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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Brew Science > Fine, watery trub, mash ph and water = off flavor?
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Old 05-20-2012, 04:55 PM   #1
Whoa
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Default Fine, watery trub, mash ph and water = off flavor?

I'm still cutting my teeth after 8 batches - 6 of them all grain - on getting my beer to taste right. My batch #6 of the dogfish 60 clone from this forum turned out great - different from actual dogfish head 60, but still great.
This batch and several other keepers had a nice, coagulated trub cone after the boil for a decent yield.
I also did the centennial blonde, and Yoopers house pale ale from this site. These both shared three things in common: that fine, watery trub after the boil and cold break (70 degrees), an off flavor that renders it basically undrinkable, and excessive sediment in the bottle ( maybe a 1/4"). I also have a batch in the fermenter that had the fine trub, I'm hoping it's drinkable.
It was suggested in another post that maybe my a high mash ph could cause this - I only know for sure that the batch in the fermenter had a ph in the upper 5 range, the other two weren't tested.
I used Chicago tap water for all batches so far. It goes like this:
Ca - 36 ppm
Mg - 12
K - 1.55
Na - 9
SO4 - 28
hardness CaCO3 - 149
Cl - 17
Cl2 - .82
Total Alkalinity CaCO3 -104
pH - 7.64 - 7.79

I'm thinking of adding some CaSO4, CaCO3, and a pinch of NaCl.

Am I on the right path to getting rid of my trub problem, or do my problems lie elswhere?

EDIT : I'm thinking of adding some CaSO4, "CaCl" and a pinch of KCl - I'm going from memory only.

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Old 05-20-2012, 05:10 PM   #2
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You definitely don't want to add NaCL or CaCO3. Your alkalinity is already high for a low acidity beer as is. I would say your problem mostly lies with chlorine or chloramine in your water. You can neutralize that with 1 campden tablet per 20 gallons of brewing water.

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Old 05-20-2012, 05:40 PM   #3
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I arrived at those additions following a brewing water chemistry spreadsheet and Palmer's ranges. It's probable I didn't follow everything right.
On my last batch I used brita filtered water, so hopefully most of the chlorine was removed from that water. I don't have the chloramine test results in front of me, but I want to say it was .7 ppm.
What could I add to bring my mash pH down into the 5.2 - 5.5 range?

I'm thinking the fine trub and the off flavor are related to each other - I'm just not sure how yet.

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Old 05-20-2012, 08:03 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Whoa View Post
I arrived at those additions following a brewing water chemistry spreadsheet and Palmer's ranges. It's probable I didn't follow everything right.
On my last batch I used brita filtered water, so hopefully most of the chlorine was removed from that water. I don't have the chloramine test results in front of me, but I want to say it was .7 ppm.
What could I add to bring my mash pH down into the 5.2 - 5.5 range?

I'm thinking the fine trub and the off flavor are related to each other - I'm just not sure how yet.
You'll need acid (think lactic acid or phosphoric acid) to get your pH down to 5.4-5.5 (where you want your ph, if you measure at room temp). You'll probably want to dilute your water 1:1 or 2:1 with RO (with 2 being the RO in the second case) so that you need less acid. A bit more calcium wouldn't hurt either. As far as the chloramine, the brita filters don't do a great job on chloramine, so that's still a possibility, especially in the summer (choramine is used more in the summer/warmer parts of the year).
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