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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > Astringency...any cures?
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Old 09-26-2008, 04:36 PM   #1
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Default Astringency...any cures?

I brewed my first batch of beer which was a Amber Ale Kit from Midwest Supply. I was unaware that the kit included specialty grains (2 oz Special B, 8 oz Caramel 80, 2 oz Roasted Barley), but I thought I could handle the added challenge, and I might even get a better beer. The instructions suggested steeping the grains in water at 155 deg. F, in "at least a gallon of water, but more if you can." Since I purchased a fairly large brewpot, I decided to go ahead and steep in 3 gallons. I tasted the wort sample I used for my OG reading, and thought it was bad. After reading a little more about specialty grains, I realized that the reason I thought it tasted bad seemed a lot like the astringent (tea) taste that was described as a result of too much steeping water. So I guess I have two questions:

1) Any idea how much affect this will have on the overall beer flovor? (I will probably drink this beer no matter what happens, unless it just seems like torture.)

2) Is there anything that can be done? (ie. longer time in the primary, secondary, bottle?)

I realize that there is probably no way for anyone to answer question 1 until it is done, but I was throwing it out there in case someone had made a similar move, or knew of a fix. Sorry for the long post, but thanks for any thoughts.

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Old 09-26-2008, 04:39 PM   #2
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This will have little effect on the final outcome of your beer. It might have a bit of a bight to it but that will mellow with more time in the secondary. Make sure you leave it in the primary for atleast 2 weeks. Let the yeast try and clean up some of the bad tastes that you might of made by adding to much steeping water.

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Old 09-26-2008, 04:41 PM   #3
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It takes a lot of experience to get a real feel for what the final product will taste like based on a small sample of pre-fermented wort. Don't sweat it - it should be fine!

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Old 09-26-2008, 05:36 PM   #4
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My first batch I burned the bottom of the pot pretty bad and everyone said "don't worry". I said "it will need a miracle" . Well - I guess miracle's don't always happen.

It really WAS bad but this was pretty but like burning toast all the way through.

The second batch something was off somewhere and my porter is diluted and weak - HOWEVER - people love it and it is drinkable. Not the style I was hoping for but compliments keep coming.

With so much success with the first two batches I upped the anti to Mini mash's and made more mistakes and the beer turned out BETTER then fine.

So the moral of the story??

Just give it time. I have tasted every batch and only really only get a MINOR hint on flavor when you bottle and even then it's pretty crappy. Carbing adds a lot and it needs time to blend and age.

Just keep learning and taking notes and thinking about brewing.

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Old 09-26-2008, 05:56 PM   #5
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It should be fine, the amount of steeping grains that you have will probably not release enough tannins to effect the final product that much. Tannins are polyphenols that have an affinity for some protiens, so ensuring that you have a GOOD hot and cold break can help settle them out in your trub. If you are still getting that "sucking on a teabag" taste after fermentation, I have had some sucess with using a gelitin (protien based) fining agent in the secondary and some additional aging to help settle them out.

If it is really bad, you will never be able to get it all out, but aging and gelitin finings can help reduce the tannins to a level where your final product is drinkable.

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Old 09-26-2008, 06:56 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jester369 View Post
It takes a lot of experience to get a real feel for what the final product will taste like based on a small sample of pre-fermented wort. Don't sweat it - it should be fine!

I agree. A lot of things that taste weird right at the beginning tend to fade in time. If not, it sounds like you're okay with what you have. I really do not believe that three gallons is a ridiculous amount of water for 12 oz of grain (a lot, yes, but not ridiculous), so I am hoping for the former.


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Old 09-26-2008, 09:10 PM   #7
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Quote:
The instructions suggested steeping the grains in water at 155 deg. F, in "at least a gallon of water, but more if you can."
I would have done the same thing you did. It seems logical to think that if 1 gallon is good, 3 must be better! How long did you steep the grains? Could steeping for too long (or too short) cause the astringent taste?
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Old 09-26-2008, 09:26 PM   #8
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Just about ALL my pre-pitched batches taste like that...There's always some astringency tasting in wort....it's when that taste is there after the beer's been in the bottle that you can be concerned that you did something wrong....Which it doesn't sound like you did...you don't begin actually extracting tannins til you top 170 degree steeping water.

Changing the volume of steeping water has no effect on this, only the temp of the water....I routinely steep in 3 gallons of water.

You can't judge a beer (especially your first few) until they have been bottle conditioned and carbed for at least 3 weeks...

So walk away, relax, and let the process complete itself. And you will be amazed how something that tasted so "bad" like Iced Tea, taste so amazing!!!


If you want more info, read some of my blogs...just click on the "blog entries" link under my gallery...You will find all sorts of information about how you are just being a nervous noob, and everything will be fine.


And how much your beer will improve with time..

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Old 09-26-2008, 09:29 PM   #9
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I steeped them for 25 minutes. Here is the exact quote from the directions:

"Next, put the crushed grains into the muslin boiling bag. Add a minimum 1.5 -2 gallons of tap water to your pot. If you have a larger pot and can boil a larger volume do so."

Anyway, thanks to everyone for the quick (and reassuring) responses. That is great information on the gelitin thing, I may have to read up more on that. I had hoped to brew a batch without one of these HELP! posts, but I guess I know why there are so many of them. I should have thrown the instructions away as suggested by the books I read. Would have saved me some stress.

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Old 12-07-2011, 05:14 PM   #10
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Just saw this old thread from searching. My first batch was an American Pale Ale that I steeped at around 170 for an hour and it tastes awful, astrigenty and bitter. It's been in bottles for about six weeks now and I think they're getting worse with time, it's undrinkable and I'll either have to dump the rest or pawn it off on friends when they're already drunk. From now on I'm only steeping for 30 minutes at 150-155 range to avoid this, kinda disappointing but that's how it goes I suppose.

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