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General Category => Extract/Partial Mash Brewing => Topic started by: deepsouth on July 11, 2012, 01:27:30 pm

Title: my latest pale ale is pretty dry and meh.
Post by: deepsouth on July 11, 2012, 01:27:30 pm
lately, it seems as if i have been brewing for other people/festivals and whatnot and not very much for myself. 

i decided to brew a partial boil pale ale inside on the stove on the 4th of july.  i used only ingredients i had on hand and wanted to make it as easy as possible as the missus was working and i was watching the kids. 

i only boiled about 2.6 gallons of water and used only extra light dry dme, 5.5 lbs.  my hop profile was amarillo, simcoe, and columbus and on beersmith, came out to about 45 ibu. 

i ended up adding 3 gallons of cold water to the wort after the boil.  the temp was still about 80 degrees, so i slapped an airlock on it and put it aside until the morning.  by then, the wort was 72 degrees and i pitched on package of safale us-05.  that was thursday morning.

last night i took a gravity reading and a sample.  1.010 and just not very flavorful.  expected with only extra light dme, but i didn't even get the hoppy kick from it that i usually get in green hoppy beers.

so....i threw in an ounce of amarillo and an ounce of simcoe in the fermenter and i plan on bottling sunday.

worst case scenario, i have a poundable summer session beer, which, as i named it "slacker summer pale" (due to the fact that i feel like partial boils and top-offs when i could be doing full boils is somewhat slacker), i guess i can't really complain much.
Title: Re: my latest pale ale is pretty dry and meh.
Post by: mabrungard on July 11, 2012, 03:08:01 pm
You don't mention if you accounted for the partial boil in your IBU calc's, but I'll assume you did.  You don't mention what your water is like.  Adequate sulfate is important in bringing out the hop and bittering expression.  I prefer about 300 ppm sulfate in my pale ales. 

In addition, if the pH of the wort into the kettle was lower than about 5.2, you start loosing hop expression.  If you used RO or distilled water, then its possible to have the pH drop lower than desirable.  Its not likely though.
 
Title: Re: my latest pale ale is pretty dry and meh.
Post by: deepsouth on July 11, 2012, 03:37:46 pm
You don't mention if you accounted for the partial boil in your IBU calc's, but I'll assume you did.  You don't mention what your water is like.  Adequate sulfate is important in bringing out the hop and bittering expression.  I prefer about 300 ppm sulfate in my pale ales. 

In addition, if the pH of the wort into the kettle was lower than about 5.2, you start loosing hop expression.  If you used RO or distilled water, then its possible to have the pH drop lower than desirable.  Its not likely though.
 

i did take into account the fact that it was a partial boil on the ibu calculation.  i brewed with store bought spring water, so i have no clue how it is.  i recently found out a fellow homebrewer down here, on the same water as me, brews with "city water", but adds a couple things.  i need to get with him on that for sure.
Title: Re: my latest pale ale is pretty dry and meh.
Post by: diybrewing on July 11, 2012, 06:28:28 pm
How long was the boil? Did you throw the DME in at the beginning or the end of the boil?
If I was going to do this I would just do a 15 minute boil and hopburst the crap out of it at the end to get my ibu's.
Something like this
Columbus 1 oz 15 minutes
amarillo 1 oz 10 minutes
simcoe 1 oz 5 minutes
all three at flameout 1 oz.
For your water if you are buying store bought generic water you might as well use your tap water. It is probably the same since the gvmt has very low labeling laws so tap water can basically be called spring water and filtered usually means just run a charcoal filter.

Title: Re: my latest pale ale is pretty dry and meh.
Post by: deepsouth on July 11, 2012, 07:03:49 pm
How long was the boil? Did you throw the DME in at the beginning or the end of the boil?
If I was going to do this I would just do a 15 minute boil and hopburst the crap out of it at the end to get my ibu's.
Something like this
Columbus 1 oz 15 minutes
amarillo 1 oz 10 minutes
simcoe 1 oz 5 minutes
all three at flameout 1 oz.
For your water if you are buying store bought generic water you might as well use your tap water. It is probably the same since the gvmt has very low labeling laws so tap water can basically be called spring water and filtered usually means just run a charcoal filter.



i did a full 60 minute boil and boiled the dme the whole time.
Title: Re: my latest pale ale is pretty dry and meh.
Post by: erockrph on July 12, 2012, 03:43:55 am
This is pretty much my spur-of-the-moment extract-only brew. I do 3 pounds of light DME in 3 gallons with about 45 IBU's. I've gone through a few revisions and finally got it to where I'm really happy with it. The first time I made it with WLP001, and it came out thin and dry. The dry part I like, but not the thin part. My most recent revision had 4oz of maltodextrin (for a 3 gal batch) and I used a less attenuative yeast (WLP051). This ended up filling out the body while keeping the dryness.

