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Old 06-29-2009, 01:25 AM   #1
Yossarian_nz
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Default Excessive tannins in my Stout. Clean-up using Gelatin?

Hi all, I'm a relatively new HB'er: My first kit brew (a cezch pilsener) went well, so I decided to move up to adding specialty grains as well as hops a brew time.

The second recipie I thought I'd try was a Stout. I used Munton's Stout kit, 1kg of Brewcraft "Irish stout" DME as my main fermentables and steeped 600g Crystal malt and 400g Chocolate malt as specialties.

Now, the instructions I had were to NOT boil the grain, but to bring it up to a simmer; no temperature guidelines. I did so, but I'm sure (now) that the mash got too hot for too long. It smelled great at the time, and the hops made it smell wonderful!

Anyhow, two weeks in the primary and it tastes like I made very strong tea. It's pretty much undrinkable at this point. I decided to do some research and found that PVPP and Gelatin are good for removing polyphenols, so I visited my LHBS and came away with what they had: Kwik-Clear (Kieselsol and Gelatin). I added some of this to the primary, and while the tannin taste is reduced, it's still quite noticable.

It's now 3 weeks on the primary, and I want to get this into bottles. I've got some unflavoured, unsugared Gelatin (powdered form) and I'm considering adding this to the primary, as it'll be stronger than Kwik-Clear (AFAICT, the Kieselsol reacts with the Gelatin to deactivate it). So, loooooong story short, I have some questions.

1. Anyone had any problems with tannins, and how did you reduce them?
2. Opinions on addition of more Gelatin as a way to get rid of the remaining tannins?
3. Three parter: Will I still be able to bottle carb after so much Gelatin? Would it make sense to add more yeast before bottling? If so, how would I accomplish this?

Any tips are welcome! Have at it.

(FWIW: I now have a good thermometer and will endeavour to keep the mash below 65 degrees Celcius next time!)



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Old 06-29-2009, 01:32 AM   #2
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tannins are detectable in just about any amount. that's the problem with them i had a batch i did and messed up i normally overs sparge some to extract tannins and play with that wort. then i mixed it in ( opps). it have been 5 months in bottle and they are still there but not too bad now it's drinkable.

i would say bottle it and stash it for a few months

ps tannin beer makes great cooking sauce

tanning are extracted at 170+ range that why most mash from 148 ish to 160 and sparge near 170



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Old 06-29-2009, 01:46 AM   #3
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actually you can't really judge a beer until it's been bottle carbed conditioned (minimum three weeks, for a stout 4-8 weeks) pretty much any beer with grains in it, un carbed and green will taste like Iced tea...that's why many of us never bother to sample the beer until it's finisihed.

Darker beers especially will taste somewhat grainy initially...

I've noticed most of my all grain brews really need conditioning time for that flavor to even out.

And you being relatively new should not "diagnose" your beer...most new brewers mis-diagnose stuff. Having brewed only one beer previously, and of a totally different style, you really don't have anything to compare this to, to tell you if it SHOULD taste this way at this stage of the game...(it usually does).

After a beer has passed through the "green beer" window, is when you would diagnose the beer....becasue rarely can you "fix" a batch of beer...but you also can let it mellow and age out any flaws as well.

Relax, your beer is going to taste completely different when it's been bottled and allowed to carb and condition.

And no, gelatins and other finnings only work on the clarity of the beer, NOT the taste....

Relax...there's nothing wrong with your beer...it just needs more time.

Read this for more info Revvy's Blog, Of Patience and Bottle Conditioning

It will be fine.

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Old 06-29-2009, 02:03 AM   #4
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While I defer to your considerable experience Revvy (long-time lurker, you see), It doesn't just taste "Grainy", it tastes incredibly astringent; like very very very strong black tea. I'm positive I leeched tannins from the grain: I had no thermometer, but when I strained the grain from the wort, it gave off enough steam for me to suppose it was above 70 degrees Celcius (sorry - being a Kiwi I always use metric!)

Gelatin *will* also bind with polyphenols: being positively charged, it'll bond with the O- group on the polyphenol that has donated an H+ ion to a (too basic - too much OH-) solution. Gelatin will recieve an electron from the polyphenol, and the complex will then flocculate out of solution. This is evidenced by the reduced phenolic taste after adding Kieselsol and Gelatine. An undergraduate Chemistry degree is useful for some things!

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Old 06-29-2009, 02:11 AM   #5
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Again...astringent/ice tea/strong black tea, is all a matter of perspective (one persons iced teas is another's astrigency), I have had beers taste downright nasty in primary or secondary..or even green...I wouldn't mess with it....

Besides it has been proven on here in numerous occasions, that even boiling grains don't produce tannins...

