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Old 04-15-2007, 06:32 AM   #21
uuurang
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Yup, I had a amber, brown ale and to lesser degree some other extract beers come out with some harshness up front and throughout the taste profile. Never recovered with aging. Best way to describe it is harsh bitterness with with some copper/mineral profile.

just did first AG and upon first taste there was suprisingly no harshness up front like i'm used to with extracts. I suspect maybe tap water is too hard coupled with transfering too much hops from kettle to primary fermenter and/or maybe weak yeast?

I'm a eastside madtown og. maybe swap beer to see if were having same taste prob.

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Old 04-15-2007, 10:35 PM   #22
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I tasted a beer a couple days ago with the same type of problem. This was an all grain clone of Pliny the Elder. This is an extremely highly hopped imperial IPA. The batch in question was brewed at about the same time as a batch I brewed with the same recipe. We both batch sparge with a cooler system and chill with an immersion chiller. We did a side by side tasting. Mine was very smooth, very hoppy with a complex hop flavor. The other had an extremely harsh bitterness that made it difficult to drink

The only difference was the water. We both have similar water. The water is high in carbonates. I mix my water 50/50 with reverse osmosis filtered water. The other guys water was straight from the tap. He also has a water softener in his system. Water softeners use an ion replacement process to substitute sodium ions for the carbonates. This high level of sodium ions accentuates the bitterness even more than the carbonates and contributes to that harshness/astringency.

The harsh batch will end up getting dumped. My batch has won a couple medals already and has also been entered in the NHC Regionals.

Wayne
Bugeater Brewing Company

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Old 04-18-2007, 02:31 PM   #23
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Update:

First off, I should say that the beer has mellowed a bit and it pretty much drinkable. It's still a tad bitter but I can pretend it was suppossed to be a bitter and not a nut brown.

I've been doing a lot of research on this beer, as I really want to find out the source of the harsh bitterness. Everyone's comments have been most helpful. So far here are a few of my thoughts based upon what I have read here and elsewhere.

1) Hops. The reciepe called for 1oz of Challenger hops, which I suspect were on the high end of AA. That plus a full 70 minute boil at 6.5 gallons increased the utilization.

2) Water. I used tap water but I usually try and do 50/50 hard/soft water mix to even them out. However, I am still not convinced I had the right water profile for this beer and I think this had a lot to do with the initial very strong bitterness that has mellowed out a bit.

3) Low OG. There just wasn't much body to this beer to even out the hops. I'm in the process of reading 'Designing Great Beers', and using his balance calculations, I'm way at the high end of precieved bitterness.


Good news is that it is in the keg now and it's drinkable, so I'll try and get some guests over to finish it off. Also, my second AG was a dunkel and it came out wonderful.

Thanks for all the help guys!

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Old 04-18-2007, 03:12 PM   #24
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At 1.044 which was the OG for the kit it would have been around 26.6 IBU's the max for the style is 24 IBU's so that really isn't to far off. At 1.034 which is what your brews OG was it would be around 28.7 which is pretty bitter for a 1.034 beer unless its a bitters. NB has some great kits but they tend to hop everything 1 ounce additions, when you create your own recipes you soon find that some hops are better in small doses fuggles being one of them. I would have hopped that beer more like this .80 oz of challenger @ 60 minutes and .5 oz of fuggles at 1 minute.

Do you remove the chlorine from your water? Chlorine and or chloramine can really mess up your beer, it has some nasty effect in the mash. I filter all of my brew water and then use a 1/8 teaspoon of potassium metabisulfite per 5 gallons of water to remove any chlorine the filter missed.

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Old 04-18-2007, 03:50 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Waldo
At 1.044 which was the OG for the kit it would have been around 26.6 IBU's the max for the style is 24 IBU's so that really isn't to far off. At 1.034 which is what your brews OG was it would be around 28.7 which is pretty bitter for a 1.034 beer unless its a bitters. NB has some great kits but they tend to hop everything 1 ounce additions, when you create your own recipes you soon find that some hops are better in small doses fuggles being one of them. I would have hopped that beer more like this .80 oz of challenger @ 60 minutes and .5 oz of fuggles at 1 minute.

Do you remove the chlorine from your water? Chlorine and or chloramine can really mess up your beer, it has some nasty effect in the mash. I filter all of my brew water and then use a 1/8 teaspoon of potassium metabisulfite per 5 gallons of water to remove any chlorine the filter missed.
Yes, in hindsight, too much hops. I had specifically choose a kit for my first AG so I wouldn't mess anything up. But I feel comfortable with reciepes now and have a better understanding of the process so should be good going forward.

No chlorine in the water since it is well water. But we do have really hard water from the well. Tastes good though.
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Old 04-19-2007, 02:14 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Waldo
Do you remove the chlorine from your water? Chlorine and or chloramine can really mess up your beer, it has some nasty effect in the mash. I filter all of my brew water and then use a 1/8 teaspoon of potassium metabisulfite per 5 gallons of water to remove any chlorine the filter missed.
The city water here uses chlorine. Wouldn't the chlorine dissipate quickly when heating the mash strike water to 160`-170`? I understand chloramines are alot tougher to get rid of.
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Old 04-19-2007, 02:34 PM   #27
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Well I've heard conflicting reports on chlorine removal, some say you need to boil for 15 minutes to remove it others say simply heating it to strike temp will do it. My personal experience has shown that even after filtering I was still seeing some effects from chlorophenols on my lighter ales, since I've been using the potassium metabisulfite along with filtering I haven't had any problems.

Chloramine isn't affected by boiling or filtering with carbon filters, Potassium met will remove it in just a few minutes, its really cheap insurance.

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