Author Topic: Fly Sparging Question  (Read 2942 times)

Offline In The Sand

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Fly Sparging Question
« on: August 31, 2012, 12:14:15 PM »
I recently made NB's Oatmeal Stout (AG).  I just kegged it last Friday (7 days ago).  Here's the bill:

6.5 lbs English Maris Otter
1 lb Flaked Oats
0.5 lb English Roasted Barley
0.5 lb English Chocolate Malt
0.5 lb English Dark Crystal
1 oz. Glacier (60 min)
Safale S-04 Ale Yeast

I broke my thermometer when taking the OG, so my original temp correction for the OG was a guess...Here's what I got:

OG: 1.044
FG: 1.013
ABV: 4.04 %

I am making this for my dad-in-law who was coming in town on short notice (tonight).  Primary for 13 days then cold crashed for 2.  Force carbed at 20 psi and agitated.  Lowered pressure to ~12 psi.

So I just tasted it and it tastes sharp(?). Maybe slightly watery...

My original thoughts are related to the thread subject.  When I was lautering/sparging, I had my HLT rate going faster than my MLT was going out, so before I knew it I had too much water in the MLT.  Could this be the reason for the low OG/ABV and the watery mouthfeel?

I have heard that stouts do better and mellow out after they condition in the keg for some time.  This is my first stout. 

Any suggestions/comments?



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« Last Edit: August 31, 2012, 04:45:30 PM by thirsty t »
Trey W.

Offline harbicide

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Re: Fly Sparging Question
« Reply #1 on: August 31, 2012, 07:53:11 PM »
I rarely match the inflow to the outflow of my sparge, thus I often have the same situation as you.  I doubt that is the reason for your stated mouthfeel.

What temperature did you mash at?  Lower temps would lead to a thinner beer.
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Offline In The Sand

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Re: Re: Fly Sparging Question
« Reply #2 on: September 01, 2012, 05:11:22 AM »
I rarely match the inflow to the outflow of my sparge, thus I often have the same situation as you.  I doubt that is the reason for your stated mouthfeel.

What temperature did you mash at?  Lower temps would lead to a thinner beer.

154°F for 60 min. Mashout at 170°

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Offline malzig

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Re: Fly Sparging Question
« Reply #3 on: September 01, 2012, 05:47:28 AM »
You describe it as "sharp", can you go into more detail?

S-04 can take a couple days after the completion of fermentation to clean up the diacetyl.  Could it be diacetyl?

Everyone seems to have a different idea of watery, can you describe what makes you call it "watery"?  Are you sure it isn't just because you are are afraid you used too much water?  That recipe doesn't seem like it should be watery, even at a lower gravity, and 1.044 isn't a very low OG.

Try letting the beer warm a little and try knocking some CO2 out of it.  Often a beer like this will improve with a little less carbonation and a little higher temperature.  Too much carbonation can make lower gravity beers and roasty beers taste "sharp" and obscure the malt flavors.  This is why so many people like stouts on nitrogen. 

Depending on your water, beers like this can come out a little acidic, which can make the roast flavors "sharp".  I need to add a little chalk for beers like this.   0.1-0.2 pH higher and a little carbonate can make a beer come across as more mellow.  That isn't a good thing for a lot of beers, but I like what it does for roasty beers.

Offline Pi

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Re: Fly Sparging Question
« Reply #4 on: September 04, 2012, 07:00:25 AM »
Astringent maybe? Over sparging and/or high sparge temp can pull tannins out of the grain.
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Offline In The Sand

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Re: Fly Sparging Question
« Reply #5 on: September 04, 2012, 09:07:11 AM »
You describe it as "sharp", can you go into more detail?

S-04 can take a couple days after the completion of fermentation to clean up the diacetyl.  Could it be diacetyl?

Everyone seems to have a different idea of watery, can you describe what makes you call it "watery"?  Are you sure it isn't just because you are are afraid you used too much water?  That recipe doesn't seem like it should be watery, even at a lower gravity, and 1.044 isn't a very low OG.

Try letting the beer warm a little and try knocking some CO2 out of it.  Often a beer like this will improve with a little less carbonation and a little higher temperature.  Too much carbonation can make lower gravity beers and roasty beers taste "sharp" and obscure the malt flavors.  This is why so many people like stouts on nitrogen. 

Depending on your water, beers like this can come out a little acidic, which can make the roast flavors "sharp".  I need to add a little chalk for beers like this.   0.1-0.2 pH higher and a little carbonate can make a beer come across as more mellow.  That isn't a good thing for a lot of beers, but I like what it does for roasty beers.

