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Old 02-19-2013, 03:56 PM   #1
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Default Diagnoising astrigency issue

I got some competition scores back and one red flag that came up was mild astringency. I didn't catch it when I drank the beer. I've been looking up the causes and can't figure it out. For one, how much does one sparge with to over-do it? I do all grain and batch sparge. I mashed at 152-153 with 1.25 qts water/pound. The initial strike water temp was 173F. I sparged with around 5.50 gallons of water. Is that too much? I did a 15 min hop steep as well, which I didn't account for the added bitterness. This could have been why the beer was slightly more bitter than I was intending. Could that cause any astringency.

Recipe:

11 lbs Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM) Grain 1 91.7 %
8.0 oz Cara-Pils/Dextrine (2.0 SRM) Grain 2 4.2 %
8.0 oz Caramel/Crystal Malt - 40L (40.0 SRM) Grain 3 4.2 %
0.30 oz Centennial [10.00 %] - First Wort 60.0 min Hop 4 10.7 IBUs
1.30 oz Cascade [5.50 %] - Boil 20.0 min Hop 5 14.1 IBUs
1.00 Items Whirlfloc Tablet (Boil 10.0 mins) Fining 6 -
1.00 oz Cascade [5.50 %] - Boil 10.0 min Hop 7 6.5 IBUs
0.15 oz Citra [13.40 %] - Boil 5.0 min Hop 8 1.3 IBUs
0.15 oz Citra [13.40 %] - Boil 4.0 min Hop 9 1.1 IBUs
0.15 oz Citra [13.40 %] - Boil 3.0 min Hop 10 0.8 IBUs
0.15 oz Citra [13.40 %] - Boil 2.0 min Hop 11 0.6 IBUs
0.15 oz Citra [13.40 %] - Boil 1.0 min Hop 12 0.3 IBUs
1.25 oz Citra [13.40 %] - Aroma Steep 15.0 min Hop 13 0.0 IBUs
1.0 pkg American Ale II (Wyeast Labs #1272) [124.21 ml] Yeast 14 -
1.00 oz Cascade [5.50 %] - Dry Hop 4.0 Days Hop 15 0.0 IBUs
1.00 oz Citra [13.40 %] - Dry Hop 4.0 Days Hop 16 0.0 IBUs

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Old 02-19-2013, 04:13 PM   #2
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I'd say it was the 173F sparge water. sparge temps of 170 & over can cause astringency,like sucking on a tea bag. I goofed like this last saturday heating sparge water. It was up to 160F,so I let it go a bit longer & it shot up to 172F in no time. Didn't taste it in the wort,but we'll see in a couple weeks come gravity test time.
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Old 02-19-2013, 04:19 PM   #3
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He said 173F strike water which is a perfectly normal range for strike water temperatures. I just did a CCB and used a strike water temp of 174F (1:1 g:w ratio). But your sparge water temperature could potentially be an issue if it's super high; what was your sparge water temp? Also, what brand of 2row was this? Rahr?

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Old 02-19-2013, 04:29 PM   #4
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By the by,I thought strike water was another term for sparge water. What's the difference? I'm on my 3rd partial mash,& thought both terms described the same action?...
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Old 02-19-2013, 04:31 PM   #5
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You need to know the PH of your mash first. Tannin extraction can be the cause of astringency and is caused by high PH AND too hot water at sparge, not just one or the other.

It can also be caused by over sparging meaning you sparged below a gravity of around 1.005 or so. It can also be caused by way too fine a crush in conjunction with these other issues.

Astringency can be caused by too many dark, specialty grains as well but that does not appear to be an issue with this recipe.

IME, take the comments lightly and look at your process to improve. Astringency is one of those comments that is difficult to discern because it is sometime difficult to detect and is also sometimes mistaken for something else. Was the judge a BJCP certified or apprentice or lower? I have had score sheets from less qualified judges state astringency but the same beer judged by a more qualified judge stated nothing about it

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Old 02-19-2013, 04:33 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unionrdr View Post
By the by,I thought strike water was another term for sparge water. What's the difference? I'm on my 3rd partial mash,& thought both terms described the same action?...
Strike water is the water that is added to the initial mash to mash the grain. Sparge water is the water that is added after the mash to rinse the sugars from the grain. Strike water is usually higher in temp so it settles at what your desired mash temp should be like using 163F water to settle at 152F. sparge water should be at least 168F and some people go as high as 190 which is fine as long as your PH is within range of mid 5's. IF the PH is higher and you sparge with too hot water then tannin extraction becomes and issue.
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Old 02-19-2013, 04:38 PM   #7
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Ok,gotcha. I like 165-168F for sparge water if I can hit it just right. But I found something interesting with maintaining mash temps. I wrap my MT/BK in my old thinsulate lined winter hunting coat for the 1 hour mash. I set mash temp at,say 152F,& 1 hour later it's up to 153F. But that's with 5lbs of grains & 2 gallons of water.
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Old 02-19-2013, 04:39 PM   #8
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Union,
strike water is the water you add to the mash at the beginning to get your desired mash temp.

Surley,
As for your astringency I am agreed with dubo, although I have heard that you should stay above somewhere between 1.008 and 1.012 when sparging. I personally don't go below 8.

Astringency only comes from grains and not hops so no form of hop bitterness should be confused as astringency.

It's also possible that when you sparge you are letting a lot of the grain particles get into the boil. Do you recirculate?

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Old 02-19-2013, 04:40 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stpug View Post
He said 173F strike water which is a perfectly normal range for strike water temperatures. I just did a CCB and used a strike water temp of 174F (1:1 g:w ratio). But your sparge water temperature could potentially be an issue if it's super high; what was your sparge water temp? Also, what brand of 2row was this? Rahr?
Rahr 2-row, and sparge water was 168F.
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Kegged: KarmaCitra Pale Ale, Land Down Under Pale Ale (Motueka, Nelson Sauvin, & Aus Galaxy hops)

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Old 02-19-2013, 04:44 PM   #10
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On my last partial mash,the mash was small enough to put the grain bag in my fine mesh strainer,so I kept some of the grainy stuff out of the boil myself. This time. Normaly I use a SS collander for the grain bag with 5lbs of wet grains in it. Some little bit gets in the boil,but no more than 1/4-1/3C or so.
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