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Old 06-22-2013, 07:55 PM   #1
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Default Sharp Malty Bite... Why?

I brewed the recipe below (Edwort's Pale Ale) and it has conditioned for 3 weeks. I only left it in the fridge for about 8 hours before opening the first. It seems to have a really sharp malty bite to it. Why? This was my second AG batch ever, so I'd really like to figure out how to brew great beer sooner rather than later. So far only 1 batch has been really outstanding.

I crushed the grains, if anything, slightly under-crushed. The mash seemed to go fine (At first it missed by a few degrees but within minutes I added boiling water and it it held at 152 for an hour). I recirculated several quarts, and sparged at the indicated temp. However, I didn't allow the sparge water to rest in the tun for 10 minutes, I drained pretty much as it went in (I hadn't yet realized I was supposed to). The boil then seemed to go fine, I added the hops per schedule. I pitched rehydrated yeast at 70F. I fermented for 3 weeks at about 66-68 F (actual beer temp, not ambient temp) without issue until FG was stable. My OG was 150, my FG 110.

The only thing I can think of that may be a problem is that I'm not confident that my thermometer that I use in the mash process is accurate. Is this likely the issue?

So, my question is... there's a sharp malty bite in the taste (and it lingers in the after-taste), and I'd like to know why. I'm sure it's not intended by the recipe, but is something in my brewing practice that I would definitely like to correct.

Here's the recipe - it's apparently invented by one of the mod's here. Thanks in advance!

Edwort's Pale Ale

All Grain Version

Beer Style: American Pale Ale
Batch Size: 5.5 gallons
Original Gravity: 1.051
Final Gravity: 1.011
Bitterness: 39 IBU
Boiling Time: 60 minutes
Color: 5 SRM
Alcohol: 5.24% ABV

Ingredients

8 lbs. 2-Row Pale Malt
2 lbs. Vienna Malt
0.5 lb. Crystal 10L Malt
1.0 oz. Cascade (6.6%) boil for 60 min.
0.5 oz. Cascade (6.6%) boil for 30 min.
0.25 oz. Cascade (6.6%) boil for 15 min.
0.25 oz. Cascade (6.6%) boil for 5 min.
Danstar Nottingham Ale Yeast.

Directions Mash all grains for 60 minutes at 152 degrees. Drain the runnings into the boil kettle, recirculating the first quart or so back into the mash. Sparge with 175F degree water and boil for 60 minutes adding hops at the schedule above. Chill to 70 to 75 degrees before pitching yeast.

Fermentation
Use 1 Package of Nottingham Dry Yeast and ferment for 10 Days at 68 Degrees.

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Old 06-22-2013, 07:59 PM   #2
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It could be that the beer is still newly carbed and you're getting a carbonic acid "bite". The only other thing I can think of is the nottingham at 68 degrees. It gets sort of weird as it approaches 70 degrees, and gets foul at 72 degrees. That may mellow out with a bit of time, if that's the cause.

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Old 06-22-2013, 08:06 PM   #3
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I hope that's the case. I did open two and one of them seemed significantly undercarbed... but had more of the bite than the other. I certainly hope it mellows with age. I realize it's still perhaps a tad early, but a recent thread i started about conditioning got a lot of replies suggesting that the only real reason for 'conditioning' beyond carbonation is to remove off-flavors introduced by poor brewing practices, and that good brewing ought to produce excellent beer that is best consumed fresh. While I'm still a very new brewer, given that i've spent a significant budget on equipment, and then the time it takes to brew a batch I'd like to get good at this sooner rather than later.

Thanks for the reply. I really hope you hit the nail on the head.

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Old 06-22-2013, 08:24 PM   #4
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I should also note that it hailed on the day I brewed this and fairly large hail chunks went into the brew pot while it was boiling... not that this likely had anything to do with it.

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Old 06-22-2013, 11:09 PM   #5
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I'm not sure what a "malty bite" describes.

Was 68*F the temp of the fermenting beer or the air temp? If it was the air temp, the beer probably got on up into the mid-70's during the most active part of fermentation. For Nottingham, that's way too warm. You ended up with some funky Notty off-flavors and maybe some fusels.

I'd give this one lots more time in the bottles at room temp in hopes that the off-flavors will condition out. Test a bottle once per month to see if the flavor improves.
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Old 06-23-2013, 01:22 AM   #6
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I would not count the first 3 weeks after bottling as conditioning time since it is re-fermenting and carbonating. I make this recipe regularly and and prefer to start drinking at 8 weeks from brew day. For me, that's 3 weeks in the primary, 2 weeks in the keg at room temp, and then 3 weeks in the keezer on set it and forget it. Excellent beer every time. I predict yours will be much better in 2 weeks. Also, I prefer nottingham yeast in the low 60's.

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Old 06-23-2013, 02:34 AM   #7
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The 66-68F was the actual ferment temps read via stick-on thermometer, which is within the recommended temperature range for that yeast. I really hope it is just a matter of time. I'm going away for 4 weeks on Monday, so hopefully when I get back it's really mellowed out. Cheers for the advise everyone.

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Old 06-23-2013, 04:06 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andy6026 View Post
The 66-68F was the actual ferment temps read via stick-on thermometer, which is within the recommended temperature range for that yeast. I really hope it is just a matter of time. I'm going away for 4 weeks on Monday, so hopefully when I get back it's really mellowed out. Cheers for the advise everyone.

Glad to hear it wasn't air temp. I bet you'll notice an improvement when you return home.

BTW, the published temp range for Notty is 2-3*F high on both ends. IMO, it ought to be 55-66*F. It's a great yeast if you keep it cooler than you would other ale yeasts. I took some Vienna/Amarillo SMASH to a cook-out this evening. Fermented it with Notty at 57*F 4 days then ramped it up slowly to finish at 66*F. People kept asking me if they could buy some.
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Old 06-23-2013, 11:35 AM   #9
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Whenever someone mentions malty bite I tend to think they're talking about tannin astringency. Any chance you know what your water is like in terms of pH? I've managed to drop out that tannin puckering taste using gelatine before, but that is likely of little help to you given you're bottling.

Is it a taste you're getting, or is it more of a sensation at the back and sides of your tongue that lingers on the aftertaste as you draw in a breath?

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Old 06-23-2013, 12:46 PM   #10
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hmmm, good question. I'll taste another bottle tonight and try to pinpoint the taste more accurately.

The water is spring water, but I have no idea what the ph is. This taste was also somewhat prevalent in can of coopers IPA that I brewed using the same supply of spring water - although other aspects of brewing were also similar other than the coopers was a kit, while the beer focused on here was AG. I'll definitely check out my water ph before doing another brew.

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