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Old 10-15-2009, 03:42 PM   #1
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Default Roasty aftertaste in Red Ale

I've made two batches of a red ale that has been a staple for several years, that have had a rather strong roasted grain flavor. The recipe is:

2 lb munich light
4 lb two row
1 lb crystal 60
0.5 lb crystal 120
0.5 lb cara-pils

mashed at 155 for 60 minutes, mashed out at 168 and did a single batch sparge. The last sparge ran out at 1.013 sg for ~ 86% efficiency. I used carbon filtered city water with 5.2 ph stabilizer. Fermented with a starter of Rogue Packman at 65 degrees and finished at 1.014 sg.

Any ideas on this one? This has been my favorite beer for years and it just isn't turning out now. I'd appreciate any advice.

thanks,
Shane

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Old 10-15-2009, 03:51 PM   #2
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I'm confused...what exactly isn't turning out about it?

Usually the easiest thing to to track back and see what has changed between the good batches and the bad batches...

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Old 10-15-2009, 03:57 PM   #3
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It has a fairly strong roasted grain taste that wasn't in the batches from past years. It used to finish with a sweet malty flavor, but now it's a little astringent. I've been very careful to avoid over sparging, so I don't think that is the problem. I can't say anything has changed. It's really frustrating!

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Old 10-15-2009, 03:59 PM   #4
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chew on some of the grains. Does any of them have a roasty flavor? Make sure the grain bill is really what you think it is

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Old 10-15-2009, 04:12 PM   #5
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Is 1.014 where your ferment has finished out in the past? Pacman is a beast and may be fermenting out more of your sugars, leaving less residual to counter and soften any roastiness (probably from the 120). Residual sweetness really counterbalances roast in almost any beer. A dry finished beer with a roast malts tends towards a roast astringency. To counter this, you could try mashing a little higher.

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Old 10-15-2009, 04:15 PM   #6
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That's a good point mk. or leave out the 120... that may be the issue right there.

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Old 10-15-2009, 04:27 PM   #7
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It wouldn't be as red anymore if you left out the 120. Maybe use some Special B for color?

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Old 10-15-2009, 04:35 PM   #8
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Yeah, I'd leave in the C120 -- that's what makes it a Red Ale. I'd just either mash higher or try a less attenuative yeast strain and see if that makes a difference. Only change one thing at a time, though -- otherwise, you won't be able to pinpoint cause & effect.

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Old 10-15-2009, 04:35 PM   #9
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Also true, however Special B is rather roasty as well. might have to switch to a less aggressive yeast or crash it when it hits 1.018 ish.

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Old 10-15-2009, 04:42 PM   #10
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You could sub C90 for the C120. That might cut back on the color in addition to the roastiness, but you could offset the color loss by subbing an extra pound of the Munich for one of the pounds of base malt. It'll be a different beer, not just less roasty, but it should have more of a German-lager type maltiness to it that I particularly like in a red ale.

I don't see C120 isn't an absolute requirement for a red ale, you can get that color by using a VERY small amount of roasted barley (so little that it imparts virtually no flavor) or even better, a Carafa Special (de-husked/de-bittered) dark malt.

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