Author Topic: IPA Help PLEASE!  (Read 3237 times)

Offline chadchaney97

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IPA Help PLEASE!
« on: September 19, 2012, 10:22:09 PM »
So here's the deal.  I can make exceptional beers, IMHO, but I can not make an IPA to save my life!  Better yet, this is all I want to drink because I have access to nothing good!  Let me give you some details; 5 or 6 gallon all grain batches, mill my own grain ( no issues here), use RO water (more later) and have really nice malt, hops and yeast.  I generally do a single infusion mash at 152*and batch sparge, seem to get better efficiency and results from batching, have an immersion chiller and a plate chiller, oxygenate with aquarium pump and filter, and I either use extremely fresh yeast or make a starter on a stirplate.  I have hops from Hop Union, all stored well. I have treated my water and not treated my water, seems to make a very very small impact on the final taste of the IPA's(although I am open to any and all suggestions!). 

     My IPA's all seem to have a "dirty" taste and it is killing me!  I have tried different hops from different suppliers at different times in the boil and dry hop.  I have tried different malts and different amounts, I have tried the same malt bill and different hops and vice versa.  Last IPA was looking super good, tried to FWH for the first time and lowered the 60 min IBU's to 50 and then from 5 minutes to flame out added 7 ounces of Simcoe, Cenntenial and Chinnok.  Pitched a 1L starter of WLp001 and fermented at 65* or so.  Decided not to dry hop this time to see if that was the issue and tasted awesome out of the carboy, at 3 weeks, kegged and sat on 12 psi.  Tasted it yesterday at 2 days on gas, tasted really nice, a blast of hops up front, smooth bitterness and a hint of sweet alt from the Munich.  Although it was not carbed, it was stil nice.  Tried today and a different beer altogether, falling into the same issue I always run into, tastes "dirty", literally, to me it tastes like dirt or earth.  I do not think it is the Co2/carbonic acid I am tasting because ALL my IPA's seem to take on this taste and none of my other kegged brews do.  I am lost and frustrated, just got the IPA book from Mitch and hope I can see the issue there, but hoping anyone can help...

     Bye the way, last recipe was:


IPA IV
American IPA
Type: All Grain Date: 8/19/2012
Batch Size (fermenter): 5.50 gal Brewer: Oposition Brewing Co.
Boil Size: 8.01 gal Asst Brewer: 
Boil Time: 60 min Equipment: My AG Setup
End of Boil Volume 6.76 gal Brewhouse Efficiency: 65.00 %
Final Bottling Volume: 5.25 gal Est Mash Efficiency 76.8 %
Fermentation: Ale, Two Stage Taste Rating(out of 50): 30.0
Taste Notes: 
Ingredients
 

Ingredients
Amt Name Type # %/IBU
1.00 tsp Calcium Chloride (Mash 60.0 mins) Water Agent 1 -
1.00 tsp Gypsum (Calcium Sulfate) (Mash 60.0 mins) Water Agent 2 -
10 lbs Pale Ale Malt 2-Row (Briess) (3.5 SRM) Grain 3 70.2 %
2 lbs 8.0 oz Wheat - White Malt (Briess) (2.3 SRM) Grain 4 17.5 %
1 lbs 8.0 oz Munich Light 10L (Gambrinus) (11.0 SRM) Grain 5 10.5 %
4.0 oz Acid Malt (3.0 SRM) Grain 6 1.8 %
0.25 oz Columbus (Tomahawk) [14.00 %] - First Wort 60.0 min Hop 7 11.2 IBUs
0.75 oz Columbus (Tomahawk) [14.00 %] - Boil 60.0 min Hop 8 30.4 IBUs
1.00 oz Cascade [7.50 %] - Boil 5.0 min Hop 9 4.3 IBUs
1.00 oz Chinook [13.00 %] - Boil 5.0 min Hop 10 7.5 IBUs
1.00 oz Simcoe [14.10 %] - Boil 5.0 min Hop 11 8.1 IBUs
2.00 oz Chinook [13.00 %] - Aroma Steep 5.0 min Hop 12 0.0 IBUs
2.00 oz Simcoe [14.10 %] - Aroma Steep 0.0 min Hop 13 0.0 IBUs
1.00 oz Cascade [7.50 %] - Aroma Steep 0.0 min Hop 14 0.0 IBUs
1.00 oz Centennial [10.00 %] - Aroma Steep 0.0 min Hop 15 0.0 IBUs
1.0 pkg California Ale (White Labs #WLP001) [35.49 ml] Yeast 16 -
 
