Author Topic: Astringent New England IPA  (Read 6356 times)

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Astringent New England IPA
« Reply #45 on: October 06, 2016, 09:41:31 PM »
If the fear is the sparge, take some hydrometer readings as it runs off and stop if you reach 1.010, then adding the water straight to the kettle to get to the desired pre-boil volume.

Or as Denny says - do like him and batch sparge it (I do).




^^^.  Good advice on both counts. I used to fly sparge and got frustrated at times with astringency. Batch sparging is an easy switch and much less sensitive to pH issues.
Jon H.

Offline UnequivocalBrewing

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Re: Astringent New England IPA
« Reply #46 on: October 07, 2016, 01:46:37 AM »
Maybe I'm missing something.  I don't understand why fly sparging would cause any more astringency than batch sparging.  At the end of the day, you're rinsing the sugar from the grains regardless of the approach.  I understand that you could drive astringency with fly sparging through high alkalinity/PH in the water and/or by over-sparging.  However, wouldn't the same hold true for batch sparging? 

Offline chinaski

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Re: Astringent New England IPA
« Reply #47 on: October 07, 2016, 03:03:09 AM »
If the fear is the sparge, take some hydrometer readings as it runs off and stop if you reach 1.010, then adding the water straight to the kettle to get to the desired pre-boil volume.

Or as Denny says - do like him and batch sparge it (I do).



^^^.  Good advice on both counts. I used to fly sparge and got frustrated at times with astringency. Batch sparging is an easy switch and much less sensitive to pH issues.

Batch sparging also eliminated astringency in my beers.

There is an episode of Chop & Brew that is a presentation by John Kimmich about Heady Topper- in it he says that its a beer that is brewed using only the highest gravity runnings of the mash.  His wort making process alone would never be accepted by a large-scale operation because it leaves so much sugar behind in the mash; nevermind the costs of the hopping rates he employs.

I think a lot of homebrewers spend time chasing high efficiency at the costs of risk of astringency and (in some cases) very inconsistent efficiency from one batch to the next.  For me batch sparging is both efficient enough and completely consistent; which makes my brewing much more fun than it was when fly sparging.

Offline zwiller

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Re: Astringent New England IPA
« Reply #48 on: October 07, 2016, 01:34:24 PM »
Gonna throw a wrench in this whole batch sparging reduces pH concerns.  I get the science, less time for the reaction to occur, but it depends on your water.  With my 90ppm alkalinity water, batch sparging is no different than fly in terms of pH.  I have the data to back it up.  Also, acidifying sparge does more than eliminate tannin extraction, it drives the overall wort pH down and once you start comparing your final pH to your favorite commercial beers, you will realize you need more acid in your process than you once thought. OP did himself a huge favor looking at this already. 

If it is astringency it is from polyphenols, polyclar will fix that in a snap.  Like I said tho, astringency I think is more a puckering/drying the tongue feel and back of the throat is classic high coho hop (some guys love this).  Most likely it was a combo of all, long sparge, iffy RO water, and the CTZ. 
Sam
Sandusky, OH

Offline erockrph

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Re: Astringent New England IPA
« Reply #49 on: October 07, 2016, 01:41:32 PM »
Gonna throw a wrench in this whole batch sparging reduces pH concerns.  I get the science, less time for the reaction to occur, but it depends on your water. 

I always thought the science behind this was that by introducing all your sparge water at once, you hit a single point for your pH - as long as this is below the point where you start extracting tannins, then you're in the clear. With fly sparging, your pH is a curve over time rather than a single point. As you deplete the buffering capacity remaining in the mash, your pH rises. At some point every fly-sparged mash will cross the point where you start to extract tannins, unless you either acidify your sparge water or if you stop before the pH rises high enough.
Eric B.

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

Offline zwiller

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Re: Astringent New England IPA
« Reply #50 on: October 07, 2016, 04:20:57 PM »
I oversimplified for brevity...  ;D  Personally, I don't really care how or why since I spent the time monitoring it with a meter for a few.  From memory, in a double batch sparge, pH of first runnings stayed "under 6", but not much like, 5.8, 2nd went well over 6, like 6.3.  Trust me, this in not good.  For the record, they did rise over time as well but not much.  Now this is in the days before BNW and pH info was not really accessible to us.  We spent a few years debating little specks of detail like mash temp or room temp.  In any event, I learned AG brewing from reading Dave Miller and his standard tech was to acidify sparge to 5.7 for every beer.  I did this and beers were good (I blew people's minds in the 90's) but the 8 hours fly session were a dog.  Had a kid and took hiatus.  Lurking in the forums (green board) I found renewed interest in brewing via batch sparging.  I dove in but swore the beers were not as good.  I started fooling with the sparge and the quality came back.  That is not to say these beers were an astringent mess, they were actually pretty good, just not as good.  Nowadays I acidify sparge to mash pH.
Sam
Sandusky, OH

Offline UnequivocalBrewing

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Re: Astringent New England IPA
« Reply #51 on: October 07, 2016, 05:23:40 PM »
I am brewing again in a few hours and I am going to plan to acidify my sparge water in the HLT.  Having not done this and not having access to TA I was going to use Bru'n sparge acidification with a low TA setting.  I was going to add lactic acid and measure until I hit mash PH.  Does this technique make sense?  Or would you alter this?

