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Old 09-24-2009, 12:03 AM   #71
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Would Five Star 5.2 stabilizer be a possible solution to the problem? I have the same issues and have searched here to find some brewers using 5.2 to stabilize their water in a mash or even campden tablets to control the wild yeasties. Would either of these work for an extract application?

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Old 09-24-2009, 12:10 AM   #72
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Those wouldn't solve the problem that I'm trying to experiment with here. I believe my problem is due to high concentrations of both sodium and sulfate. Neither of those would fix that.

They would however fix some other similar problems. It would be possible to get an astringency from your steeping grains if your alkalinity was way off. I believe that would give a "sucking on a tea bag" property to the beer. The campden tablets would remove chlorine (and I believe chloramines). Those two would give a plastic or bandage like taste to the beer, sometimes present when you burp.

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Harsh Bitterness Experiment

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Old 09-24-2009, 12:31 AM   #73
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How funny, the threads that I researched here said that using both 5.2 and campden did away with the very flavors you said using them would cause. I'm so confused! LOL! I'm keeping track of this thread to see how your progress comes along. I've got the same issues and trying to find a solution as well. Until then, I'll grab one of these off flavored beers and wait.

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Old 09-24-2009, 01:04 AM   #74
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sharkeydude View Post
How funny, the threads that I researched here said that using both 5.2 and campden did away with the very flavors you said using them would cause. I'm so confused! LOL!
Maybe I didn't explain that as well as I should have.

Using campden will do away with the plastic/bandage/medicinal flavor.
Using 5.2 may do away with the "sucking on a tea bag" astringency.
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Harsh Bitterness Experiment

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Old 09-24-2009, 01:25 AM   #75
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I got ya. Sorry for the confusion. I appreciate you guys that have a better handle on the chemical side of things than I do. I love this hobby and really have learned more than I ever expected from these threads.

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Old 09-24-2009, 03:27 AM   #76
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Let us know how it tastes after a few weeks in the bottle. It sounds promising.
So my Best Bitter has been in the bottle now for 4.5 weeks and chilled for 1.5 It tastes amazing. By far my best beer out of the 3 that I've bottled. Changing from spring water to RO/Distilled definitely improved the taste. No harsh bitterness. Just a clean tasting beer that allows you to focus on the hops and malt rather than a twang after you take a gulp. My father in law agrees!
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Old 09-24-2009, 03:39 AM   #77
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So my Best Bitter has been in the bottle now for 4.5 weeks and chilled for 1.5 It tastes amazing. By far my best beer out of the 3 that I've bottled. Changing from spring water to RO/Distilled definitely improved the taste. No harsh bitterness. Just a clean tasting beer that allows you to focus on the hops and malt rather than a twang after you take a gulp. My father in law agrees!
That's awesome. Congrats!
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Harsh Bitterness Experiment

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Old 09-26-2009, 12:26 AM   #78
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SWMBO and I just got done with our 1st blind tasting of the finished beers from the experiment. The results weren't as definitive as I would have liked, but the tap water beer did have that character that inspired this experiment (although I wouldn't call it harsh). SWMBO preferred the tap water beer, but admitted that her tastes are likely different than most.

The distilled water beer was a smoother beer to me, and was less bitter than I would expect with an IBU:OG ratio of 0.73. It was slightly tart to me, indicating that the pH is too low.

After continuing to finish the two beers from the tasting, the tap water beer became unpalatable while the distilled water beer was still smooth.

While neither of the beers were perfect, I definitely preferred the distilled water beer for its smoothness. I also think that I have correctly identified the quality that I didn't like in the beer that inspired this experiment. If I were to continue to use this extract, I would probably still use distilled water, but add some salts (either chalk or baking soda) to raise the pH.

I still have two of each of the beers from the experiment, so I'll be refrigerating them for another blind tasting with some fellow brewers (probably in 2 weeks+). Sometime after that, I'll be posting an official conclusion to the experiment.

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Old 09-27-2009, 04:53 PM   #79
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This is very good info!
I've tasted a weird aftertaste in my brews also and I never thought about my water.
I'm off a well and I can't believe I never thought about that, drinking from the faucet tastes fine.
I've had others taste my brew and they don't seem to taste the same thing I do...its just an aftertaste and I know its there!
When I get back to the states I'm definately going to try store bought water and see if that makes a difference!
again...thanks!

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Old 09-27-2009, 09:07 PM   #80
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AmmoHouse, don't just buy buy any old water from the store since some of that water is just bottled municipal water. Look for RO (Reverse Osmosis) or Distilled water. Since both processes strip the water of all minerals and impurities. You'll get some/most of those minerals back from the extract that you use.

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