A beer like this is really about the hops, so I really load up there. I do about 20 IBU's at 60 min with Chinook or Columbus, about 25 IBU's at 15 minutes, 1/2 ounce at flameout then dry hop with an ounce or so for 7-10 days. I also add 1g of gypsum which, paired with the Chinook/Columbus, gives a nice hoppy bite.

If you like crystal malt, you could steep some when you start heating your water and pull the bag at 165 or so to get some extra body and crystal character without adding any time to the brewday. Personally, I'm not a big fan of crystal in my hoppy PA's, so I'm going to use 1lb of Munich LME + 2lb light DME next time I brew. I'm also going to try WLP002. The WLP051 was pretty good, but I'm looking for something a bit more flocculant.

Moral of the story - with dry hops you will end up with a tasty brew. If you want to make this your stock "slacker" brew, keep some maltodextrin on hand, use some gypsum, and do a big flameout hop addition. This is actually a really simple way to make a damn good beer. This recipe alone is going to keep me making extract batches even though I'm making the jump to all-grain next week.
Title: Re: my latest pale ale is pretty dry and meh.
Post by: erockrph on July 12, 2012, 03:55:03 am
You don't mention if you accounted for the partial boil in your IBU calc's, but I'll assume you did.  You don't mention what your water is like.  Adequate sulfate is important in bringing out the hop and bittering expression.  I prefer about 300 ppm sulfate in my pale ales. 

In addition, if the pH of the wort into the kettle was lower than about 5.2, you start loosing hop expression.  If you used RO or distilled water, then its possible to have the pH drop lower than desirable.  Its not likely though.

What exactly about "hop expression" is diminished by lower pH? Is it IBU's/utilization? Or is it flavor/aroma?

I ask this because I've been toying with the idea of adding some acid to my extract PA recipe. It's getting close to where I want it, but it's missing something to my palate, and I'm thinking that a touch of acidity is what's missing. Ballast Point Sculpin is one of my all-time favorite IPA's, and it has this juicy character that really makes the hops flavor jump out, so that's what is pushing me in that direction.
Title: Re: my latest pale ale is pretty dry and meh.
Post by: mabrungard on July 12, 2012, 12:54:59 pm

What exactly about "hop expression" is diminished by lower pH? Is it IBU's/utilization? Or is it flavor/aroma?


This comes from a revelation from Colin Kaminski who is a professional brewer with hundreds of hoppy beers under his belt and co-author of the upcoming book on brewing water.  He termed that 'hop experssion' term without much explanation during our presentation at the Seattle national homebrewers conference.  But, I had previously observed similar effects in beers that I had over acidified.  So I agree with his findings.   

I find that it effects bittering, flavor, and aroma to a small degree.  This makes sense since pH affects the extraction of a number of compounds in the mash and boil.  We know about the negative effect of too high mash pH on tannin extraction.  But there is plenty of evidence for keeping mash and kettle pH in the 5.2 to 5.6 range is beneficial to flavor and color extraction from roasted grain, and probably flavor and aroma extraction from hops. 
Title: Re: my latest pale ale is pretty dry and meh.
Post by: kylekohlmorgen on July 12, 2012, 02:03:24 pm
If it were my beer, I'd dryhop the hell out of it before bottling. 4-5 oz of high-oil hops for a few days should do the trick.

Whenever I add water at the end of the brew, it ends up being pretty lifeless.
Title: Re: my latest pale ale is pretty dry and meh.
Post by: deepsouth on July 12, 2012, 02:22:17 pm
thanks for all the replies.  excellent information!
Title: Re: my latest pale ale is pretty dry and meh.
Post by: mabrungard on July 12, 2012, 03:30:56 pm
Oh, by the way.  If the beer is meh and the cause is due to low sulfates, its easy to test out higher sulfate content in the beer.  Just mix up a solution of gypsum and water and get it to dissolve.  Just a small glass should do.

