Spike Brewing 12.5 Conical Fermenter Giveaway - Enter Now!

Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Brew Science > pH Affecting Hop Flavor?

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 09-04-2012, 06:44 PM   #1
SONICYOUTH
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: ARLINGTON, VA
Posts: 77
Default pH Affecting Hop Flavor?

I've had real issues with brewing hoppier beers. No matter what techniques or how many hops I've tried, I still don't get much if sometimes any hop flavor. I looked into my areas water profile, and my water is around 7.8 pH, which I realize is high. Is it worth my time to try and change it? Is it affecting my hops at all? What can I do?

__________________
SONICYOUTH is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-04-2012, 06:48 PM   #2
JeffoC6
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Stewartsville, NJ
Posts: 1,037
Liked 52 Times on 28 Posts

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by SONICYOUTH View Post
I've had real issues with brewing hoppier beers. No matter what techniques or how many hops I've tried, I still don't get much if sometimes any hop flavor. I looked into my areas water profile, and my water is around 7.8 pH, which I realize is high. Is it worth my time to try and change it? Is it affecting my hops at all? What can I do?
I think I'm having the same problem as you. Regardless of the types of hops I'm using, or how much, etc., all my beers have the same (lack of) hop aroma and same (lack of) hop flavor.

Are you experiencing astringent/tannin/metallic flavors with these beers? When you burp, does it taste like metal?

I don't have an answer to your question, but these are the problems I'm having and I'm wondering if you share the same issues.

Sonic Youth rocks the shyt
__________________
Pap Don Brewers

Planned:
Prim #1: Ed Wort's Bavarian Hefe
Prim #2:
Prim #3:
Prim #4:
Prim #5:
Prim #6:
Bottled: Saddle-Up IPA, Leaf House IPA
JeffoC6 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-04-2012, 07:06 PM   #3
SONICYOUTH
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: ARLINGTON, VA
Posts: 77
Default

Yeah, that is the exact kind of flavor I'm getting.

__________________
SONICYOUTH is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-04-2012, 07:13 PM   #4
Yooper
Ale's What Cures You!
HBT_ADMIN.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Yooper's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Upper Michigan
Posts: 60,717
Liked 4367 Times on 3175 Posts
Likes Given: 850

Default

It's probably not mash pH, at least not directly. I've noticed that water chemistry has a huge impact on the flavor of a beer, particularly "smooth" or "harsh" hop flavors.

Have you done a water profile, or have any idea what your alkalinity is?

__________________
Broken Leg Brewery
Giving beer a leg to stand on since 2006
Yooper is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-04-2012, 07:14 PM   #5
JeffoC6
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Stewartsville, NJ
Posts: 1,037
Liked 52 Times on 28 Posts

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by SONICYOUTH View Post
Yeah, that is the exact kind of flavor I'm getting.
Sounds like we're in this together.
I'll tell you a little bit about my setup, and what I was doing, and what Yooper has since suggested I try.

Before:
I do 1 gallon all grain BIAB. I use a 3 gallon kettle and add my full volume of (Poland Spring water) to the kettle (accounting for boil off/grain absorbtion/etc). I add all of my grains and mash for 1 hour. After 1 hour, I stir my grains constantly until I achieve 170. I then cover my kettle and let it sit (with the heat off) for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, I pull the bag out, squeeze out all of the wort from the grain, and then start my boil.

After
After having the same flavor on ALL of my beers (mostly in my IPA's, but definitely noticeable in all of my beers), Yooper advised that it's most likely my water, or the fact that I'm using such a small amount of grain (approx 2-2.5 lbs in about 2 gallons or so of water). She recommended that I move to either RO or distilled water, and add some calcium chloride to the total volume of water that I plan to use. Further, she recommended that I pull out some of my water and put it in another (smaller) kettle. This would allow for my mash to be a little thicker (less water per that amount of grain). After going through my normal process as outlined above, I then pull the grain bag out, squeeze, and then dunk it in the other kettle, which I heated to 165 (down from 170 in my prior process). I dunk and rinse the grains in this water, trying to extract all of the remaining sugars. Then, I simply dump that water into my brew kettle and start the boil.

This update to my process has hopefully eliminated the pH issues I've been having, however, the beers I've tried this with are still about 2 weeks away from being tasted/tested, as they're still conditioning.

