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Old 08-22-2012, 01:59 PM   #1
j_dub4t
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Default lack of flavor in pale ale... wtf?

Brewed the American Pale Ale from Brewing Classic Styles. It barely had any flavor at all- very strange. After a few sips, you can taste a gentle hop bitterness, but no flavor from the late additions at all. Even the malt flavor is much less than I anticipated. Any thoughts would be helpful b/c I am unsure of where to go from here.

OG: 1.056
FG: 1.011
IBU: 45

Water: distilled
Pre-boil Vol: 7 gal

Malt:
Extra Light LME*- 8.2 lbs
Munich LME- 0.5lbs
Wheat LME- 0.5lbs

*Recipe calls for Light. LHBS only had Extra Light

Steeping:
Victory**- 0.75lbs

**Steeped in 3/4 gal water for 30 minutes at 150-160F

Hops:
Horizon(60) 0.70oz
Cascade(10) 0.5oz
Centennial(10) 0.5oz
Cascade(0) 0.5oz
Centennial(0) 0.5oz

Extras:
Servomyces(10)
Whirlfloc(10)
Clarityferm- in fermenter

Post-Boil:
Cooled with pump and immersion chiller with ice water (about 15-20 minutes).

Oxygenated with O2.

Made appropriately sized starter of Wyeast 1056. Pitched at 66F. Fermented at 68F(one week). Raised to 71F(one week). Cold crashed to 38F(one week).

Kegged and carbed to 2.5 vols.

Very confused, but hopefully someone out there has some insight for me. Thanks ahead of time!

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Old 08-22-2012, 02:23 PM   #2
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To me, it seems like there aren't much hops in the last 10 mins for the taste you want. Most recipes with huge hop flavor add 4-5 oz in the last 0-15 mins or so.

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Old 08-22-2012, 02:31 PM   #3
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I think you need to back those hops at 10 back to about 15 or 20. Give them more time for the oils to break down. You probably had more aroma than flavor.

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Originally Posted by davekippen View Post
Open log Fermenting and gas-can secondary?? I am planning my next brew right now!!
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Old 08-22-2012, 02:40 PM   #4
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I think you need to back those hops at 10 back to about 15 or 20. Give them more time for the oils to break down. You probably had more aroma than flavor.
It didn't ever have aroma. I caught a slight smell of hops during fermentation, but almost nothing once it came out of the keg.
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Old 08-22-2012, 02:45 PM   #5
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IMHO, your recipe is heading in the direction you want.

I would cut back on your boil hops next time. Try and limit their IBU contribution to 50%. That will give you room to add in a 20 minute addition. Keep the 10 and knock out.

The next big punch is from dry hopping. I'd consider adding 1.5ozs to your keg right now.

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Old 08-22-2012, 03:02 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by j_dub4t View Post
It didn't ever have aroma. I caught a slight smell of hops during fermentation, but almost nothing once it came out of the keg.
You really need to dry-hop for good aroma. That or make those 0 minute hops more like whirlpool hops, ie. wait until wort cools to 150ish, then throw them in. Even so, the off-gassing of fermentation drives off hop aroma.

Move the 10m hops back to 15, up them a bit, cut the bittering hops down accordingly since you'll get more IBU's from a 15m addition. Then make those 0m hops whirlpool hops and also dry-hop in primary after you hit FG.
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Open log Fermenting and gas-can secondary?? I am planning my next brew right now!!
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Old 08-22-2012, 03:03 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jammin View Post
I'd consider adding 1.5ozs to your keg right now.
This, too. Throw a hop bag in there with at least an ounce or more of hops. I cut pieces of voile cloth into squares then zip-tie or twisty-tie them closed, make sure they're not super compressed around the hops.
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Open log Fermenting and gas-can secondary?? I am planning my next brew right now!!
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Old 08-22-2012, 05:03 PM   #8
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So far the consensus seems to be shifting around my hop schedule, and I am sure that would get me closer to what I am looking for. However, since I was trying to copy Jamil's "award-winning" recipe, I expected the recipe to be "good". I was disappointed with the lack of a malt flavor also, so I assumed that there was something inherently wrong with my process. I did use ferm-cap (which i forgot to mention above). Any thoughts on that having some sort of effect?

I was wondering if anything else stood out? Thanks for the continued feedback.

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Old 08-22-2012, 05:09 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by j_dub4t
So far the consensus seems to be shifting around my hop schedule, and I am sure that would get me closer to what I am looking for. However, since I was trying to copy Jamil's "award-winning" recipe, I expected the recipe to be "good". I was disappointed with the lack of a malt flavor also, so I assumed that there was something inherently wrong with my process. I did use ferm-cap (which i forgot to mention above). Any thoughts on that having some sort of effect?

I was wondering if anything else stood out? Thanks for the continued feedback.
The extract you used would limit malt flavor. Up the darker extracts. Also, are you certain your hops are as fresh and high in acids/oils as the recipe? Older hops or lower concentrated hops can have an effect.
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Originally Posted by davekippen View Post
Open log Fermenting and gas-can secondary?? I am planning my next brew right now!!
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Old 08-22-2012, 05:18 PM   #10
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Hops were the proper alpha acids, and used Beersmith to adjust the quantities so that the IBU's would be the same as Jamil's recipe (using Rager formula).

I got the hops from Austin Homebrew Online, so I assuming they were of decent quality.

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