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General Category => General Homebrew Discussion => Topic started by: scottgott01 on March 25, 2013, 09:37:53 PM

Title: Too much mash/sparge water causing off flavors?
Post by: scottgott01 on March 25, 2013, 09:37:53 PM
Ok I posted here a few times about have my beers turn out really grainy tasting. It is really starting to drive me nuts. Anyways, I havent been really careful with water calculation on the last few batches and have actually be using the wrong equipment profile unknowingly. Anyways, were if I used the right profile I would have ended up with 5 gallons of finished wort, I end up with 6.5 with the one I was using. Thats an extra gallon and a half for a 5 gallon recipes. Now, is it possible that the extra amount of sparge water and mash water could be causing this grainy flavor? I batch sparge so I'm not sure if it will or not, but its the only thing I can think of that could be causing this. PS: It's driving me nuts.
Title: Re: Too much mash/sparge water causing off flavors?
Post by: hopfenundmalz on March 25, 2013, 09:41:35 PM
Are you fly sparging? Comments are for fly sparging.

You can taste the wort you are draining. If it tastes thin and leaves a sandpaper sensation on your palate, you have gone too far. You can measure the gravity, keep it over 1.010. You can measure the pH, keep it under 6. Tasting is quick and easy.

One thing you can do is reduce the sparge water to a lower pH, 5.5 to 6.
Title: Re: Too much mash/sparge water causing off flavors?
Post by: scottgott01 on March 25, 2013, 09:46:59 PM
I am batch sparging. It is really turning into a pain in the A$$!!!! There beer is drinkable there is just such a grainy taste to it.
Title: Re: Too much mash/sparge water causing off flavors?
Post by: davidgzach on March 25, 2013, 09:56:58 PM
I am batch sparging. It is really turning into a pain in the A$$!!!! There beer is drinkable there is just such a grainy taste to it.

Are you are getting an extra gallon and a half after the boil or before?  You could very well be over-sparging.  What is your pre-boil volume?  And post-boil?

Dave
Title: Re: Too much mash/sparge water causing off flavors?
Post by: scottgott01 on March 25, 2013, 10:05:41 PM
9.5 Gallons pre mash. 6.5 Final wort. I was mashing with 4.25 @ 151 for 1 hour and batch sparging twice as per beersmith 1st sparge @ 1.10 gallon @ 168 degrees and second at 5.15 gallon @ 168 degrees.

Recipe was a pale ale

9lbs American 2 Row
2lbs Crystal 40L
2.00oz Cascade @ 60
1.00oz Willamette @10
.5oz Cascade @ 10
Used White Labs English Ale

Water volume is definetely way high. There is no doubt about that. OG was supposed to be at 1.057 and it wound up being at 1.042.

I did a brown ale Saturday using an updated equipment profile. Would up with maybe 1 quart more than five gallons. OG was supposed to be 1.055 and I landed around 1.052. So that is def better.
Title: Re: Too much mash/sparge water causing off flavors?
Post by: davidgzach on March 25, 2013, 10:12:15 PM
second at 5.15 gallon @ 168 degrees.

I would venture a guess this could be the culprit for the grainy taste. 
Title: Re: Too much mash/sparge water causing off flavors?
Post by: scottgott01 on March 25, 2013, 10:17:31 PM
Pretty much the conclusion I came to as well. So you can extract tannins from over sparging even when doing a batch sparge?
Title: Re: Too much mash/sparge water causing off flavors?
Post by: dmtaylor on March 25, 2013, 10:48:17 PM
If your volume is high by 1.5 gallons or more, you are certainly mashing and/or sparging too much obviously.  It is likely you are extracting tannins someplace or other.  What is your mash pH?  And what is your sparge pH?  If you don't know, that would be part of the problem.  I'm pretty sure this is a pH issue.  You don't want your pH going over about 5.6 during mash or sparge.  Sparge pH is probably the real problem, but could it be that you are just using really alkaline water from the get-go?
Title: Re: Too much mash/sparge water causing off flavors?
Post by: scottgott01 on March 26, 2013, 12:15:43 AM
I buy water in 5 gallon jugs form a bottling company. The owner of my LHBS uses the same water and his beers come out good.
Title: Re: Too much mash/sparge water causing off flavors?
Post by: cornershot on March 26, 2013, 12:42:45 AM
9.5 Gallons pre mash. 6.5 Final wort. I was mashing with 4.25 @ 151 for 1 hour and batch sparging twice as per beersmith 1st sparge @ 1.10 gallon @ 168 degrees and second at 5.15 gallon @ 168 degrees.

Recipe was a pale ale

9lbs American 2 Row
2lbs Crystal 40L
2.00oz Cascade @ 60
1.00oz Willamette @10
.5oz Cascade @ 10
Used White Labs English Ale

Water volume is definetely way high. There is no doubt about that. OG was supposed to be at 1.057 and it wound up being at 1.042.

