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Old 03-11-2012, 10:39 PM   #1
revbish
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Default How to get rid of astringent aftertaste?

I recently started brewing all-grain. For years I've brewed with extract and made some really good beers. Now, I've made half a dozen batches all-grain and every single batch has had a real astringent aftertaste, not related to hops. I'm using a large rectangular cooler with a bazooka screen, Beersmith software, and a single infusion, no-sparge mashing technique. Every batch has gone very smoothly, hitting all my target temps and gravities spot on. I read and studied all-grain method a long time before actually attempting it, laying it out clearly in my mind what I was going to do, so I felt very comfortable when doing it. The bad aftertaste must be coming from the mashing process, but I really don't know what I can do to avoid this. Anybody have any ideas?

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Old 03-11-2012, 10:57 PM   #2
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It may be time to invest in a PH meter and keep an eye on your mash PH.
If it goes to high it can cause astringent flavors.
You can also send a sample of your water to ward labs for analysis then use EZ water calculator to adjust it.

Tim

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Old 03-11-2012, 11:01 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by revbish View Post
I recently started brewing all-grain. For years I've brewed with extract and made some really good beers. Now, I've made half a dozen batches all-grain and every single batch has had a real astringent aftertaste, not related to hops. I'm using a large rectangular cooler with a bazooka screen, Beersmith software, and a single infusion, no-sparge mashing technique. Every batch has gone very smoothly, hitting all my target temps and gravities spot on. I read and studied all-grain method a long time before actually attempting it, laying it out clearly in my mind what I was going to do, so I felt very comfortable when doing it. The bad aftertaste must be coming from the mashing process, but I really don't know what I can do to avoid this. Anybody have any ideas?
pH paper is cheap and accurate, as well. Meters require buffers, storage solution, probe replacement, etc...
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Old 03-11-2012, 11:07 PM   #4
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Can you detail your "normal" process out for us a little bit more. That can help us troubleshoot your problems. Maybe give the exact process for a recipe that had the astringency.

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Old 03-11-2012, 11:21 PM   #5
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Polyclar can fine out poly phenols (but it's best to not get too may in the first place.)

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Old 03-12-2012, 12:06 AM   #6
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Understanding your water is the first step. It sounds like the alkalinity of the brewing water is higher than desirable. That might result in the mash pH getting a little too high. In addition, if the tap water alkalinity is too high, then you HAVE to reduce the alkalinity of the water used for sparging. You need Bru'n Water for that since none of the other tools have that capability.

Having a pH meter can be helpful, but its not a true necessity. pH paper can work, but its difficult to read with the effect of wort color and most strips tend to read at least a couple of tenths too low. That is not really a huge problem, but you do need to aim for a mash pH reading that is a couple of tenths higher than the typical range of 5.3 to 5.5 to account for the error. The great thing about a program like Bru'n Water is that as long as you have accurate ion information for your tap water, you can get within a tenth or two of the targeted pH every time, without a meter or strips.

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Old 03-12-2012, 12:12 AM   #7
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These are pics of the mash and sparge pH readings of my Dunkel I brewed today. It was at the darker end of the style. I used CaCl2 in all the liquor and phosphoric acid in the sparge.

p1030746.jpg   p1030756.jpg  
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Old 03-12-2012, 12:15 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nbolmer View Post
pH paper is cheap and accurate,
Cheap yes, accurate, that's debatable.
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Old 03-12-2012, 12:19 AM   #9
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I like those Precision Labs papers because if it turns green it's in range. Blue or yellow are not.

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Old 03-12-2012, 11:11 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wildwest450 View Post
Cheap yes, accurate, that's debatable.
My Hanna 96107 agrees within ~.2 of paper. Good enough, considering the Hanna is rated to ~.1

The big advantage of the tester is range - I can test starsan with it. Paper is close enough for diagnostic purposes.
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