Spike Brewing 12.5 Conical Fermenter Giveaway - Enter Now!

Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > ALL beers - extract AND all grain taste bad. Please help me with new suggestions

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 08-24-2011, 03:28 PM   #1
TheSlash
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Cereal City, MI
Posts: 288
Liked 5 Times on 4 Posts
Likes Given: 9

Default ALL beers - extract AND all grain taste bad. Please help me with new suggestions

I'll start with I am a perfectionist... All beers have been "drinkable" but have an off taste that bothers me too much that I'd rather buy beer. There is an astringent like feel that is very hard to explain. There is a bad bitter in the back followed immediately by an alka seltzer mouthfeel.

Oddly enough I swear I taste it as early as the end of boil/chill phase.

So BEFORE the pitch and ferment, etc. Wort comiing from Mash tun is nice and sweet.

I've tried so many variables, the last being water and it is still there. Getting very disheartening and I don't want to give up yet. Here is what I have brewed in order.

5gal extract Oatmeal Stout kit. -spring water (ice mountain) WPL yst starter
5gal English Brown ale kit. -spring water (ice mountain) WPL yst starter
5gal Apelwein - Spring water (ice mountain) Danstar sprinkled
5gal Haus Pale Ale - Filtered tap Nottingham hydrated
5gal Elk Drool brown ale - Filtered tap WPL Yst starter
5gal Centennial Blonde - Spring water (Besco bottled) Notty dry hydrated
5gal Centennial Blonde - RO water (meijer machine) added salts based on yoopers water starter thread to mash. Notty dry hydrated.

Extracts and All grain gear was different except same homemade copper chiller.

Things I have tried...
Thought it was PH so tried many different types of water. The last being RO with salts. Also added 2% sour malt to mash on that one. So think water isn't it.

Can't be my grain, crush, mash, etc.. because I had the exact taste in my extract brews. Steeped grains but never over 155.

I've done yeast starters and also dry. I ferment in a basement closet that sits at ambient of 60 in the dark.

Only kettle additions I've done are Irish moss, tried a wirfloc once. I also use fermcap, a few drops for foam control. Extracts had only fermcap.

I do brew electric, so tried making sure I stirred the wort till it came to a boil on this last batch as it was suggested the sugar could be burning.

I chill with an immersion chiller that sits in the boil the last 15 minutes. This has been used in all batches, but can copper that looks fine really change the flavor that much? It did sit in starsan for a week once... but it isn't shiny.

My process...

Heat water in HLT with heatsticks(2 1500watt) send 165 strike water to 10gal cooler with braid, add crushed grain (barely crusher at 1pm and have tried conditioning malt), mash @ temp (150-155) for 50-60 minutes, vorlauf a gallon or so then drain to BK. Add 170 strike water, stir, let sit for 10 minutes, vorlauf again, drain to BK.

I taste runnings and have checked gravity not to go too low. I end up boiling 7-8 gallons normally.

1 hour boil, not a crazy fast boil. My extracts were done on a stove though, so think I can rule out the heatsticks.

Chill to 70, drain to fermenter through a funnel with a fine filter., shake like mad for 5min (better bottle with tenis ball)

Pitch yeast, take to basement.

I have fermented in a primary only and the first 4 batches were left 4-6 weeks, the last 2 centennials were 3 weeks, but supposedly it can grain to glass if kegged in 10 days.

I keg and throw in fridge.

Gear:
2 9gallon SS pots with valves, cooler mashtun with SS braid. BK has false bottom.

Was positive it was the water, but the last batch with RO was just as bad.
Can't be the yeast type because I've used 3-4 different types.
Pretty sure flavor is there before going to fermenter though.

Thought it was grain in BK causing it, but vorlaufed a lot, and also had this flavor in my extracts.

So could it really be a copper chiller? Could I test by boiling water and tasting?

I like most all beer I've had besides mine! I love hoppy beers, but this isn't a good bitter.

I tasted the sludge on the last batch when I kegged and it had the same sharp bitter flavor, but I figure any hope/yeast material will have that. Just thought yeast was supposed to clean up the beer not spread that flavor.

What a book, sorry, but getting very very frustrated..

10 hours of work to check each variable and still haven't nailed it.

I wish I could get someone to taste it and help out

Will homebrew shops or breweries do that at all legally?

Also, I have read all the major brewing books. Some twice. So either I suck at comprehending or just missing a variable to try here.

