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Old 09-15-2006, 09:17 AM   #1
Teedocious
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Default I'm screwing up sanitizing somewhere...

So I've done 5 AG batches now - the first two (an oatmeal Stout & an APA) were great. Since then a Pils, a brown ale & a cream ale have all been a little off. They all seam to have an astringency about them. The one common factor between these batches was that I got an immersion chiller. Is it possible that I am somehow getting an infection that is causing some astringency from the IM??

I generally throw it in the boil for the last 15 minutes to sanitize - then hook it up to my kitchen sink (which I clean anally on brew day), stir the wort while running cold water through the IM, whirlpool by stirring for a few minutes & syphon into the fermentor.

Before I got the IM, I would throw the kettle into a tub of cold water for a while to cool it.

Is it possible that the astringency is coming from contamination? If so, how should I be using the IM to be safer on this? Or is it more liekly that I am oversparging or something like that...

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Old 09-15-2006, 02:04 PM   #2
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We'll need more info from you to help troublshoot better. What type of brewing do you do? AG, partial mash, full-boil, extract, do you bottle, keg, cask, what recipes etc.

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Old 09-15-2006, 03:53 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chairman Cheyco
We'll need more info from you to help troublshoot better. What type of brewing do you do? AG, partial mash, full-boil, extract, do you bottle, keg, cask, what recipes etc.
Well, as stated they are all grain, so they are also full boil, I primary in glass carboys & secondary in corneys & force carb. The recipes were your standard oatmeal stout, an APA, a german pils, a brown ale, & a cream ale. Ingredients varied between batches, but astringency was constant in the last three - the only common trait I could find was the immersion chiller... (ingerdients were all fresh from a fairly high volume LHBS)
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Old 09-15-2006, 03:57 PM   #4
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have you given these last three brews time to mature?

say, three weeks or more

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Old 09-15-2006, 04:20 PM   #5
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It's not coming from your chiller. When ya let it sit in the boil it's sanatized big time. Probably in your mashing procedures.

http://www.howtobrew.com/section4/chapter21-2.html

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Astringent
Astringency differs from bitterness by having a puckering quality, like sucking on a tea bag. It is dry, kind of powdery and is often the result of steeping grains too long or when the pH of the mash exceeds the range of 5.2 - 5.6. Oversparging the mash or using water that is too hot are common causes for exceeding the mash pH range. It can also be caused by over-hopping during either the bittering or finishing stages. Bacterial infections can also cause astringency, i.e. vinegar tones from aceto bacteria.
The brown scum that forms during fermentation and clings to the side of the fermentor is intensely bitter and if it is stirred back into the beer it will cause very astringent tastes. The scum should be removed from the beer, either by letting it cling undisturbed to the sides of an oversize fermentor, or by skimming it off the krausen, or blowing off the krausen itself from a 5 gallon carboy. I have never had any problems by simply letting it cling to the sides of the fermentor.
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Old 09-15-2006, 04:23 PM   #6
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I haven’t used an immersion chiller. But I have done a bit of plumbing. Have you tried running it in an empty bucket and checking for pinhole leaks?

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Old 09-15-2006, 05:25 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pumbaa
It's not coming from your chiller. When ya let it sit in the boil it's sanatized big time. Probably in your mashing procedures.

http://www.howtobrew.com/section4/chapter21-2.html

[U]
That line about the brown crap being very astringent getting stirred back in is a possibility. I have to move my carboy from a closet in an awkward position & carry it to another room in order to rack it to my secondary. There is inevitable movement of the beer at this point - and if it is lapping against that crud and picking some of it up... that might do it.

It seems like the good news is that if this is causing the problem, I can probably wait this taste out...
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Old 09-15-2006, 07:28 PM   #8
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Yeah, I second that it's not coming from the chiller. I usually just spray some iodophor on mine and let it sit in the hot wort while it's chilling it - I don't bother with the 15 minutes of boiling.

Astringency is usually associated with tannins, are you over-sparging maybe? Do you check your ph? You're water may be to alkali/acid. What temperature are you sparging with?

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Old 09-16-2006, 01:19 AM   #9
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Quote:
I generally throw it in the boil for the last 15 minutes to sanitize - then hook it up to my kitchen sink (which I clean anally on brew day), stir the wort while running cold water through the IM, whirlpool by stirring for a few minutes & syphon into the fermentor.
Could it be that you are getting hot side aeration by stirring before the wort is cool enough?
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Old 09-16-2006, 01:52 AM   #10
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i seriously doubt the HSA from stirring with the IC in there - I'm not going to town on it or anything. Just mixing it up and keeping wort moving until it drops to ~80 - then I whirlpool it by hand. At 80F I'm not getting any HSA...

As far as PH goes - I've never measured it. Bit I get the impression that my water would have to be pretty far out of whack to make that big of a difference (I use city water).

And for oversparging - it could be a possibility... I normally run a sparge until I get enough wort or until I get runnings at 1.010 (whichever is first) - I *think* that should keep me safe on that count, but I'm not sure.

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