Harsh bitterness and.....half assing water profile - Home Brew Forums
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Old 04-01-2011, 02:43 AM   #1
captainL
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Well, I am reading as much as I can about water profiles, downloaded a few water calculator and plugged a few numbers in them for fun. I am starting to understand the concept, but here is my problem.

November - APA 2 lbs of grain partial mash had harsh bitterness.

March - first All grain. American amber (38 IBU's) has the same harsh bitterness

My water profile? I don't know but I live in Houston which is known for Hard water with High alkalinity. I would get a water report but we are about to move to a different neighborhood within the next year. So I'll wait until then.

Soooo. What makes the hops flavor astringent? What can I do to get rid of this. It is similar in my partial mash and all grain so i am assuming this is a hops and water problem, NOT water mash problem. I am getting 75 % effeicency with BIAB so i am trying not to complicate that.

Is my chloride to sulfur ratio too high? So add some gypsum??

I did just brew an IPA which I am worried about the astringency. I did however dilute my water down with some distilled. 5 gallons tap (through fridge filter), and 2 gallons distilled RO.

Am I going in the right direction considering the lack of data other than astringent bitter beer. Thanks.

Also I found a couple of county reports from other municipal districts around that had the info. Would it be wrong to assume that my water is similar to those?



 
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Old 04-01-2011, 02:52 AM   #2
a10t2
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The first thing to look at with astringency would be a fermentation problem. That's much more likely than a water issue, unless your water tastes nasty in general. Are you under-pitching, pitching and/or fermenting too warm or too cool, transferring off the yeast too early?

If it does turn out to be the water, the most common cause would be tannin extraction from a high sparge pH. The easiest fix for that would be acidification, but I wouldn't try anything until you confirmed that the pH was in fact out of range (>6 during the sparge).


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Old 04-01-2011, 03:08 AM   #3
captainL
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I'm not a taste expert but I haven't had the same astringent flavor with my blue moon (almost all grain) beer. I assumed it was becuase of the lower IBU's. Same goes for another american wheat.

I have used US05 rehydrated for my last 5 beers. Pitched at 70 degree wort, fermented between 62 to 70 degrees.

PH, I had the same bitterness from a partial mash with very little grain, 2 lbs. But I guess a high ph is a definite possibility. I guess my next beer will be a low IBU to see if the taste is still there. And I'll get some test strips. thanks

 
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Old 04-01-2011, 03:41 AM   #4
bearcamp
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I get the same taste as well. I very biter taste especially on the back tongue. Would love to know its water adjustment?

 
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Old 04-01-2011, 11:38 AM   #5
ajdelange
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No guarantees that it is indeed the cause bit the first thing one suspects in case like this is the sulfate.

 
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Old 04-01-2011, 01:24 PM   #6
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Sulfate is a candidate, but high alkalinity will also dull the beer and increase the opportunity for tannin extraction. Time to find out more about your water.
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Old 04-01-2011, 01:31 PM   #7
captainL
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OK. So I need to quit being a cheap ass. So when I get a water quality report should I use the water from my tap or from the fridge where it goes through one of those filters first. I'm thinking from the tap as the fridge filter might be inconsistent and also could be pulling out good minerals??


But if this astringent bitterness was in an all extract batch how would a person go about making it less harsh?

 
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Old 04-01-2011, 02:38 PM   #8
a10t2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by captainL View Post
OK. So I need to quit being a cheap ass. So when I get a water quality report should I use the water from my tap or from the fridge where it goes through one of those filters first. I'm thinking from the tap as the fridge filter might be inconsistent and also could be pulling out good minerals??
You should test the water you're planning on using to brew. If it's a carbon filter, it won't remove any minerals, just chlorine and organic compounds. You can remove chlorine chemically (with sodium/potassium metabisulfite).

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But if this astringent bitterness was in an all extract batch how would a person go about making it less harsh?
In an extract beer, it would be easy to diagnose. Brew the next batch with distilled or RO water and if the flavor goes away it's a water issue. That wouldn't tell you what the problem is (sulfates or alkalinity), but for AG beers you could always just forgo the tap water entirely and build up your brewing liquor from scratch, starting with distilled/RO water.


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