Author Topic: Muddy muddy muddy dull dull dull  (Read 753 times)

Offline homoeccentricus

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Muddy muddy muddy dull dull dull
« on: March 25, 2016, 02:51:27 PM »
I have started my beer judge program, and last night at the local homebrew club, when people asked me to evaluate their beers, all I could do was mumble "muddy, muddy, muddy dull dull dull" and "maybe you need to look at your water". Still a long way to go...
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Offline euge

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Re: Muddy muddy muddy dull dull dull
« Reply #1 on: March 26, 2016, 12:51:37 AM »
Sounds like a real trial. 8)
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Offline mabrungard

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Re: Muddy muddy muddy dull dull dull
« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2016, 01:43:44 AM »
all I could do was mumble "muddy, muddy, muddy dull dull dull" and "maybe you need to look at your water". Still a long way to go...

There is so much bad beer out there and so much of it is due to water.

Water is not really the last thing a brewer should work on.  In some cases, it is probably one of the first. Too bad some brewers keep thinking that its the last thing to concern themselves with.
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Offline atodd

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Re: Muddy muddy muddy dull dull dull
« Reply #3 on: March 26, 2016, 11:34:42 AM »
all I could do was mumble "muddy, muddy, muddy dull dull dull" and "maybe you need to look at your water". Still a long way to go...

There is so much bad beer out there and so much of it is due to water.

Water is not really the last thing a brewer should work on.  In some cases, it is probably one of the first. Too bad some brewers keep thinking that its the last thing to concern themselves with.
Agreed, my beer has drastically improved since I started getting my pH in check through out my process.  I have a version 1 and 2 dunkel I made, both use the same recipe but one finished at a pH of 4.6 and the other at 4.4.  The 4..4 beer is noticeably crisper and leaves a nice clean after taste.  This was the same year strain one was generation 1 while the other was generation 3. 

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Offline homoeccentricus

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Re: Muddy muddy muddy dull dull dull
« Reply #4 on: March 26, 2016, 11:34:56 AM »
all I could do was mumble "muddy, muddy, muddy dull dull dull" and "maybe you need to look at your water". Still a long way to go...

There is so much bad beer out there and so much of it is due to water.

Water is not really the last thing a brewer should work on.  In some cases, it is probably one of the first. Too bad some brewers keep thinking that its the last thing to concern themselves with.

Two remarks here:
1. I don't use it, but our Antwerp tap water is really not that bad. 180 ppm HCO3, other mineral levels are quite acceptable, small amount of chlorine. Quite drinkable in fact. But could it have such an enormous influence on beer quality?
2. My main point is the undescribability of the flavors of the beers. I don't really perceive dms or acetaldehyde, diacetyl etc.  The only vague label I can put on them is phenolic, but I'm not even sure of that.  Plus, as I wrote before, the beers taste very dull and unpleasant. One guy brewed a DIPA and dry-hopped with 10 gr/liter. That's not a small amount. But it was dull dull dull. My 4 gr/l dry-hopped IPA really sparkled in comparison. I wonder whether it could also not be the dry yeasts they use: Belle Saison, Mangrove Jack Workhorse, etc.
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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Muddy muddy muddy dull dull dull
« Reply #5 on: March 26, 2016, 02:16:39 PM »
all I could do was mumble "muddy, muddy, muddy dull dull dull" and "maybe you need to look at your water". Still a long way to go...

There is so much bad beer out there and so much of it is due to water.

Water is not really the last thing a brewer should work on.  In some cases, it is probably one of the first. Too bad some brewers keep thinking that its the last thing to concern themselves with.

Two remarks here:
1. I don't use it, but our Antwerp tap water is really not that bad. 180 ppm HCO3, other mineral levels are quite acceptable, small amount of chlorine. Quite drinkable in fact. But could it have such an enormous influence on beer quality?
2. My main point is the undescribability of the flavors of the beers. I don't really perceive dms or acetaldehyde, diacetyl etc.  The only vague label I can put on them is phenolic, but I'm not even sure of that.  Plus, as I wrote before, the beers taste very dull and unpleasant. One guy brewed a DIPA and dry-hopped with 10 gr/liter. That's not a small amount. But it was dull dull dull. My 4 gr/l dry-hopped IPA really sparkled in comparison. I wonder whether it could also not be the dry yeasts they use: Belle Saison, Mangrove Jack Workhorse, etc.

Friends that brew pilsners with Ann Arbor water make dull muddy beer. The ones that cut it with RO or build from RO are now making crisp Pilsners. The A2 water has about 120ish ppm HCO3. Depends on the beer being made, that water works well for Amber ales.

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Offline denny

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Re: Muddy muddy muddy dull dull dull
« Reply #6 on: March 26, 2016, 03:54:48 PM »
all I could do was mumble "muddy, muddy, muddy dull dull dull" and "maybe you need to look at your water". Still a long way to go...

There is so much bad beer out there and so much of it is due to water.

Water is not really the last thing a brewer should work on.  In some cases, it is probably one of the first. Too bad some brewers keep thinking that its the last thing to concern themselves with.

It depends on your water, though.  I won ribbons for years before I did anything more than add some gypsum to hoppy beers.  That includes everything from dark beers to pilsners.  Now, admittedly I think my beers are better for treating the water, but my point is that you can make award winning beers without water treatment of you have reasonably good water.
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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Muddy muddy muddy dull dull dull
« Reply #7 on: March 26, 2016, 04:45:53 PM »
all I could do was mumble "muddy, muddy, muddy dull dull dull" and "maybe you need to look at your water". Still a long way to go...

