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Old 01-22-2012, 07:12 AM   #1
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Default Funky aftertaste - Oakland, CA tap water?

Slightly new to brewing. The last 4 batches I have made have all been good, but they all have "that taste" that I cant figure out. I dont know how to explain the taste other than it makes you want to smack your tongue off the back of your mouth (in a odd, somewhat bad way).

I originally thought that it must be due to oxygenation. So I switched my sanitizer from one of the oxygen sanitizers to starsan as well as took every precaution to limit O2 exposure. I ferment in glass carboys. The "taste" came back.

THen I thought it must be too warm of fermentation. So I fermented the last batch around 64*F with as little fluctuation as possible. The "taste" came back.

Now im thinking its a pH/water quality issue? Thats my next step is to go out and buy some pH strips and obtain a water report from the city of Oakland, CA.

Any more advice? Its hard to explain the taste... kinda sour but not sour (no infection). Almost that "cardboard" taste that some describe with oxygenation, but then again im not sure thats it. My friends think the beer tastes good, but I pick that same "taste" out everytime.

Its defiantly an aftertaste that I am picking out.

I have been using the same yeast strain for all my brews ( Danstar - Nottingham) so that is something I could change as well.

Thanks in advance for any replies.

Beers brewed with the taste - Pale ale, Nut Brown ale, pumpkin ale, IPA

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Old 01-22-2012, 07:17 AM   #2
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Send PM to Deathbrewer, he lives in Oakland and has been brewing quite awhile. He could probably share a lot about the water

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Old 01-22-2012, 07:26 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by bottlebomber View Post
Send PM to Deathbrewer, he lives in Oakland and has been brewing quite awhile. He could probably share a lot about the water
PM sent. Thanks for your help!
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Old 01-22-2012, 07:28 AM   #4
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i dunno about oakland but berkeley water is delicious! is that super helpful?

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Old 01-22-2012, 07:37 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by tonybus View Post
i dunno about oakland but berkeley water is delicious! is that super helpful?
Its the same water as Berkeley (east bay MUD). It is quite good. But I cant figure out this damn taste!
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Old 01-22-2012, 05:25 PM   #6
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let me know when you find out im curious

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Old 01-22-2012, 06:53 PM   #7
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I was getting a sharp tang from my darker AG beers. I chased it for a while, trying to eliminate variables. I ended up with pH as the culprit. I recently dumped 2 gallons of porter that weren't getting better with age. Instead on ordering a Ward labs water report, buying pH testing equipment, and pH adjustments, I went back to partial mashes. I couldn't be happier.
I got into this hobby because I like beer and cooking, not for a love of chemistry.

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Old 01-22-2012, 08:12 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Franc103 View Post
I was getting a sharp tang from my darker AG beers. I chased it for a while, trying to eliminate variables. I ended up with pH as the culprit. I recently dumped 2 gallons of porter that weren't getting better with age. Instead on ordering a Ward labs water report, buying pH testing equipment, and pH adjustments, I went back to partial mashes. I couldn't be happier.
I got into this hobby because I like beer and cooking, not for a love of chemistry.
Thanks for the heads up, it is my suspicion that its the pH.
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Old 01-22-2012, 08:33 PM   #9
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It was a REALLY sucky time period trying to chase the flavor down. So many bummer brews.

Here were my variables:

--I moved to full boils, so I thought the full boil might have driven off the free oxygen (top-off water has quite a bit of oxygen to bring to the party).
--All the batches used US-05, and I thought I might have had an autolyses issue pop up.
--Infection
--pH
--Other mineral component throwing things out of whack (sulphite, etc).

I just made my fourth successful partial mash brew after 3 AG failures. I might head back to AG again in the future, but for now, PM is great for me.

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Old 01-22-2012, 08:52 PM   #10
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When you said, smack your tongue off the back of your mouth, first thing that came to mind was astringency. High temperature water and incorrect ph can give you that taste. Suggest you send a sample to Ward Labs and invest in a ph meter. Ph meters are accurate than ph strips.

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