Author Topic: Help Me Tweak This Recipe  (Read 694 times)

Offline brick pig

  • Cellarman
  • **
  • Posts: 37
    • View Profile
    • Brick Pig
Help Me Tweak This Recipe
« on: May 12, 2014, 06:31:42 AM »
For my most recent brew, I found three different Peeper Ale clone recipes and mixed and matched them to come up with what I judged to be a good first stab at it. Here's the recipe I made:

Malt:
7 lb. light malt extract

Steeping Grains:
0.5 lb. Caramel malt
0.25 lb. Red Wheat malt
0.25 lb. American Vienna

Hops:
0.75 oz. Amarillo (60 min.)

2 oz. Centennial (1 min.)
2 oz. Cascade (1 min.)
2 oz. Amarillo (1 min.)

Dry hops (in secondary, 14 days)
2 oz. Centennial
4 oz. Cascade

Yeast:
Safale US-05

The overall result is better than I would have ever expected for a first go. Everything about it is perfect, EXCEPT, it's just a little too bitter on the finish. It's very slight; my neighbor, who is also a big fan of Peeper, does not taste it (and he is not just being polite; we know each other too well for that).

My thinking is that perhaps I left it in the secondary too long with the dry hops. It was not my intention to leave it for two weeks, but life got in the way. But before I try it again next time, I thought I'd post here and see if anyone has any other thoughts/suggestions/ideas that might help me mellow the finish.

What say you?

Offline dannyjed

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 710
  • Toledo, OH
    • View Profile
Re: Help Me Tweak This Recipe
« Reply #1 on: May 12, 2014, 07:02:18 AM »
The bitter finish might be from the 6 oz of hops at 1 min. and not the dry hops. You could try adding some hops at 20-15 min and less at 1 min. If the bitterness is more of a grassy/vegetal taste then it could be the dry hops. I personally would use about half that amount for dry hopping for 5-7 days. I know others use 4-6 oz of hops when dry hopping, but I think it's a waste.
Dan Chisholm

Offline David Lester

  • Cellarman
  • **
  • Posts: 52
    • View Profile
Re: Help Me Tweak This Recipe
« Reply #2 on: May 12, 2014, 07:04:40 AM »
Sounds like a winner. Regarding the bitterness, it's not going to come through if added to secondary. You're going to extract oils without bitterness. You didn't post the AA bittering Units or the IBU, so I'm not sure what you have. However, I know that you can back off the bitterness slightly.  I would suggest backing off on the amount of bittering hop slightly. Or, better yet, add bittering hops only 45 to 50 minutes and see what happens.

Offline brick pig

  • Cellarman
  • **
  • Posts: 37
    • View Profile
    • Brick Pig
Re: Help Me Tweak This Recipe
« Reply #3 on: May 12, 2014, 07:17:33 AM »
The bitter finish might be from the 6 oz of hops at 1 min. and not the dry hops. You could try adding some hops at 20-15 min and less at 1 min. If the bitterness is more of a grassy/vegetal taste then it could be the dry hops. I personally would use about half that amount for dry hopping for 5-7 days. I know others use 4-6 oz of hops when dry hopping, but I think it's a waste.
The best word I can come up with to describe the taste is "metallic," but I'm hesitant to use that term because that makes it seem (in my mind, at least) more harsh than it actually is. Thanks for the tip on the amount of dry hops. I don't have many recipes that call for dry hops, so I was sort of flying by the seat of my pants.

Sounds like a winner. Regarding the bitterness, it's not going to come through if added to secondary. You're going to extract oils without bitterness. You didn't post the AA bittering Units or the IBU, so I'm not sure what you have. However, I know that you can back off the bitterness slightly.  I would suggest backing off on the amount of bittering hop slightly. Or, better yet, add bittering hops only 45 to 50 minutes and see what happens.
I'm liking the idea of shorter bittering minutes, thanks.

Online Jimmy K

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3599
  • Delaware
    • View Profile
Re: Help Me Tweak This Recipe
« Reply #4 on: May 12, 2014, 07:19:57 AM »
How do you chill. If you add a bunch of hops at one minute and don't chill quickly you might be getting extra IBU's out of them.
 
Bitterness in the finish also makes me think of sulfate dryness. Do you know if you have sulfate in your water?
Delmarva United Homebrewers - President by inverse coup - former president ousted himself.
AHA Member since 2006
BJCP Certified: B0958

Offline brick pig

  • Cellarman
  • **
  • Posts: 37
    • View Profile
    • Brick Pig
Re: Help Me Tweak This Recipe
« Reply #5 on: May 12, 2014, 07:26:53 AM »
How do you chill. If you add a bunch of hops at one minute and don't chill quickly you might be getting extra IBU's out of them.
 
Bitterness in the finish also makes me think of sulfate dryness. Do you know if you have sulfate in your water?
I just chill in an ice water bath for about 30-45 minutes, which I suppose is relatively slow. I couldn't say about the sulfate; never had our water tested. But on the other hand, I've been brewing with this same water for almost 11 years without any noticeable off flavors.

Online Jimmy K

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3599
  • Delaware
    • View Profile
Re: Help Me Tweak This Recipe
« Reply #6 on: May 12, 2014, 07:33:09 AM »
Well an ice water bath will probably get it below the temperature where more bitterness is extracted pretty quickly. If you stir the wort (and keep the ice water moving too) in the first few minutes you'll avoid temperature gradients cool it very quickly.
 
Sulfate isn't an off flavor really, it accentuates hop bitterness. But if this is new, then I'd agree it's probably not your water.
Delmarva United Homebrewers - President by inverse coup - former president ousted himself.
AHA Member since 2006
BJCP Certified: B0958

Offline dmtaylor

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1317
  • Two Rivers, WI
    • View Profile
Re: Help Me Tweak This Recipe
« Reply #7 on: May 12, 2014, 07:38:38 AM »
Did you mash the wheat and Vienna?  Those really need a mini-mash to convert the starches, otherwise you'll have starch haze and possibility of contamination.  Although with that much hops in there... maybe the odds of contamination are nil.

