Author Topic: Need Some Serious Help  (Read 4250 times)

Offline chadchaney97

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Re: Need Some Serious Help
« Reply #15 on: February 15, 2013, 11:58:40 AM »
Well I brewed on Monday, used RO water and added back some salts per bru'n water so we will see how this batch turns out.  Used a very simple recipe;  marris otter/2 row blend, acid malt and some c40, hops @ 60, 15, 10, 5, 0.

As for the hose, good point, although the water tastes fine out of the hose, bought a brand new one just for brewing. 

I do not want to add more hops at this point, I feel like that would be a waste, it is not that the beer isn't hoppy enough, although that is part of it, it is that the flavor is not right, very dirty and muddled.

Offline chadchaney97

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Re: Need Some Serious Help
« Reply #16 on: March 19, 2013, 08:14:44 AM »
Well, I kegged it up and seem to have the same results, a little better beer, but not good by any means.  the hop flavor is seriously lacking and still has that dirty muddled taste to it.  I am really lost here, I love hoppy beers and can't get anything decent in my area without a 1 hr drive and this is killing me.  Only been on co2 for 2 days, so i will continue to taste, but this is headed in the same direction of all the other IPA's I make. 

    Could it be from the force carbing or maybe my crush?  If I have to much flour maybe getting a lot of tannic acid?  Anybody want to help me figure this out again?

Offline drjones

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Re: Need Some Serious Help
« Reply #17 on: March 25, 2013, 09:51:51 AM »
If you are looking for a "cleaner" flavor, how about simplifying the recipe and bringing the gravity down a bit.  In particular, I would knock out the flaked wheat.  By some quick calculations, the 11# pale malt, 12 oz Munich and 8 oz carapils alone give you something in the neighborhood of 1063, depending on your setup.  That seems like a nice starting point.  Also, Beersmith gives me significantly higher IBUs than those you provided.  This may be the formula, but it raises the question of whether you are using pellet hops or whole.  I could see that many whole hops "muddying" the flavor a bit. 
Personally, I have found even an ounce of Simcoe dry-hopped for just 3 days provides a nose-full of aroma (at least with a relatively light ale), so your dry-hopping schedule does not seem to be a problem - if anything I'd hold back a bit, but that's just me.  I can't help but wonder if the issue may at least in part have something to do with the grain bill.  In short, I agree with repo - I'd drop the gravity 10 points on the next batch, and the easiest way is to lose the wheat and corn sugar.  Good luck!
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Fermenting: dry stout, 60 schilling, 70 schilling
Bottled: west-coast IPA, dry mead, cider, Cascadian Dark Ale, wild-hopped blonde

Offline ajk

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Need Some Serious Help
« Reply #18 on: March 25, 2013, 06:39:30 PM »
If you're like me, your tap water is your curse.  Use some of the water tools out there to bring down alkalinity and raise sulfate.

Offline chadchaney97

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Re: Need Some Serious Help
« Reply #19 on: March 27, 2013, 08:28:41 AM »
This is the recipe I tried this last time, and I used Bru'n water to calculate my water additions.  It is a bit better, but still not even close to a good IPA.  I notice this time there is not enough bitterness, just a taste i have a hard time identifying, like it is dirty, I almost get a celery seed like flavor and the aroma is seriously lacking.  I don't know what to do next!  I brewed a Kolsch 2 days after this and it is almost perfect, so I am confused what the variable that is ruining these IPA's could be. 

I just ordered some new hops from HopUnion; Cascade, Simcoe, Mosaic and some other randoms.  I am going to try one more time with new hops and see what I get.  I added salts to my mash, and then to the kettle, per the Bru'n water sheet, I do not have them handy, but Martin did email me and say it looked good.  Can I adjust the mash with salts and then use straight RO water for the sparge? 
Test Batch (IPA) 2
American IPA
Type: All Grain Date: 2/8/2013
Batch Size (fermenter): 5.50 gal Brewer: Copper TrÖff
Boil Size: 8.41 gal Asst Brewer: 
Boil Time: 60 min Equipment: My All grain Setup
End of Boil Volume 7.28 gal Brewhouse Efficiency: 72.00 %
Final Bottling Volume: 5.00 gal Est Mash Efficiency 91.6 %
Fermentation: Ale, Single Stage Taste Rating(out of 50): 30.0
Taste Notes: 
Ingredients
 

