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Old 07-03-2014, 01:25 AM   #1
MrEggSandwich
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Default Frustrated...What is my next move?

I've been brewing for about 3 years now with 20+ brews under my belt. I currently am doing partial mashes (up to 5lbs of grain), control my fermentation temps with a chest freezer/temp controller, always do starters.

My last few brews have left me frustrated as:

-I am getting very little, to no hop aroma even with late additions & dry hopping. The best way I can describe is a very muddled hop flavor/aroma...soapy/metallic. No distinction in aroma whatsoever. Now that I think of it, this flavor may be present in all of my brews, but it is more prominent with IPAs.

-As far as body, color, etc...no issues there with any of my brews...this is strictly a flavor issue. I don't seem to be getting "clean" flavors with any of my brews. (i.e- No brown sugar flavor when using caramelized sugar, no orange when using orange peel, no clean aroma/flavor from hops.)

I am thinking it may be a water issue. I have never had mine tested, I run my water via hose through a charcoal filter. I am doing partial mashes, and do my best to control my temps, but they do fluctuate. I am been getting very good conversion. I am very clean, use starsan and PBW only to clean.


Any thoughts on what I should change/check is appreciated....I plan to get my water checked ASAP.

Thanks!


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Old 07-03-2014, 02:33 PM   #2
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The question that jumps to my mind is are you doing full boils? It is well known that hops utilization change drastically in between full and partial boils, and since it's a flavor issue rather than a body/color/head one I'd look more over the hops than the grain. Do you store your hops for an extended period of time in the freezer? Something you can try to rule out this possibility is making a small AG batch within your means, like a 2.5g or 1g batch. If it still tastes strange, you know your problem is linked to an ingredient rather than the method, maybe hops freshness or water.

Water could also be an issue, best way to know for sure is to test it although in general if it tastes good your beer should come out fine.


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Old 07-03-2014, 02:39 PM   #3
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A lot of people complain of good orange flavor with orange peel and switch to orange zest. I guess the drying of the peel pulls alot of the aromatics out. As for the brown sugar, that's highly fermentable sugar so I doubt you'd get much flavor from it. You'd have to make candy sugar using yeast nutrient (DAP) to address that. Or buy candy sugar from LHBS.

For your IPA's how much hops do you use per 5G batch and how long do you let them mature?

If you want to trouble shoot your water get a case of distilled water and pickup gypsum and calcium chloride from LHBS. Add two teaspoons of each to your case of distilled water for a little bit of mineral and see if that changes things.
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Old 07-03-2014, 02:47 PM   #4
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i think you owe it to yourself to try a batch with RO water. a lot supermarkets have machines where you can get it for $0.50/gallon or less if you bring your own containers.
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Old 07-03-2014, 03:42 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by progmac View Post
i think you owe it to yourself to try a batch with RO water. a lot supermarkets have machines where you can get it for $0.50/gallon or less if you bring your own containers.
I agree that water is the first place I would look. Just make sure and build up the RO water since you are doing a partial mash. IF you were doing plain extract it wouldn't matter, but the mash needs the salts. You can use Bru'n water to calculate the salt additions

https://sites.google.com/site/brunwater/
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Old 07-03-2014, 03:48 PM   #6
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The water suggestions is a good start. Whenever anyone says they are having flavor issues with ALL of their beers, the first thing that pops into my mind is water.

List one of the recipes along with procedure and maybe we can take a look from that angle.
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Old 07-03-2014, 04:00 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by masscarriers View Post
The question that jumps to my mind is are you doing full boils? It is well known that hops utilization change drastically in between full and partial boils, and since it's a flavor issue rather than a body/color/head one I'd look more over the hops than the grain. Do you store your hops for an extended period of time in the freezer? Something you can try to rule out this possibility is making a small AG batch within your means, like a 2.5g or 1g batch. If it still tastes strange, you know your problem is linked to an ingredient rather than the method, maybe hops freshness or water.

Water could also be an issue, best way to know for sure is to test it although in general if it tastes good your beer should come out fine.
I am doing full boils...I have a keggle. I am store more hops in a chest freezer, some of the bags are opened (like only using half the package)....So that certainly could be an issue. I have used hops that were previously opened. Next time, I will only use sealed, unopened packs.
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Old 07-03-2014, 04:03 PM   #8
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Here is my most recent brew.......OG was 1.048, FG 1.010.

The hops taste like a soapy, muddled mess to me.

Brew Method: Partial Mash
Style Name: Kölsch
Boil Time: 60 min
Batch Size: 5.5 gallons (fermentor volume)
Boil Size: 7 gallons
Boil Gravity: 1.036


STATS:
Original Gravity: 1.045
Final Gravity: 1.008
ABV (standard): 4.92%
IBU (tinseth): 75.48
SRM (morey): 3.16

FERMENTABLES:
4 lb - German - Pilsner (48.5%)
3 lb - Dry Malt Extract - Pilsen (36.4%)
1 lb - Dry Malt Extract - Wheat (12.1%)
0.25 lb - German - Vienna (3%)

HOPS:
0.25 oz - Warrior, Type: Pellet, AA: 15.7, Use: Boil for 60 min, IBU: 15.45
1 oz - Hallertau (New Zealand), Type: Pellet, AA: 7.5, Use: Boil for 30 min, IBU: 22.68
1 oz - Cascade, Type: Pellet, AA: 6.3, Use: Boil for 10 min, IBU: 8.99
0.25 oz - Warrior, Type: Pellet, AA: 15.7, Use: Aroma for 10 min, IBU: 5.6
1 oz - Citra, Type: Pellet, AA: 14.5, Use: Aroma for 5 min, IBU: 11.38
1 oz - Galaxy, Type: Pellet, AA: 14.5, Use: Aroma for 5 min, IBU: 11.38
1 oz - Citra, Type: Pellet, AA: 14.5, Use: Aroma for 0 min
1 oz - Galaxy, Type: Pellet, AA: 14.5, Use: Aroma for 0 min