What's your water source?  Soft?  Hard?  Moderate?  You should probably be using 100% distilled water in an extract beer, otherwise you could have excessive salt ions in your water, which will contribute to a minerally or metallic flavor in your finished beer.  This could be the real issue, if you didn't use really soft water.

Also, extract itself can sometimes give a slightly minerally or metallic taste.  Ensure you use the freshest stuff possible, and you could try changing brands in future to see if that helps.
Dave

"This is grain, which any fool can eat, but for which the Lord intended a more divine means of consumption. Let us give praise to our Maker, and glory to His bounty, by learning about... BEER!" - Friar Tuck (Robin Hood - Prince of Thieves)

Online HoosierBrew

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 5811
  • Indianapolis,IN
    • View Profile
Re: Help Me Tweak This Recipe
« Reply #8 on: May 12, 2014, 07:41:32 AM »
I would add to try to separate bitterness from hop flavor. Dry hop temps don't extract hop bitterness, but will extract hop flavor and aroma.  +1 to the slow chilling extracting bitterness from the 1 minute addition. And Vinnie C and Mitch Steele would probably argue that 4 -6 oz of dry hops are aren't a waste. I know that that quantity of dry hops aren't for everybody, though.
Jon H.

Offline brick pig

  • Cellarman
  • **
  • Posts: 37
    • View Profile
    • Brick Pig
Re: Help Me Tweak This Recipe
« Reply #9 on: May 12, 2014, 07:58:36 AM »
Did you mash the wheat and Vienna?  Those really need a mini-mash to convert the starches, otherwise you'll have starch haze and possibility of contamination.  Although with that much hops in there... maybe the odds of contamination are nil.

What's your water source?  Soft?  Hard?  Moderate?  You should probably be using 100% distilled water in an extract beer, otherwise you could have excessive salt ions in your water, which will contribute to a minerally or metallic flavor in your finished beer.  This could be the real issue, if you didn't use really soft water.

Also, extract itself can sometimes give a slightly minerally or metallic taste.  Ensure you use the freshest stuff possible, and you could try changing brands in future to see if that helps.
Did not mash any of the grains. Just a normal steep ("normal" in my case meaning put them in and let them steep as I bring the water up to boil). I guess I can't completely rule out some sort of minor contamination, but I very definitely don't have any haze of any kind. This is easily among the clearest beers I've ever brewed.

Our water is a little on the harder side, but as I said previously, it has never given me any problems before. Of course, every recipe is different. I suppose it's possible that this particular recipe is the first one I've tried that happens to showcase the deficiencies in my water, but I'm more inclined to entertain these ideas of altering the timing of my hops additions.

Offline denny

  • Administrator
  • Retired with too much time on my hands
  • *****
  • Posts: 13536
  • Noti OR [1991.4, 287.6deg] AR
    • View Profile
    • Dennybrew
Re: Help Me Tweak This Recipe
« Reply #10 on: May 12, 2014, 08:22:16 AM »
Did not mash any of the grains. Just a normal steep ("normal" in my case meaning put them in and let them steep as I bring the water up to boil). I guess I can't completely rule out some sort of minor contamination, but I very definitely don't have any haze of any kind. This is easily among the clearest beers I've ever brewed.

Our water is a little on the harder side, but as I said previously, it has never given me any problems before. Of course, every recipe is different. I suppose it's possible that this particular recipe is the first one I've tried that happens to showcase the deficiencies in my water, but I'm more inclined to entertain these ideas of altering the timing of my hops additions.

Your steeping is pretty much equivalent to a mash.  Since the grains are malted, there's every likelihood they converted themselves.

Was the extract dry or liquid?  If liquid, it could be oxidized which could lead to a metallic flavor.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

www.dennybrew.com

The best, sharpest, funniest, weirdest and most knowledgable minds in home brewing contribute on the AHA forum. - Alewyfe

Offline brick pig

  • Cellarman
  • **
  • Posts: 37
    • View Profile
    • Brick Pig
Re: Help Me Tweak This Recipe
« Reply #11 on: May 12, 2014, 08:43:45 AM »
Was the extract dry or liquid?  If liquid, it could be oxidized which could lead to a metallic flavor.
It was liquid. My long-time (18 years +/-) homebrew shop sold LME in bulk. They recently closed their doors and this was the last bulk extract I bought from them during their final week in business. I used it fairly quickly, but I suppose I don't really know exactly how old it was in the store, given that they were closing. And obviously other factors besides age could have caused it to oxidize, as well.

Offline denny

  • Administrator
  • Retired with too much time on my hands
  • *****
  • Posts: 13536
  • Noti OR [1991.4, 287.6deg] AR
    • View Profile
    • Dennybrew
Re: Help Me Tweak This Recipe
« Reply #12 on: May 12, 2014, 09:11:13 AM »
Was the extract dry or liquid?  If liquid, it could be oxidized which could lead to a metallic flavor.
It was liquid. My long-time (18 years +/-) homebrew shop sold LME in bulk. They recently closed their doors and this was the last bulk extract I bought from them during their final week in business. I used it fairly quickly, but I suppose I don't really know exactly how old it was in the store, given that they were closing. And obviously other factors besides age could have caused it to oxidize, as well.

Yeah, I'd pin the metallic taste on the extract.  I far prefer DME to LME for that reason.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

www.dennybrew.com

The best, sharpest, funniest, weirdest and most knowledgable minds in home brewing contribute on the AHA forum. - Alewyfe