Cliffs:

Extract and all grain have same bad flavor.
Used different yeast and water including building up from yoopers RO thread.
Pretty sure I taste it before pitching anyways.
Copper chiller only gear that has been used in both extract and all grain.

__________________
TheSlash is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-24-2011, 03:41 PM   #2
boomtown25
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Biloxi, Mississippi
Posts: 322
Liked 2 Times on 2 Posts
Likes Given: 1

Default

You're obviously no rookie as you seem to have an idea of what the problems may be, so I would suggest a couple of things:
1. I think it is still your water. Next brew, go to the store and buy 10 gallons of bottled spring water. (Not distilled). Use this and only this.
2. Get a partial mash or extract kit of Caribou Slobber from NB. I say this because this was my first kit and it was extremely awesome- if I didn't mess it up you shouldn't be able to.
3. Get 2 gallon plastice containers from Wal-Mart. Sanitize them and pour 2 gallons of Spring water into them and freeze. Do not use the chiller.
4. After doing the boil on stove top (or burner outside), put in ice bath in sink and then dump the frozen ice blocks directly into wort. This will cold crash down to about 60 in 15 minutes. Leave top OFF during boil. Leave top ON during cooling.
5. Strain wort directly into (carboy preferably) through a funnel with a paint strainer bag stretched over it (get these at HD for cheap).
6. Ferment for 3 weeks (or longer if fermentation is not done) and then bottle for 3 weeks before drinking. Put in the fridge for 2 nights before drinking. If this does not come out good, I don't know what to tell you.
7. If you would rather have a hoppier beer than a brown ale, go with their Warrior IPA and buy an extra oz of Warrior hops to dry hop.

If you cannot figure out the problem, start back over and see if you cannot correct it, then progress until problem arises again and you can pin point the issue. Good luck.

__________________

_____________________________________
PRIMARY 1: Amber Ale 8/20/11
PRIMARY 2: Oxyclean
PRIMARY 3: Irish Stout 7/17/11
PRIMARY 4: EMPTY
BOTTLED: Caribou Slobber 6/9/11 (Gone)
BOTTLED: Bavarian Hefweizen 6/15/11 (Gone)
BOTTLED: Warrior IPA 6/23/11 (Gone)
BOTTLED: Dunkelweizen PM 6/30/11
BOTTLED: Amarillo IPA 7/26/11
ON DECK: APA or Centennial Blonde

boomtown25 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-24-2011, 03:42 PM   #3
JoePro
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Richmond, Virginia
Posts: 392
Liked 7 Times on 6 Posts
Likes Given: 7

Default

From an empirical, strictly observational standpoint, your problem may be the immersion chiller. Do this-- boil regular water and cool it with your IC. Taste the water. If it's not astringent, then I would double check your mash pH.

__________________
JoePro is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-24-2011, 03:42 PM   #4
boomtown25
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Biloxi, Mississippi
Posts: 322
Liked 2 Times on 2 Posts
Likes Given: 1

Default

Also, with the copper chiller, are you just throwing in at the end, or do you boil it for last 10 minutes? Are you sure it is 100% copper without lead? Any welds?

__________________

_____________________________________
PRIMARY 1: Amber Ale 8/20/11
PRIMARY 2: Oxyclean
PRIMARY 3: Irish Stout 7/17/11
PRIMARY 4: EMPTY
BOTTLED: Caribou Slobber 6/9/11 (Gone)
BOTTLED: Bavarian Hefweizen 6/15/11 (Gone)
BOTTLED: Warrior IPA 6/23/11 (Gone)
BOTTLED: Dunkelweizen PM 6/30/11
BOTTLED: Amarillo IPA 7/26/11
ON DECK: APA or Centennial Blonde

boomtown25 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-24-2011, 03:54 PM   #5
TheSlash
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Cereal City, MI
Posts: 288
Liked 5 Times on 4 Posts
Likes Given: 9

Default

Boom, I have used bottled spring in most. RO with salts on the last batch. Even filtered had the same flavor. So 3+ water sources. Odd I know.
I like your idea about going back to a darker extract kit, but I think I might use distilled since the minerals should be in the extract, but not thinking this will help me figure out the issue.

The copper chiller was made from a 25 foot coil from Lowes. I guess I will have to inspect if it is infact 100% copper, but pretty sure I knew to look for 100% when I got it. No welds no. I do throw it in with 15 minutes left in the boil now, but in the beginning I would just soak it in starsan for a few. Both ways, same flavor. So don't think it is from boiling the chiller now that I think about it.

