This one had me stumped for a long time, I have been a home brewer for a long time and had been using the Coopers Home Brew Kit I purchased from amazon when I noticed that my brews were starting to get a bad taste.
The first thing I thought was maybe I’m doing something different with my brew process that is introducing a funny taste to the brew. So I checked everything, gave all my brewing equipment a thorough clean, bought a new bottle brush to make sure the bottles were getting a good clean and then I made another brew. I also reviewed my whole brewing process and checked the notes that I had written about previous brews. Everything was the same, but this brew also ended up having a bad taste and no head. I really had no idea.
So I asked some of my home brewer mates and what one of them told me that he had come across this problem and after months of trying to work out why he had come across the problem. The problem was that after you have used the same plastic brewing keg for a while the plastic becomes worn on the inside from all the scrubbing and as a result the brew will start to taste bad and not have a good head.
After hearing this I was keen to test this solution, so I headed down to my local home brew store and bought myself a shiny new plastic keg and rushed home to get another brew going. For the next month I eagerly waited for my brew to get to the stage where I could drink it. I usualy wait for 2 to 3 months before drinking, but in this case I had to know if the new keg had solved my problem.
So the day finally arrived, I had chilled a dozen bottles in my fridge overnight and carefully washed my favourite beer glass ready for filling. I slowly poured the beer into the glass and immediately I could see a difference, the beer already had a nice smooth head on top and I could see many fine bubbles forming inside the glass. Now for the real test, The Taste. I had a small taste and I couldn’t believe it, the brew I had come to enjoy was back, the taste was amazing and the bad taste that I had to put up with for a few months was gone. The brew was a success!
This problem had plagued me for a few months and it was such a relief to find out the problem was only the keg. So now I try to buy a new keg every 12 months and I haven’t had the problem since. I also replaced the other brewing equipment after it started to look a bit worn. This can be a bit more expensive than buying a new Cooper Home Brew Kit, so I recommend buying a new kit every once in a while just to eliminate any problems.
If you are having this problem then why not give it a go, if this isn’t the problem then at least you have a second keg you can use to get more beer brewing.