Flavor problems

What went wrong? Was this supposed to happen? Should I throw it out? What do I do now?

Moderator: slothrob

Flavor problems

Postby yooper » Wed Jan 02, 2002 5:50 pm

I have been brewing for about a year now and have a consistent problem. I am getting a distinct bitter aftertaste. I believe it is not from the hops. I have the feeling it could be a sanitizing problem. I have a batch in the secondary and am not sure if the extra sanitizing steps will work or not. Here are the steps I used in brewing the last batch.

I sanitized my new glass carboy in a solution of 2 ounces of chlorine bleach in 5 gallons of water for about 24 hours. Before adding 3 gallons of cool water I rinsed it thouroughly with hot tap water. and let it drip dry upside down.
I boiled my wort recipe of 6 pounds of gold liquid extract, 1 pound of crystal malt and .75 pounds of maple syrup for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes I added 1 ounce of cascade hops. I boiled for another 30 minutes and then added 1 ounce of saaz hops. Finished this in 10 minutes so the total boil was for 1 hour.
I then added the hot work into 3 gallons of cool water which was in my sanitized glass carboy. I waited for the temperature to cool to around 100 degrees farenheit before adding the yeast. I put on the air lock and fermentation started in about 4 hours. Initial fermentation lasted for about 2 1/2 days and then brew started to settle out. After 1 week I racked it into a sanitized secondary glass carboy where it still sits until bottling.

I believe I sanitized any tools that came in contact with the wort completely but will take even further steps next batch. If this batch still has the same problem here or some more steps I plas on taking.

1. Strain wort into the primary fermenter using a much finer strainer. I used a standard kitchen stainless steel strainer. This left alot of hops remaining in the fermentation.
Would to much hop left in the fermentation lead to this unwanted bitterness?

2. Use a blow off hose to naturally remove the krausen from the fermentation.

3. Soak all of my tools in a bleach solution of 1 ounce of bleach to 5 gallons of water for about 2 hours prior to brewing.

4. Is it necessary rinse the carboy after a bleach solution has been in it for 24 hours or can you just drain out the carboy and place your wort in it without rinsing?

5. 24 hours prior to bottling I plan on soaking my bottles in the same bleach solution. Again would I need to rinse them out completely or can I just dump out the bleach and the brew without rinsing?

Any help regarding this would be greatly appreciated. I can drink the beer but my wife says it sucks. She likes it for boiling bratwurst though. Seems to work great for that. Gives them a great flavor.
yooper
Light Lager
Light Lager
 
Posts: 24
Joined: Sat Nov 24, 2001 11:15 pm

Maybe Tannins?

Postby BillyBock » Wed Jan 02, 2002 10:37 pm

It doesn't sound like a sanitation problem to me. Would you describe your distinct bitter aftertaste as a sort of "mouth puckering" bitternes? If so, let's look at two things first: the grains added to your kettle and your water supply.
In your post you stated "I boiled my wort recipe of 6 pounds of gold liquid extract, 1 pound of crystal malt and .75 pounds of maple syrup for 20 minutes." Did you mean that you had the crystal malt in a rolling boil along with the extract and syrup? Popular wisdon says that if you boil the grains, it'll leach tannins out of the husk material which leads to an astringent taste. The grains should be steeped in water at about 150F, and then removed, prior to adding extracts and proceeding with the boil. On all your other brews in the last year, did you also boil the grains?
Another place to look is your brewing water. Are you using tap water? Highly alkaline tap water can also impart this type of unpleasant bitter taste by leaching tannins from the husks.
If any of the above applies, consider this test: make the same recipe but leave out the crystal malt and use distilled water instead of tap water.
If none of this applies, then consider this the rambling of an insomniac :-) Let me know what you think.
BillyBock
Imperial Stout
Imperial Stout
 
Posts: 561
Joined: Sun Dec 31, 2000 11:37 am
Location: Ohio

Flavor Problems

Postby Azorean Brewer » Thu Jan 03, 2002 12:51 am

Yooper, I agree with Billy about your flavor problems, try putting your grain in a hop sack (musslin $.35 ea or so tie it tight so they can't escape)and "steep" at no more than 160F 150F-155F is optimum for 30-45 min., remove the sack place it in a clean collander and pour about 1/2 - 1 gallon of hot (170F) water through it slowly to "Sparge" out the remaining goodies. If you boil your grain YOU WILL get some terrible off flavors. Also to add to this you should never pitch your yeast above 85F. 75F-85F is best. When yeast is pitched at or above 100-105F it will active too quiclkly creating again undesireable off flavors, hence the fermenting starting in 4 hours, it should be closer to 12 hours. I think that if you follow these steps you will be very happy, good luck.
Azorean Brewer
Strong Ale
Strong Ale
 
