Author Topic: Need your help eliminating this off-flavor!  (Read 3530 times)

Offline Will's Swill

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 359
  • Secretly likes wine...
    • View Profile
Re: Need your help eliminating this off-flavor!
« Reply #45 on: June 26, 2011, 09:20:11 AM »
How do you keep your bag off of the heating element?
Is that a counter-pressure bottle filler in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me?

Offline hossthegreat

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 22
    • View Profile
Re: Need your help eliminating this off-flavor!
« Reply #46 on: June 26, 2011, 01:17:55 PM »
How do you keep your bag off of the heating element?

Actually, nothing. I did quite a bit of research when designing my rig. The consensus seemed to be that the melting point of the bag material is far higher than the temperature of the element. I use an ultra low watt density element, which is important. I suppose if you used a high density element it could potentially melt the bag. I've done 6 or 7 brews this way so far and have not had any problems with the bag in direct contact with the element.

Offline hossthegreat

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 22
    • View Profile
Re: Need your help eliminating this off-flavor!
« Reply #47 on: July 01, 2011, 07:22:38 PM »
Ok, here's an update for everyone following this issue. This past weekend I brewed up a pale ale. Here are the things I did to try and eliminate the grainy flavor:

1. Double Bagged the mash (although after mashing in, I realized that I put my coarser bag on the outside. So if anything got through the fine mesh, the coarser mesh bag would most likely have done nothing. So, I can't say that this accomplished anything.

2. Opened a brand new sack of CMC 2 row.

3. Treated my 9 gallons of water used in the mash with 9g of Calcium Chloride

4. Used acidulated malt for 2% of my grist

Here's the recipe

9.5 lbs 2row
10 oz Cara-Pils
10 oz 60L
3.5 oz Acidulated Malt

37g Cascade (5.4%) 60min
37g Cascade (5.4%) 10min
21g Cascade (5.4%) 5min

1pkg rehydrated Safale US05

I did a normal 60min mash and 60min boil.

I brewed this last Sunday and tonight the krausen had dropped, so I took a sample. I'm happy to report, the sample was very clean and had no trace of graininess whatsoever! So, I'm assuming that the issue was either of the 2 (since I don't think double bagging with the course bag on the outside eliminated any particles getting into the boil)

1. The acidulated malt brought the pH down to the appropriate level (perhaps the blonde I brewed last needed more acidulated malt? Maybe next time, I'll try using 3%?)

2. The issue was with the grain I was using (although I don't think this was the issue since, I've had this flavor come through using different sacks of grain).

Again, thanks for all of the help and input. I'll keep brewing and if the flavor reappears, I'll let you all know.

Offline gordonstrong

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1355
    • View Profile
    • BJCP
Re: Need your help eliminating this off-flavor!
« Reply #48 on: July 01, 2011, 07:31:35 PM »
Did you measure your actual mash pH this time?  If you suspected that was a cause (and you should) then it's good to know what range works for you.  Glad you were able to avoid it this time, but with so many variables changing, it's hard to pin down the root cause of the problem in your previous batch.  On the other hand, if you have a repeatable process that makes good beer, do you really have to know why the other batch failed?  Different people would answer that question in different ways.  Depends on what your goals are. 
Gordon Strong • Beavercreek, Ohio • AHA Member since 1997 • Twitter: GordonStrong

Offline tubercle

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1639
  • Sweet Caroline
    • View Profile
Re: Need your help eliminating this off-flavor!
« Reply #49 on: July 02, 2011, 05:43:56 AM »
+1 to what Gordon said.

  An old adage in business: You can't manage what you can't measure
Sweet Caroline where the Sun rises over the deep blue sea and sets somewhere beyond Tennessee

Offline hossthegreat

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 22
    • View Profile
Re: Need your help eliminating this off-flavor!
« Reply #50 on: July 02, 2011, 06:07:29 AM »
Did you measure your actual mash pH this time?  If you suspected that was a cause (and you should) then it's good to know what range works for you.  Glad you were able to avoid it this time, but with so many variables changing, it's hard to pin down the root cause of the problem in your previous batch.  On the other hand, if you have a repeatable process that makes good beer, do you really have to know why the other batch failed?  Different people would answer that question in different ways.  Depends on what your goals are. 

Hi Gordon, no I still don't have any means to take a pH measurement. You're absolutely correct, though. As long as I have a repeatable process that turns out consistent, clean beer I'm not concerned specifically what the pH is. Certainly, I would like to know why exactly the other batches failed so that I can avoid having the same problems in the future. If the flavor returns and I run into the issue again, I might break down and get a pH meter. As for now though, I'm planning on taking that money and putting it towards a pump instead.

Offline gordonstrong

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1355
    • View Profile
    • BJCP
Re: Need your help eliminating this off-flavor!
« Reply #51 on: July 02, 2011, 06:12:09 AM »
Get some pH strips just to see if you're in the right ballpark.  They aren't as precise, but they can tell you if you're way off.  And definitely get a pump.  Put the pH meter on your Christmas/birthday/whatever-holiday-where-someone-might-give-you-something list.
Gordon Strong • Beavercreek, Ohio • AHA Member since 1997 • Twitter: GordonStrong