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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > Tannins - What do they taste like?
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Old 12-03-2010, 06:42 PM   #1
HollowMen_Todd
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Default Tannins - What do they taste like?

So,

I'm on my fourth batch, and my first one was awful. The last two have tasted amazing, and this fourth one should also be pretty good. Just trying to hone in on a recipe I created.

Anywho, that first batch had a super super salty finish to the taste. It was like a very salty bitterness. Is this what tannins taste like? Has anyone ever had this issue? I don't think I squeezed the grain bag or anything, I may have left the grains in too long.

Since that first batch, I've been trying to figure out what may have caused that terrible finish. I just had the realization that it may have been tannins. Is the taste added by tannins enough to cause a beer to become undrinkable (as that batch was)?

Could be a newbie question, but that has been eating at me.

Thanks guys.

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Old 12-03-2010, 06:49 PM   #2
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Suck on a freshly brewed teabag, that'll get you close.

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Old 12-03-2010, 09:18 PM   #3
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i think of tannins as being bitter, like sucking on a piece of strong smelling oak wood.

post the recipe for that batch, and maybe someone will notice something.

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Old 12-03-2010, 09:26 PM   #4
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To me tannins are more like a feeling not really a taste. It's hard to describe but i wouldn't describe it as salty by any means. Like the above poster stated suck on a teabag. Red wine can be pretty tannic as well.

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Old 12-03-2010, 09:33 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by wyzazz View Post
Suck on a freshly brewed teabag, that'll get you close.
More like: "suck on a teabag that has been in 180+ F water for 15 minutes"

That'll get you closer to what tannins taste like.
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Old 01-07-2011, 02:49 AM   #6
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So, dry, puckering?

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Old 01-07-2011, 03:13 AM   #7
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tannins are not a taste, they are a sensation/feeling. the cottonmouth sensation from a black teabag is accurate. unripe persimmon fruit is super tannic. walnut or red peanut skins are mildly tannic. a big cabernet sauvignon from california is usually tannic.

tannin is not bitter, although often confused as such. tannin is not puckering/acidic, although often interpreted that way.

tannin is never salty. and i think it would be difficult to get tannins into beer without some unconventional techniques, adjuncts or aging in new wood barrels.

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Old 01-07-2011, 03:23 AM   #8
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Eat 24 walnuts to the point the skin on the top of your mouth feels like it is peeling off, that is from tannin. They are not salty, they are drying. Another way to describe tannin in wine or beer is that when you drink it, your mouth feels drier.

Using softened water can lead to an overabundance of sodium in a beer. Not sure why one batch and not the others. Did you add salt by accident instead of sugar? Bakers do that all the time.

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Old 01-07-2011, 03:42 AM   #9
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Chew on some red grape skin or a red grape seed. Those are high in tannins and demonstrate the mouth drying / puckering sensation people talk about.

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Old 01-07-2011, 04:35 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HollowMen_Todd View Post
So,

I'm on my fourth batch, and my first one was awful. The last two have tasted amazing, and this fourth one should also be pretty good. Just trying to hone in on a recipe I created.

Anywho, that first batch had a super super salty finish to the taste. It was like a very salty bitterness. Is this what tannins taste like? Has anyone ever had this issue? I don't think I squeezed the grain bag or anything, I may have left the grains in too long.

Since that first batch, I've been trying to figure out what may have caused that terrible finish. I just had the realization that it may have been tannins. Is the taste added by tannins enough to cause a beer to become undrinkable (as that batch was)?

Could be a newbie question, but that has been eating at me.

Thanks guys.
Tannins are the biggest bogeyman in homebrewing, followed quickly by hot side aeration.

Did you do any mineral additions in the "salty" beer? Do you have a water softener? Does your wife/girlfriend/other secretly hate your brewing and want you to give up after making a few unexplainable bad beers? I remember there was one dude whos wife dropped a cup of salt in a wit.
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