Topics Topics Help/Instructions Help Edit Profile Profile Member List Register  
Search Last 1 | 3 | 7 Days Search Search Tree View Tree View  

Visit The Brewery's sponsor!
Brews & Views Bulletin Board Service * Brews and Views Archive 2007 * Archive through July 05, 2007 * Strange mash smells < Previous Next >

  Thread Last Poster Posts Pages Last Post
  ClosedClosed: New threads not accepted on this page        

Author Message
 

Nathan Eddy
Member
Username: Nathan_eddy

Post Number: 180
Registered: 03-2005
Posted From: 74.140.224.107
Posted on Sunday, May 27, 2007 - 06:01 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Usually, the mash smells wonderful. For my IPAs, I typically use Marris Otter, some munich, some crystal. But this time I used some Briess 2-row and Vienna. I suppose this could explain the difference in aroma, but I'm worried. It smells burnt and "chemical." My wife said it made her naseated, when usually it smells nice. Does Vienna have a strange smell? Can a change in base malt make this big of a difference?

I'm worried that somehow my mash is contaminated. I use a grain bag and a cooler. I washed both thoroughly last brew session, so I don't see how they could be to blame.
Is is possible that some smoked malt was added to my malt by mistake?
 

Chumley
Senior Member
Username: Chumley

Post Number: 4805
Registered: 02-2003
Posted From: 63.227.169.136
Posted on Sunday, May 27, 2007 - 11:05 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Its the Briess two-row, not the Vienna...when you taste it, you will taste the difference between it and your Maris Otter beers.
 

Nathan Eddy
Member
Username: Nathan_eddy

Post Number: 181
Registered: 03-2005
Posted From: 74.140.224.107
Posted on Monday, May 28, 2007 - 06:20 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Well, a difference is fine. I wanted to experiment. But will it taste as bad as it smelled? Do others here use it with success?

The difference in price was about a dollar for a 10# bag. I can't believe difference in quality would be that great.

That'll teach me to try to save a buck!
 

Dan Listermann
Senior Member
Username: Listermann

Post Number: 4364
Registered: 03-2004
Posted From: 65.27.158.31
Posted on Monday, May 28, 2007 - 08:52 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I think a blanket condemnation of Briess, especially given the above info, is very premature.

--This space is STILL being left intentionally blank.-


 

Bill Pierce
Moderator
Username: Billpierce

Post Number: 7159
Registered: 01-2002
Posted From: 24.57.224.220
Posted on Monday, May 28, 2007 - 09:50 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

A few homebrewers have a profound dislike for Briess malt. It may be based on the 2001 barley crop, which caused a decline in the extractable sugars and affected brewers who used that particular year's crop. Surely no one is still using 2001 (malted during 2002) barley. I have had no problem with the Briess malt I have used in the past few years, but of course others are entitled to their opinions.
 

Dan Listermann
Senior Member
Username: Listermann

Post Number: 4366
Registered: 03-2004
Posted From: 216.23.59.245
Posted on Monday, May 28, 2007 - 10:02 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I think it is a credit to Briess for openly explaining the 2001 problem. I highly doubt that they were the only ones effected by that crop.

--This space is STILL being left intentionally blank.-


 

Little Dipper
Member
Username: Littledipper

Post Number: 243
Registered: 02-2004
Posted From: 206.114.61.199
Posted on Friday, June 01, 2007 - 08:00 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I use Briess base malts for all my american-style beers and their specialty malts in almost all of my beers because it's what my shop carries. I've never noticed any kind of smell that I would describe as 'chemical'. I'd look into other possible factors that may be responsible.
 

Troglodyte
Member
Username: Troglodyte

Post Number: 115
Registered: 10-2004
Posted From: 72.75.90.11
Posted on Friday, June 01, 2007 - 09:45 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Spoilage? How old is the grain?
 

Paul Hayslett
Senior Member
Username: Paulhayslett

Post Number: 1232
Registered: 02-2002
Posted From: 71.234.46.245
Posted on Saturday, June 02, 2007 - 12:10 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

OMG! It's true!

I had never used Briess malts before. My store carries them but I just always go for British malts. But a clubmate was on my case recently for using British malts in an APA, so I bought Briess pale malt for the APA I made today.

As soon as I mashed in I noticed the smell of burning plastic. I started looking around to see if maybe I had burned the edge of my cooler when I poured in the mash water. No, it was coming from the mash. Then I remembered this thread.

The smell went away after 15 minutes or so. But that first blast was unmistakable. Pure burnt plastic. Unless this batch comes out remarkably good, I'm going back to British malts.
"Yes, I am the slime from the video, oozin' along on the livin' room floor...."
 