There is so much bad beer out there and so much of it is due to water.

Water is not really the last thing a brewer should work on.  In some cases, it is probably one of the first. Too bad some brewers keep thinking that its the last thing to concern themselves with.

It depends on your water, though.  I won ribbons for years before I did anything more than add some gypsum to hoppy beers.  That includes everything from dark beers to pilsners.  Now, admittedly I think my beers are better for treating the water, but my point is that you can make award winning beers without water treatment of you have reasonably good water.
You have some darned good water up in that corner of the country.
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Offline Steve Ruch

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Re: Muddy muddy muddy dull dull dull
« Reply #8 on: March 26, 2016, 04:48:25 PM »
all I could do was mumble "muddy, muddy, muddy dull dull dull" and "maybe you need to look at your water". Still a long way to go...

There is so much bad beer out there and so much of it is due to water.

Water is not really the last thing a brewer should work on.  In some cases, it is probably one of the first. Too bad some brewers keep thinking that its the last thing to concern themselves with.

It depends on your water, though.  I won ribbons for years before I did anything more than add some gypsum to hoppy beers.  That includes everything from dark beers to pilsners.  Now, admittedly I think my beers are better for treating the water, but my point is that you can make award winning beers without water treatment of you have reasonably good water.

I agree, the only time I do anything to my water is adding some distilled when I brew pilsner. Although I am thinking about getting a ph meter and getting into water treatment.
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Offline homoeccentricus

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Re: Muddy muddy muddy dull dull dull
« Reply #9 on: March 26, 2016, 04:49:32 PM »
Let me rephrase my question. When one drinks a beer that is muddy muddy muddy dull dull dull, what does one say to the guy who is anxiously waiting to hear your opinion? Not "I wouldn't know where to begin to explain how you can improve your brewing process." If it's just DMS or higher alcohols, it's easy to say what he has to do...

Tolstoy said: “All bad beers are alike; each good beer is good in its own way.”  If you make a series of brewing mistakes your beer becomes much like a lot of other bad beers, that's for sure. But where to begin...
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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Muddy muddy muddy dull dull dull
« Reply #10 on: March 26, 2016, 05:00:13 PM »
Let me rephrase my question. When one drinks a beer that is muddy muddy muddy dull dull dull, what does one say to the guy who is anxiously waiting to hear your opinion? Not "I wouldn't know where to begin to explain how you can improve your brewing process." If it's just DMS or higher alcohols, it's easy to say what he has to do...

Tolstoy said: “All bad beers are alike; each good beer is good in its own way.”  If you make a series of brewing mistakes your beer becomes much like a lot of other bad beers, that's for sure. But where to begin...



To me, muddy flavors can come from an overly busy grist (ie., too many malts), giving you a muddy, ill-defined malt character. Does this sound like some of those beers? And were the beers maybe underhopped/underbittered which made the beers seem dull? If not, dullness could definitely come from water issues. CaSO4 and CaCl2 (and even a small amount of table salt, calculated with software) make a big difference. Those are at least a few suggestions you could make, depending on how you perceived the actual problems.



Edit -  There could be pH issues as well, if it's not controlled properly. Software like Brunwater is a great way to predict pH accurately and control the flavor profile at the same time.
« Last Edit: March 26, 2016, 05:11:28 PM by HoosierBrew »
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Re: Muddy muddy muddy dull dull dull
« Reply #11 on: March 26, 2016, 05:10:31 PM »
I would put on the score sheet to stop putting mud the their beers. That should cover it.

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Muddy muddy muddy dull dull dull
« Reply #12 on: March 26, 2016, 05:22:15 PM »
I would put on the score sheet to stop putting mud the their beers. That should cover it.


Or that. Good call.   ;D
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Re: Muddy muddy muddy dull dull dull
« Reply #13 on: March 26, 2016, 06:05:01 PM »
Let me rephrase my question. When one drinks a beer that is muddy muddy muddy dull dull dull, what does one say to the guy who is anxiously waiting to hear your opinion? Not "I wouldn't know where to begin to explain how you can improve your brewing process." If it's just DMS or higher alcohols, it's easy to say what he has to do...

Tolstoy said: “All bad beers are alike; each good beer is good in its own way.”  If you make a series of brewing mistakes your beer becomes much like a lot of other bad beers, that's for sure. But where to begin...

Yeah, that can be a problem.  But at least you get to taste the beer.  Imagine Drew and me answering questions about beers we've never tasted.  Shot ion the dark.  Al you can do is look at the likely causes and list them in order of possibility.
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Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Muddy muddy muddy dull dull dull
« Reply #14 on: March 26, 2016, 08:17:39 PM »
all I could do was mumble "muddy, muddy, muddy dull dull dull" and "maybe you need to look at your water". Still a long way to go...

There is so much bad beer out there and so much of it is due to water.

Water is not really the last thing a brewer should work on.  In some cases, it is probably one of the first. Too bad some brewers keep thinking that its the last thing to concern themselves with.

It depends on your water, though.  I won ribbons for years before I did anything more than add some gypsum to hoppy beers.  That includes everything from dark beers to pilsners.  Now, admittedly I think my beers are better for treating the water, but my point is that you can make award winning beers without water treatment of you have reasonably good water.
I fully agree that with chlorine free PNW ground water and light SO4 additions, that in the 90s you could win ribbons.