Author Topic: Grain-like bitterness  (Read 867 times)

Offline watakooo

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Grain-like bitterness
« on: May 03, 2019, 12:02:09 PM »
I brewed my first beer by BIAB method last month.
But I felt grain-like bitterness, probably derived from malt, and it was little bit unconformable for me.

What are possible causes for that kind of flavor?

Offline jeffy

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Re: Grain-like bitterness
« Reply #1 on: May 03, 2019, 01:03:27 PM »
I brewed my first beer by BIAB method last month.
But I felt grain-like bitterness, probably derived from malt, and it was little bit unconformable for me.

What are possible causes for that kind of flavor?
Dark roast malts will taste bitter, especially if used to excess.
Another flavor that is confused with bitterness is from tannins.  It is more like biting grape skin and less like bitterness.
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Offline rburrelli

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Re: Grain-like bitterness
« Reply #2 on: May 03, 2019, 05:32:18 PM »
Knowing more about your recipe and process would help answer the question.
Just sitting here learning what I can....

Offline watakooo

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Re: Grain-like bitterness
« Reply #3 on: May 04, 2019, 01:31:00 AM »
Thank you for your reply, jeffy and rburrelli!
Sorry, my expression was not quite right.
It's difficult to express precisely, but it was unintended and little bit unpleasant crispiness, probably derived from malt.
I wanted to brew hop-forward American Pale ale.
I'd like to write a summary of my recipe and ingredients in another reply.
« Last Edit: May 04, 2019, 04:42:31 AM by watakooo »

Offline santoch

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Re: Grain-like bitterness
« Reply #4 on: May 04, 2019, 05:02:14 AM »
I agree with Jeffy, it sounds to me like you could be getting tannins.

Check your mash pH -- keep it below about 5.8 if you are doing any kind of sparge (ie, rinsing off that massive BIAB grain bag to get more sugars out).  Your mash should normally be down at 5.1-5.3, but it will naturally rise during sparging.  If you are doing the BIAB in your whole volume, ensure you keep that pH down, or you are sure to extract tannins.

Its also possible if your mill is shredding the hell out of the grain husks, but this is unlikely with a decent mill nowadays. 
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Offline watakooo

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Re: Grain-like bitterness
« Reply #5 on: May 04, 2019, 08:03:25 AM »
Ingredients and a process is as below.

Ingredients
   malt; pale malt(73%), crystal malt (7%), wheat malt(20%)
                hop; Citra 23.7g
    yeast; English Ale yeast 2g
Brewing method
   3L BIAB
Brewing process
   mash at 67 - 70℃ for 60min
   boil without adding hops for 60min
   add hop 15min after boiling, cover and wait for 15min
    cool in an iced water until it gets about 30℃
   transfer liquid to fermentator
   add yeast, wait for 10min, shake it, wait for 10min, shake it
   fermentation at 18℃-22℃ for 2 weeks
   add sanitized priming sugar 22ml (21g glucose/300ml water)
   second fermentation in a bottle for 2 weeks

Offline watakooo

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Re: Grain-like bitterness
« Reply #6 on: May 04, 2019, 08:10:08 AM »
I agree with Jeffy, it sounds to me like you could be getting tannins.

Check your mash pH -- keep it below about 5.8 if you are doing any kind of sparge (ie, rinsing off that massive BIAB grain bag to get more sugars out).  Your mash should normally be down at 5.1-5.3, but it will naturally rise during sparging.  If you are doing the BIAB in your whole volume, ensure you keep that pH down, or you are sure to extract tannins.

Its also possible if your mill is shredding the hell out of the grain husks, but this is unlikely with a decent mill nowadays.

Thank you for your reply.
I did squeeze a grain bag by hand instead of rinsing, but pH was below 5.0 at the beginning of boil process.
But very helpful information for me.

Offline Bilsch

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Re: Grain-like bitterness
« Reply #7 on: June 12, 2019, 12:50:39 AM »
When you say "grain like bitterness" I think of herbstoff aka grain bitterness which is caused by oxidation.

Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Grain-like bitterness
« Reply #8 on: June 12, 2019, 01:38:23 AM »
When you say "grain like bitterness" I think of herbstoff aka grain bitterness which is caused by oxidation.
i know what it tastes like these days. Often pick it out in locally brewed German beers, Kolsch and Pils for example.

