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Old 02-07-2008, 02:24 PM   #1
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Default Tannins?

Now i've looked up some basics on what tannins are, and I've read up on wiki but i'm still not 100%. At this point in my brewing career I don't know that it matters a whole hill of beans, but it would be nice to hear from someone here a good definition or explanation.

Thanks in advance.

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Old 02-07-2008, 02:56 PM   #2
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Well, tannins are simply a substance in plants. It is what gives the "bite" to tea and many red wines. (More tannins come from the grape skins and seeds, which is why you can taste it in reds, but not much in whites).

If you can visualize sucking on a tea bag, that is what a heavy tannin taste is. That taste would be very unpleasant in beer, and that's why we take steps to avoid extracting tannins from the grain husks in our beer. It's an astringent "puckery" dry flavor.

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Old 02-07-2008, 04:22 PM   #3
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ok is it fair to say that you can never actually have no tannins...just less tannins? I have an acquaintance who claims they make wine with no tannins. is this a different kind of juice they use that gently extracts the juice while being careful not to extract any of the tannic acids from the skins or the seed?

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Old 02-07-2008, 04:30 PM   #4
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Boy, I don't know the answer to that. I mean, tannin IS in grapes, as well as trees, barks, other berries, etc. I mean, strawberries have tannins. Not a noticeable taste, but they do. I can't figure out it could be removed from the fruit that it's in, but there is definitely more tannin in the skins and seeds. So, the tannin flavor might be minimized by not fermenting the skins, seeds, and stems. But I can't say that there IS or ISN'T tannin in certain grapes. I would think that there is some amount of tannin in all grapes.

I'm no chemist, though, so I'm not really sure of the chemical component of this.

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Old 02-07-2008, 04:37 PM   #5
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i'm pretty sure what you're thinking makes sense. what could very well be possible is that a word is being misused.

of toppic i see you have a dandelion wine conditioning. I've been thinking about some kind of dandelion ale....perhaps substitute hops for dandelion leaves for the bittering portion of the boil....good idea? bad idea?

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Old 02-07-2008, 04:42 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dextersmom
ok is it fair to say that you can never actually have no tannins...just less tannins? I have an acquaintance who claims they make wine with no tannins. is this a different kind of juice they use that gently extracts the juice while being careful not to extract any of the tannic acids from the skins or the seed?
I'm not sure if you can have absolutely, definitively ZERO tannins, as measured by some dude in a labcoat with an expensive machine that goes "ping". But you can get juice from grapes that has little or no tannins as perceived by a drinker. Two of the three grape varieties used in champagne are red grapes, and the finished drink has no noticeable tannic character. You just have to compress the grapes very gently, and extract the juice sufficiently fast that none of the compounds from the skin leech into the juice. It's not trivially easy, but it's commonly done.
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Old 02-07-2008, 05:58 PM   #7
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good call good call

i figure there are some scientists who can engineer a near tannin free juice much like they've produced hypoallergenic cats....the cats don't not produce the allergy causing protein but they do produce a significantly lesser amount.

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Old 02-07-2008, 07:42 PM   #8
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On the subject of the dandelions- I have no idea about putting them in beer. The thought never occurred to me at all! I LOVE dandelion wine, though, but there is no green in it at all. I'm pretty much a beer purist and don't like wheat beers, or fruited beers, or spices in my beers, though, so I'm not really one to judge if that's a bad idea! Someone a little more open minded (beer wise!) might think it's a great idea.

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Old 02-07-2008, 08:10 PM   #9
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well i was thinking about it because they are quite bitter almost like arugula i wonder if its worth doing a half batch in my mr beer when my apfelwein has been bottled. wouldn't want to waste a ton of ingredients on a batch of "blagh"

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