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Old 06-15-2012, 03:30 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by NochEineMassBitte View Post
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.
I calibrated my CDN in both ice and boiling, and it it accurate at those ends of the spectrum.

I bottled a wheat beer a couple of months ago. It was a very simple recipe I did for my sister. 60% pale malt, 40% wheat, 1 oz hallertau at 60 min and used 1056. It wasn't horrible, but had a somewhat plastic aftertaste.
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Old 06-15-2012, 03:32 AM   #22
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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.
I had done brews without using salts as well as brews using RO water with salts added back in. They are generally very small additions, just to add a little more calcium and to balance my chloride to sulfate as needed.
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Old 06-15-2012, 03:35 AM   #23
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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.
The water here isn't too bad. I've gotten a few water reports. The last one was

Ca 55
Sodium 32
Chloride 30
Sulfate 78
Alkalinity 91
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Old 06-15-2012, 03:35 AM   #24
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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.
OK, then permit me to step off my water-over-treatment soap box and climb on to my tannins-from-over-sparging soap box. That's what I think of first when I taste what you describe. Why don't you try a no-sparge batch?
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Old 06-15-2012, 03:36 AM   #25
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Sounds to me like you spent a little too much time and effort making a pretty brew house instead of a consistent or efficient one. Not knocking you in any way, but sometimes the ugly junk is what it takes to learn the methods and get the procedures down. I would personally scale back and try to make a simple, time tested recipe (BM's Centennial Blonde and EdWort's Haus Pale come to mind), and instead of monkeying with mash pH and water chemistry, get some simple spring water and focus on the process and making sure fermentation is nice and healthy. Calibrate your tools, leave the brews in the fridge until you pitch your yeast, and have a good time. Hit your numbers. And if you don't, figure out why and how to fix it. I hate to sound preachy, because I am far from an expert, but doing the above has helped me make some of my best beers yet.

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Old 06-15-2012, 03:36 AM   #26
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How do your extract based recipes come out?

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Old 06-15-2012, 03:37 AM   #27
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Out of curiosity because I didn't see it mentioned, what are you fermenting in? If it's plastic have you tried replacing that in case of the slim chance that something got into your fermenter? Maybe your transfer tubing as well? Doesn't sound like the problem since you're getting some different results but that stuff isn't too expensive to replace.

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Old 06-15-2012, 03:37 AM   #28
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What are you fermenting in?

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Old 06-15-2012, 03:41 AM   #29
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Sounds to me like you spent a little too much time and effort making a pretty brew house instead of a consistent or efficient one. Not knocking you in any way, but sometimes the ugly junk is what it takes to learn the methods and get the procedures down. I would personally scale back and try to make a simple, time tested recipe (BM's Centennial Blonde and EdWort's Haus Pale come to mind), and instead of monkeying with mash pH and water chemistry, get some simple spring water and focus on the process and making sure fermentation is nice and healthy. Calibrate your tools, leave the brews in the fridge until you pitch your yeast, and have a good time. Hit your numbers. And if you don't, figure out why and how to fix it. I hate to sound preachy, because I am far from an expert, but doing the above has helped me make some of my best beers yet.
That's kinda what I have been doing to be honest. My recipes are generally very simple, from on here or Jamil's brewing classic styles.
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Old 06-15-2012, 03:44 AM   #30
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How do your extract based recipes come out?
I made one decent beer with DME, it was yooper's 60 min IPA clone, although the hop flavor faded very quickly in the bottle and I think suffered from a little oxidation after several weeks in the bottle. I tried extract again after I made a few bad all grain beers, using DME. If I remember correctly, it was a bit harsh/bitter, possibly metallic.
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