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Chlorophenol question

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  • Chlorophenol question

    Hi everyone,
    I am trying to find a response to this question:

    How long does it take for chlorophenol to develop its flavor profile in beer?

    I have read that it tastes medicinal, like band-aids. I believe that I have noticed it in my products, but only after about 4 months or so, in a can, at room temperature. If the beer is stored cold, or if the beer is fresh, I do not get the same flavor. As far as I can tell, I am not getting infections either in the products that I believe have the flavor, but I have yet to test them.

    One other thing (and you are going to whip me for this, please don't hate me): the brewery I work for does not have any filtration system to take out the chlorine and we use city water. Sometimes the water coming in smells like pool water.

    Any thoughts?


  • #2
    I'm sure a ton of people are doing a facepalm right now. As for how long it takes to form, every time I have experienced it, it has been before the beer even was cold crashed. That is if it was caused by high chlorine levels. If you boil all of your water before use, it probably gets rid of a good amount of the chlorine, but I wouldn't rely on that. Get a water filter ASAP. There are other ways that chlorophenol gets into beer, it could be an infection. I do not want to be an ass here, but if you or the owners overlooked the necessity for a carbon filter, it wouldn't be hard to believe that there could be deficiencies in your procedures elsewhere, ie sanitation. Get some beer, plate some samples on the various media you need to identify the critters that could be causing the problem. Take a look at your entire process, and ask yourself if it is adequate to produce quality, consistent packaged beer. If you do not know how to answer that question, find someone who can. You don't need to spend a fortune to do this, but you do need to spend a little money for the right equipment. Many problems can be solved by either replacing broken or inadequate equipment or adjusting your procedures to prevent problems. I hope this was a gentle whipping.


    • #3
      Hey jebzter,
      What I find pretty amazing is the beer coming off the line is actually good. Many of our procedures for cleaning and sanatizing are being followed and so far I haven't come across any infections or problems with beer that is on tap. The problem that I have is if the packaged beer (cans) is left at room temperature, I get an off-flavor that develops after about 3 months or so. The flavor that I get is like a medicinal flavor and it just sucks. We don't filter nor do we pasterize the beer. Biofine clear has been our choice and it seems to clear most of our beers nicely, so I don't believe that my problem is related to yeast or autolization. I don't seem to have any gushing or secondary fermentation going on in the can either. I get this flavor in different recipes using different malts. So for the moment, I am on the chlorophenol route but I can't seem to find info on how ong it takes to develop. Any other suggestions?

      Yes, I know, we should always keep the beer cold, right? tell that to my retailes!

      And yes, thanks jebzter for the gentle whipping.



      • #4
        No whippin' here lol, is it only your canned beer, perhaps what you could do is set some aside in a small keg and see if the flavor appears if so its something in the brewery if not I would take a look at the canning process. But, getting some plates done would be a much better way
        Mike Eme


        • #5
          Not sure how large your brew house is but... I have used Campden to remove Chlorine and Chloramine from brewing water. Specifically, one (1) tablet per 20 gallons (76 Liters). Whether you use potassium metabisulphite or sodium metabisulphite, the effect is the same with the exception of the salts added to your brewing water as a result of the chemical reaction of the Campden with the Chlorine.

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          • #6
            As fair warning, the use of sodium and potassium metabisulfites can lead to sulhpur dioxide. Normally this will not be an issue, however it will also increase the sulfite content in the finished product which can be a problem. It is a known allergen, and total content is regulated in many countries.


            • #7
              If the problem develops after three months and is plasticy/bandaidy, I'd look toward possible Brett infection. It can manifest itself that way in some scenarios. Do the warm cans also seem like they gained pressure?