Dry/Flat taste after kegging and force carbing

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YaleH

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I did a Red Irish Ale All Grain on my new Anvil 10.5 everything went pretty well up to fermenting and then it started going down hill. The gravity dropped pretty quickly and there was no noticeable activity during the process. ( Little to no visible bubbling into the blow off bottle) It reached final gravity in less than 14 days. The last several days it was steady at 1.012. So I went ahead and kegged then forced carb using a carb stone lid for 24 hrs. During first pour I had good carbonation but it had an after taste of being flat and dry. No malt or hops taste at all, almost like just drinking red water!!!!

Anyone have suggestions on what happened or Didn't happen????? And any way to bring this back around to a drinkable brew??? I was thinking of doing a sort of dry/cold hop and place some in the keg for a short period of time to help infuse some flavor into it.

Thanks in advance!!!
 

brewdude88

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How long has it been in the keg? Give it at least a couple weeks before making any final judgements on the beer.

Aside from that, recipe specifics (grain bill, hop bill, OG, water profile) would allow folks to maybe identify something that could potentially cause a problem.

Also, you mention the anvil is new to you, have you had success on a similar beer with different equipment?
 
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YaleH

YaleH

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How long has it been in the keg? Give it at least a couple weeks before making any final judgements on the beer.

Aside from that, recipe specifics (grain bill, hop bill, OG, water profile) would allow folks to maybe identify something that could potentially cause a problem.

Also, you mention the anvil is new to you, have you had success on a similar beer with different equipment?
It's been in Keg for 5 days, This was a Kit from major online Brew supply... Grain bill is as follows;
7.5 lbs. Rahr 2 Row Pale
0,75 lbs. Belgian Caramel Pils
0.25 lbs. Breiss Special Roast
0.125 lbs. Belgian Biscuit Malt
0.125 lbs. English Choc. Malt
Hops
0.75 oz. Willamette (60min)
0.125 oz. US Goldings (30mins)
Yeast
Imperial Independence A15
OG 1.044
Taste tested at beginning of Fermenting and at Kegging and tasted like flat beer, nothing unusual... But now it's got this off taste.
Thanks BD88
 

Dgallo

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With proper yeast pitch rate and healthy yeast, Fermentation is typically complete in around 5 days. So if it were around tht time I would say, that’s good.

Just want some clarification. Is it actually flat? Like very little carb or no carb? That’s the only way something could taste flat to me.

Also, Even though it’s a low abv beer, the grainbill looks like it should have a nice flavor of profile. So I have some questions in regards to process; How did you source your water? What was your mash schedule and temp. What was your entire process post fermentation through kegging?
 
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YaleH

YaleH

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With proper yeast pitch rate and healthy yeast, Fermentation is typically complete in around 5 days. So if it were around tht time I would say, that’s good.

Just want some clarification. Is it actually flat? Like very little carb or no carb? That’s the only way something could taste flat to me.

Also, Even though it’s a low abv beer, the grainbill looks like it should have a nice flavor of profile. So I have some questions in regards to process; How did you source your water? What was your mash schedule and temp. What was your entire process post fermentation through kegging?
It has plenty of carbonation..... The taste is like nothing, it has no flavor.... No Malt or Hops!! I used what I always do for brewing, Bottled Spring water. This is only my 2nd All Grain, have done several extract using same water and never had issues. My 1st All Grain brew turned out bad and I figured it was bad grain!!! Mash was 153 degree for 60 mins. with Mashout @ 170 degree for 10 mins.
Now here is where things could be part of problem.... I'm using my Anvil 10.5 on 120v and it takes a long time to get to temps up!!!! So my 60 mins with 10 mins mashout was way longer and then it took time for it to get to boiling temp so my times are all extended. Could this be part of issue? is it possible to OVER BOIL the wort???? I used anvil cooling coil with water pumped through ice and was able to get wort to pitching temp in about 30 mins. I used anvil pump to transfer to fermenter and gravity to the keg.
 

brewdude88

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It's been in Keg for 5 days

I would give it another 10-15 days conditioning before jumping to any conclusions.

