Author Topic: Ashy flavor?  (Read 1061 times)

Offline goschman

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3431
    • View Profile
Ashy flavor?
« on: June 17, 2016, 11:59:55 PM »
Sort of a Mexican style Vienna lager

59% Vienna
20% flaked corn
20% Munich 6l
1% midnight wheat

Magnum/hersbrucker bittering
Hersbrucker 10 min
23 IBU

W34/70
1.051
1.010
Mash ph 5.4
Amber balanced water

Any ideas what would contribute to a light ashy flavor? It's mild but noticeable and annoying.
« Last Edit: June 18, 2016, 12:06:29 AM by goschman »
On Tap/Bottled: Haze for Daze IPA, G Pils, Maibock, Watermelon Cider         

Fermenting: Kolsch
Up Next: Summer Ale, Gose

Offline goschman

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3431
    • View Profile
Re: Ashy flavor?
« Reply #1 on: June 18, 2016, 12:05:02 AM »
150F mash for 60 minutes
On Tap/Bottled: Haze for Daze IPA, G Pils, Maibock, Watermelon Cider         

Fermenting: Kolsch
Up Next: Summer Ale, Gose

Offline Phil_M

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1689
  • Southern Maryland
    • View Profile
Re: Ashy flavor?
« Reply #2 on: June 18, 2016, 01:13:01 AM »
scorching during the mash or boil? Only time I've had a beer taste ashy (tasted like how wet cigar ashes smell) was when the wort got scorched by the burner on my old electric setup.
Corn is a fine adjunct in beer.

And don't buy stale beer.

Offline goschman

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3431
    • View Profile
Re: Ashy flavor?
« Reply #3 on: June 18, 2016, 01:48:00 AM »
scorching during the mash or boil? Only time I've had a beer taste ashy (tasted like how wet cigar ashes smell) was when the wort got scorched by the burner on my old electric setup.


I don't think it would be that but that makes sense. I used all of my normal equipment and processes which have never yielded this result. Maybe something happened without me realizing.
On Tap/Bottled: Haze for Daze IPA, G Pils, Maibock, Watermelon Cider         

Fermenting: Kolsch
Up Next: Summer Ale, Gose

Offline erockrph

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 6185
  • Chepachet, RI
    • View Profile
    • The Hop WHisperer
Re: Ashy flavor?
« Reply #4 on: June 20, 2016, 03:57:40 PM »
Did you brew a stout recently in any of your gear (kettle/mash tun/fermenter/keg/etc.)? Is there any chance of flavor carryover?

The only other though is that possibly some fine particulates from the mifnight wheat made it into the end product. Has it changed or gotten better with time?
Eric B.

Finally got around to starting a homebrewing blog: The Hop Whisperer

Offline brewinhard

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3217
    • View Profile
Re: Ashy flavor?
« Reply #5 on: June 20, 2016, 04:58:49 PM »
Yeah, I would think some lagering should get rid of that after a bit.

Offline beersk

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3484
  • In the night!
    • View Profile
Re: Ashy flavor?
« Reply #6 on: June 20, 2016, 06:19:43 PM »
Does anyone think that contamination could be a cause of an ashy flavor? Since the pH was in line, I have to wonder... I've used midnight wheat a few times and haven't gotten an ashy flavor from it. But I have gotten ashy in dark beers before and I often wonder if it was due to a low grade contamination of some sort.
die Schönheit der bier...

Jesse

Offline denny

  • Administrator
  • Retired with too much time on my hands
  • *****
  • Posts: 19379
  • Noti OR [1991.4, 287.6deg] AR
    • View Profile
    • Dennybrew
Re: Ashy flavor?
« Reply #7 on: June 20, 2016, 06:37:48 PM »
Does anyone think that contamination could be a cause of an ashy flavor? Since the pH was in line, I have to wonder... I've used midnight wheat a few times and haven't gotten an ashy flavor from it. But I have gotten ashy in dark beers before and I often wonder if it was due to a low grade contamination of some sort.

I have had a contamination cause a smoky phenolic.  Could that be the same as "ashy"?
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

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts." - Bertrand Russell

Offline blair.streit

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 516
    • View Profile
Re: Ashy flavor?
« Reply #8 on: June 20, 2016, 06:45:08 PM »
Also I've found that even small amounts of dark grain (like fine particulate from midnight wheat) seem to combine with yeast in suspension.