I'm curious to hear your process, as it sounds like we have the same issues...I'm just assuming yours are on a a larger scale since I only do 1-gallon batches.
__________________
Pap Don Brewers

Planned:
Prim #1: Ed Wort's Bavarian Hefe
Prim #2:
Prim #3:
Prim #4:
Prim #5:
Prim #6:
Bottled: Saddle-Up IPA, Leaf House IPA
JeffoC6 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-04-2012, 09:22 PM   #6
SONICYOUTH
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: ARLINGTON, VA
Posts: 77
Default

I've done a water profile, but the only thing I have difficulty locating from the report is the Bicarbonate. I don't know what it would be under.

__________________
SONICYOUTH is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-04-2012, 09:24 PM   #7
Yooper
Ale's What Cures You!
HBT_ADMIN.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Yooper's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Upper Michigan
Posts: 60,717
Liked 4367 Times on 3175 Posts
Likes Given: 850

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by SONICYOUTH View Post
I've done a water profile, but the only thing I have difficulty locating from the report is the Bicarbonate. I don't know what it would be under.
HCO3 would be one, CaCO3 would be another place to look.
__________________
Broken Leg Brewery
Giving beer a leg to stand on since 2006
Yooper is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-04-2012, 10:30 PM   #8
ajdelange
Senior Member
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: McLean/Ogden, Virginia/Quebec
Posts: 5,849
Liked 568 Times on 468 Posts
Likes Given: 16

Default

Water pH has very little to do with hops extraction. Kettle pH does. Kettle pH should be between say 5.1 and 5.4 to on the one hand make it easy for yeast to pull the wort pH down to a level they are happy with (lower is better in this regard) and, on the other hand, be at a high enough level the hops alpha acids are isomerised (higher is better). 5.1 - 5.4 represents a compromise.

Mash pH should be in the range 5.4 - 5.6 as this is required for the mashing enzymes to do their jobs and for the beer to develop all the flavors you want. Above this range beer flavors are dull and uninteresting. Go below this range, I am told, and the beer becomes stridently flavored. This has never happened to me so I have no first hand experience with it. If mash pH is correct kettle pH usually falls in the right range. Again, water pH has little to do with this. Alkalinity does and that's the parameter to look for.

Sulfate content has a lot to do with the way hops flavors are perceived. Arlington water carries sulfate at about 30 - 35 ppm. That's too much for the German beers that use noble hops but way lower than what most people who do mostly ales seem to like. Others say that high sulfate levels render any hops bitterness harsh and should be avoided.

I would say stay with the low sulfate (i.e. what's in the water for now) and simply use more hops. Stay away from high alpha hops, add them late and cool the wort as quickly as you can. This insures more oils (responsible for hops flavor and aroma) per unit of beer bitterness and prevents the oils, which are quite volatile, from flying off.

Run over to Mad Fox and taste some of Bill's highly hopped beers. This is what can be done with the local water.

Bicarbonate is calculated from alkalinity by dividing the alkalinity by 50 and multiplying the answer by 61. In your area alkalinity runs around 80 so bicarbonate is 61*80/50 ~ 96.

__________________
ajdelange is offline
fnord Likes This 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-04-2012, 11:49 PM   #9
SONICYOUTH
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: ARLINGTON, VA
Posts: 77
Default

I'm actually clapping at my computer for how awesome that response was. Thank you.

__________________
SONICYOUTH is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 10-22-2013, 10:45 PM   #10
ZedBrewer
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 8
Likes Given: 1

Default

Sorry for resurrecting an old thread, but I use a method very similar to JeffoC6's, and I'm essentially having the same problem. Have either of you been able to solve it since you last posted?

Thanks!

__________________
ZedBrewer is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply


Quick Reply
Message:
Options
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
How do different volumes of CO2 affect flavor? mthelm85 Brew Science 11 09-29-2011 06:35 PM
Off flavor and water quality FireRescueFL Brew Science 13 06-11-2011 01:25 PM
Amt of water affecting bitterness siobhan Brew Science 16 01-20-2011 06:35 PM
Water profile and associated off flavor? SugarJohnson Brew Science 2 02-02-2010 05:19 PM
Elevation change affecting carbonation levels in bottle conditioned beer? AZ_IPA Brew Science 15 05-27-2009 08:42 AM