Author Topic: Need your help eliminating this off-flavor!  (Read 3993 times)

Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Need your help eliminating this off-flavor!
« Reply #15 on: June 24, 2011, 10:40:55 AM »
Lighter ales always taste kind of grainy to me.  Are we sure it is actually tannins that are the problem as opposed to the flavor of grains?
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Offline denny

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Re: Need your help eliminating this off-flavor!
« Reply #16 on: June 24, 2011, 10:42:14 AM »
Are we sure it is actually tannins that are the problem as opposed to the flavor of grains?

I don't think that's been established.
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Offline hossthegreat

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Re: Need your help eliminating this off-flavor!
« Reply #17 on: June 24, 2011, 10:43:40 AM »
Hard to see from the picture, but while it looks fine, some of the husks seen to be shredded. What kind of a mill are you using?

I'm using a crankandstein 2A on the default gap setting.

Offline hossthegreat

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Re: Need your help eliminating this off-flavor!
« Reply #18 on: June 24, 2011, 10:46:57 AM »
Lighter ales always taste kind of grainy to me.  Are we sure it is actually tannins that are the problem as opposed to the flavor of grains?

This is a pronounced grainy flavor. I have never tasted it in any commercial Pale Ale's or Blonde's that I've had. I suppose that it could be the grain, but I've experienced the same issue with both 2-row (now that I look at it it's actually Pale malt) and MO from 2 different maltsters, so I'm not sure if that's it or not. I did just buy 3 new sacks of CMC 2-row, I could open one of those up on my next batch to determine if it's the malt.

Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Need your help eliminating this off-flavor!
« Reply #19 on: June 24, 2011, 10:54:19 AM »
It doesn't necessarily mean there is anything wrong with the malt, it's just that some styles taste grainy to me.  It could also still be a little bit of tannins due to the pH, it's hard to say without tasting it.

I think I like the the Bru'n water suggestion, people have had luck with it nailing the pH.  So you can calculate what the pH would be with what you've been doing, and figure out how to adjust it for your next batch.  That would be my first step I think.
Tom Schmidlin

Offline hossthegreat

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Re: Need your help eliminating this off-flavor!
« Reply #20 on: June 24, 2011, 11:01:45 AM »
Also, before going out and spending money on a pH meter, could I maybe do a batch by building up a water profile using Distilled / RO water? Is there a baseline "water recipe" that I could use that we'd know would put the water in the correct pH range? If the batch comes out without the grainy flavor, then presumably I'd know the issue is with my water???

Since you've already got the report on your water from Ward Labs, before you do the RO/distilled thing, why don't you try Martin's water spreadsheet and see what it tells you...

http://www.homebrewersassociation.org/forum/index.php?topic=6016.msg72038#msg72038


Ok, I just plugged in all of my water numbers and my grain bill from my previous batch (Blonde Ale). According to it, with no water adjustments my mash acidity results are as follows:

Net Water Alkalinity 3.8
Total Mash Acidity  8.7
Net Mash Acidity  5
Estimated Room Temp Mash pH  5.5

Now, here's what it gave me based on the adjustments that I did make on my last batch:

Net Water Alkalinity  -24.6
Total Mash Acidity 38.7
Net Mash Acidity 63.4 (Says range should be between 0 and 25)
Estimated Room Temp Mash 5.2

So, it looks like by making no additions I should have been OK, correct? I have been getting this grainy flavor when making NO water adjustments as well as my previous batch, where I used 1 gram of calcium chloride per gallon and 2% acidulated malt.



Offline mabrungard

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Re: Need your help eliminating this off-flavor!
« Reply #21 on: June 24, 2011, 11:02:29 AM »
That is a great looking water report.  The alkalinity is nicely low.  Hardness is low, but that does not matter.

Given the low alkalinity, I would not be surprised if the mash pH fell into range if the OP was performing a normal mash procedure. Even for lighter colored beer grists.  But since the OP says he does the full volume of water when mashing BIAB, it is possible that there isn't enough acidity in light colored grists to bring the mash pH down.  Bru'n Water allows you to check that out.  It also allows you to check if that 2% amount of acid malt is enough to do the trick for the pH.  

Given that the OP says his darker beers seem fine and the lighter ones not so much, it is probably the resulting mash pH that is creating the problem.  

BIAB is a nice method, but the high amount of water in the mashing step can accentuate the amount of alkalinity in the mash.  On the other hand, given the relatively low alkalinity of this water, if the OP was mashing with a normal water to grist ratio, the mash pH would probably fall too far when brewing dark beers.  

Check out Bru'n Water.  It is the perfect tool for situations like this.
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Offline hossthegreat

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Re: Need your help eliminating this off-flavor!
« Reply #22 on: June 24, 2011, 11:10:56 AM »
That is a great looking water report.  The alkalinity is nicely low.  Hardness is low, but that does not matter.