May want to try cold crashing or gelatin fining to see if that clears it up.

Offline goschman

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3431
    • View Profile
Re: Ashy flavor?
« Reply #9 on: June 20, 2016, 07:44:51 PM »
Thanks all. The beer is extremely clear. It was cold crashed and fined in the fermenter before kegging and 34/70 always yields really bright beers for me. I had one last night and it did seem improved. Depending on the day my palette will pick up different notes so that's another variable to throw in.

I used 2 oz total of midnight wheat and have never noticed this character in any of my beers. I don't know how to describe the flavor other than ashy. It doesn't taste burned or smoky. Literally like an ash tray however it is a very minor underlying flavor. I have brewed a beer since with the same equipment with nothing carrying over and I have not brewed a dark beer in a few months. I am hopeful that it will continue to improve. Entering it as an international Amber lager regardless with no expectations.
« Last Edit: June 20, 2016, 07:50:59 PM by goschman »
On Tap/Bottled: Haze for Daze IPA, G Pils, Maibock, Watermelon Cider         

Fermenting: Kolsch
Up Next: Summer Ale, Gose

Offline beersk

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3484
  • In the night!
    • View Profile
Re: Ashy flavor?
« Reply #10 on: June 21, 2016, 12:35:26 AM »
Does anyone think that contamination could be a cause of an ashy flavor? Since the pH was in line, I have to wonder... I've used midnight wheat a few times and haven't gotten an ashy flavor from it. But I have gotten ashy in dark beers before and I often wonder if it was due to a low grade contamination of some sort.

I have had a contamination cause a smoky phenolic.  Could that be the same as "ashy"?
Yeah, that's what I was thinking. I'm sure that's what I've perceived, was just seeing if this case is maybe the same thing. Don't know what kind of contamination would cause it.
die Schönheit der bier...

Jesse

Offline blair.streit

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 516
    • View Profile
Re: Ashy flavor?
« Reply #11 on: June 21, 2016, 01:08:44 AM »
I do see a lot of comments about W34/70 suggesting that it will throw "hefe-like" phenolics at higher temps.

Several articles on phenols suggest that at higher concentrations clove like phenols  become smokey.

Scrolling back I noticed we never discussed fermentation temp. Anything different from your usual pattern with this yeast?

Offline goschman

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3431
    • View Profile
Re: Ashy flavor?
« Reply #12 on: June 21, 2016, 02:45:41 AM »
I do see a lot of comments about W34/70 suggesting that it will throw "hefe-like" phenolics at higher temps.

Several articles on phenols suggest that at higher concentrations clove like phenols  become smokey.

Scrolling back I noticed we never discussed fermentation temp. Anything different from your usual pattern with this yeast?

I think it ran at 52f for five or six days before gradually bumping it up to 62f.
On Tap/Bottled: Haze for Daze IPA, G Pils, Maibock, Watermelon Cider         

Fermenting: Kolsch
Up Next: Summer Ale, Gose

Offline blair.streit

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 516
    • View Profile
Re: Ashy flavor?
« Reply #13 on: June 21, 2016, 02:47:58 AM »
I think it ran at 52f for five or six days before gradually bumping it up to 62f.
Yeah that doesn't seem anywhere near trouble. Wild yeast maybe?

Wait, maybe we've been going about this all wrong. You didn't knock your ashtray into the boil kettle did you?

Offline goschman

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3431
    • View Profile
Re: Ashy flavor?
« Reply #14 on: June 21, 2016, 03:30:28 AM »
I think it ran at 52f for five or six days before gradually bumping it up to 62f.
Yeah that doesn't seem anywhere near trouble. Wild yeast maybe?

Wait, maybe we've been going about this all wrong. You didn't knock your ashtray into the boil kettle did you?

Ha! That could be a good possibility ;). It seems to have dissipated and is barely noticeably so I am hoping it continues to lessen. I will try to report back. 
On Tap/Bottled: Haze for Daze IPA, G Pils, Maibock, Watermelon Cider         

Fermenting: Kolsch
Up Next: Summer Ale, Gose