If the taste persists, I'd start looking at water chemistry. The Anvil is a nice system, but with the way it works, you're doing a fly sparge of sorts which is not as forgiving when it comes to tannin extraction if the grain is over-rinsed or if the grain has a low buffering capacity to prevent a rise in ph. I had this experience the first time I used my robobrew to make an ESB, that beer had very subdued flavor and an astringent dryness.

You mentioned the water makes good extract beer, but remember, the extract contains all the minerals that the producer used to attain a proper water profile.

What brand of water? Are you able to find a water report from the manufacturer?
 
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YaleH

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I would give it another 10-15 days conditioning before jumping to any conclusions.

If the taste persists, I'd start looking at water chemistry. The Anvil is a nice system, but with the way it works, you're doing a fly sparge of sorts which is not as forgiving when it comes to tannin extraction if the grain is over-rinsed or if the grain has a low buffering capacity to prevent a rise in ph. I had this experience the first time I used my robobrew to make an ESB, that beer had very subdued flavor and an astringent dryness.

You mentioned the water makes good extract beer, but remember, the extract contains all the minerals that the producer used to attain a proper water profile.

What brand of water? Are you able to find a water report from the manufacturer?
OK, I'll let it sit like you recommend..... That's a great point about the extract. I have since bought the products needed to work with the water on next batch.
 
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YaleH

YaleH

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What went wrong with your first all grain batch?
So not really sure...... the OG fell like 20 points just overnight and it never off gassed, but continued to fall. I pulled a sample after 7-10 days and the wort had bad smell... and taste was almost like it was spoiled. I attributed it to possibly bad grain. Figured for the price of the kit it wasn't worth getting sick over, or worse!!! I dumped it
 

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Methinks you need to look at sanitizing properly. And off first batch and a wonky second means you're doing something wrong, fundamentally.
 

brewdude88

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the wort had bad smell... and taste was almost like it was spoiled.
I'm going to go out on a limb and say that was probably not spoiled grain. What are you using as a fermenter? I only ask because anything cold-side will need a thorough cleaning and sanitizing and plastic gear may need to be replaced... You also seem to keep a close eye on gravity during fermentation, do you have a tilt, or do you keep opening the fermenter?
 
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YaleH

YaleH

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Methinks you need to look at sanitizing properly. And off first batch and a wonky second means you're doing something wrong, fundamentally.
I see how that could be a possibility...... But I have done several extracts using same cleaning and sanitizing methods. I use OxyClean free and Star San
 
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YaleH

YaleH

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I'm going to go out on a limb and say that was probably not spoiled grain. What are you using as a fermenter? I only ask because anything cold-side will need a thorough cleaning and sanitizing and plastic gear may need to be replaced... You also seem to keep a close eye on gravity during fermentation, do you have a tilt, or do you keep opening the fermenter?
I'm using the usual plastic bucket that come in starter kits. As I type this I know I've read that they should be replaced periodically due to scratching, so this could be the culprit even though I use OxyClean Free and Star San, just as I have in past. :( I've been looking at SS fermenters and maybe it's time to get one!!! I do use a tilt, and don't secondary ferment so I know that Oxygen should not the issue.
 

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Oxygen should not the issue
If you didnt see any offgassing then you may have had a leak somewhere. Plastic lids dont seal that well so oxygen could be the issue. I just dumped a full 5 gallons of a scottish ale that I fermented in a spare bucket fermenter I had due to everything else being full.

After 10 days in primary I transfered to a keg, prior to transferring I noticed that the lid was not snapped on the back of the bucket which worried me. The beer hit all the stats in normally does but in the end it just tasted bland. I attributed it to oxidation and dumped it(after waiting three weeks and sampling every couple days). First beer I chose to dump in 60+ batches.
 

Steven Barrett

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Re-reading your initial post, it sounds like a yeast or contamination issue. You mention “no visible activity” and gravity dropping faster than expected. What type of yeast was it and what was your process?

Also:

Switching from extract to all grain isn’t going to automatically make your beer better. In fact, it could make it worse in the short term since you’ve introduced a bunch of new variables and processes you need to control.

