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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Brew Science > slightly gritty and short lived hop armoa
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Old 01-15-2014, 03:54 PM   #1
Blarneybrew
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Default slightly gritty and short lived hop armoa

I made a pilsner using a spring water with only these lab results available:

Calcium 49.9 mg/L
Hardness as calcium carbonate 171.5 mg/L
Magnesium 11.4 mg/L
Sodium 2.2 mg/L

It came out beautiful. The first sip was a bit awe inspiring, at least for me and my mates it was. The only thing I noticed that I didn't like is that the hop aroma lasted for only a few sips, and then the beer just tasted a little bit gritty or granular. Like a bland slightly clean lager.

It was easily drinkable, but I was hoping for a little more savory/aromatic hop mid-taste, less so an after taste that lingers on the tongue

I know this isn't a lot of information to go on, but would any of those minerals have had an affect like this, more so than my hop additions?

If this water is close to ideal for my tastes what sort of small tweak could I do to it? One thing I still haven't done yet is check mash pH. So whatever the wyermann pilsner hit after a 30 min protein rest is what I ended up with.

On another note I'm in week two of carbonating a pilsner using acidulated and carahell. It's interesting to notice the sour of the acidulated coming through pretty strong when the beer was flat, and as it becomes more carbonated the sour flavor seems to fall a bit more in to balance.

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Old 01-15-2014, 04:24 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blarneybrew View Post
I made a pilsner using a spring water with only these lab results available:

Calcium 49.9 mg/L
Hardness as calcium carbonate 171.5 mg/L
Magnesium 11.4 mg/L
Sodium 2.2 mg/L

It came out beautiful. The first sip was a bit awe inspiring, at least for me and my mates it was. The only thing I noticed that I didn't like is that the hop aroma lasted for only a few sips, and then the beer just tasted a little bit gritty or granular. Like a bland slightly clean lager.

It was easily drinkable, but I was hoping for a little more savory/aromatic hop mid-taste, less so an after taste that lingers on the tongue

I know this isn't a lot of information to go on, but would any of those minerals have had an affect like this, more so than my hop additions?

If this water is close to ideal for my tastes what sort of small tweak could I do to it? One thing I still haven't done yet is check mash pH. So whatever the wyermann pilsner hit after a 30 min protein rest is what I ended up with.

On another note I'm in week two of carbonating a pilsner using acidulated and carahell. It's interesting to notice the sour of the acidulated coming through pretty strong when the beer was flat, and as it becomes more carbonated the sour flavor seems to fall a bit more in to balance.
Your alkalinity is likely pretty high, especially for a pilsner, unless you happen to have a lot of chloride/sulfate in your water.
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Old 01-15-2014, 05:29 PM   #3
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The lovely hop aromas we all seek are from volatile oils and thus they tend to fly off all too soon as the beer warms and the CO2 scrubs volatiles out. Alas.

As noted in #2 given your 3.5 mval hardness you will have a total of about 3.5 mVal of chloride, sufate and alkalinity. If the sulfate is an appreciable part of this you can get 'rough' or 'coarse' hops presentation. If a large part of it is alkalinity then you can get dulling of flavors. You note the use of sauermalz in another beer. Was it used here too?

Alkalinity is doubtless the most important parameter to a brewer evaluating his water. You need to find out what that is. Test kits are available from Hach, Lamotte, Cole-Parmer and from aquarium and pool suppliers.

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Old 01-15-2014, 05:52 PM   #4
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No sauer in the first aforementioned pilsner. Just 9lbs wyerman pilsner malt with a 123f rest for 30 before stepping it up.

I'm really trying to prolong my purchase of a pH unit. Will that hach unit that you bought recently for just over $100 test for acidity and alkalinity?

and what of these so called clean bittering hops, like Perle? I always see mention of them associated to clean bitter. What does that mean?

Also, how is that hop aroma affected by proteins and a little trub in the keg? I've been experimenting with jumping my brew in to new kegs on a weekly basis, but I haven't focused comparing this to an identical keg of brew without the weekly transfer.

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Old 01-15-2014, 05:55 PM   #5
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No sauer in the first aforementioned pilsner. Just 9lbs wyerman pilsner malt with a 123f rest for 30 before stepping it up.

I'm really trying to prolong my purchase of a pH unit. Will that hach unit that you bought recently for just over $100 test for acidity and alkalinity?

and what of these so called clean buttering hops, like Perle? I always see mention of them associated to clean bitter. What does that mean?
The hach he mentioned in the post in this thread is an alkalinity titration kit. The pH meter would only measure pH, not alkalinity/acidity (unless you're using the layman definiteion of >7 pH == alkaline, <7 == acid).

A clean bittering hop has low levels of cohumulone.
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Old 01-15-2014, 07:47 PM   #6
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I'm really trying to prolong my purchase of a pH unit. Will that hach unit that you bought recently for just over $100 test for acidity and alkalinity?
Yes, but not by itself. To measure acidity you add base of calibrated strength (0.1N) to 100 mL of sample until pH 8.3 is reached. The number of mL of base added is the P-acidity of the sample. To measure alkalinity you add 0.1 N acid to 100 mL of sample until the pH reaches 5.5 or 5.3. The number of mL of acid used is the ISO (pH 5.5) or M (pH 5.3) alkalinity.

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and what of these so called clean bittering hops, like Perle? I always see mention of them associated to clean bitter. What does that mean?
It means that the bitterness is bitter but is not rough, coarse or gagging. If you taste a beer with fine bitterness you will know immediately what you are experiencing.

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Also, how is that hop aroma affected by proteins and a little trub in the keg? I've been experimenting with jumping my brew in to new kegs on a weekly basis, but I haven't focused comparing this to an identical keg of brew without the weekly transfer.
I'll guess that each transfer involves a bit of scrubbing of volatiles with CO2 but I don't imagine that this is responsible for your loss of hop aroma.
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