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Old 02-10-2012, 02:35 PM   #1
liebertron
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Default bad results with malty beers, great results with hoppy beers

I have brewed many malty beers and many hoppy beers. Pale ales, scotch ales, IPAs, black IPAs, porters, on and on.

I seem to get consistently good results with hoppy ales but tend to get consistently mediocre results with malty beers.

What is the deal... I more or less do the same thing per batch in regards to technique (extract brewing)... are these styles harder to get good results with?

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Old 02-10-2012, 02:53 PM   #2
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What exactly is the nature of your "bad result"? It's possible that you may have a problem with all of your beers that the hops are masking when you use enough of them. Without knowing exactly what's off about your beers, all I can give is the standard advice:

- Thoroughly clean and sanitize anything that touches the wort post-boil
- Pitch enough healthy yeast
- Keep your fermentation temps under control

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Old 02-10-2012, 03:03 PM   #3
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I agree. We need more information than just "bad" of "great". Seems to me that all of your beers probably have the same issue but it is just being covered by lupulin in the "hoppy" beers.

If you can't describe it, I'd suggest entering in into competitions. Not to win ribbons, obviously, but to get good feed back on what you can do better next time. That's a HUGE part of judging, constructive criticisms.

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Old 02-10-2012, 03:10 PM   #4
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An often overlooked detail is your water profile.
Do you filter your water?

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Old 02-10-2012, 05:09 PM   #5
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A couple things come to mind. 1) Perhaps the hops are covering up off-flavors in the beer? 2) If your water is high in sulfate the malty beers aren't going to taste super great, but the hoppy ones might.

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Old 02-10-2012, 06:03 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wonderbread23 View Post
A couple things come to mind. 1) Perhaps the hops are covering up off-flavors in the beer? 2) If your water is high in sulfate the malty beers aren't going to taste super great, but the hoppy ones might.
I think this holds a lot of truth, as I've noticed a similar trend in many brewing friends.
It's easy to mask a mediocre malt profile with lots of hops. My intention isnt to rag on the IPA/hop heavy crowd, however, I think that small mistakes show up more readily in a beer that has a malt forward profile.
That being said some things to look into (mind you this is a stab in the dark as I know nothing about your process) which helped my malty beers a lot were increased attention to yeast pitching rates and resting at the end of fermentation. I found that a combo of a 3-4* temp increase after primary fermentation was slowing (usually 4-5 days after pitching) with a closer attention to pitch rates really brought about a jump in my malty beverages. Generally speaking these are also good practices for general brewing but being extra cautious when taking on less hop forward recipes I think is essential.
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Old 02-10-2012, 06:07 PM   #7
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A couple of teaspoons of calcium chloride in your malty beers will make a world of difference.

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Old 02-10-2012, 07:07 PM   #8
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I use the tap water here in Alexandria VA. It is pretty good water right from the tap, at least taste wise. I always do full 7 gallons boils down to 5 gallons in the hopes of boiling off the chlorine and nasties. Takes me exactly 60 minutes at a full boil with just a skim of water at the bottom after I siphon the wort out and leave the trub behind.

I honestly am not sure about my pitch rate. My next batch will be the first time I use a yeast starter and will also be the first time I do proper aeration with one of those drill attachments. Ive been using WYEAST but am switching to WPL after an awesome batch with it... probably just luck of the draw, but whatev.

Ferment temperatures is probably my weak point. I dont have much room in my duplex and leave my fermentation in the basement. It stays around 62-63 degrees but is constant. I do gravity readings and my gravities always end up being reached, I am not too worried about the yeast slowing down... though my porter that I just brewed had awesome flavor but tasted a little strong on the alcohol. I heard you can get from fermenting too high, which absolutely did not happen... it sat 4 weeks in the primary, the last week in the fridge for a cold crash then 1 week in the keg before I tasted it.

I used to do 10 days or so on the primary (or until FG was reached) and a week in the secondary. I am trying the "new" method of 4 week on the primary and then keg. I don't notice any difference in taste, though the 4 week primary seems much more clear.

I am pretty careful about sanitation. I get a bit OCD with it, I feel comfortable with the cleaning I do.

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Old 02-13-2012, 03:22 PM   #9
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Bump... More info provided, thoughts?

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Old 02-13-2012, 03:40 PM   #10
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What exactly is the problem with your malty beers? The ones I've done that I felt were not right had a bitter aftertaste that showed up 2-3 seconds after you swallowed a sip.

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