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Old 01-27-2009, 04:31 AM   #1
Rockweezy
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Default AG Brewer Back to Extract I think...

I started brewing AG after I bought a 10 gallon 3 tier gravity brew set up with 3 keggles. I fly sparge, too. However, all five of my Ales (2 pales, 2 ambers, and a brown) have had a similar off taste (50 gal. is a lot of a beer if you don't particularly like it). They are more like each other than not. I used different hops in most of the brews, but always the WLP 001 California Ale yeast. I use Beer Tools to help me covert 5 gal. batches to 10 gal.

I have a fridge that is temp controlled at 68 and let my beers sit there for at least 4 weeks each time. My only success was an oatmeal stout (which had a stuck sparge, which took an hour to unclog). Go figure. Anyways, I never had a problem with 5 gallon extract brews before this, so I was thinking I might go back and try a 10 gallon recipe that I know and trust. If this tastes the same way, I'll be able to pinpoint problems in theory. Either way I figure I'll gain knowledge from doing this.

1. Is this a reasonable way to go about things?

2. Should try to perfect one AG or extract before moving forward?

3. Should I make a yeast starter?

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Old 01-27-2009, 04:36 AM   #2
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What was the off taste?

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Old 01-27-2009, 06:11 AM   #3
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It is really hard for me to judge my own beer, but my guesses would be:

An astringent flavor as described by Palmer. Definitively have brown scum on sides of primary, but never stirred it back in.

Alcoholic flavor (Palmer): Could be high alcohol as most of my beers have been in the mid 5's or low 6's.

Oxidized flavor (Palmer): although I don't know what that would taste like (wet cardboard?). All my beers have been exposed to 80 plus degree weather when going from primary to secondary to keg though. It's Hawaii, I can't really complain about that.

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Old 01-27-2009, 06:59 AM   #4
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I fought an off flavor that was due (i believe) to chlorine or chloramine in my water supply. This was forming chlorophenols in my finished product which have a pretty nasty taste and aroma. I'm not sure if this is your problem, but the solution was to treat my brewing water with 1/2 campden table per 10 gallons. This totally solved my problem, and my beer has been tasting great ever since I started using the tablets. Hope you can figure it out...I know exactly how you feel about those off-flavors. It really sucks to spend so much time, money, and care so much for your beer only to have it undrinkable! Best of luck to you finding out the problem.

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Old 01-27-2009, 12:54 PM   #5
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+1 for campden tabs. My water is noticeably chlorinated and this solves the problem.

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Old 01-27-2009, 01:38 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TwoHeadsBrewing View Post
I fought an off flavor that was due (i believe) to chlorine or chloramine in my water supply. This was forming chlorophenols in my finished product which have a pretty nasty taste and aroma. I'm not sure if this is your problem, but the solution was to treat my brewing water with 1/2 campden table per 10 gallons. This totally solved my problem, and my beer has been tasting great ever since I started using the tablets. Hope you can figure it out...I know exactly how you feel about those off-flavors. It really sucks to spend so much time, money, and care so much for your beer only to have it undrinkable! Best of luck to you finding out the problem.
When do you add the campden tablet? Can you just mix it in your mash or do you need to add it to the water and let it set for 24 hours?
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Old 01-27-2009, 01:55 PM   #7
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I'll tell you, I think the most under-estimated things in going all-grain is water. That's probably because half the people you hear "don't worry about it when you start" from are fortunate enough to have good soft water. I ignored my water for a long time and whittled away at all these other possible causes of my annoying background harshness. I tested my water and the carbonate is way high, which explains why my successes were always with stouts and dark munich lagers. So I would suggest you look at water and mash chemistry as well as doing smaller batches until you get something you want ten gallons of. Also a 90 minute strong boil, often mentioned but I'll say: 90 MINUTE ROLLING BOIL!

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Old 01-27-2009, 03:21 PM   #8
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When do you add the campden tablet? Can you just mix it in your mash or do you need to add it to the water and let it set for 24 hours?
I add it right before I fire up my HLT. I fill it up the 10 gallon mark, and put a crushed 1/2 tablet in the water. Give it a good stir until all the little chunks are dissolved, and that's it. Then I fire up the HLT and it's off to the races! Some people will let it sit overnight, but this is not necessary. The campden reacts with the chlorine in the water to form a gas, which is removed from the brewing water as you heat it...and throughout the brewing process.
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Old 01-27-2009, 03:46 PM   #9
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I'd also agree on the water. For some reason it's more prominant in AG batches...probably the chemistry of the mash. Doesn't seem to affect extract as much.

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Old 01-27-2009, 04:13 PM   #10
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Are you fermenting at 68 degrees? You might want to get that down in the 50's. 68 is on the high side for me and can get you some fruity flavors.

When you went from extract to all grain did you go full boil?

When moving from primary to secondary, are you getting excessive splashing? That can cause your papery/oxidized flavor.

just my HO

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