Author Topic: most common off-flavors  (Read 5634 times)

Offline denny

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Re: most common off-flavors
« Reply #30 on: April 13, 2016, 04:11:41 PM »
I've been working my way through a bunch of beers from the NE.  Nearly every one has a heavy astringency from the hops.
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Offline homoeccentricus

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Re: most common off-flavors
« Reply #31 on: April 13, 2016, 05:54:54 PM »
I've been working my way through a bunch of beers from the NE.  Nearly every one has a heavy astringency from the hops.
So how do you know the difference between hop astringency and other types (e.g. from high pH)?
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Offline denny

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Re: most common off-flavors
« Reply #32 on: April 13, 2016, 06:13:08 PM »
I've been working my way through a bunch of beers from the NE.  Nearly every one has a heavy astringency from the hops.
So how do you know the difference between hop astringency and other types (e.g. from high pH)?

When the mouthfeel is gritty with hop particles, it's a pretty good sign!
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Offline stpug

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Re: most common off-flavors
« Reply #33 on: April 13, 2016, 07:11:06 PM »
Banana phloem bundles (those stringy strands we pull off bananas after peeling) are what I always refer people to when trying to describe the sensation of "astringency".  Ignoring the flavor of banana, what those strands do to your tongue is the sensation of astringency.  It is very drying without any bitterness. Most fruit, in fact, is astringent during it's premature stage.

Offline MDixon

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Re: most common off-flavors
« Reply #34 on: April 13, 2016, 07:45:13 PM »
I drink Campari pretty often and always noticed bitter but not astringency. I'll have to check it out when I get home. I think it tastes a lot like grapefruit.
I always think of tea when I think of astringency, especially over steeped tea. Actually I thought tea was sort of the universal example of astringency. I sometimes put tea in meads to purposely create some astringency to create a counterpoint to sweetness. Astringency is definitely not always a flaw.

The tricky part is separating the flavor and aroma from the sensation. It IS bitter, quite bitter, almost pithy in the grapefruit nature. Ignoring that it puckers the mouth and leaves the palate dry. If you don't drink some water afterwards and allow you palate to simply fade it become extremely dry. Getting someone to separate the flavor from the sensations is difficult so turn off the flavor part of the brain and focus only on the sensation.
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Offline dmtaylor

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Re: most common off-flavors
« Reply #35 on: April 14, 2016, 12:41:02 PM »
By the way... a personal peeve of mine.... astringency is WAY less prevalent than most judges will tell you.  I would say that 3 times out of 4 that a judge uses the term "slight astringency", they are in fact full of crap, trying to show off their judging prowess or something.  This occurs greatly with inexperienced judges but unfortunately often continues farther up the ranks.  While astringency is indeed very possible, I've experienced it many times, the term is WAY overused.... Be cognizant of this common error.

I just read Marshall's new analysis of how smart people think they are when it comes to tasting beer.  And just look how many friggin people think they are experts when it comes to tasting "astringency".  The result is disproportionate, and I believe supports my previous statements just about perfectly.  Check this out:

http://brulosophy.com/2016/04/14/under-the-surface-results-from-the-homebrewers-perceived-abilities-survey/
« Last Edit: April 14, 2016, 12:44:04 PM by dmtaylor »
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Offline MDixon

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Re: most common off-flavors
« Reply #36 on: April 14, 2016, 01:03:08 PM »
I believe in all the beers I judged at the most recent competition I wrote astringency or 2 or 3 sheets in total.
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Offline homoeccentricus

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Re: most common off-flavors
« Reply #37 on: April 14, 2016, 01:09:03 PM »
By the way... a personal peeve of mine.... astringency is WAY less prevalent than most judges will tell you.  I would say that 3 times out of 4 that a judge uses the term "slight astringency", they are in fact full of crap, trying to show off their judging prowess or something.  This occurs greatly with inexperienced judges but unfortunately often continues farther up the ranks.  While astringency is indeed very possible, I've experienced it many times, the term is WAY overused.... Be cognizant of this common error.

I just read Marshall's new analysis of how smart people think they are when it comes to tasting beer.  And just look how many friggin people think they are experts when it comes to tasting "astringency".  The result is disproportionate, and I believe supports my previous statements just about perfectly.  Check this out:

http://brulosophy.com/2016/04/14/under-the-surface-results-from-the-homebrewers-perceived-abilities-survey/

Maybe brewers who fill out Brulosopher surveys are by definition better than average?
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Offline dmtaylor

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Re: most common off-flavors
« Reply #38 on: April 14, 2016, 01:37:33 PM »
Maybe brewers who fill out Brulosopher surveys are by definition better than average?

That exact thought is going through my mind as well!  Marshall says it's impossible; I do not.
Dave

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Offline erockrph

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Re: most common off-flavors
« Reply #39 on: April 14, 2016, 01:40:27 PM »
Maybe brewers who fill out Brulosopher surveys are by definition better than average?