Ill say it again...Have you ever tasted a raw stout in secondary before????? How Do you know it's NOT supposed to taste that way?????

I think you are just being hyper paranoid...If you are so bent on "fixing" something, why did you ask for our help to begin with?

You may have an undergraduate chemistry degree, and can read about astringency and finings in a book...BUT YOU ARE NOT AN EXPERIENCED BREWER, are you?

There's a difference from what someone reads in a book, what a 2 batch brewer knows and experiences and what someone with "considerable experience" has experienced....

Good luck with whatever you decide....Me personally, with my "considerable experience" doesn't judge his beers until they are conditioned, becasue he knows the journey the beer goes through from grain to glass.

This thread is full of "don't f- with the beer, and let it age" stores iitc, there are even a few "astringent" stories in there as well.. http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/never-dump-your-beer-patience-virtue-time-heals-all-things-even-beer-73254/

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Old 06-29-2009, 02:18 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yossarian_nz View Post
While I defer to your considerable experience Revvy (long-time lurker, you see), It doesn't just taste "Grainy", it tastes incredibly astringent; like very very very strong black tea. I'm positive I leeched tannins from the grain: I had no thermometer, but when I strained the grain from the wort, it gave off enough steam for me to suppose it was above 70 degrees Celcius (sorry - being a Kiwi I always use metric!)

Gelatin *will* also bind with polyphenols: being positively charged, it'll bond with the O- group on the polyphenol that has donated an H+ ion to a (too basic - too much OH-) solution. Gelatin will recieve an electron from the polyphenol, and the complex will then flocculate out of solution. This is evidenced by the reduced phenolic taste after adding Kieselsol and Gelatine. An undergraduate Chemistry degree is useful for some things!
It's definitely worth a try. I've had some astringency that has actually been related to hops, though, and gelatin doesn't seem to help that. In my case, it had to do with hard water, but not enough sulfate, I guess and it really brought out some tannin-like astringency to my beer. It was ok in an IPA, but terrible in a kolsch.

The gelatin won't hurt, and might help. My experience has been that the only thing that reduces tannin flavor is aging (and that experience is mostly with red wines), but I don't want to dissuade you from trying.
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Old 06-29-2009, 02:18 AM   #7
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lol, you're right Revvy, I *am* set on adding a measure of Gelatine to the beer. What I was wondering though, are the questions I've outlined:

1. Anyone had any problems with tannins, and how did you reduce them?
2. Opinions on addition of more Gelatin as a way to get rid of the remaining tannins?
3. Three parter: Will I still be able to bottle carb after so much Gelatin? Would it make sense to add more yeast before bottling? If so, how would I accomplish this?


Thanks for your best wishes. Worry not! I'm not going to dump the beer. Even if the second lot of Gelatin makes no difference, I'm still going to bottle and let it bottle condition for at least 2 months before I make any decisions about its future. I'll probably end up keeping it for over a year even if it's still horrible after 6 months! I'm aware that a great many reactions take a long time to come to equilibrium, and that this may happen after several months. I'll thread dig at the time, and let you know how it turned out.

P.S - How *is* a stout supposed to taste after three weeks on primary, in your experience?

P.P.S - Cheers for your words of encouragement, Yoop.

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Old 06-29-2009, 02:23 AM   #8
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I just read something about gelatins ability to srtip tannins in the last Northern Brewer catalog and was thinking about looking for the original source.

I'll see what I come up with.

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Old 06-29-2009, 02:27 AM   #9
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Regarding your yeast question; yes you will want to add more yeast after using gelatin. Just get a pack of Nottingham or one of the neutral US strains and add about 1/4 packet to the bottling bucket, make sure you mix thoroughly.

From my own experience with tannins (yes, they do happen), time will fix most of it but it but they will always be there. I just drank the batches faster and the problem sort of resolved itself.

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Old 06-29-2009, 03:29 AM   #10
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As a general rule, it is always better to prevent a problem from occurring by following the right procedures, rather than trying to fix it later.
Gelatin may help to fix the problem (if there really is a problem), and certainly wouldn't cause any new problems.
Excess tannin extraction is usually caused by steeping the grains at too high a temperature and/or allowing the pH to get too high. I've never had tannin problems caused by temperature, but I have had problems caused by a high pH..
As Revvy said, green beer can taste pretty unpleasant, and I have found that this particularly applies to stouts. Give it time, and it may taste great in another month or so.
As regards the pH, don't steep the grains in too much water as excess water can raise the pH to the level where tannins are easily extracted. I wouldn't use more than about 1.5 qts steeping water per lb grain (3 liters per Kg).
It's also a good idea to remove all of the grains before allowing the temperature gets above 170F.

-a.



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