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Old 08-28-2012, 05:39 PM   #1
elderbrewer
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Default bitter beer

The last 4 batches I have brewed end up very bitter regardless of the amount of hops. Right after carbonation the beer tastes very good,but within a couple of weeks it becomes very bitter, not pleasant to drink, I have been brewing since 2001 and always brewed good beer. This has happened after I moved to a different town and began keging. I am very careful about sanitation. Has anyone else had this problem and where should I start looking for the cause?


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Old 08-28-2012, 05:48 PM   #2
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What's your water situation? Moving to a different town suggests you started using different water. That'd be where I would start.


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Old 08-28-2012, 05:50 PM   #3
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It could be the water you're using. Try using either super-filtered or RO water for a batch. Also check to make sure you're not over carbonating the batches (in keg). Over carbonation can lead to carbonic bite.

Try to compare the water reports from where you were before and you are now... I'd also send out a water sample to a lab to find out what's really in the water. If you're not doing any filtering at all, get a system to filter your brew water. Even a simple two stage filter system can do a lot of good (they're not expensive either).
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Old 08-28-2012, 06:07 PM   #4
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Guessing here but it could be lack of sulphates, or your pH could be off leading to astringency?
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Old 08-28-2012, 06:18 PM   #5
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Default bitter beer

I just talked to the utility people and they are sending an analysis. Here's another point, I just poured another glass and after it sits a little while and warms up it tastes like it should. Would that indicate over carbonation?
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Old 08-28-2012, 06:22 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elderbrewer View Post
I just talked to the utility people and they are sending an analysis. Here's another point, I just poured another glass and after it sits a little while and warms up it tastes like it should. Would that indicate over carbonation?
It's very likely. How are you carbonating in the keg? I like the two week "set and forget" method, at serving pressure and temperature for my brews. I also check the keg pressure level before I put it into the brew fridge to chill. If it's too high, I let it vent overnight (a regulated release valve on the gas post) to get closer to where I want it to be.
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On Tap: Caramel Ale, Mocha Porter II, MO SMaSH IPA
Waiting/Carbonating: 12.5% Wee Honey II, 8.9% Old Ale, English Brown Ale, Lickah ESB, Mocha Porter II
Fermenting
K1:
K2: Epic mead
K3: TripSix
On Deck: Caramel Ale
Aging:mead
Mead [bottled]:Oaked Wildflower Traditional, Mocha Madness, Blackberry Melomel, maple wine
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Old 08-28-2012, 06:25 PM   #7
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Just a quick question.. Are you purging the oxygen out of the keg prior to carbing the beer?
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Old 08-28-2012, 07:05 PM   #8
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I force carbonate, Chill overnight,turn pressure up to 25 l bs and rock for a few minutes,put in the fridge and wait a couple days. Thanks for mentioning the temp. My kegerater is and an old old classic round top that I repainted red, its cute, but I it wants to keep everything little over 32 deg, I would like it to be around 45 to 50, but I can't seem to get it to cooperate. The beer in discussion has been in the keg for 2 weeks
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Old 08-28-2012, 07:07 PM   #9
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Yes I do purge the oxygen before carbonating but not before transferring to the keg
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Old 08-28-2012, 07:14 PM   #10
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I've attached remote sensors to two of my kegs in the brew fridge. Even though I have sensors reading the air temp inside, I still like to have these taking readings.

What are you using to control the temp in the kegorator?

Try hitting the keg with some CO2 before filling it up. I clean, and sanitize, mine (plus the beer lines and faucets) with CO2 pushed solutions. Once they're clean, and empty, there's still CO2 in there. I just vent the CO2 via the lid release valve before I connect up to fill (I fill via the liquid post, using a CO2 push from the fermenter). This helps since a blanket of CO2 is over the brew as it fills the kegs.

You might want to get one of the gas QD accessory items that allows you to check the keg CO2 pressure before you hook it up after your 25psi push and rocking. Or try the two week, set and forget, method to see how that works.

I did have a keg over-carbonate before. It's pretty easy to fix though. Just disconnect from the CO2 feed for a few days, and vent the pressure 2-4 times a day. After about three days, connect it back up at serving pressure and see what you've got. I would give it at least a few hours from the last venting time before pouring a pint though. The venting tends to stir up the sediment from the bottom of the keg.


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On Tap: Caramel Ale, Mocha Porter II, MO SMaSH IPA
Waiting/Carbonating: 12.5% Wee Honey II, 8.9% Old Ale, English Brown Ale, Lickah ESB, Mocha Porter II
Fermenting
K1:
K2: Epic mead
K3: TripSix
On Deck: Caramel Ale
Aging:mead
Mead [bottled]:Oaked Wildflower Traditional, Mocha Madness, Blackberry Melomel, maple wine
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