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Old 07-26-2013, 12:06 PM   #1
rynoryan
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I brewed a cream ale recently. It was an extract kit with specialty grains. I steeped grains longer than I should have unintentionally(kids). I think I also used too much water. I tasted a bottle after two weeks and has a bitter aftertaste. I would describe it sharper than a bittering hops taste. I suspect tannins. My question is can tannins be eliminated by bottle conditioning? If not that's fine I can take the bad news. The bitterness isn't that bad to where ill dump them. Any info on this would be helpful. Thanks guys.

 
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Old 07-26-2013, 12:40 PM   #2
flars
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How long do you think your steep was and what was the max temperature of the steep? Have you tested the pH of your water? Tannin extraction can come from water with a pH of 5.5 and higher.

 
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Old 07-26-2013, 12:47 PM   #3
rynoryan
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I steeped for at least 30 mins when directions stated 20 or 25 not sure exactly tho. It called for 1 to 2 gallons of water. I had more like three in there. The temp called for 155 F. I hit the temp dead on and maintained it I'm fairly sure. Thanks for reply man.

 
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Old 07-26-2013, 12:48 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rynoryan
I steeped for at least 30 mins when directions stated 20 or 25 not sure exactly tho. It called for 1 to 2 gallons of water. I had more like three in there. The temp called for 155 F. I hit the temp dead on and maintained it I'm fairly sure. Thanks for reply man.
As far as pH goes I used spring water. Sorry, fairly new here and not too familiar with pH control.

 
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Old 07-26-2013, 12:48 PM   #5
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It may age out a bit, but not much. One thing that does drop polyphenols (tannin is a polyphenol) is lengthy lagering. That is one reason that lagers are "smoother". You can try putting them someplace very cold for a few weeks to see if that helps, but it really depends on why you have that flavor. If it's hops polyphenols, that will get better but if it's from a too-high mash/steep/water pH, it won't improve much if at all.

I am thinking that it's the latter- that in such a light beer it would easy to have a too-high pH and especially when using tap water. What was the water you used for the batch?

Edit- I replied at the same time you did! Using "spring water" is tough, because you don't know what's in it. I'd try reverse osmosis water, from the big "water machines" at some grocery stores and places like wal-mart, if you're purchasing water. That way you know what is in it (basically nothing) and can add a bit of calcium chloride to it if you want.
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Old 07-26-2013, 12:54 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yooper
It may age out a bit, but not much. One thing that does drop polyphenols (tannin is a polyphenol) is lengthy lagering. That is one reason that lagers are "smoother". You can try putting them someplace very cold for a few weeks to see if that helps, but it really depends on why you have that flavor. If it's hops polyphenols, that will get better but if it's from a too-high mash/steep/water pH, it won't improve much if at all.

I am thinking that it's the latter- that in such a light beer it would easy to have a too-high pH and especially when using tap water. What was the water you used for the batch?

Edit- I replied at the same time you did! Using "spring water" is tough, because you don't know what's in it. I'd try reverse osmosis water, from the big "water machines" at some grocery stores and places like wal-mart, if you're purchasing water. That way you know what is in it (basically nothing) and can add a bit of calcium chloride to it if you want.
Thanks for the info. All that going into the "brew book" now. I'm trying to master a few steps at a time. Sounds like I may need to focus on my water next.

 
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Old 07-26-2013, 01:18 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rynoryan View Post
Thanks for the info. All that going into the "brew book" now. I'm trying to master a few steps at a time. Sounds like I may need to focus on my water next.
Maybe. Usually, for extract brewing it's not a big issue but for these lighter colored beers it can be.
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Old 07-26-2013, 01:29 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rynoryan View Post
I steeped for at least 30 mins when directions stated 20 or 25 not sure exactly tho. It called for 1 to 2 gallons of water. I had more like three in there. The temp called for 155 F. I hit the temp dead on and maintained it I'm fairly sure. Thanks for reply man.
I don't hink a few minutes of extra steep time would do it, nor extra water. Temp was far from 170 so that is not a consideration for tannin extraction. To eliminate some of the variables test the pH of the water. Brew stores will have pH testing strips for acid and alkaline solutions.
Was this a kit which had pre-hopped LME?

 
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Old 07-26-2013, 02:19 PM   #9
rynoryan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flars

I don't hink a few minutes of extra steep time would do it, nor extra water. Temp was far from 170 so that is not a consideration for tannin extraction. To eliminate some of the variables test the pH of the water. Brew stores will have pH testing strips for acid and alkaline solutions.
Was this a kit which had pre-hopped LME?
No, not pre-hopped. I added bittering hops at 60 mins if I recall correctly(can't remember what kind). I think I added flavoring hops at 10 minute mark. Sorry I can't be more precise. I didn't start taking notes till after this batch.

 
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Old 07-26-2013, 02:21 PM   #10
rynoryan
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Another thing I remember was tasting it as I bottled. It had a mildly sweet flavor to it. I didn't notice that bitter bite till after trying one in bottle.

 
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