Ingredients
Amt Name Type # %/IBU
7 lbs Pale Malt, Maris Otter (3.0 SRM) Grain 1 58.3 %
4 lbs Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM) Grain 2 33.3 %
8.0 oz Acid Malt (3.0 SRM) Grain 3 4.2 %
8.0 oz Caramel/Crystal Malt - 40L (40.0 SRM) Grain 4 4.2 %
0.60 oz Columbus (Tomahawk) [15.20 %] - Boil 60.0 min Hop 5 25.1 IBUs
1.00 oz Amarillo Gold [8.20 %] - Boil 15.0 min Hop 6 11.2 IBUs
1.00 oz Simcoe [12.20 %] - Boil 10.0 min Hop 7 12.2 IBUs
1.00 oz Amarillo Gold [8.20 %] - Boil 5.0 min Hop 8 4.5 IBUs
1.00 oz Simcoe [12.20 %] - Boil 0.0 min
 

Looking to brew on Friday, any help would be great.  Any ideas on that odd flavor or what is causing the lack of aroma and flavor?  I did dry hop for 6 days with 2 ozs. 

Offline repo

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Re: Need Some Serious Help
« Reply #20 on: March 27, 2013, 10:55:45 AM »
Use all r/o water. Add 4 grams of gypsum to the mash only and no other salt additions anywhere. Lose the acid malt. Double your hop additions. Shoot for a 6.5% beer.  Add 2oz dry then five days later add two more and let sit five more days. Try to eliminate any potential oxygen exposure. You don't mention yeast at all, fermentation temps or times. Tastes are vastly different, find a commericial beer you like and use the hops it has.

The last beer for me has great hop choices but I would call it a pale ale, no where near ipa hop levels.

Offline chadchaney97

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Re: Need Some Serious Help
« Reply #21 on: March 27, 2013, 03:07:04 PM »
Repo- 
     I already use all RO water and I am not looking to throw a bunch more hops into a beer that is going to suck.  the problem is not the amount of hop flavor as it is more the hop flavor is off.  If it was a pale ale like tasting beer, I would gladly just add more hops.  I pitch appropriate yeast per yeast calc and fement in a swamp cooler until the bulf of primary fermentation is done and then move to 2ndary for dry hop usually 2-3 weeks total.  Although I have gone as far as 4-5 weeks. 

     I appreciate the ideas, just not sure I want to start tossing a ton of hops into the beers until they are better flavored.  Even if they were not hoppy enough but clean I would consider that a win at this point. 

Offline chadchaney97

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Re: Need Some Serious Help
« Reply #22 on: March 27, 2013, 03:13:41 PM »
here are more details:

Details-

     My system is a 10 gallon cooler with false bottom, good ol turkey burner, and a 10 gallon SS pot with bazooka tube.  I have a plate chiller, but in the winter I use my immersion chiller.  I crush my own grains with a monster mill, could the crush being to fine be an issue w tannins?  I use Beersmith for all my recipes and Bru'n water for additions.  I just bought a ph meter but I have not used it yet.  Per Bru'n water my ph was 5.3.  I also have been using RO water with salt additions  but I have used tap and straight RO with very similar results.   The beers I have made with tap/RO that are not hoppy have had no sign of this issue.  I have 5 batches of sours going for about 6-7 months and they are tasting awesome, my dunkelweisse is nearly perfect, as w my wit, etc. 

