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Old 05-16-2007, 02:34 PM   #1
Justinnn
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Default Newbie question.

My brews seem to have a sour/bitter after taste, while also tasting a little watered down. Its not unbearable and I drink it anyway, but its annoying cause I want to create something that taste really good. I brewed a batch of Brewers best Irish red ale kit, it taste great besides these problems, and also I tried a Smithwhicks clone online, which again tasted fine except for this bitter/sour after taste. I don't believe its from infection, but then again I am still new to this. All opinions welcomed. Thank you
-Justin


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Old 05-16-2007, 02:45 PM   #2
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I'm not a fan of bitter beers. What have your hops additions looked like?

I've recently begun adding no more than 1/4th of my hops at 60 and use a little extra hops to adjust. It helps the flavors and aromas come out without as much of a bitterness addition. IBU's aren't everything.


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Old 05-16-2007, 02:50 PM   #3
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If you follow the clone recipe and instructions the beer should not come out any more bitter than the commercial version. I think it might be something other than the hops.

What were the ingredients for, say, the Smithwicks clone? Can you describe the taste a bit more? Was it bitter or sour (baking cocoa vs. lemon)? Was it more of a feeling in your mouth, dry, like sucking on a tea bag?

I have a feel I might know what it is, but there are a lot of other things to rule out.

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Old 05-16-2007, 03:11 PM   #4
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It could be your water. You can try bottled water and see if that helps. For the watered down taste, I'm pretty sure that the only way to avoid that is by doing full boils.
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Old 05-16-2007, 03:30 PM   #5
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The Clone to Smithwick's that I used can be found here http://home.cfl.rr.com/nyrdyv/beer/smithwicks.htm

To describe it better, beeriffic, its like the tea bag you described, because once you start drinking, its not that noticeable. It makes you smack your tongue against the roof of your mouth the first couple of sips.

Water sounds probable, every single batch I have done, including my first extracts have had the same similar problem. I do have New Britain CT city water which like all city water contains chlorine. However the Smithwicks recipe called for gypsum to increase the hardness of the water, I don't know if this would counter-act the Chlorine, I am no chemist.
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Old 05-16-2007, 04:21 PM   #6
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The chlorine can definitely be a problem. You need to contact your local water utility to find out if they use chlorine or chloramines. It they use chlorine you can either filter it with a simple charcoal filter ($10-$15 at your big box home improvement store) or fill your boil pot with water the day before and let it sit uncovered overnight. Either way will remove chlorine.

If they use chloramine, you will need to remove it using campden tablets (sodium metabisulfate). You need about half a tablet for 5 gallons. Just crush the tablet, stir it in and let it sit overnight.

Another source for that bitterness is also caused by water. Do you happen to have a water softener? If so, softened water will often cause that extreme unpleasant bitterness. If you use a water softener, most systems generally have a way to bypass the softener (generally the line to flush the toilets and to outside faucets). Use the bypass to get your water.

Wayne
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Old 05-16-2007, 08:17 PM   #7
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The dry flavor that taste likes a tea bag is due to astringency. Mostly likely extracted from the grains (barley and crystal malts). I see that the recipe says "Infusion mash at 150° F" I think this means to steep the grains at 150. What it doesn't say is how long and more importantly to take them out before you boil. Did you boil the grains? This is the most likely cause of astringency in general.
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Old 05-17-2007, 03:52 PM   #8
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It did not say how long to steep and no I DID NOT boil the grains, I know better than that. I steeped them at 15 for about 30 minutes.
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Old 05-17-2007, 04:01 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Justinnn
The Clone to Smithwick's that I used can be found here http://home.cfl.rr.com/nyrdyv/beer/smithwicks.htm

To describe it better, beeriffic, its like the tea bag you described, because once you start drinking, its not that noticeable. It makes you smack your tongue against the roof of your mouth the first couple of sips.

Water sounds probable, every single batch I have done, including my first extracts have had the same similar problem. I do have New Britain CT city water which like all city water contains chlorine. However the Smithwicks recipe called for gypsum to increase the hardness of the water, I don't know if this would counter-act the Chlorine, I am no chemist.
I'd recommend your next batch, picking up 6-7, 1-gallon jusgs of distilled water for <$1.00 apiece. It's a cheap way to determine if the water was the problem.
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Old 05-17-2007, 07:33 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Justinnn
It did not say how long to steep and no I DID NOT boil the grains, I know better than that. I steeped them at 15 for about 30 minutes.
Thats good.

Also, how far along is this beer? Has it been carbed yet?


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