MASH GUIDELINES:
1) Infusion, Temp: 150 F, Time: 90 min, Amount: 1.5 qt

OTHER INGREDIENTS:
1 each - Whirfloc, Time: 10 min, Type: Fining, Use: Boil

YEAST:
White Labs - German Ale/ Kölsch Yeast WLP029
Starter: Yes
Form: Liquid
Attenuation (custom): 83%
Flocculation: Medium
Optimum Temp: 65 - 69 F
Fermentation Temp: 60 F
Pitch Rate: 0.5 (M cells / ml / deg P)
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Old 07-03-2014, 04:45 PM   #9
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It could be a combination of your yeast and those hops. I have noticed a lemony flavor from kolsch yeasts in the past. Mixed with citra/galaxy and I could see it being detergent like.

It could also be the insane IBU's you have going on. Kolsch + a ton of fruity hops is probably strange. Kinda of a whacky brew you have. If i were to do it I would bitter with hallertau to like 10-15IBU and then hit it with citra/galaxy at 15 and 0. aim for low 20's IBU.
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Old 07-03-2014, 05:12 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RonPopeil View Post
It could be a combination of your yeast and those hops. I have noticed a lemony flavor from kolsch yeasts in the past. Mixed with citra/galaxy and I could see it being detergent like.

It could also be the insane IBU's you have going on. Kolsch + a ton of fruity hops is probably strange. Kinda of a whacky brew you have. If i were to do it I would bitter with hallertau to like 10-15IBU and then hit it with citra/galaxy at 15 and 0. aim for low 20's IBU.
Thanks Ron....I also got the same flavor from the recipe below, which I entered in the AHA competition..It scored "good"....I wasn't crazy about it, as I got the same hop issue with this one as well.


Brew Method: Partial Mash
Style Name: Imperial IPA
Boil Time: 90 min
Batch Size: 6 gallons (fermentor volume)
Boil Size: 8 gallons
Boil Gravity: 1.045
Efficiency: 70% (brew house)

STATS:
Original Gravity: 1.081
Final Gravity: 1.013
ABV (standard): 8.83%
IBU (tinseth): 161.62
SRM (morey): 7.38

FERMENTABLES:
4.5 lb - American - Pale 2-Row (32.8%)
4 lb - Dry Malt Extract - Light (29.2%)
3 lb - Dry Malt Extract - Light - (late addition) (21.9%)
1 lb - Corn Sugar - Dextrose (7.3%)
0.6 lb - American - Caramel / Crystal 40L (4.4%)
0.6 lb - American - Carapils (Dextrine Malt) (4.4%)

HOPS:
1 oz - Summit, Type: Pellet, AA: 17.5, Use: Boil for 90 min, IBU: 62.11
0.5 oz - Summit, Type: Pellet, AA: 17.15, Use: Boil for 45 min, IBU: 26.12
0.5 oz - Summit, Type: Pellet, AA: 17.5, Use: Boil for 20 min, IBU: 17.58
2 oz - Cascade, Type: Pellet, AA: 6.3, Use: Boil for 15 min, IBU: 20.74
2 oz - Amarillo, Type: Pellet, AA: 10.7, Use: Boil for 10 min, IBU: 25.74
1 oz - Citra, Type: Pellet, AA: 14.1, Use: Boil for 5 min, IBU: 9.33
1 oz - Amarillo, Type: Pellet, AA: 10.7, Use: Boil for 0 min
1 oz - Cascade, Type: Pellet, AA: 6.3, Use: Boil for 0 min
1 oz - Citra, Type: Pellet, AA: 14.1, Use: Boil for 0 min
2 oz - Amarillo, Type: Leaf/Whole, AA: 10.7, Use: Dry Hop for 14 days
2 oz - Citra, Type: Leaf/Whole, AA: 11, Use: Dry Hop for 7 days

MASH GUIDELINES:
1) Infusion, Temp: 151 F, Time: 60 min, Amount: 8 qt, 4.5LBS 2 Row + .6LB 40L + .6LB Carapils

OTHER INGREDIENTS:
1 each - Whirfloc, Time: 10 min, Type: Fining, Use: Boil

YEAST:
White Labs - California Ale Yeast WLP001
Starter: Yes
Form: Liquid
Attenuation (custom): 83.3%
Flocculation: Medium
Optimum Temp: 68 - 73 F
Fermentation Temp: 67 F
Pitch Rate: 0.5 (M cells / ml / deg P)

NOTES:
Starter Recipe:

Making the Yeast Starter Wort:
Quantities for various size yeast starters:
1L: ~1L water, 1 cup Dry Malt Extract, ½ tsp yeast
nutrient
2L: ~2L water, 2 cups Dry Malt Extract, 1 tsp yeast
nutrient
5L: ~5L water, 5 cups Dry Malt Extract, 2 ½ tsp yea
st nutrient


Mash Instructions:

•2 gallons in kettle
•Mash grains in 8 qts (2 gallons) water @ 151 for 60 minutes
•Sparge in 16 qts (4 gallons) 170 water for 30 minutes= 6 gallons
•= 8 gallons total pre-boil volume

•Continuous #2-#3 Summit Hop addition.

•Ferment between 66-68.

•2 Vials WLP001 and big starter.

•Late addition (3LB Light DME) @ 15.


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