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Old 02-19-2008, 11:14 PM   #1
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Default BM, how do you do it?

Well I must say that my last two low gravity beers have been ahhhh, rather poor in quality. In fact, I am very close to throwing them out. Grant these were some of my first AG's but still...

#1 Oatmeal stout, got poor efficiency, OG 1.036 FG 1.010, TG 1.067, (first solo AG)tastes like I got all the black patent, but it has no body. Tasted very phenolic when I put it on tap a few months ago, so I pulled it off and let it age till now.

#2 AHS Newcastle Clone, OG 1.038 FG 1.008- tastes like bitter water with a hint of soap, efficiency wasn't great on this one either, TG was 1.046

Now I understand that my poor efficiency on these may have a LARGE part to do with this, but after putting these side by side on tap and being very disappointed, I am worried about a Ordinary Bitter I did last week, I did have 76% efficiency on that batch after making some changes to my process.

So is there a trick with low gravity beers? Or is it simply my poor efficiency that is affecting these beers? Anything I have done with an OG over 1.045 has come out well.

Thanks for your help!

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Old 02-20-2008, 02:38 AM   #2
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you'll have to be a lot more specific and post the recipes, with the grain bills, and mash schedule with exact temperatures that were reached.

poor efficiency could be the grain crush, your water fighting the right pH range, or a lack of properly rinsing the grains.

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Old 02-20-2008, 11:53 AM   #3
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Yeah, i figgured that after I posted, sorry I should know better... I had just poured a pint and was kinda peeved, so I didnt go pull out my recipies or details. I will post those tonight when I get back home.

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Old 02-20-2008, 01:06 PM   #4
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Mr. Wizard answered a similar question n this months BYO. He said something to the effect of "This requires tought love. I'm willing to venture the problem isn't with the pale ales, it's a problem in all of your beers. Pale ales tend to be less forgiving of non-ideal proceedure."

Same concept. Perhaps there's something in all of your beers that are throwing it off but it only become noticeable on the smaller beers

I notice two things in your problems, phenolic and soap flavor. Both of these scream "cleaner residue" to me. What santitizer do you use?

Other possibility is your water - have you checked out your water profile? Phenolic flavors can come from chlorine and a few other water "enrichments".

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Old 02-20-2008, 01:23 PM   #5
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I'm sorry, but the title can't go completely unpunished. "Bowel Movement, how do you do it?"

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Old 02-20-2008, 01:49 PM   #6
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We need to talk about what you've been doing to the water since our water here sucks so bad. If you're sticking with just our high alkaline tap water, I'm betting that's your problem. The high pH will also really hurt your efficiency and can cause some tannin extraction and REALLY make the hops stand out. I've been using ~ 80% RO water lately + 5.2 pH buffer and that seem to have solved things for me, even with light, low gravity beers.

Also, if you're just looking for a little more body, then you might want to raise your mash temps a few degrees. Do you know what you mashed those beers at?

BTW - you've gotta come over and try that ESB we did a few weeks ago. I think it turned out really good!

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Old 02-20-2008, 02:39 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by cheezydemon
I'm sorry, but the title can't go completely unpunished. "Bowel Movement, how do you do it?"
Thought the same thing, but being a nurse 3/4's of my day revolves around sombody taking a dump.
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Old 02-20-2008, 02:56 PM   #8
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what is he actually referring to when he says "BM"? Is he specifically addressing BierMuncher?

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Old 02-20-2008, 03:08 PM   #9
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I am nearly certain that your low efficiency has a lot to do with your disappointing results. That throws your recipe far out of balance toward the specialty grains, which do not answer to the efficiency gods. See how that bitter comes out and look for any common problems with all three beers.


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Old 02-20-2008, 03:58 PM   #10
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Yes, I was referring to BierMuncher in the title because I know he makes alot of low gravity beers, like I said, I was peeved when I posted, so I am open to all ridicule you may throw at me

Yes our water profile sucks with very high bicarb levels, but I have been using the 5.2. Like I said, my larger beers have turned out awesome, just cracked open a bottle of a double IPA I did last night to calm my nerves and it was awesome. (well, its not as hoppy as I wanted, but it is still good.) It probably is due to more ingredients covering up underlying flaws in the beer.

The two beers in question were low efficiency beers, being some of my first solo AG's. I am pretty sure the low efficiency was due to low temperatures in my mash, low sparging temps, and poor sparging technique. I have addressed these problems with my last 3 batches and have been getting ~75-80% on those.

As far as cleaning/sanitizing, I have been cleaning with hot water, maybe some oxyclean on tough stuff, rinsing well, and using star san to sanitize.

Like I said above, now that I have calmed down and thought about it a little, I think I know where my problems lie, but I will still post all my recipies and notes when I get home this afternoon.

Thanks guys for even giving my first poorly formed post the time of day! After re-reading it, I probably would have ignored it myself…

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