Mmmmm.

My mash PH was a concern for a while, I tested with strips which I know suck. So that is why I went with RO water as a guy who works at Bells told me Meijer RO water tested at 5.6 on his nice PH meter.

So that, plus 3# Aciduated malt, and 1/2 tsp of calcium chloride should have done away with any high PH concerns.

I also added a bit of 88% lactic to the sparge water to make sure I was down a bit.

seems I've ruled everything out and we know that isn't right... Ruh RO.

Maybe I need to consider the flavor/mouthfeel as being from different sources... Like the bad bitter right after the boil just being from hops that just cooked, and the alkaseltzer coming from the ferment...

__________________
TheSlash is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-24-2011, 03:58 PM   #6
ReverseApacheMaster
Registered User
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Keller, Texas
Posts: 4,887
Liked 229 Times on 192 Posts

Default

I doubt it is the water since you've used such a varied process across the different brews and getting the same result.

The equipment shared across all the brews are:

the chiller
the fermenter
the boil kettle
the tubing
the sanitation process
the kegs
the kegging system

It's probably not the kettle or the fermenter. It may be the tubing, but that's probably a sanitation issue if the tubing is the problem.

You don't say what your sanitation process is. You said you're using starsan, are you using anything else? Any bleach being used?

The chiller might be a problem for various reasons. Your best bet is going to be removing it from a batch and see if the problem persists.

You said you kegged all of these. Is it possible you over-carbonated these beers? Over-carbonation would definitely give you an alka-seltzer mouthfeel and added astringency. Could you try lowering the pressure on the keg and taking a sample and see if it changes the effect?

__________________
ReverseApacheMaster is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-24-2011, 04:02 PM   #7
TheSlash
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Cereal City, MI
Posts: 288
Liked 5 Times on 4 Posts
Likes Given: 9

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ReverseApacheMaster View Post
I doubt it is the water since you've used such a varied process across the different brews and getting the same result.

The equipment shared across all the brews are:

the chiller
the fermenter
the boil kettle
the tubing
the sanitation process
the kegs
the kegging system

It's probably not the kettle or the fermenter. It may be the tubing, but that's probably a sanitation issue if the tubing is the problem.

You don't say what your sanitation process is. You said you're using starsan, are you using anything else? Any bleach being used?

The chiller might be a problem for various reasons. Your best bet is going to be removing it from a batch and see if the problem persists.

You said you kegged all of these. Is it possible you over-carbonated these beers? Over-carbonation would definitely give you an alka-seltzer mouthfeel and added astringency. Could you try lowering the pressure on the keg and taking a sample and see if it changes the effect?
Some interesting questions.
Fermenter, BK, Tubing have been changed.
I used Powdered Brewery Wash for cleaning, Starsan for sanitizing.
The chiller has been in every beer...The taste has been in every beer.... Gotta rule this one out.

I taste it horribly while racking to the keg so I know its prior to that. I also "think" I pick it up as its transfering to the fermenter.. I do carb to 12ish PSI serve at 40-42, so think that's normal.

Might just need to do a mini batch and not use the chiller. Just such a PITA to not use the fast cool method hehe.
__________________
TheSlash is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-24-2011, 04:07 PM   #8
Yooper
Ale's What Cures You!
HBT_ADMIN.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Yooper's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Upper Michigan
Posts: 60,724
Liked 4369 Times on 3177 Posts
Likes Given: 850

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheSlash View Post
Boom, I have used bottled spring in most. RO with salts on the last batch. Even filtered had the same flavor. So 3+ water sources. Odd I know.
I like your idea about going back to a darker extract kit, but I think I might use distilled since the minerals should be in the extract, but not thinking this will help me figure out the issue.

The copper chiller was made from a 25 foot coil from Lowes. I guess I will have to inspect if it is infact 100% copper, but pretty sure I knew to look for 100% when I got it. No welds no. I do throw it in with 15 minutes left in the boil now, but in the beginning I would just soak it in starsan for a few. Both ways, same flavor. So don't think it is from boiling the chiller now that I think about it.

Mmmmm.

My mash PH was a concern for a while, I tested with strips which I know suck. So that is why I went with RO water as a guy who works at Bells told me Meijer RO water tested at 5.6 on his nice PH meter.

