Author Topic: Need Some Serious Help  (Read 4242 times)

Offline chadchaney97

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Need Some Serious Help
« on: February 09, 2013, 03:01:05 PM »
WARNING- this will be a long post, but please stick with me, I need some help!

OK, I have been brewing all grain for over a year now and I am trying to fine tune what is going on in my system, mostly because I cannot brew an IPA that even comes close to anything commercial, not even a poor example.  I have discovered that I am not a fan of Centennial ( I know, who can believe it) and maybe Columbus too, I don't like the "dirt or grassy" taste I get from them.  My IPA's all taste similar, bland, no hop pop or generally muted and sometimes dirty.  I am using quality, well stored hops from Hop Union so I have eliminated that as an issue.  I have tried using plain RO water and my tap(hose) water ( which I have sent off to Ward labs) and neither seems to make a huge difference int he finished beer.  The only information I can find online about my water is that is has a hardness (average) of about 400.  I can brew most other styles I try with very good-excellent results, so I am not convinced the water is the answer. 

     I brew in a 10 gall rubbermaid cooler with a false bottom, 10 gall stainless brew pot with the bazooka screen, and have the ability to fly or batch sparge.  I usually batch sparge by draining the tun, then adding 2 different sparge additions at 168F.  I use beersmith and have graduated a carboy, kettle and my water jug.  I am set in BS at brewing 5.5 gall batches with 5 gallons going into the fermentor and usually hit that with no problem.  I also USUALLY hit my OG or come extremely close.  Oh, I also vourlaf at each time needed, but I never seem to get as clear as I would like, can always see some med-larger particles sneaking through.  I use a plate chiller in the warmer months, but switch to an immersion in the winter.  Regardless, I add wirfloc and whirlpool the best I can, a little hard since the temp probe in my kettle sticks on a bit. 

     Here is the last batch I brewed, which I just kegged and tasted yesterday.  Has potential, but even after dry-hopping for 4 days at about 70Fish with 2 oz of Simcoe, I have to really try and dig out the aroma and flavor of Simcoe. 
Test Batch 1 (IPA)
American IPA
Type: All Grain Date: 1/15/2013
Batch Size (fermenter): 5.50 gal Brewer: Copper TrÖff Brewing 
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 77.6 %
Fermentation: My Aging Profile Taste Rating(out of 50): 30.0
Taste Notes: 
Ingredients
 

Ingredients
Amt Name Type # %/IBU
11 lbs Pale Ale Malt 2-Row (Briess) (3.5 SRM) Grain 1 69.8 %
3 lbs Wheat, Flaked (1.6 SRM) Grain 2 19.0 %
12.0 oz Munich 10L (Briess) (10.0 SRM) Grain 3 4.8 %
8.0 oz Carapils 6-Row (Briess) (1.3 SRM) Grain 4 3.2 %
8.0 oz Corn Sugar (Dextrose) (0.0 SRM) Sugar 5 3.2 %
0.75 oz Columbus (Tomahawk) [15.20 %] - Boil 60.0 min Hop 6 31.3 IBUs
0.50 oz Centennial [12.50 %] - Boil 20.0 min Hop 7 10.4 IBUs
1.00 oz CTZ and Simcoe Blend (2/3 Simcoe) [13.73 %] - Boil 10.0 min Hop 8 13.7 IBUs
1.00 oz CTZ and Simcoe Blend (2/3 Simcoe) [13.73 %] - Boil 5.0 min Hop 9 7.5 IBUs
1.00 oz CTZ and Simcoe Blend (2/3 Simcoe) [13.73 %] - Aroma Steep 0.0 min Hop 10 0.0 IBUs
1.0 pkg California Ale (White Labs #WLP001) [35.49 ml] Yeast 11 -
1.00 oz Columbus (Tomahawk) [15.20 %] - Dry Hop 5.0 Days Hop 12 0.0 IBUs
1.00 oz Simcoe [14.10 %] - Dry Hop 5.0 Days Hop 13 0.0 IBUs
1.00 oz Simcoe [14.10 %] - Dry Hop 5.0 Days Hop 14 0.0 IBUs
0.50 oz Columbus (Tomahawk) [15.20 %] - Dry Hop 5.0 Days Hop 15 0.0 IBUs
0.50 oz Simcoe [13.00 %] - Dry Hop 5.0 Days Hop 16 0.0 IBUs
 
