Possible Contamination?

Discussion in 'Homebrewing' started by GardenWaters, Dec 12, 2012.

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  1. GardenWaters

    GardenWaters Initiate (0) Jan 8, 2012 Illinois

    I always taste me beer prior to bottling, usually after taking gravity readings. At first I thought I was just paranoid when I noticed my beer (Holiday Red Ale) had a very tinny, almost fizzy taste to it. I thought nothing much of it and went ahead and bottled it anyways. So fast forward a week (yes, too soon but I like to try one every seven days after bottling to see how it develops), and I noticed the taste is still there. Is this normal? If my brew is indeed infected, it's obvious that it happened during fermenation..... which leads me to my second question. I usually put vodka in my airlocks instead of water. This time however I used some tequila because I figured it would work as good to kill any bacteria that might find it's way into the airlock. It wasn't until later I realized that I occasionally drink directly from that bottle. Could this have been a possible source for contamination?
  2. OddNotion

    OddNotion Devotee (478) Nov 1, 2009 New Jersey
    Beer Trader

    Not quite sure what a "fizzy" taste is so I can not comment on that but a tinny taste sounds like you are describing metallic flavors which more likely correlates to descriptors of oxidation rather than infection. Also, the 80+ proof tequila should be just fine in the airlock regardless of if you drink from the bottle or not.
  3. scurvy311

    scurvy311 Disciple (343) Dec 3, 2005 Louisiana

    Is this a flavor, at any strength, you have picked up on before?


    Did you deviate from your usual routine?

    It's normal to have an amount of CO2 in suspension. So that may be the "fizzyness" you taste.
  4. pweis909

    pweis909 Poo-Bah (1,587) Aug 13, 2005 Wisconsin
    Supporter Subscriber

    "Tinny" does not sound like infected. Plus, infections typically are not apparent for a while.
  5. VikeMan

    VikeMan Meyvn (1,386) Jul 12, 2009 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    Regarding tinny, was this an extract batch? Specifically, did you use LME?
  6. GreenKrusty101

    GreenKrusty101 Defender (679) Dec 4, 2008 Nevada

    What spices (if any) did you put in your "Holiday Red Ale"?
  7. GardenWaters

    GardenWaters Initiate (0) Jan 8, 2012 Illinois

    Yeah, it was. And yes, I used LME. I take it you must be getting at something?
  8. VikeMan

    VikeMan Meyvn (1,386) Jul 12, 2009 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    Stale LME can cause the infamous 'extract twang.' When I taste it, I get a metallic component.
  9. GardenWaters

    GardenWaters Initiate (0) Jan 8, 2012 Illinois

    This makes sense. I was actually going to describe the flavor as a "twang", but wasn't sure if anyone would know what I was talking about. This is only the second extract batch I've done, and wasn't too impressed with the results either time. I've done some partial mashes with good results, but I think it's about time I venture into all-grain.
  10. VikeMan

    VikeMan Meyvn (1,386) Jul 12, 2009 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    Just another datapoint... I've never tasted the twang with DME batches, only LME. Not to say you shouldn't go All Grain...there are good reasons to do that aside from avoiding extract twang.
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