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jbdavenport1

Soapy taste

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Here's one for the peanut gallery. I'm running a 150-gallon batch of whiskey. Should be deep in the hearts...but it quickly turned to a soapy taste (that's the only way I know to describe it).

 

Thoughts?

 

Thanks in advance.

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I've yet to take anything off the still under 170 that would taste any good without some serious aging time. I usually try to design a mash high in flavorful esters though and ferment it on the warm side. I'm also using a column configuration of some sort for my final or only pass.

Are you pot stilling? How many passes are you doing?

I would think "soapy" would be tails.

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Soap flavors can result from actual soap (salt of a fatty acid) forming - could be the water source for your fermentation and/or too high fermentation pH?

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https://homedistiller.org/wiki/index.php/Saponification - Technical background, but don't think it applies to you. I've never read/heard of this happening pre/during distillation. Saponification requires alkaline chemicals to happen. Normally that's a post distillation issue.  

If you're in the hearts and you suddenly get this then there was something likely with the ferment or in the hoses as you transferred the mash. What is your cleaning/sanitation protocol? Any chance that something soapy got in the lines? Did you do something different for this ferment or cleaning? Something in the water sounds plausible. Maybe the water source had issues that day? If you rely on municipal water maybe call them and ask? They do sometime add chemicals to address issues.

 

Root cause analysis - probably a little deep for what you need but might help more quickly identify the issue and develop an action plan to fix it.*

https://des.wa.gov/services/risk-management/about-risk-management/enterprise-risk-management/root-cause-analysis

https://www.isixsigma.com/tools-templates/cause-effect/determine-root-cause-5-whys/

* Sorry for the biz speak, it's been pounded into my head for years. 

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