Beer Profile
 
Est Original Gravity: 1.070 SG Measured Original Gravity: 1.074 SG
Est Final Gravity: 1.012 SG Measured Final Gravity: 1.010 SG
Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 7.6 % Actual Alcohol by Vol: 8.5 %
Bitterness: 62.9 IBUs Calories: 249.7 kcal/12oz
Est Color: 6.2 SRM


I tried a Hopstand on this one, the last oz of hops sat for 45 mins and then I whirlpooled and chilled, trying to get as much aroma and flavor as possible.  My number were as follows:

1st runnings   1.074
2nd runnings  1.052
3rd runnings  1.028
Preboil  1.049
OG     1.074
My mash eff was 66.7%
total eff was 62.7

I used an appropriate sized starter of WL001 and aerated the wort, had active ferm in 2 hours and held at about 69-70 until initial ferm was over, then rack onto dry hops.  At tasting yesterday; hop character was muted, a bit of that Centennial dirty but not as much as usual, aggressively bitter and nearly no hop aroma, really disappointed. 

I am looking to brew again on Monday, another IPA(till I get it right!) and could use some help.  Thinking of going back to the RO water, so cold here that it takes a while to boil tap water before I brew, and maybe treating it.  thinking of just adding some Gypsum to the RO? 

     I am wondering if I do not have my system dialed in correctly and that is causing me to get to many IBU's in the beer causing the bland, muted and mostly bitter flavor?  Oh Yeah, I have my own mill too and may try a double crush this time too.  Any and all help would be greatly appreciated!  Or else I am back to making Berliner Weisse, Wit's and Dunkelweisse, lol.,.

Offline denny

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Re: Need Some Serious Help
« Reply #1 on: February 09, 2013, 03:34:30 PM »
I'm betting it's your water.  If you want to continue using your tap water, get an analysis for www.wardlab.com .  Or use distilled/RO water.  Either way, also get Bru'nwater https://sites.google.com/site/brunwater/ and start adjusting your water.  400 ppm hardness sounds like a bad thing.
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Offline davidgzach

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Re: Need Some Serious Help
« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2013, 03:51:17 PM »
I'm betting it's your water.  If you want to continue using your tap water, get an analysis for www.wardlab.com .  Or use distilled/RO water.  Either way, also get Bru'nwater https://sites.google.com/site/brunwater/ and start adjusting your water.  400 ppm hardness sounds like a bad thing.

+1.  Use RO water for your next brew and follow the Pale Ale profile in Bru'n Water.  I bet you will like the results.

Dave
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Offline repo

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Re: Need Some Serious Help
« Reply #3 on: February 09, 2013, 03:54:04 PM »
Off the top you have double ipa alcohol, and pale ale hop quantities. I don't think, if the numbers are right ,it would be bitter at all. Of course tastes vary greatly. If you don't like cent. or ctz, don't use them. Go with a clean bittering hop, like magnum, and up the late hops and even dry hops and lose 10 gravity points are some things to consider.

You have 8 gallons of 1.049 pre boil and 6.76 gallons of 1.074 postboil- typo somewhere? cause the math doesn't add up.

Also any yeasty  pours/samples will be far more bitter than the chilled clean version.

You say you have used r/o and your tap water with same result and onlly on ipa, results fine on all other styles??


Offline chadchaney97

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Re: Need Some Serious Help
« Reply #4 on: February 09, 2013, 08:47:31 PM »
Thanks for the reply guys!  Really frustrating, as the rest of my brews are really nice, some are excellent.  I have sent my water off to be tested, just awaiting the report.  I used to have Bru'n water, just downloaded the new version.  As for the boil volumes and gravity, I added the sugar in the recipe in the last 5 minutes of the boil if that makes a difference, so it would not be in the preboil sample. 

As for Bru'N water, so I just start with a water value of 0 in everything fro using RO in the new version?

Offline denny

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Need Some Serious Help
« Reply #5 on: February 09, 2013, 09:28:47 PM »
Yeah, that's how I understand it, although I think I saw something recently that suggested there were some minerals in RO water.  I could be mistaken about that.
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Online morticaixavier

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Re: Need Some Serious Help
« Reply #6 on: February 09, 2013, 10:10:18 PM »
Thanks for the reply guys!  Really frustrating, as the rest of my brews are really nice, some are excellent.  I have sent my water off to be tested, just awaiting the report.  I used to have Bru'n water, just downloaded the new version.  As for the boil volumes and gravity, I added the sugar in the recipe in the last 5 minutes of the boil if that makes a difference, so it would not be in the preboil sample. 

