3 Beers, 2 Brewers, Same Long Bitter Flavor at the End - Home Brew Forums
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Old 07-27-2012, 01:49 AM   #1
BeerBroecker
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May 2012
Louisville, KY
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Hopefully the HBT knowledge pool can help solve this mystery. Between brew buddy and myself, we have brewed 3 extract batches all completely different styles (Kolsch, Hefe, and Porter). All three batches have been in bottle between 1-2 months. And all three finish with a similar lingering bitterness.

We live in the same area but do have different water companies. Two out of the three batches were BB kits. The third was an extract brew but not a kit. Different hops and hopping schedules were used in all three. Batches were all 5 gallon brewed in SS pots and fermented in BB 6 gallon plastic pails. Starsan used for steri. No adjustments were made for water chemistry. Lou, KY is known for "great" drinking water for what that is worth. My personal opinion is it does taste good even without the "beer" in it.

I am trying to ID the source of the bitterness because it needs to go away. While it doesn't make the beer undrinkable, it stops it from being something I would make again. And frankly it is very annoying.

I appreciate any thoughts and/or suggestions.



 
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Old 07-27-2012, 01:57 AM   #2
Pezedorado
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From a Water Quality point, I know KY is a cavernous region, which contributes to the "great" drinking water claim. Cavernous regions are always connected to calcium rich groudwater, which will lead to enhanced bitterness. It might be as simple as trimming down the bittering hops due to the enhanced bitterness from hard water. You'd need to look at the water report. "Great" drinking water can mean simply great taste and typically, very hard water often tastes great because the dissolved ions are pleasant on the palate.



 
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Old 07-27-2012, 02:01 AM   #3
ong
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May 2012
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Did all the recipes involve steeping some specialty grains? What was the process for that?
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Old 07-27-2012, 04:20 AM   #4
ChessRockwell
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Jan 2012
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Since you're brewing extract batches, try one using distilled water. I've heard it's preferable to use distilled water when brewing with extract since all the minerals etc. are already in the extract.

If you still have the problem this will at least rule out water as the source of it.

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Old 07-27-2012, 04:28 AM   #5
GNBrews
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Mar 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ong View Post
Did all the recipes involve steeping some specialty grains? What was the process for that?
A agree with ong. What's your process for steeping your specialty grains? That "bitter" flavor may be tannins.

Also, if you haven't read about it before, "late extract additions" gave me the best beers when doing extract batches.

 
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Old 07-27-2012, 04:32 AM   #6
casonso1
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Jan 2012
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another thing to try would be only boiling 1 or 2 pounds of the extract for the full boil time and adding the rest with like 5 minutes or so left in the boil. adjust your hops for a lower gravity because your utilization will be better at a lower gravity.

 
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Old 07-27-2012, 11:13 AM   #7
BeerBroecker
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May 2012
Louisville, KY
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Thanks for the replies everyone. For the two extract brews I did, the specialty grains were steeped at 152F for 15 minutes and then raised to drain but no squeezing.

I am suspect that the water is contributing to issue as well. I plan to brew this weekend. I did not mention in the first post that I have since graduated to all-grain. What are your thoughts on the addition of Campden tablet to my water for this next batch? I would like to adjust one variable at a time and this seemed pretty straight forward. Then if the taste was still there I would switch to RO or distilled and add back minerials?

Also always, thanks for your comments and insight.

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Old 07-27-2012, 11:35 AM   #8
Mojzis
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Even though you have different water companies, could be using the same water source.

 
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Old 07-27-2012, 11:46 AM   #9
DPBISME
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Jul 2012
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I love it "it does taste good even without the "beer" in it. "

But ya,,, I like both suggestions though I think the water is the issue... cut back on the bittering hops or add some distilled water to the boil as suggested...

I would cut back first and see haw that works since it is cheaper than buy additional items...

The late boil additions should be fine (I think and Chemists please correct me if wrong)...

I think John Palmers book takes about water in about as layman terns as you can get.

TWO
1 - suggestions Find out what water profile you have an make a beer that fits it... Maybe a "Burton Ale"
2 - let it age a bit longer,,, the harshness will disapate over time... (tough thing to do really)

 
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Old 07-27-2012, 11:53 AM   #10
Yooper
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It sounds like the water has high alkalinity. In order to see if that's the problem, you could try one batch with distilled or reverse osmosis water. If that fixes it, you know it your water.

You can get a good water report from Ward Labs for $16.50 that will tell you everything you need to know about your water for brewing.

I have great tasting water, but because it's got a lot of carbonate in it, it can make my lighter colored beers have a harsh edge to it.

It's especially important with AG brewing to find out what's in the water, as mash pH plays a big role in the final flavor of the beer.


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