Bill Pierce
Moderator
Username: Billpierce

Post Number: 7193
Registered: 01-2002
Posted From: 24.57.224.220
Posted on Saturday, June 02, 2007 - 12:41 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Paul, keep us posted. It's always good to have another considered opinion.
 

Nathan Eddy
Member
Username: Nathan_eddy

Post Number: 182
Registered: 03-2005
Posted From: 74.140.224.107
Posted on Saturday, June 02, 2007 - 03:56 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Burnt plastic, that's a good way to describe it! Thanks for the confirmation. The smell did go away after a while and settle down to a malty, grainy aroma. But it still wasn't nearly as pleasant as Marris Otter. I've only done 10 all grain batches, and all but 2 have been with M.O. Early on, before I new what aromas to expect, I did use Briess 2 row, but I didn't notice the burnt plastic smell at that time. Either something is different now, or I hadn't become accustomed to the wonderful aroma of M.O. yet.

Mine is still in primary. I'll be transferring to secondary tomorrow and dry hopping. I'll give you all a preliminary hydrometer sample taste test report then.
 

Chumley
Senior Member
Username: Chumley

Post Number: 4818
Registered: 02-2003
Posted From: 63.227.169.136
Posted on Saturday, June 02, 2007 - 11:49 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

You're welcome. ;)

>>But will it taste as bad as it smelled?

No....it will taste fine. A bit bland, less malty, but it will taste fine.
 

Chumley
Senior Member
Username: Chumley

Post Number: 4819
Registered: 02-2003
Posted From: 63.227.169.136
Posted on Saturday, June 02, 2007 - 11:52 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Oh, and....

>>I think a blanket condemnation of Briess,

No "blanket condemnation" coming from this brewer....I use their crystal malts all the time, and I like their undermodified pils as well. I even like their 6-row and wheat. Its just their two-row that I think sucks swampwater. Absolutely no maltiness, and that weird stink in the mash.
 

Paul Hayslett
Senior Member
Username: Paulhayslett

Post Number: 1233
Registered: 02-2002
Posted From: 71.234.46.245
Posted on Sunday, June 03, 2007 - 01:37 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I have to repeat that the smell went away fairly quickly. It was pretty much gone by the time I did a temp check at 15min. It was just a quick blast at mash-in. Hydrometer sample tasted fine and there are no odd smells coming out of the airlock.

Regarding the "no maltiness" issue, I thought that was the point. At least, that's the argument made by the clubmate who insisted I should be using US pale in an APA. He says that APAs should be all about the hops, with just enough crystal sweetness to balance; malt and yeast flavors should be nearly non-existent. Probably more of a personal preference of his than a BJCP-sanctioned rule. But he was insistent enough that I figured I'd give it a try for one batch. I can always go back to MO in the future.
"Yes, I am the slime from the video, oozin' along on the livin' room floor...."
 

Dan Listermann
Senior Member
Username: Listermann

Post Number: 4390
Registered: 03-2004
Posted From: 65.27.158.31
Posted on Sunday, June 03, 2007 - 11:21 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

"No "blanket condemnation" coming from this brewer....I use their crystal malts all the time, and I like their undermodified pils as well. I even like their 6-row and wheat. Its just their two-row that I think sucks swampwater. Absolutely no maltiness, and that weird stink in the mash."

This explanation would have gone a long way earlier.

--This space is STILL being left intentionally blank.-


 

Chumley
Senior Member
Username: Chumley

Post Number: 4823
Registered: 02-2003
Posted From: 63.227.169.136
Posted on Monday, June 04, 2007 - 12:04 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

>>This explanation would have gone a long way earlier.

Sorry, Dan...I have been limiting my replies to your posts, as when I do reply, I get a lot of private e-mails flaming me from a vocal, strident faction of the B&V...as well as from ex-B&Vers who have been banished to a Gollum-like Status (ssssssssss....Skotrat........we hates theee!!!)

As Marlon said, we are striving for a kinder, gentler B&V for 2007.
 

Dan Listermann
Senior Member
Username: Listermann

Post Number: 4391
Registered: 03-2004
Posted From: 65.27.158.31
Posted on Monday, June 04, 2007 - 12:31 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I appreciate your restraint. I also have been biting my tongue of late. I can't complain of any private E-mails.

--This space is STILL being left intentionally blank.-


 

Spartacus
Member
Username: Spartacus_manly

Post Number: 181
Registered: 11-2006
Posted From: 24.128.118.170
Posted on Monday, June 04, 2007 - 01:06 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

keep biting dan...

