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Old 06-15-2012, 03:03 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by passedpawn View Post
you probably need someone to drink some of your beer and advise you. Join a club, or at least visit one with some of your suspect brews.
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Old 06-15-2012, 03:05 AM   #12
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I find posts like these puzzling. I have done 25 batches starting with extract, then partial mash, then all grain both batch sparge and BIAB and have gotten none that I don't compare equally with commercial craft beers.

I would start by going to basics. Use nothing but grains and bottled spring water and see if that works then add things until you find what is causing your problems.

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Old 06-15-2012, 03:10 AM   #13
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I'm very new to this, but I have used bottled water for all the beer I have done so far because I'm not crazy about my city water. You may try that.

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Old 06-15-2012, 03:11 AM   #14
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I would have to say if you made a decent Kolsch you are doing something right. Good idea to get some friends in for a tasting and see what people think.

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Old 06-15-2012, 03:19 AM   #15
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I filter my water though a culligan filter. Measure out brewing salts based on my recipe (using EZ water calculator). Correct mash pH with lactic acid. Correct my sparge water pH with lactic.
One thing that always leaves me scratching my head is the contortions folks go through to treat their water.

If your water is good, leave it alone. If your water is bad, buy RO water and add a LITTLE BIT of calcium chloride. I'll bet more beer is messed up by following the advice of brewing calculators than by any other factor.

I checked Garland's water on line, and it doesn't look so good for brewing (too hard). Try RO water for one batch and see if it doesn't improve.

And even more importantly, at every step, KNOW why you are doing whatever you are doing -- don't do it because a calculator or brewing program said so.
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Old 06-15-2012, 03:20 AM   #16
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Sometimes the beers are bitter, but not in a good hop-bitter way. I have gotten a flavor and smell of grapefruit before, also not in a good way. I have also gotten a plastic flavor before too. None of the flavors seem to be the usual suspects associated with DMS, acetaldehyde, diacetly, or common infections. The current hefeweizen I have on tap isn't horrible, but it's lacking the mouthfeel and maltyness of other hefeweizens. Most of my brews tended to lack maltyness and mouthfeel, which led me to buy a new thermometer, because I suspected I was mashing much lower than I thought I was.

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Old 06-15-2012, 03:22 AM   #17
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More info is definitely needed, but a couple of things come to mind...

1. Have you calibrated your thermometer in an ice bath and in boiling water? You need to trust your thermometer for all grain.

2. Have you bottled any of your brews, or do you exclusively keg? I found that my beverage lines were giving me an off flavor that completely went away when I switched to BevSeal lines.

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Old 06-15-2012, 03:27 AM   #18
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With all the replies, I should add that I have tried brews with strictly RO water with added in calcium chloride and gypsum, and those also turned out less than stellar. Most of the water additions I do are pretty small, only a gram or two in the mash, and maybe 2 or 3 grams of salts in the boil, and only a mL or so of lactic in my mash water, and sometimes 2-3 mL in my sparge water. My first 2 all grain brews I used pH 5.2 in the mash, and those didn't turn out very good either, which caused me to switch to using lactic in my mash.

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Old 06-15-2012, 03:28 AM   #19
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One additional thought: Lactic acid has a rather nasty flavor of its own. If you must acidify your sparge water, phosphoric acid would be a better choice.

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Old 06-15-2012, 03:29 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by corax

One thing that always leaves me scratching my head is the contortions folks go through to treat their water.

If your water is good, leave it alone. If your water is bad, buy RO water and add a LITTLE BIT of calcium chloride. I'll bet more beer is messed up by following the advice of brewing calculators than by any other factor.

I checked Garland's water on line, and it doesn't look so good for brewing (too hard). Try RO water for one batch and see if it doesn't improve.

And even more importantly, at every step, KNOW why you are doing whatever you are doing -- don't do it because a calculator or brewing program said so.
I agree with this. Adding salts to water that's already hard is probably going to just make things worse. Try starting with RO or distilled water and *only* add ¼tsp per gallon.
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