I suggest creating a super-saturated solution by adding excess gypsum to the water.  That excess gypsum will just sit at the bottom of the glass, but at least you are assured the maximum concentration of calcium and sulfate are dissolved in the water. 

Add a dose of that water to a glass of beer and mix it a bit.  See if it improves or degrades the taste.  Try differing amounts to see if there is a sweet spot with respect to your taste preference.  If you are kegging the beer, scale up the volume of the gypsum water and add directly to the keg.
Title: Re: my latest pale ale is pretty dry and meh.
Post by: deepsouth on July 13, 2012, 12:35:30 am
checked it out after work and i'm getting more little bubbles since i dropped the hops in.   not really unexpected, but i'm not sure what it will do to the taste of the already dry, already meh beer.

Title: Re: Re: my latest pale ale is pretty dry and meh.
Post by: erockrph on July 13, 2012, 12:48:26 am
checked it out after work and i'm getting more little bubbles since i dropped the hops in.   not really unexpected, but i'm not sure what it will do to the taste of the already dry, already meh beer.

That's probably just CO2 coming out of solution. Adding dry hops shouldn't really do anything to kick off any additional fermentation if it was already done.
Title: Re: my latest pale ale is pretty dry and meh.
Post by: deepsouth on July 13, 2012, 12:51:46 am
thank you.  great info.   
Title: Re: my latest pale ale is pretty dry and meh.
Post by: deepsouth on July 14, 2012, 05:46:29 pm
i just pulled off a sample.  looks like those two ounces of hops likely saved it.  it was much better. 
Title: Re: my latest pale ale is pretty dry and meh.
Post by: alcaponejunior on July 14, 2012, 06:00:47 pm
My latest (https://alcaponejunior.wordpress.com/2012/06/23/juniper-pale-ale/) pale ale (with juniper) came out very dry with WLP001.  1.016 final gravity.  I used some specialty malts so it has body and is actually quite good, but this is the second time I've used 001 and had a pretty dry finish.  The juniper berries might be making it seem dry too, not sure. 

Also I scaled my pale ale and also an IPA back a little, getting most of the liquid boiled (I can boil about 3.5 gallons).  I'm only adding less than a gallon now.  I think the results are going to be better that way.  The hops are certainly seeming to get through better, but caveat = small sample size.
Title: Re: my latest pale ale is pretty dry and meh.
Post by: deepsouth on July 14, 2012, 06:43:40 pm
nice blog!
Title: Re: my latest pale ale is pretty dry and meh.
Post by: deepsouth on July 16, 2012, 01:53:35 am
well, i didn't get to bottle today, so i tossed in an ounce of citra hops.  i'll probably bottle thursday now.
Title: Re: my latest pale ale is pretty dry and meh.
Post by: alcaponejunior on July 17, 2012, 10:55:14 pm
well, i didn't get to bottle today, so i tossed in an ounce of citra hops.  i'll probably bottle thursday now.

I might toss a little extra dry hops in my current creation as well.  Bottling saturday.
Title: Re: my latest pale ale is pretty dry and meh.
Post by: deepsouth on July 22, 2012, 10:30:16 pm
bottled today.  it smelled wonderful and tasted good as well.  i'll probably impatiently pop one in a week and see how it goes.
Title: Re: my latest pale ale is pretty dry and meh.
Post by: tschmidlin on July 23, 2012, 05:39:28 am
Sounds about right ;D
Title: Re: my latest pale ale is pretty dry and meh.
Post by: deepsouth on July 28, 2012, 01:11:42 am
ok, so almost a week.  the color is much lighter than it appears.  poor lighting.  citra dominates the aroma, but the amarillo/simcoe is there as well, albeit subdued.  it is dry, which is how i enjoy my pales.  the hops dominate the taste.  i've never dry hopped a beer as heavily as i did this one, but now i know.  completely different beer from when i made this thread. 

(http://i756.photobucket.com/albums/xx201/deepsouth1970/615a1c26.jpg)