Author Topic: Malt with 'dusty' sensation/flavor?  (Read 859 times)

Offline yso191

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Malt with 'dusty' sensation/flavor?
« on: December 25, 2014, 07:14:37 PM »
I'm trying to track down a flavor that I've been picking up in a couple of beers I've brewed.  It may just be my palate, but the best description I can come up with is that it tastes dusty.  It is mildly unpleasant to me. 

My Brown Ale has the flavor as well as my RIS.  I can eliminate the malts that are in other beers I've brewed that don't have that flavor.  I'm left with Chocolate Malt (350 & 475).  Other than this the hops are different and the yeasts are different.

Does anyone else get a dusty sensation/flavor from Chocolate Malt?
Steve
All Hands Brewing
BJCP #D1667

Offline brewinhard

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Re: Malt with 'dusty' sensation/flavor?
« Reply #1 on: December 25, 2014, 07:19:11 PM »
I made a mild with Briess carabrown and 2 different chocolate malts last year and also had that same sensation/flavor.  Mine almost tasted a bit ashy.  I am assuming it was a water profile issue involving the darker malts and the beer was no sparged.  I ended up dumping it.  No time for less than good beers. 

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Malt with 'dusty' sensation/flavor?
« Reply #2 on: December 25, 2014, 07:25:32 PM »
I used to notice more what I'd call the 'ashy' character with chocolate and other dark malts until I started bumping my pH up. Mashing @ 5.4 - 5.5 pH for dark beers took care of it for me.
Jon H.

Offline dmtaylor

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Re: Malt with 'dusty' sensation/flavor?
« Reply #3 on: December 25, 2014, 07:41:23 PM »
I believe the dusty flavor has something to do with pH.  I figure it's due to pH being too high, perhaps due to hard water with lots of carbonates.  On your next brew of a similar recipe, try a softer water or less salt additions and see if the flavor is reduced.
Dave

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Offline yso191

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Re: Malt with 'dusty' sensation/flavor?
« Reply #4 on: December 25, 2014, 10:10:11 PM »
According to Brun' Water my mash pH was 5.43 for the RIS & 5.44 for the Brown Ale.  However, I did not confirm this with a test.
Steve
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Offline mabrungard

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Re: Malt with 'dusty' sensation/flavor?
« Reply #5 on: December 25, 2014, 11:11:15 PM »
I made a dusty tasting Hefe last year. I thought that part of the problem was probably too much calcium in the water. No substantiation, just conjecture. However, this conforms with my subsequent finding that we brewers place too much emphasis on having calcium in our brewing water.

It turns out that we DON'T need that much calcium in our brewing water. AHA members will finally get to read about the need for calcium and magnesium in brewing water in an upcoming issue of Zymurgy. A more technical version of this article was published in The New Brewer earlier this year.  I handed in the revised text last week.
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Offline yso191

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Re: Malt with 'dusty' sensation/flavor?
« Reply #6 on: December 26, 2014, 12:16:05 AM »
My calcium for the RIS was 52.7 ppm and the Brown was 59.3.  Is that too much?

I work with 100% RO water and build the profile from that blank slate.
« Last Edit: December 26, 2014, 12:21:05 AM by yso191 »
Steve
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Offline dmtaylor

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Re: Malt with 'dusty' sensation/flavor?
« Reply #7 on: December 26, 2014, 01:48:30 PM »
This is a real stumper.   :-\
Dave

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Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: Malt with 'dusty' sensation/flavor?
« Reply #8 on: December 26, 2014, 03:57:03 PM »
Some people say chocolate malt creates that ashy flavor. I've used chocolate malt without problems but never in large quantities. I have had some dark beers with ashy flavors. I'm not sure if the amount of chocolate malt in those beers contributed to that character.
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Offline erockrph

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Re: Malt with 'dusty' sensation/flavor?
« Reply #9 on: December 26, 2014, 06:14:45 PM »
I have noticed this occasionally in beers that are relatively young. It could literally be from grain dust still stuck in suspension. Try lagering for a month or so and see if that improves it any.

If it is a pH issue you could simply dose a sample with some baking soda to see if it improves. That's an easy way to test that particular hypothesis.
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Offline Black Sands Brewery & Supply

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Re: Malt with 'dusty' sensation/flavor?
« Reply #10 on: December 28, 2014, 08:47:33 PM »
I'm trying to track down a flavor that I've been picking up in a couple of beers I've brewed.  It may just be my palate, but the best description I can come up with is that it tastes dusty.  It is mildly unpleasant to me. 

My Brown Ale has the flavor as well as my RIS.  I can eliminate the malts that are in other beers I've brewed that don't have that flavor.  I'm left with Chocolate Malt (350 & 475).  Other than this the hops are different and the yeasts are different.

Does anyone else get a dusty sensation/flavor from Chocolate Malt?

Are you bottle conditioning? If so w/ what sugars? I agree it could be a "young" flavor so waiting is always a good thing. But this is a bit of a stump for me too.
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Offline yso191

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Re: Malt with 'dusty' sensation/flavor?
« Reply #11 on: December 29, 2014, 01:19:13 AM »
No, I kegged and force-carbed. 

I'm concluding that I am just very sensitive to this flavor.  A guest at our house over the weekend who generally has a better, more sensitive palate than I, said that he could not taste it in either beer. 

Interestingly we shared one of those Arrogant Bastard Christmas 4 packs, with regular AB, Lucky Bastard (my Fav) Bourbon Barrel Bastard and Double Bastard.  I could taste that dusty flavor in the regular Arrogant Bastard but not the other three.  Hmmm.
Steve
All Hands Brewing
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Offline Stevie

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Re: Malt with 'dusty' sensation/flavor?
« Reply #12 on: December 29, 2014, 01:23:47 AM »
Store you glasses upside down in the cabinet. ;)

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Malt with 'dusty' sensation/flavor?
« Reply #13 on: December 29, 2014, 01:49:03 AM »
As for Arrogant Bastard, the CYBI episodes where they tried to clone AB used mostly combinations of 2 row and Special B. I think the Mike McDole one used 90% 2row/ 10% Special B. No chocolate malt. And there's no guarantee that it's Stone's grist, but it's widely believed to be. I wonder if it's maybe some slight oxidation in these beers and not a chocolate malt thing giving the 'dusty' character.

EDIT - Made me think of Belgian imports that get a dusty, oxidative character over time.
« Last Edit: December 29, 2014, 03:25:32 AM by HoosierBrew »
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Re: Malt with 'dusty' sensation/flavor?
« Reply #14 on: December 29, 2014, 01:55:40 AM »
My calcium for the RIS was 52.7 ppm and the Brown was 59.3.  Is that too much?

I work with 100% RO water and build the profile from that blank slate.

No, I don't think that the calcium levels would be too high in those beers. They are typical levels for ales. The problem I noted was in a typically low-flavored hefe. It appears that the caution on calcium levels is mainly applicable to lagers that have little flavor or are more malt focused (ie: pils, american lagers, etc).
Martin B
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