I'll start with I am a perfectionist... All beers have been "drinkable" but have an off taste that bothers me too much that I'd rather buy beer. There is an astringent like feel that is very hard to explain. There is a bad bitter in the back followed immediately by an alka seltzer mouthfeel.
Oddly enough I swear I taste it as early as the end of boil/chill phase.
So BEFORE the pitch and ferment, etc. Wort comiing from Mash tun is nice and sweet.
I've tried so many variables, the last being water and it is still there. Getting very disheartening and I don't want to give up yet. Here is what I have brewed in order.
5gal extract Oatmeal Stout kit. -spring water (ice mountain) WPL yst starter
5gal English Brown ale kit. -spring water (ice mountain) WPL yst starter
5gal Apelwein - Spring water (ice mountain) Danstar sprinkled
5gal Haus Pale Ale - Filtered tap Nottingham hydrated
5gal Elk Drool brown ale - Filtered tap WPL Yst starter
5gal Centennial Blonde - Spring water (Besco bottled) Notty dry hydrated
5gal Centennial Blonde - RO water (meijer machine) added salts based on yoopers water starter thread to mash. Notty dry hydrated.
Extracts and All grain gear was different except same homemade copper chiller.
Things I have tried...
Thought it was PH so tried many different types of water. The last being RO with salts. Also added 2% sour malt to mash on that one. So think water isn't it.
Can't be my grain, crush, mash, etc.. because I had the exact taste in my extract brews. Steeped grains but never over 155.
I've done yeast starters and also dry. I ferment in a basement closet that sits at ambient of 60 in the dark.
Only kettle additions I've done are Irish moss, tried a wirfloc once. I also use fermcap, a few drops for foam control. Extracts had only fermcap.
I do brew electric, so tried making sure I stirred the wort till it came to a boil on this last batch as it was suggested the sugar could be burning.
I chill with an immersion chiller that sits in the boil the last 15 minutes. This has been used in all batches, but can copper that looks fine really change the flavor that much? It did sit in starsan for a week once... but it isn't shiny.
Heat water in HLT with heatsticks(2 1500watt) send 165 strike water to 10gal cooler with braid, add crushed grain (barely crusher at 1pm and have tried conditioning malt), mash @ temp (150-155) for 50-60 minutes, vorlauf a gallon or so then drain to BK. Add 170 strike water, stir, let sit for 10 minutes, vorlauf again, drain to BK.
I taste runnings and have checked gravity not to go too low. I end up boiling 7-8 gallons normally.
1 hour boil, not a crazy fast boil. My extracts were done on a stove though, so think I can rule out the heatsticks.
Chill to 70, drain to fermenter through a funnel with a fine filter., shake like mad for 5min (better bottle with tenis ball)
Pitch yeast, take to basement.
I have fermented in a primary only and the first 4 batches were left 4-6 weeks, the last 2 centennials were 3 weeks, but supposedly it can grain to glass if kegged in 10 days.
I keg and throw in fridge.
2 9gallon SS pots with valves, cooler mashtun with SS braid. BK has false bottom.
Was positive it was the water, but the last batch with RO was just as bad.
Can't be the yeast type because I've used 3-4 different types.
Pretty sure flavor is there before going to fermenter though.
Thought it was grain in BK causing it, but vorlaufed a lot, and also had this flavor in my extracts.
So could it really be a copper chiller? Could I test by boiling water and tasting?
I like most all beer I've had besides mine! I love hoppy beers, but this isn't a good bitter.
I tasted the sludge on the last batch when I kegged and it had the same sharp bitter flavor, but I figure any hope/yeast material will have that. Just thought yeast was supposed to clean up the beer not spread that flavor.
What a book, sorry, but getting very very frustrated..
10 hours of work to check each variable and still haven't nailed it.
I wish I could get someone to taste it and help out
Will homebrew shops or breweries do that at all legally?
Also, I have read all the major brewing books. Some twice. So either I suck at comprehending or just missing a variable to try here.
Extract and all grain have same bad flavor.
Used different yeast and water including building up from yoopers RO thread.
Pretty sure I taste it before pitching anyways.
Copper chiller only gear that has been used in both extract and all grain.