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Old 02-19-2013, 04:45 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by duboman View Post
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
Mashp PH is unknown. I was going to purchase some mash PH strips, but from what I've heard they suck/don't work. Ph meter is also too expensive. I also use a single crush, and it's not very good at that. I use the mill at Northern Brewer. I think the judge was a BJCP apprentice.
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Old 02-19-2013, 04:48 PM   #12
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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?
Yes, I recirculate the wort so no grain in the boil kettle. Haven't measured the gravity when sparging. I could give it a look next time.
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Old 02-19-2013, 04:52 PM   #13
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Astringency only comes from grains and not hops so no form of hop bitterness should be confused as astringency.
This is wrong. Hop plant matter also contains astringent tannins and polyphenols. In fact, it can be quite harshly bitter at times.

OP- do you keg or bottle your beer? I have found in my kegs of IPA and IIPA, that as excess tannins and polyphenols start settling to the bottom, there is a time period were the pours can be quite astringent because it is pulling off the bottom where these compounds are most concentrated. Yeast and proteins also bind with these compounds. I tend to avoid it now by using polyclar, or by installing a 1/2 length dip tube to draw the clarified beer first.

If you are bottling, then you could hit it with polyclar in a secondary vessel prior to packaging. I didn't see anything wrong with your mashing process as you described it barring pH being an issue.
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Old 02-19-2013, 04:52 PM   #14
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Based on countless posts in these forums, you are VERY unlikely to oversparge (i.e. run under 1.010 gravity) when batch sparging. This is much more of a consideration when fly sparging. I would exclude this as a culprit.

Your temperatures and volumes are perfectly within normal range, which should exclude these as culprits.

Your recipe doesn't even touch on dark grains, which should exclude this as a culprit.

Rahr 2row has a lower pH effect on water chemistry than most other 2row malts. What exactly does this mean and how could it pertain to you? Depending on your water chemistry and grainbill (specifically 11 lbs rahr 2row) you could potentially fall into a pH level that's too low which would put you at risk of tannin extraction, however I've always read that this needs to be coupled with too high temperatures (which you should NOT have had). This water chemistry aspect is relatively new to me and as such can't really say one way or another how this would have an effect, however it's worth taking a deeper look into. There are many very knowledgeable folks on this forum with a thorough knowledge of water chemistry that could help evaluate whether this had any affect of your brew.

I guess lastly would be "consider the source" - some people sense different things that others. It would be good to decide yourself if you think there's an astringency aspect to your brew. As long as you are objective and have a decent taste sensation then you should be able to pick up on something (i.e. drying of the tongue, unfamiliar 'bite')

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Old 02-19-2013, 04:54 PM   #15
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A refrac is a useful tool when measuring gravity. Ph usually isn't an issue unless you are doing an 100% base malt beer or a beer that uses a lot of dark grains. Bru N Water is a good spreadsheet to help you guess what your pH is, and I would agree with you that the strips aren't very helpful.

It is quite possible that it was an incorrect tasting note. Was it only one one sheet? I have had ones where 3 judges reviewed my beer and only one said it was astringent... however it did end up winning best of show

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Old 02-19-2013, 04:56 PM   #16
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I use 2lbs of rahr 2-row in my 5lb grain bill for partial mash pale ales. Mash temps were allover the range till this last 2 sessions where I stabilized them. But the results showed no astringency issues. So I go along with the larger amounts of rahr vs water amount/PH as a possible cause.
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Old 02-19-2013, 04:58 PM   #17
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yes sorry machine is right... i mean to say from the amount of hops that was used which was a very minimal amount.

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Old 02-19-2013, 04:58 PM   #18
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I would steer clear of looking for the astringency in the mash and grains. I don't think that is where your astringency is coming from. I would look at the hops.

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Old 02-19-2013, 04:59 PM   #19
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This is wrong. Hop plant matter also contains astringent tannins and polyphenols. In fact, it can be quite harshly bitter at times.

OP- do you keg or bottle your beer? I have found in my kegs of IPA and IIPA, that as excess tannins and polyphenols start settling to the bottom, there is a time period were the pours can be quite astringent because it is pulling off the bottom where these compounds are most concentrated. Yeast and proteins also bind with these compounds. I tend to avoid it now by using polyclar, or by installing a 1/2 length dip tube to draw the clarified beer first.

If you are bottling, then you could hit it with polyclar in a secondary vessel prior to packaging. I didn't see anything wrong with your mashing process as you described it barring pH being an issue.
You could be onto something. I bottled this beer from a keg. Cabonation was spot on. But, when I was bottling it, I had stirred up a bit of stuff on the bottom from moving the keg. It was a tad bit cloudier than normal. I had a hell of a time getting the disconnects off.
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Old 02-19-2013, 05:01 PM   #20
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Ok. Hit your beer with some polyclar and see if that clears it up. Or, if you have a bottle left from that bottling session, give it a gentle roll and pour it. See how that compares to what is in your keg.

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