Jut a WAG, but I think it's the yeast.Yes, my guess to.
Use less O2 before pitching, try to cut the pitch rate down. A local brewpub that uses the WLP-022 Essex Ale strain will make a pretty clean ale by using more O2 and doubling their normal pitch rate.
I have stopped using O2 on British ales and just pump over with the valve open which gives lots of splashing and foam. That helped, the next is to cut the pitch rate.
Procedures for lagers will help make clean ales, too clean for British styles IMO.
Interesting. I've been aerating with pure O2 for 60-90 seconds and pitching a lot of yeast. But how would this kill the malt character? Wouldn't it just diminish the esters created by yeast? These beers are clean, I mean, SUPER CLEAN and the malt character is pretty tame. It's working great on my current IPA, that's for sure, the hops are popping like crazy, and that was brewed with my tap water not through the RO filter. But it's annoying on these beers I want some maltiness on. Maybe I'm wasting my time on the RO filter and should just acidify with phosphoric...
Alright, so it sounds like I could be:
Serving too cold
Not using enough calcium chloride
Not using the right yeast
... lot to think about and work on. I don't think the beers are over carbonated, but are probably too cold. That's an easy thing to test and fix.
My next beer is a taddy porter, the last of the 1335. Then I'm doing a blonde ale with 1450. Perhaps I'll brew with only calcium chloride in these beers and see how they turn out. I think I'll keep with the RO water and get a TDS meter. I might not warm my kegerator setting up though, because when it gets warmer it collects a lot of condensation on the bottom. As it is right now, it's right at the point where it doesn't really do that. I can just let beers warm up as they drink.
I'll try to remember to report back. And if anyone has any other comments or suggestions to add, please feel free! Thanks for you help, everyone!