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Old 09-08-2009, 11:08 PM   #61
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Originally Posted by -TH- View Post
Let us know how it tastes after a few weeks in the bottle. It sounds promising. In my experience with the harsh bitter aftertaste it didn't show up until after it was carbonated. I could not detect it at all at bottling.
I can say for the majority of my batches (7 I have drank so far) this is also the case.

I have also noticed that as the beer comes up to temp after pouring in a glass, the bitterness will fade.

I have been using spring water (first 2 batches) and tap water for the ones since then. Up until this past Sunday I always added a teaspoon of gypsum, I believe that this pushed the mineral content over the acceptable level being able to detect in the beer.

But I have also noticed that as the beer sits in the bottle the bitterness goes away. I had a cream ale in the bottle now for almost 2 months, I could barely drink it when it was younger but now it tastes better, still not good, but better. My first beer, a blonde ale, still is harsh after 4 months of aging!

So thanks everyone that has posted thus far I am keeping an eye on this thread.
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Old 09-08-2009, 11:52 PM   #62
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At any rate, I got my water tested last week and this is what I got:
Ca+2: 73
Mg+2: 26
SO4-2: 3
Na+: 11
Cl-: 2
HCO3-: 360

Hard with bicarbonates through the roof. Looks like the chloride sulfate ratio favors bitterness a little bit too.
I would guess your astringency is coming from the bicarbonates in the steep (I'm assuming you use steeping grains). Unless you're using an extract that's high in sodium and sulfate, I don't expect the problem to be what I described in the OP.

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So thanks everyone that has posted thus far I am keeping an eye on this thread.
I'm glad to see everyone is getting a lot of value from this thread.
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Old 09-10-2009, 12:26 AM   #63
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I am also wondering if carbon filtration effects the mineral profile...
A guy in my club sent unfiltered and carbon filtered samples to ward lab. Stay tuned.
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Old 09-11-2009, 09:12 PM   #64
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I've done 13 extracts, drinking the 13th right now and only two batches (7th and 13th) have had this flavor. In batch 7, the flavor did not diminish with time, in fact it seemed like to got worse with time.

Last night is when I realized that my water is what caused the off flavor. Here's my water profile as far as I can tell.

Sodium: 46
Mineral Content: 392
Hardness: 187
pH: 7.5

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Old 09-11-2009, 10:30 PM   #65
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I've done 13 extracts, drinking the 13th right now and only two batches (7th and 13th) have had this flavor. In batch 7, the flavor did not diminish with time, in fact it seemed like to got worse with time.

Last night is when I realized that my water is what caused the off flavor. Here's my water profile as far as I can tell.

Sodium: 46
Mineral Content: 392
Hardness: 187
pH: 7.5
Can you elaborate on "mineral content"? The sodium seems pretty low to begin with. Did batches 7 and 13 have a common extract manufacturer? Were they brewed at the same time of the year? I'm curious as to why it was only batches 7 and 13.
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Old 09-11-2009, 10:31 PM   #66
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Water profile is specific to recipe. That is one explanation for only seeing the off flavors in certain beers. Bad water for one type of beer can be perfect water for another type of beer.

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Old 09-11-2009, 11:02 PM   #67
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Can you elaborate on "mineral content"? The sodium seems pretty low to begin with. Did batches 7 and 13 have a common extract manufacturer? Were they brewed at the same time of the year? I'm curious as to why it was only batches 7 and 13.
I have an e-mail into my water company for more specifics. The info I gave is what is posted online in the monthly report.

#7 1/25/09 Brewers Best German Oktoberfest with the dry yeast that came with the box. At that point I didn't record what brand/type, probably Muntons.
6.6# plain light ME
8 oz Crystal 60L
4 oz Crystal 20L

#13 7/25/09 Brewers Best Continental Pilsner
3.3# plain light ME
2# plain light DME
12 oz dextrine malt

The process was the same for all my beers. All of my brews have used carbon filtered water from my frig.
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Old 09-15-2009, 10:21 PM   #68
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Here's the average values from Jan 08 thru today.

Calcium = 67.5 mg/L or ppm
Magnesium = 12.5 mg/L or ppm
Sulfate = 134.5 mg/L or ppm
Sodium = 39.4 mg/L or ppm
Chloride = 13.43 mg/L or ppm
Bicarbonate Alkalinity = 145 mg/L or ppm

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Old 09-15-2009, 11:20 PM   #69
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Using Palmer's spreadsheet, your alkalinity is good for 10-15 SRM beers. The sulfate concentration is pretty high and the sulfate to chloride ratio is 10:1 (very high). I would say your water is good for more bitter all grain beers (like an ESB) as long as you add some calcium chloride to get the sulfate to chloride ratio down.

For extract brewing, you will probably be in trouble if you pick up a good amount of sodium from the extract. When I contacted the extract manufacturer for the extract I was using, I found out that it had 160ppm sodium. I'm pretty sure that's what was causing my problem.

Is it possible that for your two bad batches, you used an extract high in sodium? Did you use the same extract on other batches?

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Old 09-19-2009, 03:20 AM   #70
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Just put one of each of the experiment beers into the fridge. Probably mid next week SWMBO and I will do a blind tasting. Sometime after that, I'll do a blind tasting with some friends who are unaware of the experiment. Stay tuned!

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