Given the low alkalinity, I would not be surprised if the mash pH fell into range if the OP was performing a normal mash procedure. Even for lighter colored beer grists.  But since the OP says he does the full volume of water when mashing BIAB, it is possible that there isn't enough acidity in light colored grists to bring the mash pH down.  Bru'n Water allows you to check that out.  It also allows you to check if that 2% amount of acid malt is enough to do the trick for the pH.  

Given that the OP says his darker beers seem fine and the lighter ones not so much, it is probably the resulting mash pH that is creating the problem.  

BIAB is a nice method, but the high amount of water in the mashing step can accentuate the amount of alkalinity in the mash.  On the other hand, given the relatively low alkalinity of this water, if the OP was mashing with a normal water to grist ratio, the mash pH would probably fall too far when brewing dark beers.  

Check out Bru'n Water.  It is the perfect tool for situations like this.


Martin, thank you for the response as well as the awesome tool. I just posted some info as you were typing your post. Above yours you will see the numbers I came up with using Bru'n water.

Offline tom

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Re: Need your help eliminating this off-flavor!
« Reply #23 on: June 24, 2011, 12:14:28 PM »
Any other beer lovers around who you could have taste it?
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Offline tomsawyer

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Re: Need your help eliminating this off-flavor!
« Reply #24 on: June 24, 2011, 03:28:14 PM »
Lets see a recipe.  You might try British or German crystal, and maybe some Rahr 2-row.  A little Munich would give you a bready flavor.

I agree that your water looks good, and your crush is fine too.  So I'd focus on ingredients and process.
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Offline tubercle

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Re: Need your help eliminating this off-flavor!
« Reply #25 on: June 24, 2011, 03:42:30 PM »
Replace some of the malt bill with rice and corn. :-\

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Offline hossthegreat

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Re: Need your help eliminating this off-flavor!
« Reply #26 on: June 24, 2011, 07:06:34 PM »
Lets see a recipe.  You might try British or German crystal, and maybe some Rahr 2-row.  A little Munich would give you a bready flavor.

I agree that your water looks good, and your crush is fine too.  So I'd focus on ingredients and process.

Here's the recipe from the Blonde I just brewed. Also had the same flavor in a Pale Ale I brewed prior to this one.  Before those two, I brewed an AG Mild and an extract IPA with no off-flavors whatsoever. Honestly, I'm not sure what else in my process to tweak if it's not an issue with the pH. I guess it's still possible that I'm getting to much grain particles in the boil. I was thinking about double bagging the next mash, to help eliminate any particles getting through the bag and into the boil. Still, BIAB is becoming such a popular method, you'd think that more people would have this problem if this were the case.

8lb CMC Pale Ale Malt
.75lb Cara-Pils
.5lb Crystal 20
.5lb Vienna
.2lb Acid Malt

55min 10 grams Centennial 6%AA
35min 10 grams Centennial 6%AA
20min 10 grams Cascade 5.4%AA
5min 10 grams Cascade 5.4%AA

Water treatment 7.5 grams Calcium Chloride

Offline narvin

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Re: Need your help eliminating this off-flavor!
« Reply #27 on: June 24, 2011, 07:36:41 PM »
Your gypsum is quite low.... adding only calcium chloride will emphasize the malty flavor and leave you with a softer hop flavor.  I wouldn't think this would cause a grainy taste, but I would use half gypsum and half calcium chloride in the recipe you posted.

What's your yeast pitching and fermentation temperature like?  Yeast also wouldn't usually make a beer grainy, but at this point I think we're looking to find any process flaws we can.
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Offline hossthegreat

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Re: Need your help eliminating this off-flavor!
« Reply #28 on: June 24, 2011, 07:45:21 PM »
Your gypsum is quite low.... adding only calcium chloride will emphasize the malty flavor and leave you with a softer hop flavor.  I wouldn't think this would cause a grainy taste, but I would use half gypsum and half calcium chloride in the recipe you posted.

What's your yeast pitching and fermentation temperature like?  Yeast also wouldn't usually make a beer grainy, but at this point I think we're looking to find any process flaws we can.

On this last batch, I built a starter using Wyeast 1056. The starter sat on a stir plate for a couple of days. After that, I crashed it in the fridge for a few days. At the beginning of my brew day, I took the starter out of the fridge and decanted most of the liquid. After the boil, I chilled the wort to 65 degrees, aerated with pure O2 for approx 45 seconds, and pitched. After this, I insulate my temp probe with some bubble wrap and tape it to the side of my carboy. I then set my temp controller to 66 degrees.

For what it's worth, I have also used Safale US 05 rehydrated and still got the same grainy flavor in the finished beer.

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Re: Need your help eliminating this off-flavor!
« Reply #29 on: June 24, 2011, 07:48:36 PM »
I think every one is way over thinking this, and it's not a ph or water quality problem. If you think you have a lot of husks getting into your boil, then I'd work on that.

Hit the obvious things first and if that doesn't fix it, then look deeper.