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Old 05-13-2012, 12:26 PM   #1
bobjohnson
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Default help save tart pale ale for party

Made a pale ale about 5 weeks ago to serve at a party my wife is having this coming Saturday (5/19).

2 row
crystal 60
falconers flight @60
citra @ 30
Cascade @ 10
wyeast 1056 (saved slury)

Tried it last night for the first time, and it has a tartness to the aroma and initial flavor. There is some bop flavor on the back end that kind of makes it finish ok, but up front it is disappointing. I've got just under a week to mask this somehow.

Initial thought is to dry hop it now in the keg. I do have a some pellets (simcoe, cascade, falconers flight, citra and chinook) and some home grown cascade whole hops on hand. But, I don't have any hop bags around that I can use, and don't want to clog the keg with hops.

If I toss in the whole hops, won't they float on top of the beer in the keg, at least for a week and therefore not clog the dip tube?

Any other thoughts on how I can fix or mask this?

(I'm sure the yeast slurry was the cause. It was older than I like to use and I just didn't fell good about it deep down. Should have trusted my instincs)

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Old 05-13-2012, 12:43 PM   #2
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Do you have one of those metal tea balls? You can fill it with hops and drop it in to the keg.

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Old 05-13-2012, 01:06 PM   #3
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I dry hop in my keg with a hop strainer bag. I usually boil it for a bit, let it cool, then put the hops in, tie it off and drop it in the keg.

If you don't have a strainer bag or a tea ball like hodge reccomended, I've heard of people using the nylon from a piece of pantyhose as well.


Another alternative would be to stabilize the beer with some potassium sorbate then add some dried fruit (cherries or apricots work well).

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Old 05-13-2012, 03:04 PM   #4
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I have a "tart" ale right now that I am assuming is from an infection. A friend of mine who is also a home brewer tasted it last night and actually liked it. I am considering dumping it or just giving it to him if he wants to drink it. Maybe your wife's friends will like it. I don't know if there is anything that can be done to mask an infection.

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Old 05-14-2012, 01:57 PM   #5
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You can do some to correct the tartness by bringing the pH up a bit. I did some experimental sour beers and was messing around with this. The most commonly available thing to use to do this is baking soda. You have to be a bit careful to not go over the low flavor threshold. (too much sodium)

A choice with a lower flavor threshold is pickling lime (Calcium hydroxide). This is a bit trickier to work with though as it is a stronger alkali and it is easier to raise the pH too much. If you add it slowly though it can be done. By slowly I mean add a little (like 1 tsp) and then let it set for at least 12 hrs before tasting.

You can also try it with a single glass and see how much it takes to correct the flavor and then calculate how much you would need for what is left in the keg.

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Old 05-14-2012, 02:32 PM   #6
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possibly not fully conditioned yet? i have a pale ale in the keg for a party next weekend as well and last weekend it was a little tart almost lemony, just seemed to be an off-flavor finish; the sour / tartness is fading. it's also been brewed about 5 weeks ago w/ chinook at 60 and 15 w/ willamette at finishing and put on top of an s04 yeast cake. thought the sour could have come from too much yeast or the hop combo?

i was going to dry hop w/ chinook but think i might be all right.

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Old 05-14-2012, 02:48 PM   #7
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pjj2ba - thank you, that sounds interesting. I am going to see what it is like this Thur night and if the tartness is still there, might try the baking soda.

manybrews - I pulled up my beersmith report on this one and see it was brewed 3/25. so 7 weeks in total. fermentation what good and it "should" be done at this point. I too was wondering if it was the hop combo, as this was my first time with Falconers Flight and Citra in any beer, let alone together.

I did get a muslin bag yesterday, boiled it and tossed in (pellets) .25 oz cascade, .75 oz cenntenial and .75 oz chinook. I hit the keg with CO2 again to purge the head space and left the keg then out of the fridge to slowly warm up to room temp (basement approx 60 degrees) for the dry hop period. I'll let it sit and taste it again Thursday.

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Old 05-20-2012, 05:17 AM   #8
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Just got home and the keg was well received. A few people who must dabble in beer said it had a fruity background to it. I think the dry hop helped balance it out. So if you ever a faced with a unexpected sourness, throw hops at it.

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Old 05-20-2012, 04:09 PM   #9
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i also threw 1.5 oz in my keg on thursday b/c the slight off lemony tart twang did not completely disappear and my party was approaching. half chinook and half saaz. the beer just 2 days later was much more well rounded. we'll see how people like it at today's bbq.

glad i dry hopped too!!!

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