My wife, who has a great palate, seems to be blind to it.
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Offline Bilsch

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Re: Grain-like bitterness
« Reply #9 on: June 13, 2019, 02:20:48 AM »
i know what it tastes like these days. Often pick it out in locally brewed German beers, Kolsch and Pils for example.

My wife, who has a great palate, seems to be blind to it.

I missed it as well for a great portion of my beer drinking life, just assuming it was some sort of hop derived bitter flavor. Now that I know what it is, makes it really hard to ignore. Maybe one would be better off not knowing/tasting it was there.

Offline santoch

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Re: Grain-like bitterness
« Reply #10 on: June 13, 2019, 04:31:45 AM »
When you say "grain like bitterness" I think of herbstoff aka grain bitterness which is caused by oxidation.
i know what it tastes like these days. Often pick it out in locally brewed German beers, Kolsch and Pils for example.

My wife, who has a great palate, seems to be blind to it.

Damn.  Now I gotta figure out exactly what this herbstoff thing is.

Like when I learned what THP tastes like. That grainy cheerios flavor that I thought complimented the graininess?  Drinking (some) sours isn't quite the same any more.
« Last Edit: June 13, 2019, 04:34:03 AM by santoch »
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Re: Grain-like bitterness
« Reply #11 on: June 13, 2019, 03:21:14 PM »
When you say "grain like bitterness" I think of herbstoff aka grain bitterness which is caused by oxidation.
i know what it tastes like these days. Often pick it out in locally brewed German beers, Kolsch and Pils for example.

My wife, who has a great palate, seems to be blind to it.

Damn.  Now I gotta figure out exactly what this herbstoff thing is.

Like when I learned what THP tastes like. That grainy cheerios flavor that I thought complimented the graininess?  Drinking (some) sours isn't quite the same any more.

It's from HSA. So its literally in every beer that isn't brewing in a low oxygen brewhouse. It will not be in European Macro brews.

Offline Jayjay1976

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Re: Grain-like bitterness
« Reply #12 on: June 14, 2019, 04:08:35 PM »
I also BIAB and have been struggling with this grainy flavor as well and have been trying (unsuccessfully as of yet) to pinpoint the cause. Along the way I've begun building starters, I now ferment with temp control, bought an RO filter and have learned basic water chemistry, and recently began monitoring pH but the taste is still there. My next move is to open up the gap in my mill just a bit to see if my current (tightest) setting is creating excessive husk particulate. Probably should have started there since the flavor to me seems almost obviously a husk issue.

If all else fails I'll start reading about HSA, but to be honest, none of the guys I brew with make any effort at that and I don't taste any of this phantom grainy flavor in any of their beers. My beers have had it to a greater or lesser extent for so long that I have thought about brewing a few extract kits to see if I still get it.

Online denny

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Re: Grain-like bitterness
« Reply #13 on: June 14, 2019, 04:14:22 PM »
I also BIAB and have been struggling with this grainy flavor as well and have been trying (unsuccessfully as of yet) to pinpoint the cause. Along the way I've begun building starters, I now ferment with temp control, bought an RO filter and have learned basic water chemistry, and recently began monitoring pH but the taste is still there. My next move is to open up the gap in my mill just a bit to see if my current (tightest) setting is creating excessive husk particulate. Probably should have started there since the flavor to me seems almost obviously a husk issue.

If all else fails I'll start reading about HSA, but to be honest, none of the guys I brew with make any effort at that and I don't taste any of this phantom grainy flavor in any of their beers. My beers have had it to a greater or lesser extent for so long that I have thought about brewing a few extract kits to see if I still get it.

Could be trhe malt you're using.
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Offline rburrelli

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Re: Grain-like bitterness
« Reply #14 on: June 14, 2019, 04:23:11 PM »
I also BIAB and have been struggling with this grainy flavor as well and have been trying (unsuccessfully as of yet) to pinpoint the cause. Along the way I've begun building starters, I now ferment with temp control, bought an RO filter and have learned basic water chemistry, and recently began monitoring pH but the taste is still there. My next move is to open up the gap in my mill just a bit to see if my current (tightest) setting is creating excessive husk particulate. Probably should have started there since the flavor to me seems almost obviously a husk issue.

If all else fails I'll start reading about HSA, but to be honest, none of the guys I brew with make any effort at that and I don't taste any of this phantom grainy flavor in any of their beers. My beers have had it to a greater or lesser extent for so long that I have thought about brewing a few extract kits to see if I still get it.

Could be trhe malt you're using.

Beat me to it Denny. It is an ingredient issue I would think.
Just sitting here learning what I can....