On brewday I crush while my MT and water heat and then I mash in, usually half the grain then water then grain, etc.  I usually shoot to mash around 152ish and am pretty close.  Mash for 60 mins, drain and then batch sparge, although I have fly sparged as well.  I have added near boiling water, 168 water, 180 water and all have the same(or extremely similar) results.  I vourlaf until the wort is consistently clear, usually still some floaters, but as clear as I can get on this setup.  Add the sparge water stir like crazy, wait 10 mins or so and repeat the vourlaf and drain.  I boil for 60 mins.  and have no issue getting a nice hard boil, after a good hot break I add the 60 min hops and then go as the recipe follows.  I mostly use pellets.  I whirlpool for a little bit after flameout hops the best I can, screen and thermometer in kettle make it a little tough, but it works some.  Chill like normal and drain, I have been running a bit of wort out right away and hen as it is clear moving the hose to carboy to collect.  I use a fishpump setup to oxygenate and then pitch yeast.  I chill to right around 60-65 depending on temps in my basement and I pitch the appropriate amount of healthy yeast, per yeast calc.  I use mostly liquid yeast and make starters with a stirplate, I have used a ton of different yeasts, and all seem to have the same result in this situation.  Although I am leaning toward British/London ale lately.  I ferment as close to recommended temps as I can using a swamp cooler, but generally my basement allows me to get within a few degrees and hold it. I have tried leaving the beer in the primary for the duration including dry hops, but lately have been racking as soon as the bulk of primary fermentation is over to get it off the trub and then dry hopping.  Dry hops are at room temp for a minimum of 5 days and I have gone as long as 10, similar results.  I rack using an autosiphon into the carbot for dry hops and then into the corney keg to be purged and sealed. 

     I have used Centennial, Simcoe, Amarillo, CTZ, Warrior, Chinnok, etc.  I just got a fresh 6 oz. each of Simcoe, Mosaic, Cascade and Citra, all from HopUnion ordered for me from my new supply guy, stored in a cooler(like a reach in cooler) for 2 days until I put them in the freezer. 

I am not careful about post fermentation oxygen pick up, I use the autosiphon and go right into keg or carboy.  As for yeast, I figure what I need for the gravity and then make an appropriate starter. 

Last recipe was this:

7lbs Marris Otter
4lbs Briess Pale Ale Malt
8oz Acid Malt
8oz C40

.60oz CTZ @ 60min
1 oz Amarillo @ 15
1oz Simcoe @ 10
1oz Amarillo @ 5
1 oz Simcoe @ 0
Dry hop oz each for 6 days

MAsh salts-  4.4g gypsum
                   2.2 Cal Chloride
                   1.1 pickling lime

                    8.4g gypsum
                    3.3 cal chloride
last 2 in the kettle after sparge

nailed preboil gravity and SG. 

That is all I can think of for now.  I am not sure what variable to attack.  I plan to brew this Friday as the weather here (Carroll, Iowa) is turning awesome.  I have the above hops and some Nugget, Summit and random Germans.  I have a ton of malts to choose from, thinking of dropping the C40 in lieu of some lt or dk Munich.  Thinking I will bitter with CTZ and then use Simcoe and Cascade.  I was thinking I would measure every variable I can this time, mash temps, ph, sparge temps, etc.  Although I do not think it is that since the rest of the beers are solid.  I mean the dunkel weisse  was so good I have made it 3 times in the last 3 months, lol.  I can't seem to wrap my head around what the issue is here other than these; water chemistry, hops-old, amounts, etc, and now oxygenation.  I do have about 10 unused corneys right now and some spare time and I want to get this figured out so I can drink IPA all the time. 



Denny, any idea?

Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Need Some Serious Help
« Reply #23 on: March 27, 2013, 03:21:32 PM »
I am wondering why you are adding acid malt to the grain bill and lime to the salts addition? acid malt will bring your pH down while lime with bring it up. you might be able to simplfy things a bit by eliminating one or the other and reducing the one you leave by the appropriate amount. i am not saying that this will deal with the dirty dull hop aroma though.

I am wondering if it is oxidation also. you mention that you are not very careful to avoid o2 pickup in racking and you are racking more than you really need to. I actualy stopped using my autosyphon becuase I was seeing so much foaming at the liquid air interface inside that I was worried about o2 pickup. I went back to the good old method of filling the racking tube with sanitizer and running that out into a bowl to start the syphon.

It also sounds like you are keeping the vast majority of boil trub out of the fermenter. I wonder if your yeast are not getting all the lipids they need?
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Offline chadchaney97

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Re: Need Some Serious Help
« Reply #24 on: March 27, 2013, 09:37:02 PM »
This was my second shot at the water modification, so I appreciate the clarification on the competing components.  I am drinking one of the latest IPA's right now, and it's getting better than some of the last ones.  I am thinking oxygenation is a factor as well, I don't know why I never thought of that!  Thinking now about drilling a hole in a spare corny keg lid and fermenting in there and then I could push to another with zero oxygen exposure.  I read in Mitch Steele's book about getting the beer off the trub as soon as possible and that is why I tried the secondary thing for a bit, but I think I might go back to primary only and eliminate a racking step.  As for the amount of boil trub in the fermentor, I get plenty, especially in hoppy beers that use pellets, I just try to minimize.  I also forgot to mention that last time I used yeast nutrient as well. 