Maybe you will bleed to death

Skotrats Homebrew: http://www.skotrat.com
BrewRats Homebrew Club: http://www.brewrats.org
BBS: http://www.skotrat.com/skotrat/webboard
 

Bill Pierce
Moderator
Username: Billpierce

Post Number: 7201
Registered: 01-2002
Posted From: 24.57.224.220
Posted on Monday, June 04, 2007 - 01:51 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

You know, sometimes I have to laugh at these juvenile antics despite my better judgment to the contrary.
 

Spartacus
Member
Username: Spartacus_manly

Post Number: 182
Registered: 11-2006
Posted From: 24.128.118.170
Posted on Monday, June 04, 2007 - 02:22 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

he keeps picking and picking Bill...

He loves the attention

Skotrats Homebrew: http://www.skotrat.com
BrewRats Homebrew Club: http://www.brewrats.org
BBS: http://www.skotrat.com/skotrat/webboard
 

Dan Listermann
Senior Member
Username: Listermann

Post Number: 4392
Registered: 03-2004
Posted From: 65.27.158.31
Posted on Monday, June 04, 2007 - 02:46 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

"
he keeps picking and picking Bill...

He loves the attention"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychological_projection

Fascinating reading.

--This space is STILL being left intentionally blank.-


 

Chumley
Senior Member
Username: Chumley

Post Number: 4827
Registered: 02-2003
Posted From: 63.118.227.254
Posted on Monday, June 04, 2007 - 04:05 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I don't understand....

According to Sigmund Freud, projection is a psychological defense mechanism whereby one "projects" one's own undesirable thoughts, motivations, desires, and feelings onto someone else.

Are you saying that because Skot thinks you are an idiot, that secretly, deep down inside, he wishes he was an idiot, too?
 

Spartacus
Member
Username: Spartacus_manly

Post Number: 184
Registered: 11-2006
Posted From: 24.128.118.170
Posted on Monday, June 04, 2007 - 04:11 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Actually Chumpley... I just want control of the village...

Skotrats Homebrew: http://www.skotrat.com
BrewRats Homebrew Club: http://www.brewrats.org
BBS: http://www.skotrat.com/skotrat/webboard
 

Nathan Eddy
Member
Username: Nathan_eddy

Post Number: 184
Registered: 03-2005
Posted From: 74.140.224.107
Posted on Tuesday, June 05, 2007 - 10:58 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Bad news.

I transferred to secondary and tasted this batch. It's horrible. I've never tasted anything quite like it. Burnt plastic is still there. But there's also flavors of sweaty socks and gasoline. A strange metallic twang. And it fermented out to 1.007--lower than any other I've ever done.

I'm very pissed. I know that it's nothing I did myself, because the flavor is exactly like that weird aroma I smelled immediately when I mashed in. Unless something magical happens in the bottle, I think this entire batch is a drain pour. I'm going to talk to my brew store about getting my money back. If only I could get back those wasted hours.
 

Nathan Eddy
Member
Username: Nathan_eddy

Post Number: 185
Registered: 03-2005
Posted From: 74.140.224.107
Posted on Tuesday, June 05, 2007 - 11:01 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I just thought of something. I crush my grains at the store. Is it possible that they cleaned the mill with something before I used it? Like WD40?

If that's the case, you'd think I would have noticed the smell before leaving the store. And there's the fact that Paul experienced the same thing. Let us know how yours turns out, Paul.
 

Spartacus
Member
Username: Spartacus_manly

Post Number: 191
Registered: 11-2006
Posted From: 24.128.118.170
Posted on Wednesday, June 06, 2007 - 01:03 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Is it possible that they cleaned the mill with something before I used it? Like WD40?

Oh Man that would be terrible

Skotrats Homebrew: http://www.skotrat.com
BrewRats Homebrew Club: http://www.brewrats.org
BBS: http://www.skotrat.com/skotrat/webboard
 

Hophead
Senior Member
Username: Hophead

Post Number: 2585
Registered: 03-2002
Posted From: 68.106.63.184
Posted on Wednesday, June 06, 2007 - 03:38 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Chumster, now that was funny.

Sweaty socks and gasoline?!? My gawd. sounds like lawn food to me!

I can almost taste that combo now too, thanks alot...
 

Vance Barnes
Senior Member
Username: Vancebarnes

Post Number: 2778
Registered: 03-2003
Posted From: 208.49.148.10
Posted on Wednesday, June 06, 2007 - 05:36 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Strange. I use Breiss all the time and have never noticed that smell. I think it's the Brewers Malt my lhbs carries. They also have a 2 row pale malt. I might have it backwards as what I've been getting. Have to look at the bag when I'm at home.
 