So that, plus 3# Aciduated malt, and 1/2 tsp of calcium chloride should have done away with any high PH concerns.

I also added a bit of 88% lactic to the sparge water to make sure I was down a bit.

seems I've ruled everything out and we know that isn't right... Ruh RO.

Maybe I need to consider the flavor/mouthfeel as being from different sources... Like the bad bitter right after the boil just being from hops that just cooked, and the alkaseltzer coming from the ferment...
I assume the 3# acid malt is a typo?

How about this? Do one proven recipe (an easy one) in a three gallon batch. A malty beer, not a hoppy beer. Maybe something really simple like the Dead Guy clone I have posted, or another simple malty ale. Use distilled water and no salts (or very, very little- we can help you get the bare minimum you need).

No chiller- use an ice bath in the sink for such a small batch. Pitch the correct amount of yeast- a brand new package of dry yeast would be best (no starter so you can rule out that). Use totally different hops than in the other batches- go buy some in the mylar package.

If this batch has the "flavor", then send a couple bottles to someone you "know" from this forum, preferably a BJCP judge.
__________________
Broken Leg Brewery
Giving beer a leg to stand on since 2006
Yooper is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-24-2011, 04:17 PM   #9
Tim_Kreitz
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Midland, TX
Posts: 138
Liked 6 Times on 5 Posts
Likes Given: 7

Default

It's just a thought, but what about fermentation temperature? Some people, depending on how they taste, sometimes interpret Acetaldehyde as being "metallic". It looks like your recent brews have all been ales. Are you keeping fermentation at 66º?

__________________
www.timkreitz.com
Primary 1: All Cascade American IPA
Primary 2: Мой друг Imperial Russian Stout
On Draft: Amarillo Brillo Honey Blonde Ale
On Draft: Cherry Christmas Session Ale
Tim_Kreitz is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-24-2011, 04:25 PM   #10
jfowler1
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 506
Liked 31 Times on 25 Posts
Likes Given: 3

Default

I saw a couple things that raised an eyebrow. I can't say for sure if they are the issue, but they could cause problems.

-Overtreatment of water
-Mishandling Immersion Chiller
and the biggest one....
-Insuffecient wort nutrients

To start, water is a funny thing. I guess I am pretty lucky, because I have looked at NJ water profiles, and right out of the tap, we have pretty nice water to brew with. However, I still think that it is easy to do more harm to your water than good. I would restart your process by just filtering your tap water through a high quality carbon filter, and remove the chloramines with 1/2 of a campden tablet for every 5 gallons of water. You have been all over the place with your water, basically changing it from batch to batch...keep it simple and standardized and eliminate it as a variable.

You comment about the immersion chiller being left in starsan for a week is a little concerning. I just relistened to the metals episode of brewstrong and Palmer was pretty clear that the acids in starsan will degrade copper over even a short amount of time - he said 1 hour of contact as a max. I have to assume that the chiller was mistreated, but I am not aware of how that mistreatment would translate into flavors in your beer. Still, it is something to think about.

Finally - look a little deeper into the environment you provide your yeast with. No one likes hearing this, but for a perfectionist, "shaking the carboy" is not cutting it. You will be absolutely amazed by the results you get with proper O2 levels in the wort at the start of fermentation. I promise - it is night and day. I started a pretty long thread about the results I found from switching to pure O2. Many people argued that you get suffecient O2 from shaking. However, none of those people had ever tried pure O2. You don't need to be a genious to see the problem there. The other environmental factors I would look at include the possible addition of a yeast nutrient (like White Labs Servo for example).

Finally, if you really want to get the beer to a next level, true temp control is a must have. It sounds like you really understand brewday processes, but close out your question talking about sticking the carboy in the basement around 60F for a few weeks. It seems like so much effort is put into making wort, but they the yeast is cut loose to do whatever it wants in the basement. If you want to see serious improvements, temp control is a must have.

__________________
jfowler1 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply


Quick Reply
Message:
Options
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
All of my beers taste exactly the same j_jones84 Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 27 08-07-2011 04:08 PM
Extract Taste vs. All Grain? StarCityBrewMaster Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 10 04-04-2010 08:20 PM
Last 3 beers, same taste.. BAD! scruff311 Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 11 12-01-2009 03:59 PM
Why do all my beers taste / look the same ? scottaustingreen Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 25 04-06-2009 09:21 PM
All of my beers taste a little different. grrtt78 Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 11 01-10-2007 08:41 PM