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Old 11-25-2006, 03:58 PM   #1
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Default Oxygenation taste in fermenting beer?

Guys,

Recently, A lot of my beers have been cursed with a taste that I used to contribute to oxidation. It is the sensation of dust in your mouth that develops on the finish of a beer on the back of my tonge. It would be fine if this was just oxidation since I would know to be more careful with the beer after fermentation, but I also started to notice this taste in young beer and lately even in beer that is still fermenting.

Any idea what that could be?

Kai

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Old 11-25-2006, 04:43 PM   #2
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Oxidation is a cardboard-like flavor that takes months to develop. Sounds more like astringency, which is present the wort right at the beginning and becomes more pronounced as the sweetness is fermented out.

"Astringency: It is dry, kind of powdery and is often the result of steeping grains too long or when the pH of the mash exceeds the range of 5.2 - 5.6."

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Old 11-25-2006, 04:56 PM   #3
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Astringency might be an option to. I have not (knowingly) tasted an astringency example yet. The beers I'm talking about definately have that powdery taste. But I'm not sure if it can come from the grain. My mash PH is always in the lower 5's, My mash-out/sparge temp doesn't go above 75*C and I even started to condition the grains so the husks don't shred as much as they uesed to. And I batch sparge. I'll have to check the PH for subsequent sparging batches though.

Maybe it's the hops. I have been working with one 1lb bag of Hallertauer Mittelfrueh for a while now. Hops are also known to add tannins to the beer. Some of them are necessary for a good hot break, but maybe the are present in excess.

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Old 11-25-2006, 05:04 PM   #4
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Ive had a "powdery" sensation on a green beer once. But by the time it was completely finished that taste disapeared, and the beer turned out really well. Im not sure what exactly caused it though.

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Old 11-25-2006, 05:05 PM   #5
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Get a black tea bag & boil it for 5 minutes in a cup of water. That's astringent.

I batch sparge & use pH 5.2 in the mash and the sparge.

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Old 11-26-2006, 02:20 AM   #6
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I certainly have to explore the possibility of tannins from the grains a little more. My temperatures are below the critical temperature and I thought that my PH is fine too. But maybe the strips that I'm using are off. I'll be getting a PH meter for christmas, then I will know for sure what my mash PH is. Until then I will have to read more about water chemistry.

Kai

edit:
I just checked my PH strips (ColorPhast) and while they are pretty readable they seem to be off by a few 0.1 PH units. The reference was well and R/O water since I have a water report for both. I read ~5.5 on the RO water while the water report states 6.0. I also remember brewing a Dunkel with moderately hard water (~50mg/L HCO3) and the mash PH was ~5.0 which surprised me quite a bit. This Dunkel was brewed with a similar process and same hops as the other beers with the possible astringency problem and it doesn't show this astringency.

I'm going to brew an Alt this weekend (very similar grain bill as the Dunkel), but different hops and yeast and will see how this comes out. I'll also give the Helles another try with less alkaline water (I use R/O water + salts) and see if that fixes the problem.

I also made a cup of abused tea and gave it a taste. The dry taste from that tea developed on the sides and tip of the tonge. But the taste I get from the beer develops on the back of the tounge and seems different. While the tea gave me a sensation of dryness, the taste from the beer litterally gives me a sensation of dust. Not that I have tasted dust before, but that's how imagine dust would taste.

Kai

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Old 11-26-2006, 09:53 PM   #7
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Kai, i used the cheap strips for a while and found they were off by a nice bit. What I thought to be 5.3 on my strip showed up as 5.9 on my meter.

Since getting the meter and adjusting to get 5.2 to 5.3 PH in my mash and using 5.2 PH stabalizer in my sparge water, my brews improved noticeably.

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Old 11-26-2006, 10:33 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boo boo
Since getting the meter and adjusting to get 5.2 to 5.3 PH in my mash and using 5.2 PH stabalizer in my sparge water, my brews improved noticeably.
Yes, I belive the same now.

When looking though my notes I found that beers, that had a measured mash PH of 5.0 had a 3-4% better efficiency than mashes that had a measured PH of 5.3. Since 5.0 is already outside the optimum for mashing, the efficiency should have been less. I also noticed a shorter conversion time for when the mash measures 5.0.

And the whole problem started with light beers when I started measuring the mash with ColorPhast strips, which I assumed to me more precise than lithmus paper and I tried to get my mashes into the 5.3 range. I really hope this mystey is solved now, but may end up dumping my Helles if it has a lot of astringency. It will have served as a large starter since I'm not very happy with its fermentation either.

Yes, I'm looking forward to that PH meter. It was actually more important than a refractometer for me since I can measure gravity pretty well with a hydrometer. I'm not a big fan of the 5.2 stuff though. I rather adjust the mash with the composition of the brewing water and acid malt if necessary.

Kai
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Old 11-26-2006, 10:45 PM   #9
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So, you have decided the problem is ph? I have been trying to think what dust, back of the tongue could be. I haven't come up with anything yet, but astringent, as you say, is something I look for on the side and not the back, so I would not have gone down the ph road.

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Old 11-27-2006, 01:17 AM   #10
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This problem interests me greatly. Are these batches all RO water with salt additions? How are you calculating your amounts? Is your water normally soft? The reason I ask is that my darker beers have never turned out to my taste. They're good but not to style. I have soft water with a PH of 4, most of the time. Because of fluctuations, (seasonal) in my well water I recently decided to go RO and build my water. I have only done one beer so far with my salted water and it is not done fermenting. I went to Burton water on a Rye IPA and I'm afraid London water might have been a better choice. The wort tasted bitter but then the IBUs were 84. I can brew great Wits and Kolsh, anything blond but my dark stuff is not what I want and I know it is the water. Look to sanitation very thoroughly. JZ claims many small off flavors are due to low level bacteria.

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