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.