I did a brown ale Saturday using an updated equipment profile. Would up with maybe 1 quart more than five gallons. OG was supposed to be 1.055 and I landed around 1.052. So that is def better.

I ran your numbers on my beersmith and it says your grain bill would yield 1.057 with 86.4% efficiency. And according to the mash profile it gave me, you added a gallon of sparge water in your last addition. So you should have had 5.5 gallons of wort which, after trub and fermentation loss, you have 5 gallons of beer. So if you oversparged and yielded 6.5 gallons of 1.042, you got about 69% efficiency. Stop a gallon short and you might have 65% efficiency for your system.
By the way, do you happen to brew in a church?
Title: Re: Too much mash/sparge water causing off flavors?
Post by: scottgott01 on March 26, 2013, 12:49:52 AM
Lost me on the church comment... If I did it correctly
My efficiency would have been higher, no? I am actually supposed to be using 7.25 - 7.5 gallons per mash. And then when I mash and sparge I end up with a little less than 6.5 gallons per boil which brings me to 5.25 post boil. I was using the wrong profile and it had me using almost 9.5 gallons total.
Title: Re: Too much mash/sparge water causing off flavors?
Post by: scottgott01 on March 26, 2013, 12:50:58 AM
Oh yea and Belfrey Cross, now
I get the church thing. They are actually the two street names that run parallel to we're I brew.
Title: Re: Too much mash/sparge water causing off flavors?
Post by: narvin on March 26, 2013, 01:21:10 AM
The first 1.10 gallon batch sparge is just a hot water addition before draining the first runnings from the mash, right?  If so, that's not considered a sparge, and it's unlikely that the extra water is a problem... you're rarely going to extract tannins because of too much water in a single batch sparge.

The culprit is probably your water chemistry.  Although you're using too much water for your target recipe, you should be able to make a 1.042 ale easily without any tannin extraction or grainy flavor. High pH is most likely the problem, although the symptoms would show up more in lighter colored beers or smaller grain bills.
Title: Re: Too much mash/sparge water causing off flavors?
Post by: cornershot on March 26, 2013, 02:06:32 AM
Just to be clear, you're not adding your sparge water slowly while running off your wort, right?
Title: Re: Too much mash/sparge water causing off flavors?
Post by: scottgott01 on March 26, 2013, 02:13:07 AM
No I add it after I run off the wort. Stir really good and let sit for 5 minutes and drain.
Title: Re: Too much mash/sparge water causing off flavors?
Post by: cornershot on March 26, 2013, 09:36:22 AM
Sorry, had to be sure. If your lhbs owner makes good beer with the same water and you're not sparging too hot and you're not mashing for like 3+ hours, then I'd guess maybe an infection? Either way, it might be about time to get some basic understanding of this whole water chemistry thingy.
Title: Re: Too much mash/sparge water causing off flavors?
Post by: davidgzach on March 26, 2013, 12:16:38 PM
I plugged it in to Bru'n Water and the PH is 5.5 with RO water.  So you should be good there.  I'm still guessing you oversparged and extracted some tannins in the process.
Title: Too much mash/sparge water causing off flavors?
Post by: denny on March 26, 2013, 03:17:57 PM
Sounds to me like you're using way too much water and yes, you can over sparge even with batch sparging.  And don't let Beersmith do your thinking for you.  It's a tool to help you brew the way you want to, not instructions on how to brew.  I think you need to take a step backward and simplify.  Mash with 1.5 qt. lb.  Measure how much get from the mash runoff and subtract that from the amount you want to boil (which I'd guess is about 7.5 gal.).  The answer you get is how much sparge water to use.
Title: Re: Too much mash/sparge water causing off flavors?
Post by: scottgott01 on March 26, 2013, 04:46:26 PM
Got yas. Yea I think I am going to take the 1.5 quarts per gallon route for a while. Actually my boil off isn't really much so I need to get to 6.5 for pre boil. I am going to get some RO water as well to see exactly were that lands me this next brew (Golden Strong). I definitely think I was oversparging though.
Title: Re: Too much mash/sparge water causing off flavors?
Post by: drjones on March 26, 2013, 08:57:01 PM
Denny said it all, but I'll add my recent experience.  This winter I moved from fly-sparging in an igloo cooler in the garage to batch-sparging in an 8-gallon pot in the kitchen (the garage was getting cold here in New England). I have since settled into a very simple 4-gallon mash, 4-gallon batch sparge with a typical 10 to 11 pound grain bill.  This gives me about 6.5 gallons of preboil wort, nice-n-easy.  If necessary, it is pretty easy to either sparge a bit less or a bit more to hit your target volume and/or gravity.   That's one of the beauties of batch sparging in general - keeping things simple.