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Old 07-07-2014, 12:39 PM   #21
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Water profiles would be a good place to look, make sure your mash pH is in the right range and that your sulfate levels are at 200-300 ppm.

Another thing with hoppy beers in particular is to do everything possible to avoid oxygen pickup, it will definitely mute the hop aromas. If you keg, flush the keg with CO2 before filling and then purge the remaining head space after transfer is complete. This has made a huge difference in the quality and flavor stability of my APA/IPAs.

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Old 07-12-2014, 06:11 AM   #22
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Do you use a pH meter ? Sounds to me like you have a mash pH issue that is throwing everything off from a flavor and aroma perspective. Also, you ought to get a chemical analysis of your water to know what you are working with as far as gypsum and CaCl additions. Invest the money in a good pH meter if you haven't already.


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Old 08-10-2014, 02:17 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by kchomebrew View Post
Do you use a pH meter ? Sounds to me like you have a mash pH issue that is throwing everything off from a flavor and aroma perspective. Also, you ought to get a chemical analysis of your water to know what you are working with as far as gypsum and CaCl additions. Invest the money in a good pH meter if you haven't already.


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I do not, but I plan on using bottled water on next brew, maybe some gypsum. I may have been over-sparging.
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Old 08-10-2014, 02:41 PM   #24
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MrEggSandwich,

I think it's good to be moving to bottled water. But you really have to understand what is in that water. Some bottled waters have a very large range of minerals so it is difficult to estimate resulting mash pH.

My suggestion would be to go with distilled water. That way you know what is in there - nothing! And use Bru'n Water to dial in your additions for your grain bill. On my last mash, I was shooting for a pH of 5.4 and I got 5.36 - that the furthest I've been off since using the above.

As an aside,my earliest attempts at IPAs were rough - no aroma, caramelized taste. Just plain bad beer. I started controlling mineral content and being really anal about oxygen exposure after fermentation. Beers are now pretty darn drinkable.

Best of luck!

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Old 08-10-2014, 02:42 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrEggSandwich View Post
I do not, but I plan on using bottled water on next brew, maybe some gypsum. I may have been over-sparging.
I'm leafing through the Water book but can't seem to find it...but I swear I remember reading that high pH (over 5.8) can attribute both muddled hop flavors and metallic/soapy bitterness characteristics.

Oversparging could be part of this for sure. Lighter colored malts will tend to settle at a pH that is higher than desirable, as high as even 6.0 if the water is not treated properly. The rinsing of the grain bed also causes the pH to rise, so if you started at a borderline high pH then sparging can push it over the top.

The next time you brew a beer based largely on pils or pale malt (minimal crystal), use RO water and add 2% acid malt to the grist. Or, add 4-6g of Gypsum to the mash.

Without a pH meter you're kind of blindly guessing, but this should at least get you in the ballpark.
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Old 08-10-2014, 02:50 PM   #26
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I was having the same problem, plenty of bitterness, but no hop flavor or aroma

minerals weren't helping, so I thought I'd check mash pH

last batch I added 1.5% of acid malt and it helped a bit. it was a dimple pale ale, 2 oz of hops with no dry hop, but had more hop character than my IPA with 5 oz hops, 2 of which were dry hopped

haven't brewed since, so can't really say this is the fix, but I will be adding acid malt to future batches
I was in this same boat. Couldn't make a decent IPA to save my life.

I bought a ph meter and it said my mash was at 5.8.

I started using accidulated malt (acid malt) at about 3-5%, which is a considerable amount. My beers improved, my efficiency improved and hops stood out much much more than they did before. I made an IIPA recently that I considered good.

Now I have some gypsum I don't know what to do with.

Bottom line, get a ph meter at the least and better yet get a water report.

I'd say throwing more hops at the problem usually couldn't hurt but you've gone well beyond throwing more hops at this thing. I'd suggest backing way off on the hops and working back up, slowly.
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Old 08-10-2014, 02:51 PM   #27
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I agree with the distilled water with maybe 2tsp gypsum into the mash and 2tsp into the boil. A pound of acid malt would be helpful as well. (this will bring you into proper ph for most beers).

