Phenolic taste at the end of a keg.

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sandimas
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Re: Phenolic taste at the end of a keg.

Post by sandimas » Sat Jul 27, 2019 1:02 pm

I've got exactly the same problem in my 3 kegs: the beer is fine after initial carbonation, then starts to develop a TCP taste 4-5 weeks in.

Have you tried leaving some beer in the keg to see if it gets worse? Mine just gets more and more phelonic the longer I leave it, real harsh TCP taste and aroma and I have to chuck the beer. I know it's the kegs not the beer: I half-bottle each batch, the bottled beer is fine and will be after 6 months or more, the kegged beer has gone to TCP after 7-8 weeks. In all 3 kegs.

I have had infections in the past resulting in bottle bombs too, but I thought I'd cleared it up. I watch this thread with interest as I've all-but given up kegging: I've tried a real good clean with bleach but I can't seem to cure the problem.

rrhynes
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Re: Phenolic taste at the end of a keg.

Post by rrhynes » Thu Aug 15, 2019 8:54 pm

Thanks guys for all your help.
This is solved. I was wrongly reliant on StarSan.
I now have a much more rigorous sterilisation/sanitisation process.
I am just enjoying the very last of 40 pints of IPA from one of my King Kegs.
Zero phenols, very slight yeast content with only this very last pint being slightly yeast hazed.
Perfectly drinkable however as a WeissBier nontheless.
Again thanks,
Robert.

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Re: Phenolic taste at the end of a keg.

Post by Madbrewer » Tue Aug 27, 2019 10:54 am

rrhynes wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 8:54 pm
Thanks guys for all your help.
This is solved. I was wrongly reliant on StarSan...
Do you you mean you were using it wrongly or wrong to use it at all?

... I was about to suggest actually considering a 'one off' sterilisation using thin bleach and plenty of rinsing to get rid of any infection.

I used to use thin bleach as my go to sanitiser but have recently switched to Starsan. Am wondering now whether I will start experiencing your problems (hence the question). :x

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Jocky
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Re: Phenolic taste at the end of a keg.

Post by Jocky » Tue Aug 27, 2019 2:44 pm

Madbrewer wrote:
Tue Aug 27, 2019 10:54 am
rrhynes wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 8:54 pm
Thanks guys for all your help.
This is solved. I was wrongly reliant on StarSan...
Do you you mean you were using it wrongly or wrong to use it at all?

... I was about to suggest actually considering a 'one off' sterilisation using thin bleach and plenty of rinsing to get rid of any infection.

I used to use thin bleach as my go to sanitiser but have recently switched to Starsan. Am wondering now whether I will start experiencing your problems (hence the question). :x
To be honest I think the main problem with Starsan is that it's seems so much a 'miracle' product that many people overestimate it's capabilities and end up using it incorrectly.

In these cases an infection problem usually stems from:
1. Using it to try and sanitise dirty equipment (whether knowingly or otherwise - how many people have actually broken down their ball valves that are designed to be broken down for cleaning?)
2. Not having enough contact time (2 minutes ideally, 30 seconds minimum... not 2 seconds)
3. Reusing it (but why?!?)

Having realised they have a problem and finally break out the bleach of course everything gets broken down and cleaned properly with a good soak and the problem goes away.

What I'm saying is - if you break down kit and clean properly between brews then there should be little left to infect your brewery in the first place, and Starsan (with the proper contact time) is then very good at what it does.
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Kev888
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Re: Phenolic taste at the end of a keg.

Post by Kev888 » Wed Aug 28, 2019 3:22 pm

Yes, I think starsan may have gained a slightly misleading image in parts of the homebrew world. It is extremely convenient and useful, but IMO is hardly the ultimate solve-all - even humble bleach might be more effective in most situations. I still use starsan but only on things that are very clean and in most cases have already seen a stronger disinfectant beforehand.
Kev

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Jocky
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Re: Phenolic taste at the end of a keg.

Post by Jocky » Wed Aug 28, 2019 5:38 pm

Exactly. It's an excellent last step sanitiser, where most of what it's going to combat in significant population is lactobacillus from grain dust in the air of the brewery.

Anything that is going to ruin your beer (mold/wild yeast) will have needed much longer than a brew day to grow a significant population, and most of the time it will be quite visible if you look in the right places. A bit like having rats/mice - cut off the supply of food and you won't need to put out traps/poison.
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Eric
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Re: Phenolic taste at the end of a keg.

Post by Eric » Thu Aug 29, 2019 4:29 pm

Jocky wrote:
Wed Aug 28, 2019 5:38 pm
Exactly. It's an excellent last step sanitiser, where most of what it's going to combat in significant population is lactobacillus from grain dust in the air of the brewery.

Anything that is going to ruin your beer (mold/wild yeast) will have needed much longer than a brew day to grow a significant population, and most of the time it will be quite visible if you look in the right places. A bit like having rats/mice - cut off the supply of food and you won't need to put out traps/poison.
Good point about grain dust, too few realise how important this is. If possible fermentors should be in a different space to where grain is handled, but few can do this at home. I am fortunate to use a well ventilated garage, go outside to extract grains from storage in sacks and containers and am able to remove FVs from the brewery when mashing in.

Those who use new yeast each brew are hardly likely to have a brew contaminated by wild yeast or mould, but if yeast is harvested for use in a series of brews and stored in between, it is possible that mould can gradually take over while the yeast is in the fridge.

I don't have enough confidence in Starsan to use it for sanitation in my brewery. The same makers supply Five Star pH 5.2 stabilizer which has extremely limited application, basically it doesn't work, and wonder what it is that Starsan might contain in addition to phosphoric acid and a foaming agent? Many homebrewers have in the past advised me they use it with great results, but some of those have also provided me with contaminated or infected beer for which they were content.

Made from food-grade phosphoric acid, safe for people and the environment.
Star San is self-foaming, which helps it to penetrate cracks and crevices.
Odorless and flavorless, no need to worry about tainting your beer or wine.
Does not require rinsing when used at the recommended dilution.
Use only 1 oz Star San per 5 gallons of water and just 1 to 2 minutes of contact time.
Used as a soaking solution, it can also be applied by hand (wear gloves) or with a spray bottle.
Reusable: a solution of Star San will remain effective for up to three to four weeks in a sealed container;
it is effective as long as the pH is 3 or lower.

If the most significant ingredient of Starsan be phosphoric acid, it might be worth comparing the above advice with that given by Murphy's for acid washing of yeast as found here on pages 2 and 3.

I would buy a sanitiser as effective as that of the reputation of Starsan, so use peracetic acid. Also bleach, caustic and steam are used where advantageous. Peracetic is excellent, but with limited shelf life it isn't cheap (mostly the carriage cost) but does kill yeast and suspect it is equally lethal to mould. Don't ask how I know this to be fact, just don't use it above the recommended concentration regardless of how alkaline your water might be and drain any surplus. If in doubt, a blast of steam break it down to acetic acid and hydrogen peroxide (I think).
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