Offline zwiller

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Re: Astringent New England IPA
« Reply #52 on: October 07, 2016, 06:09:27 PM »
TA being total alkalinity, right?  Yeah, that sounds doable.  I think Martin has a baseline for RO in the main page.   
Sam
Sandusky, OH

Offline blauvvy

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Re: Astringent New England IPA
« Reply #53 on: January 30, 2017, 02:11:24 AM »
I am brewing again in a few hours and I am going to plan to acidify my sparge water in the HLT.  Having not done this and not having access to TA I was going to use Bru'n sparge acidification with a low TA setting.  I was going to add lactic acid and measure until I hit mash PH.  Does this technique make sense?  Or would you alter this?

Any results on this?

Offline UnequivocalBrewing

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Re: Astringent New England IPA
« Reply #54 on: January 31, 2017, 12:42:27 AM »
Hi, pretty sure it was all related to the size and timing of the hop additions.  I was just adding WAY too many hops in at the flameout and holding the temp for too long.  I have adjusted that back down and the balance has improved by leaps. 

Offline bayareabrewer

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Re: Astringent New England IPA
« Reply #55 on: January 31, 2017, 05:58:43 PM »
Hello - I apologize for the long thread but I'm hoping this forum can help me out.  I've been brewing a series of New England IPAs - trying to hit similar styles to Treehouse, Trillium, Lawsons, etc.  I've done 8 of them in the last 8 months and for the most part they have been excellent.  I am using this style as a test ground to experiment with different techniques.  The last two that i've done have resulted in an astringent bitterness.  I have narrowed my potential culprits down to four things but wanted to get more eyes on this troubleshooting:

1.  Sparge water too high - I use RO water and build up from there.  I normally don't do any sparge acidification in my fly sparge and I understand this could potentially cause it.  On the flip side I haven't really changed my process and the RO water is low in alkalinity so I'm skeptical that this is it.
2.  Grain crush too granular - I have my monster mill set at .035 and maybe it's crushing too much.  Combine with #1?
3.  I have been experimenting with some Citric acid in the boil kettle to drive the PH down a bit.  I used 13 grams in a 10 gallon batch and 9 grams in a 10 gallon batch recently.  I don't know if that much Citric acid could cause some astringency?
4.  Overhopping - I doubt this is it.  The last two batches I do a very very tiny 60 minute addition of .1 oz of Columbus just to keep foaming down.  Then I did a flameout addition while whirlpooling through my dudadiesel wort chiller for 30 minutes.  After the 30 minutes I chilled it down very quickly to pitching temp.  I used: 3oz Amarillo leaf (8.9%AA), 2.5oz Galaxy pellet (14.9%AA), 1oz Cascade leaf (5.5%AA), 1oz Centennial pellet (8.3%AA).  I put these in a stainless steel hop spider and I stir the hops occasionally.  According to Beersmith this would drive 52.3 theoretical IBUs using the RAGR formula.

Here are some specifics on my process

All Grain:
65-70% 2-row (either US or MO - this doesn't matter)
15-20% white wheat malt
12% flaked oats
~3-4% Crystal type malt (carapils + honey OR golden naked oats)

Water:
RO built up with salts to hit 112 calcium, 18 magnesium, 200 sulfate, 100 chloride
I consistently hit 5.2 with 15 minutes into my mash

Mash:
Add salts to mash
1.6qts/lb
HERMS recirculation at 150F
Mashout step by increasing the HLT with HERMS to 168

Sparge:
With RO water - no acidification
Continuous fly sparge with two pumps until I hit my pre-boil volume

Boil:
60 minutes
Add sparge salts directly to beginning of boil
Add 9-11 g of citric acid directly to beginning of boil

Hopping:
As I said above
~15 oz dry hops during the tail of fermentation just as the Krausen falls (7 days)

Anyway, that's probably enough.  Looking for someone smarter than I am to help me work through this.  It's starting to get discouraging.

kind of a shot in  the dark, but are you brewing with 2015 galaxy whole hops from a hopsdirect sale that recently happened?

Offline UnequivocalBrewing

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Re: Astringent New England IPA
« Reply #56 on: January 31, 2017, 06:22:35 PM »
No, I don't think so.  I believe it was mostly galaxy but not from directhops.  I think these were either from YakimaValleyHops or from a LHBS.

Why, did you have some astringency from some?

Offline blauvvy

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Re: Astringent New England IPA
« Reply #57 on: February 01, 2017, 01:57:51 AM »
Hi, pretty sure it was all related to the size and timing of the hop additions.  I was just adding WAY too many hops in at the flameout and holding the temp for too long.  I have adjusted that back down and the balance has improved by leaps.

I'm with you on the temperature.  Next batch I try, I'm going to whirlpool only, nothing in the kettle.  Shooting for 140F down to about 120F. Only fear here is infection.

Here's another random thought... when you transfer to your fermenter, do you end up carrying over a lot of the vegetal matter from the kettle / whirlpool hops into the fermenter?  I do mainly out of greediness and not wanting to leave any wort behind.  I'm getting the same astringency and wondering if this much vegetal material in the fermenter is adding to the problem.  Aiming to avoid this too and will post some results in a week or two.

Offline bayareabrewer

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Re: Astringent New England IPA
« Reply #58 on: February 01, 2017, 05:46:01 AM »
No, I don't think so.  I believe it was mostly galaxy but not from directhops.  I think these were either from YakimaValleyHops or from a LHBS.

Why, did you have some astringency from some?

Yup. The pound I got tasted like cigarette butts.