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Old 12-10-2011, 11:01 AM   #1
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Default 1st AG - Bitter aftertaste.??

After a year of extract brewing, I made the leap to AG recently. I brewed a pale ale (mirror pond clone - see below), bottled it, and has aged for 4 weeks. I find the beer tastes good but after it leaves my pallet, I have an odd bitter aftertaste. It is not a hop bitterness taste but a funky bitter aftertaste. I have brewed a brown ale that's in the fermentor and was going to brew again soon. So, i'd like to figure this out before I brew again.

Here are my thoughts to the source of the aftertaste and appreciate everyone 2 cents:

-It's the water. My water is city water and tastes great. I did not treat it, add pH balance, or anything. I just filled my boil kettle and sparge water heated, mashed, sparged (batch sparge BTW), boiled, cooled to 70F, and pitched yeast.
-It's my equipment. I purchased new boil kettle (9 gal)', turkey fryer, and built MLT out of Coleman cooler, SS braid, copper wire coiled inside braid, brass fittings, and brass ball valve. There was also silicon / rubber washer inside the cooler. I have heard (after the fact) of "pickling" the brass together the lead out.

So, my thoughts is the funky bitter after taste is either my water or not cleaning/pickling the brass fittings.

I hope my brown ale in the fermentor doesn't have the aftertaste too.

I never had this with any of my extract brews.

Help please and Ho Ho Ho Merry Christmas.

Chris


Mirror Pond Clone

10 lb. Two Row
1 lb. Cystal 40
1/2 lb. Carapils

Cascade 1 Oz. At 60, 15, 10, 5, and 1 minute.

Yeast - Wyeast 1056

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Old 12-10-2011, 11:13 AM   #2
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Ps. I mashed at 150 for 70 minutes.

Pre boil OG was 1042.
OG was 1051
FG was 1007.
ABV is 5.6%.

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Old 12-10-2011, 11:18 AM   #3
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My first experiments in AG yielded a similar off flavor. It is much more pronounced with my dark beers. Would you describe the taste as sharp and tangy?
In addition to pH, I also theorized that when I moved to AG, I also moved to full boils. When I used top-off water with extract batches, the tap water already had good oxygen saturation. After a full boil, there is little oxygen left in the wort.
For the time being, I'm back to extract. I may eventually buy pH test strips or an oxygen kit, but I'm liking the beers I make with extract, and I'm brewing more now that I'm not worried about a persistent off flavor.

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Old 12-10-2011, 11:33 AM   #4
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How is your city water treated? Chlorine, chloramine, ozone, or some other method? You may be tasting the chemical used that reacted with your beer.

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Old 12-10-2011, 12:36 PM   #5
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Id like to hear from OP, but I use potassium metabisulfite to remove chlorine and chloramine from my city water when I AG. I don't worry about it with extract.

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Old 12-10-2011, 04:36 PM   #6
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@franc103

How do you add that to your water?

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Old 12-10-2011, 05:51 PM   #7
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I'd bet money it's the cooler/mashtun. That plastic smells to high heaven at first.

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Old 12-10-2011, 06:27 PM   #8
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I'd bet money that you have alkaline water. When I first started AG with my water, all of my beers darker than about 8 SRM came out great, but the lighter APAs had this lingering harsh astringency on the back of my tongue. Not bad, really, but not good. I made a kolsch that was even harsher. Once I got my water report, I found that I have a high level of bicarb in my water. I simply now dilute it a bit with RO water from the "water machines" at Wal-mart or the grocery store. It made all the difference!

I'd see if I could get a water report, or send a sample to Ward Lab. For $16.50, you get a full report on everything you need to know for brewing. It will also help you get to where you can dial in your mash pH and sparge water pH. Without knowing that, you'd be just guessing at the mash pH.

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Old 12-10-2011, 06:38 PM   #9
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Thanks guys. Anyone ever heard of using RV Water Filters ($25) instead of getting RO systems? I read that somewhere.

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Old 12-10-2011, 07:18 PM   #10
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Hebby, is the plastic in your cooler still stinky?

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