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Old 11-22-2009, 07:10 PM   #1
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Default HELP, my beer tastes salty!

I have two batches of beer conditioning right now that have reached 3-4 weeks in the bottle. I popped a couple open, one from each batch but both pale ales of different recipes, and they each had a salty taste up front. You might even say it had a metallic salty taste, and SWMBO agreed.

These are the two batches I brewed before I began adjusting my water chemistry a couple months ago. I have very soft Seattle water and 1ppm sodium in the water. The only thing I added to these beers was Five Star 5.2 in the mash. I am skeptical this could be the result simply because I've been geeking out on water chemistry adjustment since these batches, however it could easily be something else in the process.

First of all, what process, equipment, etc. influence a salty and maybe metallic-salty taste?

hmmm, I am questioning my aluminum brew kettle as well.

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Old 11-22-2009, 07:38 PM   #2
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I highly doubt your kettle is at fault. Unless it's got some serious scratches in it, or you've managed to scrub off the protective coating, it's probably not the issue.

Your water is a more likely cause. Do you use a water softener or is it naturally soft? Try brewing a beer with store bought bottled water and see if it fixes your problem. If it does, then you can go from there with adjustments to your water.

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Old 11-22-2009, 07:44 PM   #3
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What kind of beer? To me, Duvel has always tasted a little salty. It could be the hops.

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Old 11-22-2009, 08:19 PM   #4
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Any ions other than sodium? Does your house have galvanized pipes? That water report is at the source, not the tap.

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Old 11-22-2009, 08:52 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by david_42 View Post
Any ions other than sodium? Does your house have galvanized pipes? That water report is at the source, not the tap.
Chloride 2ppm
calcium 17 ppm
magnesium 1ppm
sodium 2 ppm
sulfate 1ppm
alkalinity 18

VERY SOFT. The water chemistry shouldn't be at fault.

not sure about the pipes. I live in a hundred year old apartment. New copper pipes were installed about five years ago.
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Old 11-23-2009, 12:01 AM   #6
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There have been times that I could have convinced myself that a very fine yet dense carbonation was saltiness. Try them again with that in mind.

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Old 11-23-2009, 01:05 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by hopvine View Post
There have been times that I could have convinced myself that a very fine yet dense carbonation was saltiness. Try them again with that in mind.
What do you mean fine and dense? That's interesting because the sample that tasted salty was slightly undercarbed than the one that didn't taste salty from the same batch.

Also, something occurred to me while I was taking a shower today. The hot water tasted a bit metallic and maybe salty. Those batches were the first batches I tried to cut corners with my sparge and mash water by using hot water. I am going to use cold water from now on, just in case that is the issue. Does anyone else use, or have at one time, hot water?
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Old 11-23-2009, 01:21 AM   #8
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Hot water shouldn't be used for brewing, cooking, etc. It spends lots of time in the hot water tank with all kinds of sediment, etc.

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Old 11-23-2009, 02:14 AM   #9
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Hot water shouldn't be used for brewing, cooking, etc. It spends lots of time in the hot water tank with all kinds of sediment, etc.
This is news to me. I'll have to test this theory on my next batch. I always use hot water to save time. It comes out of my tap at around 150, so I don't have much work to do getting it to sparge and mash temps. I've never noticed any off flavors in my beer, so I'll test with cold water next time and see if there's any differences.
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Old 11-23-2009, 02:43 AM   #10
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You really should never use hot water for anything other than washing things. All tap water has traces of heavy metals in it (ie lead). Hot water causes the metals to be absorbed into the water at a higher rate. This may not be as big of a deal in new homes with new plumbing, but older homes ... possibly with lead pipes could have an issue. Also keep in mind that there are other houses that use the same water that may have lead pipes.

I could be off base on this, but it is something to keep in mind.

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