Paul Hayslett
Senior Member
Username: Paulhayslett

Post Number: 1236
Registered: 02-2002
Posted From: 71.234.46.245
Posted on Wednesday, June 06, 2007 - 09:17 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I'll be racking that batch tonight. I'll let you know if I taste anything wrong.

If mine is nasty too, my guess is that Briess just had one bad batch, or that one shipment baked in a hot truck too long. I'm sure that Briess would have gone out of business long ago if this were a recurring problem. But any business is susceptible to having one bad batch out of thousands.

Nathan, where did you get your malt?
"Yes, I am the slime from the video, oozin' along on the livin' room floor...."
 

Nathan Eddy
Member
Username: Nathan_eddy

Post Number: 186
Registered: 03-2005
Posted From: 74.140.224.107
Posted on Wednesday, June 06, 2007 - 10:13 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I got it at Liquor Barn in Lexington, KY. 10 pound bag. I never shop anywhere else, though I have ordered hops once online.

(Message edited by Nathan Eddy on June 06, 2007)
 

PaulK
Advanced Member
Username: Paulk

Post Number: 643
Registered: 02-2003
Posted From: 68.84.198.40
Posted on Wednesday, June 06, 2007 - 10:21 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I am not a Briess fan as I find all their malt lacking in malt flavor. I can't say that I've ever had any issue with chemical or plastic aromas or flavors though. Bland is the best i can say about Briess.

BTW, what's the source of you're mash water? Garden hose? Unfiltered water?
 

Matt B
Junior Member
Username: Mattb

Post Number: 50
Registered: 02-2005
Posted From: 68.219.27.134
Posted on Thursday, June 07, 2007 - 01:07 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I would echo Paul above. All of the Briess pale malt I have purchases has been just bland. Though with a bag I bought last year, there has been a quite noticable and pleasant improvement in the maltiness of their base malt to my palate, and I am assuredly not a Briess fan.

The description by Nathan would make me suspect that something may have spilled/leaked unnoticed into mash tun, onto the mash paddle, or in the mash water. Perhaps the tun is stored under something that may have leaked or Gawd forbid a broken thermometer or the like?
 

Paul Hayslett
Senior Member
Username: Paulhayslett

Post Number: 1237
Registered: 02-2002
Posted From: 71.234.46.245
Posted on Thursday, June 07, 2007 - 04:07 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Well, I'm happy to report that my APA is fine. It has no burnt plastic odor or flavor, and, while it is hoppy, it is not hoppy enough to mask that. It is a bit astringent but I have to own that -- the sparge was too hot by a few degrees F.

As expected, there is very little malty flavor in the beer. Some sweetness from the crystal but that's not the same thing. The aroma and flavor are all hops from beginning to end. Probably right for an APA but I think I'll go back to my British malts in the future. I like the added complexity.

Unfortunately, this leave Nathan hanging in the breeze as the only one who's noticed the burnt plastic smell in the finished beer. Sorry, Nathan. I still insist I smelled it at mash-in, but it is gone now.
"Yes, I am the slime from the video, oozin' along on the livin' room floor...."
 

Bill Pierce
Moderator
Username: Billpierce

Post Number: 7220
Registered: 01-2002
Posted From: 24.57.224.220
Posted on Thursday, June 07, 2007 - 04:19 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Glad to hear your beer is all right, Paul. I think you would have similar results (probably minus the unpleasant aroma at mash-in) with any North American two-row pale malt. There is a maltiness to British-style pale ale malt that is missing from domestic pale malt, which is rather neutral and appropriate for some beers but not others.
 

Tim Wi
Advanced Member
Username: Riverkeeper

Post Number: 850
Registered: 03-2005
Posted From: 170.141.68.98
Posted on Thursday, June 07, 2007 - 07:48 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Burnt plastic... hmmmm

Paul, Nathan, what were the lot numbers for your grain? Wonder if they were from the same lot.

If so, makes me wonder if there was some kind of fire at Briess facility or somewhere along the storage, shipping, retail link.

Was it a 10# bag of re-packaged Briess by LD Carlson?

Tim
 

Nathan Eddy
Member
Username: Nathan_eddy

Post Number: 190
Registered: 03-2005
Posted From: 74.131.226.94
Posted on Friday, June 15, 2007 - 03:24 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I wouldn't have believed something so foul can actually start tasting better. The burnt plastic flavor is fading in the secondary. I was planning to dump the whole thing as soon as I needed that secondary carboy, but now I'm dry hopping it and letting sit for another week or two. Couldn't hurt. If it completely fades, would it be safe to drink even though I never figured out what caused the flavor in the first place? I know that beer is supposed to be safe, no pathogens can live in it . . . but I suppose that doesn't rule out dangerous chemicals.