Author Topic: Back of the Tongue Bitterness  (Read 2343 times)

Offline skyler

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 824
  • Hmm. Human music. I like it.
    • View Profile
    • Brewing After Law School
Back of the Tongue Bitterness
« on: April 10, 2011, 06:12:26 PM »
I just kegged an amber ale last night and noticed an unusual problem - there is a sharp bitterness in the aftertaste and at the back of the tongue. I am wondering what it is and what I should do. The bitterness is a little like a hoppy beer with way too much suspended yeast - sharp like that. Otherwise the beer is perfect - crystal clear, wonderful aroma, excellent head retention.

My process for this beer:
I brewed it per usual - batch sparge with a fairly fine crush and about 84% efficiency (recipe below). After 3 weeks in primary, I cold crashed and racked onto dry hops. I gave it 12 days and then cold crashed and hit it with gelatin. Then I wasn't able to get to it for 5 days before racking. The gelatin worked - beer is incredibly clear, but I am wondering if the cold temp with the dry hops could have done it.


Recipe: Education Amber Ale
Style: 10B-American Ale-American Amber Ale

Recipe Overview
 
Wort Volume Before Boil: 14.50 US gals
Wort Volume After Boil: 12.00 US gals
Volume Transferred: 10.00 US gals
Water Added: 1.00 US gals
Volume At Pitching: 11.00 US gals
Final Batch Volume: 10.50 US gals
Expected Pre-Boil Gravity: 1.049 SG
Expected OG: 1.054 SG
Expected FG: 1.011 SG
Expected ABV: 5.7 %
Expected ABW: 4.5 %
Expected IBU (using Tinseth): 37.6
Expected Color: 11.5 SRM
Apparent Attenuation: 79.4 %
Mash Efficiency: 84.0 %
Boil Duration: 90.0 mins
Fermentation Temperature: 58 degF

Fermentables
Canadian Pale Ale Malt 12lb 0oz (51.9 %) In Mash/Steeped
UK Pale Ale Malt (Maris Otter) 5lb 0oz (21.6 %) In Mash/Steeped
German Munich Malt 4lb 0oz (17.3 %) In Mash/Steeped
UK Medium Crystal (120EBC) 2lb 0oz (8.6 %) In Mash/Steeped
German Carafa Special II 2.00 oz (0.5 %) In Mash/Steeped

Hops
US Magnum (17.0 % alpha) 14 g Loose Whole Hops used 60 Min From End
US Simcoe (11.0 % alpha) 58 g Bagged Pellet Hops used 15 Min From End
US Centennial (11.0 % alpha) 113 g Loose Whole Hops used 5 Min From End
US Centennial (11.0 % alpha) 113 g Loose Whole Hops used At turn off
US Centennial (9.0 % alpha) 85 g Loose Pellet Hops used Dry-Hopped

Yeast: White Labs WLP001-California Ale

Mash at 152 degF for 60 mins

Offline skyler

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 824
  • Hmm. Human music. I like it.
    • View Profile
    • Brewing After Law School
Re: Back of the Tongue Bitterness
« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2011, 06:17:01 PM »
Only thing I am thinking is that I could add polyclar or more gelatin, but I am not sure either of those would really fix my problem.

Offline denny

  • Administrator
  • Retired with too much time on my hands
  • *****
  • Posts: 19389
  • Noti OR [1991.4, 287.6deg] AR
    • View Profile
    • Dennybrew
Re: Back of the Tongue Bitterness
« Reply #2 on: April 10, 2011, 06:32:19 PM »
Sometimes that perception comes from chlorophenols.  Any chance there was chlorine involved?
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 skyler

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 824
  • Hmm. Human music. I like it.
    • View Profile
    • Brewing After Law School
Re: Back of the Tongue Bitterness
« Reply #3 on: April 10, 2011, 06:38:28 PM »
all the water was carbon-filtered, per usual, so I doubt there would be any chlorine.

Offline mabrungard

  • Brewmaster General
  • *******
  • Posts: 2363
  • Water matters!
    • View Profile
    • Bru'n Water
Re: Back of the Tongue Bitterness
« Reply #4 on: April 10, 2011, 10:05:42 PM »
Your efficiency is quite high.  There could always be the possibility that the beer was oversparged.  I assume you haven't noticed this with your other beers?

I'm more inclined to believe that the bitterness perception is from polyphenols from the dry hopping. 
Martin B
Carmel, IN

BJCP National
Foam Blowers of Indiana (FBI)

Brewing Water Information at:
https://sites.google.com/site/brunwater/

Like Bru'n Water on Facebook
https://www.facebook.com/Brun-Water-464551136933908/?ref=bookmarks

Offline majorvices

  • Global Moderator
  • I must live here
  • *****
  • Posts: 9607
  • Polka. If its too loud you're too young.
    • View Profile
    • Yellowhammer Brewing Company
Re: Back of the Tongue Bitterness
« Reply #5 on: April 10, 2011, 11:20:22 PM »
Two things come to my mind. 1) Over Carbonation. An overcabronated beer enhances bitterness and makes a sharp bitterness bite. 2) The mineral content of your water. If you water changed suddenly, and you are used to putting, say, 10 gms of Calcium Sulfate into your mash, that can mess your bitterness us big time depending on what has changed in your water.