Beer Profile
 
Est Original Gravity: 1.062 SG Measured Original Gravity: 1.046 SG
Est Final Gravity: 1.013 SG Measured Final Gravity: 1.010 SG
Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 6.5 % Actual Alcohol by Vol: 4.7 %
Bitterness: 61.6 IBUs Calories: 151.6 kcal/12oz
Est Color: 6.7 SRM 
Mash Profile
 
Mash Name: Single Infusion, Medium Body, Batch Sparge Total Grain Weight: 14 lbs 4.0 oz
Sparge Water: 5.27 gal Grain Temperature: 72.0 F
Sparge Temperature: 168.0 F Tun Temperature: 72.0 F
Adjust Temp for Equipment: FALSE Mash PH: 5.20

Mash Steps
Name Description Step Temperature Step Time
Mash In Add 17.81 qt of water at 163.7 F 152.0 F 60 min
 
Sparge Step: Batch sparge with 2 steps (1.26gal, 4.00gal) of 168.0 F water
Mash Notes: Simple single infusion mash for use with most modern well modified grains (about 95% of the time).


Any help?

Offline Wesbrau

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Re: IPA Help PLEASE!
« Reply #1 on: September 19, 2012, 11:30:35 PM »
One thing that stands out to me is the heavy Simcoe additions.  I use Simcoe only as an accent to other hops I'm using for flavor and aroma.  However, I do not get a "dirt" taste from Simcoe.  Rather, it's more of an onion, garlic note.  I usually add Simcoe as a fraction of my other flavor hops and I still get a pretty strong Simcoe flavor from those additions.

You also have a lot of Chinook in there relative to the other hops and it can be a bit coarse, although not something I would call "dirt." 

If you haven't already tried this, you flip the late hop amounts in your recipe by doubling the cascade and centennial and halving the simcoe and chinook and see what you get. 
Wes

Offline jeffy

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Re: IPA Help PLEASE!
« Reply #2 on: September 20, 2012, 04:21:18 AM »
Have you ever had any commercial beers that had this "dirt" flavor?  I find it in some farmhouse ales sometimes and associate it with mustiness or cellar-like.  If that's the flavor then it may be from wild yeast. 
Are your IPA's always in the same keg?  The fact that the off flavor comes in after it has been in the keg makes me think there is something unclean in there.
Jeff Gladish, Tampa (989.3, 175.1 Apparent Rennarian)
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Offline weithman5

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Re: IPA Help PLEASE!
« Reply #3 on: September 20, 2012, 05:20:33 AM »
i quit buying ipa's in bars. they all seem like they have been strained over boiled asparagus.  i suspect this is the hops as well and i wonder if simcoe is responsible
Don AHA member

Offline erockrph

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Re: IPA Help PLEASE!
« Reply #4 on: September 20, 2012, 05:45:38 AM »
Hmm - have you tried a few single-hopped beers with hops of completely different flavor profiles? I.e., one with Citra or Galaxy only, one with Chinook only, and one with EKG only? That would seem to be a good test to ensure it isn't just one specific hop variety that you are picking up this dirt flavor from.

