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Old 04-28-2012, 04:22 PM   #1
Clementine
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Default Trub and Off flavors

Ladies and Gentlemen,
I have some off flavors after modifying my brewing equipment. I made a HLT out of an old cooler and a hot water element. As it is water and not acidic wort or beer in the HLT I saved some cash and used a regular 110volt hot water element and brass fittings. I left the strike water heating too long and it boiled in the cooler. There was no noticeable distortion or melting of the cooler. Could this be responsible for my off flavors.

Secondly replaced a my dip tube as it was damaged when I moved from Hawaii to PA and although usable it need to be replaced. I have not fitted a filter so 100% of the trub is not getting into the fermenter.

The flavor I'm experiencing is not dominate but rather a mild off bitterness kind of flavor. To elaborate it does not have the fruitiness of hop bitterness but the flat bitterness on the palate noticeable after the first wash of hoppy bitterness is leaving your palate where I would expect so taste some malt flavors. I would say it tastes oxidized but my process has not changed aside form the above changes to equipment.

The recipes that have been effected are my common pale ales and IPAs nothing complex, Pale Ale Malt + small % of Crystal 60+ some wheat + truck load of hops. I have done this recipe dozens of times with no problems. I played around with different mash temps different yeast around my basic recipe with not problem now, three consecutive batches since I changed equipment have the same flavor.

So my resolution is to fix both problems, go back to old strike water heating (stove and three pots) filter trub better and double trip check equipment for contaminate. However I'm curious on other peoples opinions of this problem.

Clem

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Old 04-28-2012, 04:24 PM   #2
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Foam insulation?

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Old 04-28-2012, 05:51 PM   #3
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Are you saying the HLT water was boiling and you then used boiling water to mash your grains in?

If so, the boiling water could of extracted a lot of tannins from the grain and that may be causing the off flavors you are describing.

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Old 04-28-2012, 07:01 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bottlebomber View Post
Foam insulation?
If you remove a small amount of insulation you can seal the hot water element against the interior liner and with a 1" nut and silicone o-ring.


Quote:
Originally Posted by duboman View Post
Are you saying the HLT water was boiling and you then used boiling water to mash your grains in?

If so, the boiling water could of extracted a lot of tannins from the grain and that may be causing the off flavors you are describing.
I previous method I used was boiling water into the Mash Tun and then allow to cool to strike temp to avoid having to calculate the specific heat of the mash tun. You just leave the lid open and allow to cool (stir like crazy and then sit a bit) until the temp is right on. This method worked fine for me since I started doing AG a couple of years ago.

I did not intend to boil the water this time but rather over shoot my Strike Temp a bit and wait to the mash liquor was at the right temp.

I just went and tasted the last three batches all of which are in the fermenter and the flavor is only really noticeable in the ale and it is so slight I'm not sure if I'm just crazy. Some one needs to invent a beer over IP app so we can share what we have made (good or bad)

Clem
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Old 04-28-2012, 07:07 PM   #5
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I have pretty much the same HLT as you do, 110 volt heating element. Never had any problems but I never accidentally boiled the water with it either. Maybe rather than going back to the old setup you should try it again with the heating element and keep the temp from going too high.

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Old 04-28-2012, 07:08 PM   #6
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If I remember correctly from a BN podcast, someone (JP? Maybe Palmer?) Said the typical Rubbermaid coolers that are in use are only rated for 180F, either way I'm not a fan of boiling liquid in plastic. There are various calculators that take into account the specific weight of the mash run you could use, or do what your saying and not boil it, just bring to 180 and let it cool. Alternatively, you can bring the mash tun up to a few degrees higher then strike, and have a small pot of boiling water in case it dips too low.

Edit: I don't have a source for the brew cast sorry, I download all of them and listen to them on my way to work, so no idea which one is ones. Definitely not a q&a show though.

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