If you’ve made an extract recipe that you really thought was great, why not make the all grain version? That way you know what to expect.

I’ll also add: It takes a very skilled brewer indeed to make a great beer at 4.2% ABV.
 

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My first AG brew was A LOT worse than most of my first kit and kilo brews. Mostly because I wasn't prepared for everything that had to be done, forgot some stuff, messed up everywhere and and and.

In short, I overshot the mash temp VERY far, then cooled it down way too far with cold water, and then heated it back up and forgot to turn off the element, boiling the entire mash to **** for a while before realizing my mistake. Then I ran out of time and couldn't do a proper boil, so I had to make a hop tea and sparge with that, and it was just a complete and utter mess.
 
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YaleH

YaleH

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If you didnt see any offgassing then you may have had a leak somewhere. Plastic lids dont seal that well so oxygen could be the issue. I just dumped a full 5 gallons of a scottish ale that I fermented in a spare bucket fermenter I had due to everything else being full.

After 10 days in primary I transfered to a keg, prior to transferring I noticed that the lid was not snapped on the back of the bucket which worried me. The beer hit all the stats in normally does but in the end it just tasted bland. I attributed it to oxidation and dumped it(after waiting three weeks and sampling every couple days). First beer I chose to dump in 60+ batches.
That's a very valid point..... Others have mentioned the fermenter being issue, I'm beginning to think this may be the main problem and will have to move up to a SS fermenter.
 
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YaleH

YaleH

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Re-reading your initial post, it sounds like a yeast or contamination issue. You mention “no visible activity” and gravity dropping faster than expected. What type of yeast was it and what was your process?

Also:

Switching from extract to all grain isn’t going to automatically make your beer better. In fact, it could make it worse in the short term since you’ve introduced a bunch of new variables and processes you need to control.

If you’ve made an extract recipe that you really thought was great, why not make the all grain version? That way you know what to expect.

I’ll also add: It takes a very skilled brewer indeed to make a great beer at 4.2% ABV.
So many others here have mentioned the fermenter being the cause I'm really leaning towards that. With last two brews having similar results.... I used the recommended yeast for kit, Imperial Independence A15 and I use an O2 wand for 40-45 secs prior to pitching yeast and sealing up.
I realize that extracts are at elementary level and All Grain is like college level but it looks so easy seeing others successful brews. I like Idea of doing same extract brew in all grain and may try that.
 
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YaleH

YaleH

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THANKS TO EVERYONE that has commented with possible ideas/solutions..... that's what makes HBT such a great resource of knowledge!!! Overall it's looking like I need to be switching to a SS fermenter. (At least it's a good reason to tell the wife) LOL Anyway, using the original plastic buckets and them not sealing or getting the usual scratches which cause contamination issues seems to be a starting point to my problems. I have been wanting to get the ANVIL original fermenter and now they offer a Conical one that's even better. So it looks like I have a reason to buy one now!! :rock::cool:
 

brewdude88

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now they offer a Conical one that's even better. So it looks like I have a reason to buy one now!!
Dang it, you made me look. Looks like I might have to stimulate Anvil with my next stimulus check! I like my Anvil SS brew buckets, but boy would a conical be nice...
 
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YaleH

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My first AG brew was A LOT worse than most of my first kit and kilo brews. Mostly because I wasn't prepared for everything that had to be done, forgot some stuff, messed up everywhere and and and.

In short, I overshot the mash temp VERY far, then cooled it down way too far with cold water, and then heated it back up and forgot to turn off the element, boiling the entire mash to **** for a while before realizing my mistake. Then I ran out of time and couldn't do a proper boil, so I had to make a hop tea and sparge with that, and it was just a complete and utter mess.
I had very similar issues with mine..... mostly with temps and the length of mash and boil times being way over due to the Anvil being on 120v but plan to do upgrade wiring in garage and do next brew at 240v. :cool:
 

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Reasons I don’t think it’s your fermenter: 1. your first beer tasted bad and your second tasted like nothing. If you had a contamination, I’d expect there to be some vin diagram overlap.
2. I have a plastic bucket I’ve used for 12+ years now, with visible scratches. I clean and sanitize very thoroughly and have had no noticeable or overwhelming indications of infection.