If you beer tastes fine before you keg & carbonate it, it really leads me to believe that this flavor is being introduced somewhere during the kegging and carbonating process. I would replace your lines and clean your kegs thoroughly. The only other thing I can think is that you are somehow kicking up some yeast and getting that in your carbed beer - that can definitely lead to a dirty flavor. Try using a really flocculant yeast (WLP002 or WY1968, for example), then bottle condition. Chill the beer upright in the fridge for a couple of days, then pour carefully and see if you still get the dirty taste.
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Offline kylekohlmorgen

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Re: IPA Help PLEASE!
« Reply #5 on: September 20, 2012, 06:26:46 AM »
That's a LOT of kettle hops for a 4.7% IPA - backing off a few late additions (3-4 oz) could reduce the vegetal ("earthy", "dirt") flavors in the beer. Simcoe/Chinook have some "savory" tones, so start by taking them down by an ounce or two.

Are you getting a lot of hop debris in the fermenter? By a lot, I mean do you have more than 0.5 gal of green "crud" when you transfer out of primary? Trub with lots of spent hops that is carried over into primary will surely get you dirty, vegetal, earthy off-flavors, especially since you were in primary for 3 weeks. Speaking of:

3 weeks is WAY too long to be in primary, especially for an IPA. Get it off the yeast as soon as fermentation is complete and all fermentation by-product flavors have been cleaned up (no "buttery" taste). The "dirty" flavor could be simply from the yeast!

With dry hopping - I will add a good dose of dry hops (3-4 oz) in primary at the end of fermentation, and rack off in 3-4 days. This minimizes any off flavors (as mentioned above - "strained over asparagus").

If you dry hop in the keg, pull them out as soon as you start getting any sign of "grassy" flavors. My keg hops are usually never in the keg more than a week.

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Offline blatz

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Re: IPA Help PLEASE!
« Reply #6 on: September 20, 2012, 06:54:39 AM »
3 weeks is WAY too long to be in primary, especially for an IPA. Get it off the yeast as soon as fermentation is complete and all fermentation by-product flavors have been cleaned up (no "buttery" taste). The "dirty" flavor could be simply from the yeast!


not really - its a matter of personal preference. I do a 3 week primary as a standard practice for all my ales, including IPAs.  I doubt that is the problem here.  The trub issue you mention could be.  One of the benefits of a conical - trub dump pre-pitch and again at high krausen  ;D

BTW - i think its a 6.5% IPA not 4.7% - i think you were looking at the wrong number.  hard to tell

I'd be curious to see your water profile - that could lend itself to emphasizing some of the flavors you are getting out of the beer. 

finally - you sure you're not using Fuggles (lol)  - but in all seriousness, I use Simcoe a lot - probably 1.5 - 2lbs a year and I don't get what is being described.  I actually kinda like your hop schedule as is - might be a bit too much as was stated - I thought I was aggressive (12oz in the kettle and another 8 dh for 10 gal) but you have me beat there - it very could well be the threshold of vegetal matter i don't know - i'd start with your water though...and why the acid malt?  usually a 6.7 SRM is going to drop you iinto range just fine - what is your measured mash pH with that grist/water combo?

finally - how old are your hops??
« Last Edit: September 20, 2012, 06:59:47 AM by blatz »
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Online morticaixavier

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Re: IPA Help PLEASE!
« Reply #7 on: September 20, 2012, 07:08:18 AM »
I don't know if this would give a dirty flavour but I notice you are doing a balances Calcium Chloride calcium sulfate addition to the water and I wonder if you might not be muting the brighter hops character a bit? try disolving soem gypsum in water and adding drops to the finished beer to see if that changes the dirty character.

Otherwise I can see infection being the issue. There are bacteria that produce a soil, earthy forest floor sort of flavour.
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Offline kylekohlmorgen

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Re: IPA Help PLEASE!
« Reply #8 on: September 20, 2012, 12:22:32 PM »
not really - its a matter of personal preference. I do a 3 week primary as a standard practice for all my ales, including IPAs.  I doubt that is the problem here.  The trub issue you mention could be.  One of the benefits of a conical - trub dump pre-pitch and again at high krausen  ;D

Sorry - to clarify: 3 weeks is a long time if you've got a lot of trub in the primary. Also, I feel its eating into prime drinking time! I know a lot of homebrewers leave the beer in primary for 3 weeks or more, so I think that's ok if yeast is all its sitting on (or esp. if you have a conical!).

