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Old 08-27-2009, 03:22 PM   #1
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Default Astringency and crushing

I recently had a couple of beers tasted and several people noted an astringency to them. I have read that one cause of this could be too fine of a crush. I had thought that this might be the case where one used a corona mill, and the husks were torn into fairly small pieces.

However, I am using a roller crusher, and although I believe my crush is fairly fine, I get about 80-85 percent efficiency as best as I have measured so far. I had thought that because I am crushing the grain, the husks would remain somewhat whole, and my beer would be generally immune to astringency from too fine a crush.

So my question is: Have I misled myself by believing that a crusher is mostly impervious to causing astringency?

I am looking at other causes as well, but some experienced advice on the crush would be appreciated.

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Old 08-27-2009, 03:25 PM   #2
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Regarding the comments on your scoresheets re: astringency, was it noted as huskiness/tannin-derived astringency? I noticed that the beers you entered were APAs and IPAs, so some level of hop-derived astringency is almost assured.

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Old 08-27-2009, 04:34 PM   #3
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I have a hard time believing that astringency would come from too fine of a crush. Husks are thin enough where they're going to be saturated in any mash whether or not you even crush the grain. It just doesn't make much intuitive sense.


Now, astringency from too hot a sparge, oversparging, etc, that would make more sense.


How is your boil? Polyphenols (which cause astringency), are supposed to precipitate out in the hot break.

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Old 08-27-2009, 07:55 PM   #4
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I crush my grain so much I can hear it screaming. I don't get astringency.

I have had astringency in the past:

1) Oversparged. It was a partigyle beer, so there ya go.
2) Before I knew about water chemistry. I was sparging with really hard water (back then my water was 430ppm residual alkalinity... we were on well water)

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Old 08-27-2009, 10:30 PM   #5
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In regards to crushing, not turning grain into dust... give this a read.

Malt Conditioning - Home Brewing Wiki

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Old 08-27-2009, 10:36 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saccharomyces View Post
I have had astringency in the past:

1) Oversparged. It was a partigyle beer, so there ya go.
2) Before I knew about water chemistry. I was sparging with really hard water (back then my water was 430ppm residual alkalinity... we were on well water)
Yup, I've have problems with #2 before. If your water is hard, the mash pH will be way too high and you'll extract astringency from both the gain and the hops.

What is your water profile?
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Old 08-28-2009, 03:56 PM   #7
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Ok, scratch the crush off the list!

I would bet either the water, or oversparging. I'm looking at water more closely now that I understand the importance of certain factors for certain brews. The oversparge I'll look at my process again, but it was pretty much straight out of beersmith and my own quick and dirty check, so I don't think that was it.

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Old 08-28-2009, 04:20 PM   #8
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I used to think that astringency can be caused by shredded husks and I used to list malt conditioning, which reduces the husk shredding, as a way to reduce astringency.

But I have since backed off from this statement. Mostly because there are brewers who pulverize their grist and then separate wort and spent grain with a mash filter. They don’t seem to have a problem with astringency.

As others noted, pH, especially during sparging, plays a much bigger role.

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Old 08-28-2009, 06:03 PM   #9
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As always, +1 to Kai.

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Old 08-28-2009, 06:17 PM   #10
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so does vorlaufing reduce possible astringency or is it just for wort clarity?

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