I think you’re focusing on irrelevant indicators and using them to prove something went wrong. Ie, trends in tilt readings (which are notoriously inaccurate) and bubble activity in air locks (which notoriously don’t seal air tight).

When viewed in context of American red/amber ales, an Irish Red can be MUCH more subtle in flavor, especially at 4.0% ish ABV. This can cause some unsatisfied expectations leading to a perception of tastelessness.

On to the “flat/dry”:
As others mentioned, it may need more time on CO2. What’s your beer line setup? Depending on the material, length and temp (if outside your kegerator)? First pours are notoriously flat because of O2 ingress. If FG is 1.012, it shouldn’t feel dry so maybe that’s an impression based on other conditions that are priming you.

Lastly, water! It sounds like you’re addressing it now but I’d suspect water chemistry played a role in your first two AG batches.

Oh, and don’t let this deter you from buying a fun new conical SS fermenter, new toys are part of this awesome hobby.
 
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I agree with @Kickass here, give it some more time in the keg. If it were an infection there would be more off flavors, not less flavor overall. and i also have used buckets in the past for many brews with no issue and it sounds like you are following good cleaning and sanitizing practices. now that being said, i absolutely love my stainless conical and if you have your wife convinced that it needed well then who am i to stop you, haha. also, you mentioned above that you may toss some hops in the keg to give it a kick, if after another week or 2 in the keg it still lacks flavor (for your liking) this is not a bad idea. I underhopped an ipa about a year or so ago and thats exactly what i did. if you do this you are going to want to have your hops in a bag or stainless mesh container, and get them in there quick and purge with co2 serveral times after you get the lid back on.

water can be another beast to tackle. so dont get discouraged, when i switched to all grain it took a few batches to get things dialed in.

Brew on!
 
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YaleH

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Reasons I don’t think it’s your fermenter: 1. your first beer tasted bad and your second tasted like nothing. If you had a contamination, I’d expect there to be some vin diagram overlap.
2. I have a plastic bucket I’ve used for 12+ years now, with visible scratches. I clean and sanitize very thoroughly and have had no noticeable or overwhelming indications of infection.

I think you’re focusing on irrelevant indicators and using them to prove something went wrong. Ie, trends in tilt readings (which are notoriously inaccurate) and bubble activity in air locks (which notoriously don’t seal air tight).

When viewed in context of American red/amber ales, an Irish Red can be MUCH more subtle in flavor, especially at 4.0% ish ABV. This can cause some unsatisfied expectations leading to a perception of tastelessness.

On to the “flat/dry”:
As others mentioned, it may need more time on CO2. What’s your beer line setup? Depending on the material, length and temp (if outside your kegerator)? First pours are notoriously flat because of O2 ingress. If FG is 1.012, it shouldn’t feel dry so maybe that’s an impression based on other conditions that are priming you.

Lastly, water! It sounds like you’re addressing it now but I’d suspect water chemistry played a role in your first two AG batches.

Oh, and don’t let this deter you from buying a fun new conical SS fermenter, new toys are part of this awesome hobby.
Thanks Kickass..... You make very solid points I know now what a huge learning curve brewing AG can be compared to Extract!!!! I will say that now that it's several days since my 1st post and many of you saying to give it time, it is getting some more flavor, but not quite what I was expecting!!! :cool: But it may come around. I'm just using a party keg hose with about 3 foot, 5/16" silicon gas line. And don't worry, I won't tell the wife that the problem solved itself and don't need the new SS Fermenter. LOL
 
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YaleH

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I agree with @Kickass here, give it some more time in the keg. If it were an infection there would be more off flavors, not less flavor overall. and i also have used buckets in the past for many brews with no issue and it sounds like you are following good cleaning and sanitizing practices. now that being said, i absolutely love my stainless conical and if you have your wife convinced that it needed well then who am i to stop you, haha. also, you mentioned above that you may toss some hops in the keg to give it a kick, if after another week or 2 in the keg it still lacks flavor (for your liking) this is not a bad idea. I underhopped an ipa about a year or so ago and thats exactly what i did. if you do this you are going to want to have your hops in a bag or stainless mesh container, and get them in there quick and purge with co2 serveral times after you get the lid back on.

water can be another beast to tackle. so dont get discouraged, when i switched to all grain it took a few batches to get things dialed in.

