? Are you treating/adjusting in any way? (adding Salts? Adding Acids?)


Mash
(Hard to get this bit too wrong)... big margin for error on your mash temp and volume/grist ratio. Any mash treatment? Anything different about your vessel? Is it stainless or HDPE?

Sparge.
You've fessed up to too-hot... but that would bring astringency first. Are you measuring gravity during run-off? If not... then you might choose to start doing that. The same set of questions about your sparge chemistry and treatment as your strike above.

Boil.
Good hard boil? Good protein binding?
Are you kettle fining?

Chill.
Fast chill for good thermal shock?
Are you keeping the break material out of the FV?

Fermentation.
What yeast? What temp and is it stable/controlled?

Conditioning.
Yeast needs a spell to clean up, are you doing this?

Don't think you've bottled from your post... but not sure you will from what you've said.

There's good BandAid and there's Bad BandAid. I love a bit of it in brett wines and beers... but it's not everyone's thing by any means. If you can't get past it ahead of bottling... then dump it. sorry!

Hope you crack it!

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Re: Band-Aid Smell

Post by Kev888 » Sat Mar 26, 2016 12:47 pm

If a hot sparge was the problem I would have expected astringency and tannins, although I suppose the latter can be associated with phenols and who knows what you're smelling - often hard to tell and even harder to describe.

However, the classic band-aid or TCP smell is usually caused by reactions with insufficiently rinsed chlorine cleaners, or some feel the chlorine in the tap water is enough (especially if you brewed a few weeks ago just south of Derby, good old Severn Trent). Another cause (IIRC) can be infection. So I wouldn't just assume it was the sparge and ignore it, as bellebouche suggested think about other possible reasons too.
Kev

npg

Re: Band-Aid Smell

Post by npg » Sat Mar 26, 2016 2:44 pm

I had this once. Turned out my active carbon filter was on its last leg, replacing it fixed the issue.

So it was the residual Chlorine in the liquor in effect.

Maybe this helps...

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Re: Band-Aid Smell

Post by Aleman » Sat Mar 26, 2016 3:02 pm

I don't want to be a downer, but the vast majority of TCP / phenol like flavours and aromas are caused by bacterial infection

If I was to list the causes in order of likelihood

1) Infection
2) Yeast by products
2) Inadequately rinsed chlorine based cleanser / disinfectant
4) Chlorine in water supply

ManseMasher

Re: Band-Aid Smell

Post by ManseMasher » Sat Mar 26, 2016 3:06 pm

http://www.winning-homebrew.com/phenolic-flavors.html

According to this, the high sparge temp may have had something to do with it....

But there could be more than one cause, including infection.

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Re: Band-Aid Smell

Post by Kev888 » Sun Mar 27, 2016 1:20 pm

If I understand that article correctly, it is linking the mash temperature to polyphenols which give the kind of tannin/astringent flavours I could expect from an overly hot sparge. These don't normally smell like TCP/band-aid in my experience, thats a different sort of phenol. Though I'm willing to be corrected.
Kev

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Re: Band-Aid Smell

Post by Aleman » Sun Mar 27, 2016 1:26 pm

Correct Kev. High mash temp and / or higher than normal pH (>6.0) will lead to tannin and polyphenol extraction from the grain husks. . . . It's only when they combine with any free chlorine that you get Tri Chloro Phenol produced which has a taste threshold in the parts per billion range. Bacterial and 'wild' yeast infection can easily produce TCP above the flavour threshold.

Standard issues with excess polyphenols are astringency, and poor beer stability leading to hazes

ManseMasher

Re: Band-Aid Smell

Post by ManseMasher » Sun Mar 27, 2016 1:43 pm

Kev888 wrote:If I understand that article correctly, it is linking the mash temperature to polyphenols which give the kind of tannin/astringent flavours I could expect from an overly hot sparge. These don't normally smell like TCP/band-aid in my experience, thats a different sort of phenol. Though I'm willing to be corrected.
It does link the high mash temp to polyphenols, it also explains the effect chlorine has on phenols, as Aleman says. So it is I think quite likely there is more than one issue, and the high mash temp hasn't helped.

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Re: Band-Aid Smell

Post by Kev888 » Sun Mar 27, 2016 3:25 pm

Excellent, many thanks Aleman! And yep MM, that seems to tally with my interpretation too.

So... it looks like we can say that the accidental sparge temperature (whilst obviously undesirable) will not be the whole story behind the TCP/band-aid aroma. Best guesses would be that it either found an underlying presence of chlorine to work in conjunction with, and/or was coincidental to another factor - most likely an infection by unintended yeast.
Kev

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