Posts: 326
Joined: Sun Dec 16, 2001 1:31 pm
Location: Greenville SC

Thanks

Postby yooper » Thu Jan 03, 2002 4:11 am

Thanks for the reply.
As far as the water supply goes I have tried water from a few different sources. I have tried tap water, Water from a couple of local potable springs and well water from a country well so I don't think the water is the problem. The water in this area is very consistent.
I think you are right about the grains. This last batch I did boil the grains for the full boil. I thought what the heck, worth a try. But in the past I left the grains in up to the boiling point. Should I steep the grains in about 150 to 160 degree water? Another post said to do this for about 30 minutes. Is that correct? Another question I have is the time I steep the grain included in the total boil time or in addition to the boil time?
I greatly appreciate your help. Thank you
yooper
Light Lager
Light Lager
 
Posts: 24
Joined: Sat Nov 24, 2001 11:15 pm

Steep time

Postby Azorean Brewer » Thu Jan 03, 2002 4:57 am

Yooper, The steeping of the grains is completely prior to any boil. With an extract recipe I use one gallon of water for up to 1 1/2 lbs. of specialty grains. I bring the water up to 155F and then add the grains in the musslin sack, monitor the water to make sure it stays at around 155F add a little heat if you have to. Leave the grain in from 30-45 minutes. Sparge rinse the grains as I have stated with a gallon of 170F water. Then add your extract and start the boil as you would normally do. Once your kettle starts to boil set your timer and add your bittering hops etc ... If you do not have a copy of Papazian's New Joy of Homebrewing, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND IT ... there is some very good information in it, write back if you still need help ... Good luck.
Azorean Brewer
Strong Ale
Strong Ale
 
Posts: 326
Joined: Sun Dec 16, 2001 1:31 pm
Location: Greenville SC

Rinse Clorox!

Postby andytv » Thu Jan 03, 2002 11:38 am

To answer one of your questions specifically, yes you should rinse your carboy after a 24hour clorox solution soak. I'd bet there is still a significant amount of chlorine present, even after 24hrs, its safest to rinse thoroughly.

I agree w/ the other posts, your problem is most likely tannins from the grain husks. I accidentaly left a muslin bag of black patent in thw batch at 180F and had a bitterness problem. Fortunately for me, it wasn't severe and actually diminished with age. After a few months, the beer (Imperial Cream Stout) was top-notch.

I don't know too much about the "duration of steeping" rules. When I did partial mash recipes, I would either let the grains steep from cold water, until the wort reached about 160F, or I would steep at 150F for 20min. This is not included as "boil time"... you still need a full 1hr boil after steeping. As far as I know, there is no limitation on the duration of a steeping period... put it this way; When all-grain brewing, the specialty grains are generally part of the main grist, which is rested (steeped) for 60-90 minutes at anywhere from 130 to 160F. Keep in mind that the reason for the long rest is to allow the chemical processes which create fermentables to occur. When using specialty grains in a partial mash recipe, you really aren't concerned with this, you only want the color and flavor from the grain, so I think 20-30 min is fine.

Good luck
andytv
Double IPA
Double IPA
 
Posts: 206
Joined: Tue Jan 30, 2001 8:55 pm

My Method

Postby l48shark » Sun Jan 06, 2002 9:21 am

Yooper,
I am also an extract brewer and have a different method for dealing with specialty grains that is a little easier and has worked well for me. I place the grains (a little at a time) into a zipper sandwich bag and run over them a bit with a rolling pin. I then transfer all of the cracked grain to a cheesecloth bag and tie it off. I toss the grain bag into my 5 gallons of cold water and turn on the heat, stirring occasionally. When the water temperature hits 170 degrees, I remove the grain bag and discard. Once the "tea" is boiling, I add my extract and brew as normal. Just offering another option. Good luck.
-Ford
l48shark
Double IPA
Double IPA
 