Brew on!
Thanks Bailey...... I mentioned above in reply to kickass that is starting to come around with a bit more flavor and it's been 7days since kegging, I'll give it another week and see what's up then. And yeah I'm still getting a SS fermenter!!! :D
 

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Don't see this asked above; how are you measuring your gravity post-fermentation? Hydrometer, or refractometer? Hydrometer will give you the most accurate reading post-fermentation as long as it's calibrated correctly; refractometer readings need to be calculated using an app that will compensate for the presence of alcohol. Others here will chime in with some pointers since I can't remember one at this time.

Other than that, one thing that jumped out at me was that your 'good' batches were done with extract; extract has all the minerals you need for a healthy fermentation. Starting with all grain, your water is key. Also your grain crush; did you have the LHBS crush it, or do it yourself? 'Flat, bland' flavor says to me that you didn't get all the sugars out of the grain that you should have. Just my two cents.
 
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Good call on the crush, its super important in extraction during the mash. If the mill isn't set to the right gap you wont get good efficiency and all the goodies that come with it.
 
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YaleH

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Don't see this asked above; how are you measuring your gravity post-fermentation? Hydrometer, or refractometer? Hydrometer will give you the most accurate reading post-fermentation as long as it's calibrated correctly; refractometer readings need to be calculated using an app that will compensate for the presence of alcohol. Others here will chime in with some pointers since I can't remember one at this time.

Other than that, one thing that jumped out at me was that your 'good' batches were done with extract; extract has all the minerals you need for a healthy fermentation. Starting with all grain, your water is key. Also your grain crush; did you have the LHBS crush it, or do it yourself? 'Flat, bland' flavor says to me that you didn't get all the sugars out of the grain that you should have. Just my two cents.
Thanks SpeedBump..... I use a tilt during fermenting and a hydrometer pre and post to verify the numbers!! Makes sense about the extracts having all the needed minerals. Definitely have a lot to still learn. I'm thinking the biggest problem was the extended times during mashout and boil due to the ANVIL being on 110v and it taking forever to heat up. I'll have that problem solved for next brew with adding a 240v outlet in my garage
 

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In terms of the recipe itself, this has not too much specialty grain. I’m not familiar with Caramel Pils. Is that like a light crystal malt?

Far as hops, no % were listed but you have less than 1 oz hops total for the batch. Willamette is a low alpha hop, usually 4 or 5%. If this is a 5 gallon batch, that is next to nothing. Without running it through a recipe calculator, I know its very low IBU. This would be a bland beer.

BU:GU for an Irish Red is probably about .5, so to balance this you want your OG times .5 = you’re looking for about 22 IBU. I’m going to go out on a limb and say these hops don’t get you anywhere near 22.
 
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UPDATE and THANKS!!!!! Hey HBT crew, I wanted to give an update and say thanks to everyone that gave me ideas and suggestions on my problem. The majority of you all said to wait and that's what I've done. After about 2 more weeks in keg it has finally began to have some flavor and getting some more body and aroma. It's now a drinkable ale..... Not award winning, but at least I don't have to dump it. Thanks again to all that helped.... That's what I love about being part of this group!!!!
 

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Hey, glad it ended up getting better with time, that’s great. Patience is key! Oh, I was talking to myself there, because I rush pretty much all of my beers. They end up fantastic right around the time the keg kicks and I regret the several weeks I drank it too young :(

Keep learning and trying! I’ve had a run of a few disappointing brew days and beers lately but I learned something each time and it’s still beer in the end.

FYI, I’m sitting here drinking a lager I brewed 3 weeks ago. Why????? It’ll be so good in a month!

Dan
 
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