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Old 03-03-2011, 06:46 PM   #1
warwicke36
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Default Bitter beer, everything I brew turns out bitter

I have a question in regards to a tannin type flavor I get in everything I brew. I make sure never to go above 155 with specialty grains. Never steep the grains for longer than 30-45 minutes... and every brew i make has a tannin type bitterness to it. The taste usually goes away over time, but usually takes months of bottle conditioning to start to go away. I noticed today that I opened a belgian (pre-maturely 2 months in the bottle) and poured half of it into a glass and it was heavenly, no complaints at all. then i poured the second half and it was bitter, just like everything else. Does these tannins sink to the bottom and get stuck in the yeast cake over time? What tips does everyone have other than steep temp and time?


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Old 03-03-2011, 07:14 PM   #2
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Well,are you letting the beer clean up after itself after primary? Are you letting it settle out to a slight haze before bottling? That's what I do. The 150deg temp sounds fine. From what you said about the Belgian,it's settlings getting stirred up. Did you crush the grains too much? Maybe that cracked some bits of hull loose & made it easier for the tannins to leach out?...


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Old 03-03-2011, 07:25 PM   #3
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It could be a water issue. Have you attempted to brew with bottled spring water instead of your water?
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Old 03-03-2011, 07:32 PM   #4
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Water was my biggest concern, I haven't had it tested. I will brew the next batch with spring water and see the results. I doubt its an extract issue, some people have said go all grain and it will go away, but I find it hard to believe the place I get my supplies is selling garbage, he goes through a lot of material.
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Old 03-03-2011, 07:33 PM   #5
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Might be you have high sulfate water.
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Old 03-03-2011, 07:37 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by warwicke36 View Post
I noticed today that I opened a belgian (pre-maturely 2 months in the bottle) and poured half of it into a glass and it was heavenly, no complaints at all. then i poured the second half and it was bitter, just like everything else. Does these tannins sink to the bottom and get stuck in the yeast cake over time? What tips does everyone have other than steep temp and time?
You might be tasting the yeast that are in the bottom of the bottle. When I pour my bottles out I leave ~1oz left behind so as to not get the yeast in my glass. Since the first half of the beer was good, the rest should be good as well. But the bottom part of the bottle has yeast, so if you liked the top of the bottle then this is likely the cause of your "tannin-y" flavors
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Old 03-03-2011, 07:41 PM   #7
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I will try that when I open the next bottle. I usually leave an ounce or so at the bottom, but ill try leaving 3 ounces and see what happens. Its so brutal because this belgian was delicious, nice spicy dark belgian. I find it weird that its in every batch i get the same flavor, the water is the only X factor in all the batches. every other batch has different yeast strains, different sanitizers, different techniques even.
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Old 03-03-2011, 07:43 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by warwicke36 View Post
I will try that when I open the next bottle. I usually leave an ounce or so at the bottom, but ill try leaving 3 ounces and see what happens. Its so brutal because this belgian was delicious, nice spicy dark belgian. I find it weird that its in every batch i get the same flavor, the water is the only X factor in all the batches. every other batch has different yeast strains, different sanitizers, different techniques even.
Just make sure to not agitate the bottle and pour very slowly so bubbles dont go rushing to the back of the bottle and stir everything up. Also, look at the base of the neck towards the end of the pour and you should be able to see the dark cloud of yeast come up and then you can just stop pouring before it gets out.
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Old 03-03-2011, 07:48 PM   #9
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i don't think it would be the yeast.
i'm lazy and every so often i just pop a top on a home brew and sip it down taking the yeast and everything with it. while the last few sips are a small tad different, it shouldn't lead to that off of a flavor (tannins and such). at least from my experences. and i've done that with multiple different yeast strains.
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Old 03-03-2011, 08:07 PM   #10
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Could be the type of hops you used.

Could be the age of the beer when you tasted it.

Probably is the water you brewed with.

And I *think* that it's actually easier to get tannins in AG beer, due to the potential to each them during the sparge process.

I'd try distilled water for extract brewing. The extract already has all of the minerals from the manufacturing process, and using your tap water only adds lots more minerals that you probably don't need and probably don't want.

I noticed a much better flavor after using distilled water with my extract brewing (as well as doing a full boil and Late Extract Additions).


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