My water changes constantly, which makes like some what difficult.

Offline pyrite

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 443
  • Davis, CA
    • View Profile
Re: Back of the Tongue Bitterness
« Reply #6 on: April 10, 2011, 11:32:53 PM »
Like major said, I think it's likely a carbonic bite that is causing the perception of bitterness.  Also the combination of a low final gravity with carafa special II dark malt might enhance the bitterness. Too much calcium carbonate might also give that sharp back of the tongue astringent bitterness.
« Last Edit: April 10, 2011, 11:37:23 PM by pyrite »
If you don't get in over your head, how are you ever going to know how tall you are.

Offline Malticulous

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 367
    • View Profile
Re: Back of the Tongue Bitterness
« Reply #7 on: April 11, 2011, 12:16:15 AM »
I had some Columbus that caused hop astringency to a couple of batches. The first one I only used .25 oz of it to dry hop. The beer did get better with age (scored 35 in a recent comp.) The other one was a APA and that I only dry hopped half of. One half is still not drinkable. The other is gone. I tossed the rest of those hops in the trash.
« Last Edit: April 11, 2011, 12:18:25 AM by Malticulous »

Offline skyler

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 824
  • Hmm. Human music. I like it.
    • View Profile
    • Brewing After Law School
Re: Back of the Tongue Bitterness
« Reply #8 on: April 11, 2011, 12:45:43 AM »
Well, the water here is fairly high in bicarbonate. I added no salts to this mash or boil, but I did use some 5.2. I haven't had this problem before and have made similar-colored beers. I often add a lot of gypsum to my mash in order to effect a "Burton" profile (rather than carrying 20 gallons or RO water upstairs to my apartment). I use my water unmodified for darker beers all the time. My city water report is:

Calcium       33
Bicarbonate 336
Magnesium  59
Sodium        79
Chloride       52
Sulfate         81


Offline Pawtucket Patriot

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1367
  • Rebelling against cheap swill since 2005
    • View Profile
    • Bauhaus Brew Labs
Re: Back of the Tongue Bitterness
« Reply #9 on: April 11, 2011, 12:54:43 AM »
The bicarbonate content is fairly high, but I might be most concerned with the magnesium level with regard to that profile. It's really high. I know a higher than desirable amount of magnesium can lead to unwanted flavors, but I can't remember if it's a harsh bitterness or something else.
« Last Edit: April 11, 2011, 12:58:59 AM by Pawtucket Patriot »
Matt Schwandt | Minneapolis, MN
AHA Member

Partial-Mash Pictorial
All-Grain Pictorial

Offline skyler

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 824
  • Hmm. Human music. I like it.
    • View Profile
    • Brewing After Law School
Re: Back of the Tongue Bitterness
« Reply #10 on: April 11, 2011, 01:07:17 AM »
Regardless, I have brewed many beers with this water and haven't had this problem. However, having just had another taste, I can say two things: one, the beer (which I shake-carbonated yesterday) is taking longer than usual to be properly pourable (still all foamy) and two, the sharp bitterness has GREATLY reduced in the last 18 hours. That leaves me to believe that the problem has something to do with the keg (which a buddy cleaned and sanitized for me) or the lines (which I just ran warm starsan through before tapping this keg). Either way, if the problem is going away, I am happy. I am also happy that I will be moving to Oakland or Berkeley in July where the water is soft and easy to brew with.
« Last Edit: April 11, 2011, 02:53:38 AM by skyler »

beveragebob

  • Guest
Re: Back of the Tongue Bitterness
« Reply #11 on: April 11, 2011, 02:26:45 AM »
Do you batch or fly sparge? If you fly sparge do you acidify the sparge water to 6pH or below? I'm thinking you may have extracted tannins from the husks. This would only apply if it is an astringent type bitterness like sucking on a used tea bag(opens this up for some jocularity  :o )

Offline skyler

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 824
  • Hmm. Human music. I like it.
    • View Profile
    • Brewing After Law School
Re: Back of the Tongue Bitterness
« Reply #12 on: April 11, 2011, 02:31:10 AM »
Do you batch or fly sparge? If you fly sparge do you acidify the sparge water to 6pH or below? I'm thinking you may have extracted tannins from the husks. This would only apply if it is an astringent type bitterness like sucking on a used tea bag(opens this up for some jocularity  :o )

Batch sparge.

beveragebob

  • Guest
Re: Back of the Tongue Bitterness
« Reply #13 on: April 11, 2011, 02:32:47 AM »
OK disregard my last post then.