Don't use open hop bags for a couple brews use fresh 1oz packages only.

Try mashing a little higher, 150 is gonna dry out your beer. 155 with a mashout step would be a good.

Try fermenting a little warmer. 60* is not only outta range for yeast it also suppresses flavor. try a less attenuative strain like wlp002 and ferment warmer like 68*f.

Try using more specialty malts. I love victory and special roast in most of my beers.

Don't compare your beers to commercial beers. They have their process down to a science. You should mention a single commercial beer (instead of comparing to all of them) and try to mimic their technique which may include the use of a hop back and whirlpooling.

Stop aerating your wort, especially if you're using pure 02. This may sound foolish, but this gave me a flavor boost.

Try turning up the temperature in your serving fridge. Cold can suppress flavor.

Give some thought to reducing oxidation in your processes. Both hot and cold side.

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Old 08-10-2014, 03:03 PM   #28
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As far as the hops go, I highly recommend vacuum sealing any partial bags. I buy hops by the pound typically (and with the amounts you're using I'd suggest you do the same) so using an entire bag isn't usually practical. I don't have any issues with my hops that I can tell.

Now having an open bag, that would be an issue as oxygen does degrade hops.

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Old 08-10-2014, 04:45 PM   #29
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I had my LHBS dudes taste a sample today. Feedback was that it may be too much hop particle getting into primary, thus sitting on it too long. Trying to minimize by using hop bags now...

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Old 08-10-2014, 06:29 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrEggSandwich View Post

The hops taste like a soapy, muddled mess to me.


HOPS:
0.25 oz - Warrior, Type: Pellet, AA: 15.7, Use: Boil for 60 min, IBU: 15.45
1 oz - Hallertau (New Zealand), Type: Pellet, AA: 7.5, Use: Boil for 30 min, IBU: 22.68
1 oz - Cascade, Type: Pellet, AA: 6.3, Use: Boil for 10 min, IBU: 8.99
0.25 oz - Warrior, Type: Pellet, AA: 15.7, Use: Aroma for 10 min, IBU: 5.6
1 oz - Citra, Type: Pellet, AA: 14.5, Use: Aroma for 5 min, IBU: 11.38
1 oz - Galaxy, Type: Pellet, AA: 14.5, Use: Aroma for 5 min, IBU: 11.38
1 oz - Citra, Type: Pellet, AA: 14.5, Use: Aroma for 0 min
1 oz - Galaxy, Type: Pellet, AA: 14.5, Use: Aroma for 0 min


---------------------------

HOPS:
1 oz - Summit, Type: Pellet, AA: 17.5, Use: Boil for 90 min, IBU: 62.11
0.5 oz - Summit, Type: Pellet, AA: 17.15, Use: Boil for 45 min, IBU: 26.12
0.5 oz - Summit, Type: Pellet, AA: 17.5, Use: Boil for 20 min, IBU: 17.58
2 oz - Cascade, Type: Pellet, AA: 6.3, Use: Boil for 15 min, IBU: 20.74
2 oz - Amarillo, Type: Pellet, AA: 10.7, Use: Boil for 10 min, IBU: 25.74
1 oz - Citra, Type: Pellet, AA: 14.1, Use: Boil for 5 min, IBU: 9.33
1 oz - Amarillo, Type: Pellet, AA: 10.7, Use: Boil for 0 min
1 oz - Cascade, Type: Pellet, AA: 6.3, Use: Boil for 0 min
1 oz - Citra, Type: Pellet, AA: 14.1, Use: Boil for 0 min
2 oz - Amarillo, Type: Leaf/Whole, AA: 10.7, Use: Dry Hop for 14 days
2 oz - Citra, Type: Leaf/Whole, AA: 11, Use: Dry Hop for 7 days
6.5 oz of 5 different types
14 oz of 4 different types


I'd be surprised if this level of hopping in a 5G batch doesn't come out as a muddled mess.

Try simplifying your recipes. One bittering hop, two flavor/aroma at most.
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