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Old 10-03-2013, 08:11 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by LovesIPA View Post
It supposedly gave me 18ppm of Mg in the mash water, which is right in line with what Palmer recommends. I have another question in this forum about Palmer vs. Bru'N Water on "ideal" bicarbonate level too.

Do I really not need any Mg?



That figure came from the Bru'N Water spreadsheet.
Malt has plenty of magnesium. You don't need it. Some people like to add it to sharpen that slight bitter/sour perception but I'm not a fan of it. Of course, 18 ppm isn't much so it probably doesn't matter for this.
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Old 10-03-2013, 08:22 PM   #22
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Firstly, for an IPA with a OG of 1.078 you're going to need quite a bit more hops. I can see why you might get flavors more towards malty. I'd add at least a few more ounce in your late hop additions. And to get really good aroma you'll need at least 3 oz for dry hopping. Look through the recipe database for a good IPA for comparison. You'll see that they use much more hops. Take a look at the Pliny the Elder clone - it uses quite a bit of hops, but it gives you an idea of how much you might add.
Secondly, you need to either treat your sparge water or add minerals to the boil kettle to get the final desired mineral profile. brunwater will give you these amounts when you enter your mash addition values.

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Originally Posted by LovesIPA View Post
Here's the recipe:

5.4 gallons post-boil

Mash with 4.7 gallons of RO water
3.2g MgSO4
6.2g CaSO4
Mashed @147.7 for 1:45
Sparge with 4.4 gallons of RO water
(neglected to note whether I treated the sparge water or what I treated it with)

14 lbs GW 2-row
8 oz Biscuit malt
8 oz Carapils

83.9% efficiency

1.4 oz 14.2% AA Summit pellets at 60 min
1.0 oz 12.7% AA Mosaic pellets at 15 min
1.0 oz 12.7% AA Mosaic pellets at 1 min

OG 1.078

Dry hop with 1.0 oz Mosaic

FG 1.015
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Old 10-03-2013, 10:38 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by slarkin712 View Post
Firstly, for an IPA with a OG of 1.078 you're going to need quite a bit more hops. I can see why you might get flavors more towards malty. I'd add at least a few more ounce in your late hop additions. And to get really good aroma you'll need at least 3 oz for dry hopping. Look through the recipe database for a good IPA for comparison. You'll see that they use much more hops. Take a look at the Pliny the Elder clone - it uses quite a bit of hops, but it gives you an idea of how much you might add.
The recipe doesn't matter. Nearly every IPA I've ever brewed has come out this way. It doesn't matter if it's a proven clone recipe, a multiple gold medal winner, or one I made up on brew day.

I've attributed the off-flavor to a lot of things over the last year. First I thought it was hot side aeration. I bought some equipment and changed my wort collection technique. No change. Then I thought I was oxidizing it post-fermentation and I replaced my racking cane and purged the kegs with CO2. No change. Then I thought it was water, so I bought water jugs and filled them with RO water. I made spreadsheets and spent hours educating myself on how to do water salt calculations. No change. Then I thought it was because I was using crystal malts in my IPA recipes. Now I use base, carapils, and some victory or biscuit. No change. Then I thought it was a contaminated CO2 cylinder - I'm still convinced this was partly to blame - and since tasting this last batch I'm completely out of ideas.

Quote:
Secondly, you need to either treat your sparge water or add minerals to the boil kettle to get the final desired mineral profile. brunwater will give you these amounts when you enter your mash addition values.
Looking back through all my recipe notes, I've brewed exactly two good IPAs. One was my first ever batch, an extract Racer 5 clone. It was excellent. The second was a Pliny the Elder clone which was my first all-grain brew (I jumped into all-grain very quickly). Again it was excellent.

I used Crystal Geyser bottled water for those two brews. Everything else was either tap water (on the advice of another brewer who assured me my tap water was fine for any style of beer - now I know how wrong that statement is) or RO water built up with salts.

I must be doing something wrong but I have no idea what it is.
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Old 10-03-2013, 10:46 PM   #24
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Here's another data point. I've brewed several wheat beers, all of which came out great. I used RO water treated with CaSO4 and MgSO4 for all of them.

Stouts and porters also come out great. For some reason I just can't get an IPA to taste anything like an IPA.

Again everything tastes fine out of the fermenter. It's only after it gets packaged (kegs AND bottles) that they start to taste bad.

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Old 10-04-2013, 12:56 AM   #25
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You haven't mentioned how high you've taken the calcium and sulfate for those IPA's. Having a high level of those ions improves the flavor of my IPA's and PA's. With that high level of calcium, there probably is a need for a little alkalinity in the mashing water. The reason for the alkalinity need is that the high calcium content really depresses the RA of the water. Chalk is definitely not suitable for adding alkalinity, but pickling lime and baking soda are.

And although some have poo-poo'd the idea of adding magnesium to the water, I feel that it is a very important contributor to the crispness and bitterness in a style like IPA. The 18 ppm is NOT going to contribute off flavors in that style. Now if you were to double that concentration, then you might be playing with fire. For less bitter styles, leaving out the magnesium is OK.

Although you mention that the RO vending machine is 'serviced' frequently, it still does not mean that it is producing water with very low mineralization. Employing a TDS meter is your best way of providing a quick check of the machine's performance. Anyone using RO water should have a meter.

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Old 10-04-2013, 02:43 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LovesIPA

Looking back through all my recipe notes, I've brewed exactly two good IPAs. One was my first ever batch, an extract Racer 5 clone. It was excellent. The second was a Pliny the Elder clone which was my first all-grain brew (I jumped into all-grain very quickly). Again it was excellent.

I used Crystal Geyser bottled water for those two brews. Everything else was either tap water (...) or RO water built up with salts.

I must be doing something wrong but I have no idea what it is.
Stick with the Crystal Geyser water and a tried & true clone recipe. cheers!
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Old 10-08-2013, 08:48 AM   #27
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I am by no means an expert but:

I would guess contamination since the "medicinal" comment and the fact that earlier beers tasted better. You said you brewed other beers that tasted great, are you still able to reproduce them? I would take some time and think about how your sanitation changed from beginning to now. Any old brewing equipment?

I used to use test strips before. Lets just say they were WAY off from the laboratory water report. Not even close.

When I brew my IPAs I use considerably more hops ~8 oz (0.5 FWH, 3.5 in last 20m, 4 dry-hopped) in a 5g batch. I love the hop flavor, but I probably use too much... I will also say your sulfate level is a lot higher than mine. It could be causing your beer to taste very astringent like you said.

Lastly and most important. What are your fermentation temps like. I had a dubbel get too hot and I couldn't really tell there was a problem until after I carbed it. It was great out of the fermentor.

The good thing is that IPAs are everywhere. If your like me you are saturated with commercial IPAs but not much else.

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