As for Bru'N water, so I just start with a water value of 0 in everything fro using RO in the new version?

There is a place to put the percentage of RO water, if you set that to 100 it will give you the average RO numbers.
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Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Need Some Serious Help
« Reply #7 on: February 09, 2013, 11:32:13 PM »
Use the RO water and add some gypsum, it will help bring out the hops.  Or use bru'n water if you want to add more salts, I use it for my beers and love it.
Tom Schmidlin

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Re: Need Some Serious Help
« Reply #8 on: February 10, 2013, 04:39:43 AM »
I don't understand the hopstand. Wouldn't it just cook off the aromatics and isomerize the hop oils from the late additions and just make it bitter? As I understand it, you want to cool as quickly as possible to lock in the flavors and aroma. Also, if you don't like the grassy flavors, try cutting your dry hop additions to 3 days. Better yet, don't dry hop at all and use them as late additions instead, and cool quickly. I use an immersion chiller and agitate slowly with a mix-stir and I get 6 gallons down below the critical 140F in under 2 minutes and I'm at 70F in 5 minutes, thus keeping those exciting aromatics from isomerizing into just plain old bitterness.

Offline mabrungard

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Re: Need Some Serious Help
« Reply #9 on: February 10, 2013, 06:26:01 AM »
Oh, I like the effects of a hopstand or whirlpool hopping.  You don't get a lot a volatilization of the aromatics at that point since the wort is quiescent and there isn't that constant scrubbing that the steam from the boil provides.  Those aromatics largely stay put.  The duration of the hopstand is important.  I always whirlpool since I have a counterflow chiller.  That whirlpool and settling time is perfect for extracting the oils and volatiles from that final hop addition.  I allow 15 to 30 minutes for the hopstand.  I do get great hop expression in the final beers.
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Offline redbeerman

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Re: Need Some Serious Help
« Reply #10 on: February 12, 2013, 07:48:24 AM »
I noticed you said tap (hose) water.  What type of hose?
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Offline davidgzach

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Re: Need Some Serious Help
« Reply #11 on: February 12, 2013, 07:56:55 AM »
I noticed you said tap (hose) water.  What type of hose?

Good catch Red!  My hose water tastes like I'm chewing on rubber......disgusting!
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Offline redbeerman

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Re: Need Some Serious Help
« Reply #12 on: February 12, 2013, 08:00:34 AM »
I noticed you said tap (hose) water.  What type of hose?

Good catch Red!  My hose water tastes like I'm chewing on rubber......disgusting!

Yep, tastes like crap, no matter how much water you run through it.  If you are not using food grade hose with clean fittings, it will be a problem.
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Offline bluesman

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Re: Need Some Serious Help
« Reply #13 on: February 12, 2013, 10:28:48 AM »
I also recommend starting with RO or distilled water then adding gypsum and other salts as necessary to get your water variable in-line. Brew the same recipe only changing your water. Beersmith also has a water calculator. Have you considered doing some blind tastings with a freind. Use a commercial example as a calibration beer.
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Offline alcaponejunior

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Re: Need Some Serious Help
« Reply #14 on: February 12, 2013, 04:18:55 PM »
Off the top you have double ipa alcohol, and pale ale hop quantities. I don't think, if the numbers are right ,it would be bitter at all. Of course tastes vary greatly. If you don't like cent. or ctz, don't use them. Go with a clean bittering hop, like magnum, and up the late hops and even dry hops and lose 10 gravity points are some things to consider.

You have 8 gallons of 1.049 pre boil and 6.76 gallons of 1.074 postboil- typo somewhere? cause the math doesn't add up.

Also any yeasty  pours/samples will be far more bitter than the chilled clean version.

You say you have used r/o and your tap water with same result and onlly on ipa, results fine on all other styles??



I say water probably has some effect, and listen to the advice given in this thread.

But my first impression was "that ain't enough hops."  Add more hops! 

My IPAs have typically been an ounce at 60, 15, 10, 5, 1, 0 for 6 oz of hops, plus at least 2-3 oz more of dry hops, and they have basically come out at least "quite hoppy" if not damn delicious at times.  I know I'm not an IPA expoit and I'm not paying any attention to my water right now (although I guarantee it's not 400 ppm hardness). 

Add more hops!