"Watery" as in thin.  "Sharp" probably from the CO2 now that you mention it.  I don't think it's diecetyl.  I use tap water for my brews which comes from municipal supply and I haven't measured pH.  I will check it.  I took your advice and relieved some of the pressure and I also cut it down quite a bit.  I'll give it a few more days and see how it does.
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Offline In The Sand

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Re: Fly Sparging Question
« Reply #6 on: September 04, 2012, 09:10:00 AM »
Astringent maybe? Over sparging and/or high sparge temp can pull tannins out of the grain.

More acidic than astringent.  Do you think 154*F is too high of a mash temp?  That's what the kit called for. 
Trey W.

Offline Kaiser

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Re: Fly Sparging Question
« Reply #7 on: September 04, 2012, 09:15:26 AM »
Quote
I took your advice and relieved some of the pressure and I also cut it down quite a bit.  I'll give it a few more days and see how it does.

you can also decarbonate a sample a bit before tasting it.

The beer might be too young and I'd give it another month. In the meantime you could try to get a water report that includes hardness and alkalinity. That can give us the ability to check if your mash pH might have been off.

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Offline bluesman

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Re: Fly Sparging Question
« Reply #8 on: September 04, 2012, 09:33:17 AM »
Do you think 154*F is too high of a mash temp?  That's what the kit called for.

Not for a stout, but it depends on the style you're trying to emulate. A mash temp of 154F will typically render a beer with medium body.  You should be fine with that, plus the kit was designed for that mash schedule.
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Offline kramerog

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Re: Fly Sparging Question
« Reply #9 on: September 04, 2012, 10:06:19 AM »
I'm guessing you are relatively new to all grain.  Anyway, I would look first to whether you are mashing correctly as a source of problems.  Are you stirring enough to breakup all the doughballs?  Are you in the correct pH range?  The sharpness you experience points towards the mash pH being suboptimal, too low.   
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Offline In The Sand

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Re: Fly Sparging Question
« Reply #10 on: September 04, 2012, 10:43:46 AM »
I'm guessing you are relatively new to all grain.  Anyway, I would look first to whether you are mashing correctly as a source of problems.  Are you stirring enough to breakup all the doughballs?  Are you in the correct pH range?  The sharpness you experience points towards the mash pH being suboptimal, too low.   

Guessed correctly.  This was my 4th homebrew batch (3rd AG).  Haven't drank the third yet (India Pale Weizen).  The 2nd was a Saison which was pretty good.  My first batch was extract and turned out great.

My stirring seemed fine.  The mixture was broken up and homogeneous.  I will test the pH today.
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Offline kramerog

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Re: Fly Sparging Question
« Reply #11 on: September 04, 2012, 11:04:55 AM »
I'm guessing you are relatively new to all grain.  Anyway, I would look first to whether you are mashing correctly as a source of problems.  Are you stirring enough to breakup all the doughballs?  Are you in the correct pH range?  The sharpness you experience points towards the mash pH being suboptimal, too low.   

Guessed correctly.  This was my 4th homebrew batch (3rd AG).  Haven't drank the third yet (India Pale Weizen).  The 2nd was a Saison which was pretty good.  My first batch was extract and turned out great.

My stirring seemed fine.  The mixture was broken up and homogeneous.  I will test the pH today.
In the long run, you should (1) get some brewing software like BeerSmith (which you will need for formulating your own recipes) to calculate your efficiency, (2) measure your mash pH routinely until you have "sufficient experience," and (3) measure your mash gravity before mashout and compare it to BrauKaiser's conversion efficiency table (http://braukaiser.com/wiki/index.php?title=Troubleshooting_Brewhouse_Efficiency#Determining_Conversion_Efficiency) if your efficiency is low.   
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Offline In The Sand

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Re: Fly Sparging Question
« Reply #12 on: September 04, 2012, 11:19:41 AM »
^^^I have Beersmith.  I will keep the other suggestions in mind.  Thanks.
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Offline snowtiger87

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Re: Fly Sparging Question
« Reply #13 on: September 04, 2012, 11:23:41 AM »
I am thinking along the same lines as kramerog. Water chemistry becomes very important when doing all-grain brewing. If the Ph of your mash was too then that could lead to a sharp of harsh beer. This is easy to do when brewing a stout since the darks malts lower the Ph anyway. If your brewing water is coming out of the tap with too low of a Ph that would exacerbate the problem.
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Offline In The Sand

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Re: Fly Sparging Question
« Reply #14 on: September 04, 2012, 11:37:21 AM »
Stumbled upon this recipe http://wiki.homebrewersassociation.org/OatmealStout and it was mentioned that volatile/bitter flavors needed to smooth out of the oats.  Do oats give it a bitter flavor?
Trey W.