Posts: 121
Joined: Sun Apr 22, 2001 10:02 pm

My 2 cents

Postby Push Eject » Fri Jan 11, 2002 6:46 am

Everyone's replies are right on the money, Yooper -- here are my thoughts:
1. Don't use tap water. Just a possibility. My local water sucks so I'm always buying spring or distilled water and using additives to get the water characteristics I want.
2. Buy a bigger pot; that way you boil ALL your water.
3. Try a no-rinse sanitizer like StarSan. They work great in mere minutes.
4. Definately NEVER pitch yeast above 85 degrees.
Have fun!
User avatar
Push Eject
Double IPA
Double IPA
 
Posts: 233
Joined: Wed Mar 21, 2001 1:01 pm
Location: Lancaster, CA, US

Yeast

Postby yooper » Sat Jan 12, 2002 2:35 pm

What are the effects on the flavor of the beer if the yeast is pitched above 85 degrees?
yooper
Light Lager
Light Lager
 
Posts: 24
Joined: Sat Nov 24, 2001 11:15 pm

Steeping/Rinsing

Postby jayhawk » Sat Jan 12, 2002 8:11 pm

I use specialty grains this way: heat water to 70-75 Celsius and steep in a bowl for 30-45 mins. During this time my kettle comes to boil. I then strain the "tea" into another bowl, add this liquid to my kettle, and then sparge with another 1 or 2 litres of hot water. Don't strain or sparge directly into kettle as you may drop grains accidently into the wort.

You must rinse anything bleahced that will hold wort or beer. I boil a few gallons of rinse water with every batch to make sure I have sanitary water to rinse anything. To sterilize bottles I load my dishwasher with as many bottles as possible (make sure the dishwasher has no food particles left over) and run it without detergent. The sustained heat will sterilize the bottles. Make sure to run the full rinse cycle because residual detergent may have been present during the wash cycle.

You may want to add your finishing hops closer to the end of the boil to provide more aroma and less bitterness.
jayhawk
Strong Ale
Strong Ale
 
Posts: 472
Joined: Tue Dec 25, 2001 12:05 am
Location: Vancouver, BC, CA

Off Flavors list & descriptions

Postby Push Eject » Sun Jan 13, 2002 6:43 am

Check this wonderful site out:
http://www.howtobrew.com/section4/chapter21-2.html
Cheers!
User avatar
Push Eject
Double IPA
Double IPA
 
Posts: 233
Joined: Wed Mar 21, 2001 1:01 pm
Location: Lancaster, CA, US

I'm gettin' closer

Postby yooper » Tue Jan 15, 2002 4:29 pm

I just racked my recent batch into the secondary fermenter and took a little sample. It still has a slight bitterness to it that isn't hops but I believe I know what happened.

I followed all the great advice I recieved from everyone and steeped the grain in 150-160 degree water in a bag for 35 minutes. I made sure everything was sanitary. I filtered the wort better and took much better care all around. The one thing I screwed up on was the yeast. I was committed to the process and had no choice but to add it at around 90 degrees. From a web site describing off flavors that one of you steered me to I believe that may have caused it. Other than that everything was fine. Next time I think I might try distilled water, follow the steps and advice I learned here and take better care when adding the yeast. All in all I'm gettin' better and for that I would like give you all a big Upper Michigan THANKS EH!!!! I'll keep ya posted on the progress.

Da Yooper
yooper
Light Lager
Light Lager
 
Posts: 24
Joined: Sat Nov 24, 2001 11:15 pm

Good Job

Postby BillyBock » Thu Jan 17, 2002 1:04 am

You're welcome, keep plugging. You could always just set them aside to age for awhile after it's bottled and carbonated. Aging does wonders for reducing green-beer & other flavors. Bittnerness tends to mellow out as well. So while you're waiting, make another batch :-) If the beer fridge is empty, you could make a wheat beer, they mature quickly and it'd probably be ready before this other batch.
BillyBock
Imperial Stout
Imperial Stout
 
Posts: 561
Joined: Sun Dec 31, 2000 11:37 am
Location: Ohio

Make the Mitt Proud

Postby Push Eject » Thu Jan 17, 2002 7:43 am

You know, 'Thanks, Eh" is nice... but I think we will take a bottle or two instead! :)
User avatar
Push Eject
Double IPA
Double IPA
 
Posts: 233
Joined: Wed Mar 21, 2001 1:01 pm
Location: Lancaster, CA, US

Will do!!

Postby yooper » Thu Jan 17, 2002 11:18 am

Just let me know where to send 'em. It's a small price to pay.
yooper
Light Lager
Light Lager
 
Posts: 24
Joined: Sat Nov 24, 2001 11:15 pm


Return to Brewing Problems, Emergencies, Help!

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests

cron