I think his estimated ABV was 6.5%, but he got 4.7%. With ABV that low, and with healthy fermentation, you can get it out of the fermenter and into a keg in ~ 1 week. I rack out ASAP because I want my IPA!
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Offline dannyjed

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Re: IPA Help PLEASE!
« Reply #9 on: September 20, 2012, 01:12:22 PM »
You might want to try using only 1- 2 oz of hops @ 5min. and 1-2oz @ flameout.  You could be getting grassy, vegetal flavors.
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Offline rjharper

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Re: IPA Help PLEASE!
« Reply #10 on: September 20, 2012, 01:27:33 PM »
I'll risk the flaming, but this recipe seems like overkill on the hops.  The last time I brewed a hop bursted ipa with all that much it was altogether too muddled and vegetal.1oz at 60, 15 and flameout, then another 1 or 2 dry hop should do it, especially for 1.046 session beer.

Offline chadchaney97

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Re: IPA Help PLEASE!
« Reply #11 on: September 20, 2012, 01:40:11 PM »
Wow, thanks for all the replies!  I should have mentioned, ignore some of the brewing data, I did not enter the measured OG and FG into beersmith, been a little busy with kids, work and school.  As for the hops, I have tried different hops, ie; no Simcoe or Chinnok and different yeasts.  Someone brought this to my attention, I fill my Cos at a welding shop, I wonder if there is a mix of gas and not just co2 that might be leading to this issue. 
  Not always the same keg and I clean them really, really well.  I just got the IPA book by Mitch Steele, so before I brew another I thought I would read that.  Really frustrated though, not sure what is going on. 

     I have had some single hop IPA's and one of my favs is ODells Mrycenary, I know it's not single hopped, but I love the amount of Simcoe in there. 
  This beer did have a lot of trub, maybe the next time I will bag all the pellets?

Offline richardt

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Re: IPA Help PLEASE!
« Reply #12 on: September 20, 2012, 05:42:30 PM »
Infection, excessive hopping, and water warrant further investigation.  I would take the time to run your calculations through brunwater just to help optimize your ppms.  You can always add gypsum to the finished beer to see if it brightens the taste.

Offline kylekohlmorgen

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Re: IPA Help PLEASE!
« Reply #13 on: September 21, 2012, 05:44:55 AM »

  This beer did have a lot of trub, maybe the next time I will bag all the pellets?

This is what I think is your main issue. Try whirlpooling (you can find the basic procedure on BYO.com or by Google'ing) and use a few different size strainers when pouring into your bucket.

When I load the kettle with hops, I use a spaghetti strainer on top of a finer mesh strainer from the homebrew shop (fits over the bucket) on top of a large fine mesh bag. I usually have to clean and re-sanitize the bag a few times while pouring into the fermenter, but you get a lot less (basically no) hop gunk in the bucket that way. All that trub gives my beer a dirty, "earthy", unpleasant taste.
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Offline brewmichigan

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Re: IPA Help PLEASE!
« Reply #14 on: September 21, 2012, 12:04:20 PM »
Based on what you wrote, I can tell you right now if you are using RO water and only adding 1 tsp of gypsum and Calcium Chloride, you're probably not adding enough. I add atleast that much to my ipas and I use 50% diluted water. I would find it hard to believe that the hops are the issue. If the hops smell good, they'll work well in the IPA.

I could go with a muted hop character or just overwhelming by using too many varieties. I would back up and try again.

I would suggest going to Martin's water spreadsheet and figure out how much additions you'll need to make because you're starting from scratch on the water. Then only use 2 hops in the next batch and a clean yeast. Once that goes well mess around more with the hops but get the water down first. Besides massive amounts of hops, this is where IPA's are built IMHO.



I'd be curious to see your water profile - that could lend itself to emphasizing some of the flavors you are getting out of the beer. 


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« Last Edit: September 21, 2012, 12:06:29 PM by brewmichigan »
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