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-   -   Astringency (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f36/astringency-62315/)

Bearcat Brewmeister 04-11-2008 08:18 PM

The last batch of brown ale I batched was fairly astringent - combination of oversparging (I'm used to larger grain bills) and sparge water being to hot. It is in the keg now and has a not so nice "pucker" to it.


Actually, I was wondering if adding some lactose would knock some of that astringency back or if anyone had any tips on correcting this.

BREW N QUE 04-11-2008 08:23 PM

I had the same problem with my first all grain batch, a pale ale. After being in bottles for 4 months it has mellowed quite a bit, but it's still there.

malkore 04-11-2008 10:26 PM

It'll mellow a bit, but not a lot. If its just a little off flavored right now it'll probably be ok eventually.

If its unbearable right now, its probably a lost cause.

MriswitH 04-11-2008 11:50 PM

I'm about to dump a keg pretty soon due to the same issues.

It was my first PM and it was supposed to be a Blue Moon clone but it turned into a really bitter nightmare. Its been in the keg for quite awhile but i'm going to have to pitch soon because its not clearing up.

That being said, as mentioned earlier you can leave it for awhile and see if it clears up but usually its not going to clear up very much.

patman 04-12-2008 01:26 AM

this might help
By no means am I an expert on this matter, but I might recommend gelatin finings. I had (still have) a similar problem with an Imperial coffee stout that I'd brewed last fall. At that time, the astringency was overbearing, and I attributed it to having overhopped by a factor of about 5. The "hoppiness" did mellow with time, but the astringency was still awful. After reviewing my brew notes, I realised that my mash temps (this was a PM) were a bit on the high side, and I had probably extracted tannins. So I added gelatin finings in the secondary a week before bottling. It's still mellowing in the bottles (big beer = needs time), but I saw a definite improvement the last time I sampled it. Lactose could also help balance the astringency. Or you could blend it with another brew to dilute it. (I did that with half of my ICS, in case it doesn't turn out right despite the gelatin finings.)

BeerSmith 04-12-2008 01:30 AM

Check out the Troubleshooting page from BrewWiki, it has a section on Astringency (husky).


Bearcat Brewmeister 04-12-2008 02:27 AM


Originally Posted by BeerSmith
Check out the Troubleshooting page from BrewWiki, it has a section on Astringency (husky).


Thanks, but I already know why I have it. I want to know if there is anything I can do to fix it. Never had this issue in 10 years of brewing, but I did two different things on this batch. First, it was the lowest smallest grain bill I ever used (OG - 1.039), but I sparged as if I did my normal 12+ pound grain bills, so oversparged. Second, I used to have a sparge arm that dripped water over the top of my grain bed. I used 190F water, but due to the small dropplet's exposure to the air during their fall on to the grain, my grain bed never got over 170F. I now mounted my sparge arm to the lid of my mash tun cooler and the air if now insulated. When the droplets fall, they don't drop in temperature any more, but I didn't compensate with lower temperature sparge water. So double whammy - I sparged my last runnings at probably around 1.006 with 190F sparge water.

To fix, my head immediately went to lactose since this is supposed to be a Southern English Brown Ale (sweet like a milk stout, but not as dark and roasty). What I may do is make a beer that should have some roast and astringency and blend them, but I am still curious if just adding lactose would help.

jesse 04-16-2008 10:31 PM

I have the same problem...Was doing a search when i found this thread. The beer i made is a lager so i thought the first thing i would do is age it for a few months..I started thinking about other things if that didn't work. One of them is probably kill all the yeast with some sorbate. Then i was thinking to add honey to balance out the dry with the sweet and force carb it if it tasted better... Also i was going to add honey without killing the yeast and make a half mead half beer something rather.I have a few months to think about it. It's a 15 gallon batch so i might try 3 different things to see what works the best. I'll do a write up on it but I'm sure that's not gonna help you now. Let us know what you do and how well it works.

Brett0424 04-17-2008 04:02 AM

Yeah I think lactose may balance it out a bit but probably not get rid of it. Someone stated above that gelatin works. I do know that as a clarifier gelatin only works when tannins are present. Also, if you put too much gelatin in something that is tannic it can strip the tannins. I have never seen this done in beer but I'd suppose it sounds like it'd work.

Bearcat Brewmeister 04-17-2008 04:26 AM

Well, I just tried lactose and it doesn't work. Now it is astringent and sweet. I did blind samples with down to 1/16 tsp per 8 oz of beer and the one without lactose was always better, but astringent. I guess this makes sence since sweet counters bitterness, but astringency is not really bitterness. I will try the gelatin.

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