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Old 05-07-2009, 12:56 AM   #1
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Default Grainy all-grain

I've been all-grain brewing for about 6 months now, and I seem to have a recurring problem when it comes to pale-ish ales. I've been trying to formulate a good american pale ale and everytime they come out with a really obvious grainy flavor. I'm not sure what the problem is.

I use beertools to generate my recipes and mash temps, etc. I'm pretty sure that I'm not mashing to hot (maybe even a little on the cool side).

However I don't have this problem when I make darker beers. I've made an ESB and a dry stout, both of which have no more grain flavor that would be expected from a normal all-grain beer.

Just recently I bottled an american wheat with 50% wheat, and it has a really strong grain flavor too. So wtf? Does the great HBT knowledge trust have any ideas?

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Old 05-07-2009, 03:14 AM   #2
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I have experienced something similar with my pale and light beers, but time seems to cure it in my case. The longer I leave it in secondary or in the kegerator, the less grainy and more delicious it tastes. And, like you, my amber and dark beers taste great after just a few weeks.

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Old 05-07-2009, 11:32 AM   #3
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Same thing here I have tried 10 different recipies basically using 10# pale and 1# 40L crystal and nomater what when I add the hops (flavor, aroma, dry) I get the same bland grainy beer. I'm on a quest to get this right. I'm going to do a batch with 1# 60L instead of the 40L and see if its better. The only downside is I'm looking for a nice golden ale. What is your grain and hop schedule?

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Old 05-07-2009, 08:45 PM   #4
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Sounds like a water profile issue to me. Have any of you checked your mash pH. Might be a bit high. From the little I know about water profiles, it seems that any issues will show themselves in lighter beers.

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Old 05-07-2009, 09:08 PM   #5
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Quote:
Sounds like a water profile issue to me.
This is the first thought that jumped into my head as well. Would love to hear some more opinions though from more experienced brewers since water profile is one of the things I still have yet to tackle.
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Old 05-07-2009, 09:42 PM   #6
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Sounds like high sparge pH. Treating the mash and sparge water per Palmer's spreadsheet, or using 5.2 stabilizer, will help.

Since my water is really hard I commonly sparge pale beers using only RO water since I don't want too many minerals in the water.

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Old 05-07-2009, 09:57 PM   #7
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Sparge water is an interesting idea. I think I'll look into that. We have pretty hard water here in central Illinois.

I just got my annual water report, and I've got some pH paper at work. Is pH 5.2 the best for all beers or just lighter ones?

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Old 05-07-2009, 10:25 PM   #8
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i use pH 5.2 in ALL my beers. we have fairly hard water here in Lincoln too. rested tap pH is 7.8...fairly alkaline and plenty of carbonate hardness/calcium.

my light beers taste good...and I mostly make lighter styles (wits, wheats, kolsch, etc)

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Old 05-07-2009, 10:27 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chase View Post
Sparge water is an interesting idea. I think I'll look into that. We have pretty hard water here in central Illinois.

I just got my annual water report, and I've got some pH paper at work. Is pH 5.2 the best for all beers or just lighter ones?
5.2 will work for any brew, or you can follow Palmer's spreadsheet and recommendations to treat your water the hard way. Either will work. With really high alkalinity treating both mash and sparge water with 5.2 seems to be the key. By really hard, I mean over 150ppm residual alkalinity.
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Old 05-07-2009, 10:29 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chase View Post
Sparge water is an interesting idea.
I'd put my money on it being more than an idea. I have similar issues with pales and have been cutting my water with RO water. Right now just 50/50. I'm not quite there yet so I may bump that up to 60/40. But I would get your water tested so you know exactly what's in your water and go from there and go from there. Palmer has some good tools to use when trying to figure out water profiles, etc.
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