That exact thought is going through my mind as well!  Marshall says it's impossible; I do not.
Yeah, the whole article rubs me the wrong way. You can't apply a very specific analysis to intentionally vague questions.
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Offline Hand of Dom

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Re: most common off-flavors
« Reply #40 on: April 14, 2016, 02:05:49 PM »
I gave my answers as below average in most of the off taste identification questions.  The only ones I've experienced are chlorophenol (in a commercial beer), vinegar (an infected dubbel I made), and diacetyl (a saison I made that tasted of peanuts).
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Offline JJeffers09

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Re: most common off-flavors
« Reply #41 on: April 14, 2016, 03:05:27 PM »
what is the reason, possible reasons, of a slippery almost oily mouthfeel.  I have noticed in my brothers Belgian Pale Ale that it is not right.  Not dump worthy, but strange.  We cooled a SG and took a sip, and its still "green" but the texture is weird.  It stuck on my tongue for a while and was a weird sort of bitter.  Not funky, bacteria-ish, not phenolic/estery (I don't think anyway), Not buttery or cream corn, but strange.  I wish I would have pulled this up when I was sipping it.  It tasted almost like melted plastic smells, and it really, I mean really lingered on your tongue.  Any Ideas?  His recipe was thus...

82% Belgian Pale
9% CaraVienne
9% Aromatic

Tettnanger 4.2% 2oz to 25ish IBU
WLP515
Fermented at 66F Ambient holding for 3 day then a free ride to 70F and held for 4 days.  He used my Thermocouple for as a temp timer (so temps were accurate)

OG 1.056
SG 1.017

I know he used 151 rum in the air lock, and used Iodophor for cleaning.  I was not there for sanitation so I don't if he mixed it appropriately mixed at the right concentration, but something in this beer is weird.  And I know it is still early.  So anyone have any ideas?  I was thinking on telling him to pull a sample and do a diacetyl test, but I think something went wrong with his mash pH.  I was working when he mashed and showed up later for the end of boil.  I checked his pH last night and got 4.5pH, His after boil pH was 5.4.  I have never experienced this so IDK.  I do know he used all RO and used a Yellow-Balance water pro.
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Offline brewinhard

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Re: most common off-flavors
« Reply #42 on: April 14, 2016, 03:13:07 PM »
  I checked his pH last night and got 4.5pH, His after boil pH was 5.4.  I have never experienced this so IDK.  I do know he used all RO and used a Yellow-Balance water pro.

Sounds to me like there is some funky wild yeast infection. That could be responsible for the "plastic" notes in the beer. How was the yeast prepared?

Offline denny

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Re: most common off-flavors
« Reply #43 on: April 14, 2016, 03:33:18 PM »
Maybe brewers who fill out Brulosopher surveys are by definition better than average?

That exact thought is going through my mind as well!  Marshall says it's impossible; I do not.

Marshall is correct.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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Offline blair.streit

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Re: most common off-flavors
« Reply #44 on: April 14, 2016, 04:31:22 PM »
what is the reason, possible reasons, of a slippery almost oily mouthfeel.  I have noticed in my brothers Belgian Pale Ale that it is not right.  Not dump worthy, but strange.  We cooled a SG and took a sip, and its still "green" but the texture is weird.  It stuck on my tongue for a while and was a weird sort of bitter.  Not funky, bacteria-ish, not phenolic/estery (I don't think anyway), Not buttery or cream corn, but strange.  I wish I would have pulled this up when I was sipping it.  It tasted almost like melted plastic smells, and it really, I mean really lingered on your tongue.
So based on the rest of this thread I'll be really careful with the word astringent. That said, when you describe "oily" and "a weird sort of bitter" together, a few usual suspects come to mind. Also, consider there may be more than one thing going on in this beer. If issues start to overlap describing the flavors becomes much more difficult.

First, if mash pH was too high, then you will have astringency in the wort. As described earlier, this is a bit like sucking on a teabag.

This high pH will then carry over into the boil, which means you'll get higher extraction and tannins from your hops (and what is often described as a "more harsh bitterness"). In a more malt-focused beer this can sometimes confuse my senses as I'm trying to figure out if it's "too bitter" or "not malty enough".

Finally oily makes me suspect diacetyl. In large enough quantities, it will lend this oily/slick mouthfeel. That could also come from some sort of contamination, but given 7 days on the yeast and the fact that you say it still tastes green, the diacetyl seems like a strong possibility. Given all of the other flavors you describe it may be tougher to pick out by taste. Doing the warmer temp diacetyl test always makes it more obvious in the aroma to me.

As for testing pH, I've never had any success trying to correlate post-fermentation pH to any pH issues upstream. The brewing process is pretty robust, and from everything I've read and learned pH problems tend to "self correct" downstream, though the flavor damage that was done upstream continues through to the finished product. With that in mind, I'd suggest going back to the water profile for this beer and try using Bru'n Water or your preferred water calc to predict the mash with your grist and the water treatment that was used. I see no mention of any acid added to the mash, but off the top of my head I'm not sure what an all RO mash pH would look like with that grainbill.

Since he used RO it seems like chlorophenols would be a non-issue, but that's what I would suspect based on the mention of burnt plastic. Did he perhaps make a starter with non-treated water and then dump the whole thing into the fermentor? Chlorophenols are detectable at very low levels, so if you make a starter with untreated water that might be enough to detect it in a beer made with treated water.
« Last Edit: April 14, 2016, 04:44:59 PM by blair.streit »