     I am thinking this time lowering gravity to around 1.050 or maybe lower and tryng something on the edge of a pale ale, session IPA, IPA.  I get some hops in this beer, just not the flavor and clarity I am looking for.  I wonder if I lower gravity and increase my hops to say an ounce @60, 3oz @ 10 ins, 3 oz @ flameout and dryhop with 4 oz if I might get a better result?   I have had several comments that say I should go all RO water and just add small amount of gypsum to the mash, is that worth trying?  Thanks for chiming in, I appreciate the help. 

Offline malzig

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Re: Need Some Serious Help
« Reply #25 on: March 28, 2013, 03:36:01 AM »
Yes, you can sparge with RO water.

Have you used Maris Otter or Pale Ale malts in other beers and did you like the flavor?  I'm just thinking that you are looking for a clean malt flavor and are choosing complex malts, so you might be better served by a mildly flavored Canada Pale Malt.  Complex malts will also compete with hop aroma and make it seem lower.

Similarly, British yeasts don't often respond well to early racking.  Can you recognize and are you tasting Diacetyl?  This is described as a butter flavor, but at low levels and mixed with complex beer flavors it can taste like a vague "dirty" flavor or like rubber.   It will also compete with hop aroma.

Simcoe and CTZ can be wildly variable in flavor and are sometimes quite unpleasant.

Hop aroma can be hard to get into beer.  Dry hopping will do it, but can add oxygen and grassy flavors.  Many brewers have very specific dry hopping schedules to get the profile that they want.  I've had luck refreshing the hop profile by dry hopping the keg.  You are probably not getting much aroma from your flameout addition.  One thing that you could try would be to allow the wort to chill to 175F, then add your late hops and let it stand for 15-30 minutes before chilling further.  This can add a lot of aroma.

Online AmandaK

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Re: Need Some Serious Help
« Reply #26 on: March 28, 2013, 04:50:54 AM »
I am thinking oxygenation is a factor as well, I don't know why I never thought of that!  ...  I read in Mitch Steele's book about getting the beer off the trub as soon as possible and that is why I tried the secondary thing for a bit, but I think I might go back to primary only and eliminate a racking step. 

This is exactly what I do, dry hop in the primary even, for a couple years now. My pale ales are noticeably better, less muddled. Also, I drink them very quickly.
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Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: Need Some Serious Help
« Reply #27 on: March 28, 2013, 04:56:12 AM »
Maybe the malt combination is not to your palate - less Maris Otter and more american 2 row pale malt?  Depends on how British you want it.
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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Need Some Serious Help
« Reply #28 on: March 28, 2013, 07:45:42 AM »
[...]  I have had several comments that say I should go all RO water and just add small amount of gypsum to the mash, is that worth trying?  Thanks for chiming in, I appreciate the help.
I think it's worth a try. Enter your numbers in bru'n water and make sure your pH won't be wildly out of wack which I don't think they will be.
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Offline chadchaney97

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Re: Need Some Serious Help
« Reply #29 on: March 28, 2013, 09:21:59 AM »
Thanks for all the replies!  I  have used MO before and I am fine with the flavor, also I have tried several different base malts and the flavor change is not really that noticeable.  I do not notice diacetyl flavor, well the buttery or butterscotch flavor, but the vague dirty grassy flavor seems to fit.  As for the British yeast, it performed pretty well and I had similar results using other clean American strains. 

So here is my plan.  Simple grain bill, I'll have to look at what I have on hand for base malts, but base malt some Dk Munich instead of C40 and bitter with something other than CTZ, maybe Chinnok?  Then add 2 oz hops at 10,5 and then the chill to 175 and 2 more ozs, using Cascade and Simcoe.  Let the last addition stand for 3o mins then chill and pitch.  Leave in primary for what, 3 weeks then keg?  thinking no dry hops this time to see if that is where I am getting some off flavors?  What do you think?