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tbaldwin000

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I'm not going to go into depth, but here are my thoughts.

I would put money on the issue being the use of LME. LME is a low grade and very variable product, and most certainly has a specific flavour which would run through all of your batches, owing to how it is made and stored. I would stick to using a combination of dry malt extract and steeping speciality grains, I'd put money on that making a vast difference to your beer.

Other things I think worth mentioning:

If you are using filtered tap water then I don't imagine that is your issue. Don't get me wrong, water chemistry is a deep and important topic in brewing, but I wouldn't really pay it much attention until you move to brewing with grain. For what it's worth the pH of your water is completely irrelevant - the yeast will work the pH to their preferred point in no time at all, and the malt extract combined with your water will be providing adequate buffering.

I would stop using liquid yeast (for now). It's expensive, has less vitality than (properly kept) dry yeast, stores poorly, and has no real advantages unless there is a specific yeast you know you need to brew with. There are masses of good dry yeasts out there, I suggest you pick one of those and get familiar with it, I would probably pick US-05, S-04, Verdant, or Nottingham for general ale brewing, Verdant being the most characterful of those, US-05 the most ubiquitous in craft and a profile you are likely already familiar with without even knowing it.
 

VikeMan

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For what it's worth the pH of your water is completely irrelevant - the yeast will work the pH to their preferred point in no time at all, and the malt extract combined with your water will be providing adequate buffering.
Do you have a source supporting the statement that "the yeast will work the pH to their preferred point in no time at all?" I've seen a fairly wide range in finished beer pH and have never read anything authoritative that says wort pH (or buffering capcity) is irrelevent.

Also, the fact that (as you mentioned) malt extract and water form a buffer system (which would tend work against yeast working the pH to their "preferred" point) would be an argument for paying attention to water, not against.
 

tbaldwin000

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Do you have a source supporting the statement that "the yeast will work the pH to their preferred point in no time at all?" I've seen a fairly wide range in finished beer pH and have never read anything authoritative that says wort pH (or buffering capcity) is irrelevent.

Also, the fact that (as you mentioned) malt extract and water form a buffer system (which would tend work against yeast working the pH to their "preferred" point) would be an argument for paying attention to water, not against.
There are about a million sources, it's a well studied aspect of yeast behaviour. Every strain has a differing preferred pH range, but each will work consistently into that range unless you do something insane like constantly add agents to fermentation to adjust away from that range. No minerals from municipal water, or from the water used to make malt extract, are going to cause a significant difference to the yeast's abilities to make the environment their own.

The buffering capacity works with the yeast because it allows for a more stable environment once they've made it their own.

This is also why if you want to adjust the pH of your beer, for any reason (and there are plenty of reasons to do this) you should do it after fermentation is complete and the yeast are no longer present. There are of course cases where the yeast cannot work to their preferred level, for instance if your substrate is already very acidic (e.g. kettle souring), but if your water was like a kettle sour then you'd notice.
 

VikeMan

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There are about a million sources, it's a well studied aspect of yeast behaviour.
I would agree that fermentation reduces pH, if that's what you really meant to say. What I question is the claim that "the yeast will work the pH to their preferred point in no time at all" and then stop changing the pH.

Please provide one authoritative source that supports this. Seems like a reasonable request, given your claim that there are about a million. Any peer reviewed paper will do. Thanks.
 
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dwightr8

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I think it’s because you make what you like. I now like my IPAs better than anyone’s because I prefer very low hop bitterness a little malt sweetness and fruity hops but that’s not your typical IPA.
My feelings exactly. Care to share a recipe?
 

eric19312

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On issue being debated between @VikeMan and @tbaldwin000 .... this is probably getting too deep for concern raised by OP in this Beginners Brewing Forum.

I tend to agree with @VikeMan that there is a lot of interest in post boil pH and resulting finished beer pH with finished beer pH being seen as a critical quality parameter in QC/QA oriented breweries. I know some brewers here advocate adjusting post boil pH in effort to assure reaching target finished beer pH. I think others look at the finished beer pH as an indication of quality of the fermentation...it is data point confirming you ran a good fermentation -- viable yeast, correct pitch rate, oxygenation, nutrients, temperature all the rest of the details. Similar to FG in that it is data point beyond taste of the beer that you made it right.

But let's help this new brewer make some decent beer to get started then nerd out with us after he/she is hooked :bigmug:
 

tbaldwin000

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Please provide one authoritative source that supports this. Seems like a reasonable request, given your claim that there are about a million. Any peer reviewed paper will do. Thanks.
I don't have a specific study on the exact topic in the way you are requesting, but proton pump action of yeast in particular is well studied both in brewing and in model environments. Linking you to an individual study won't benefit this thread, but if you are curious then Google will reveal a great deal of reading material.

As @eric19312 says it will derail this thread to continue this discussion, so I will leave you to your own thoughts and opinions.
 

VikeMan

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I don't have a specific study on the exact topic in the way you are requesting, but proton pump action of yeast in particular is well studied both in brewing and in model environments.
Hey man, I requested it the way you stated it. Perhaps that's the problem.

As @eric19312 says it will derail this thread to continue this discussion, so I will leave you to your own thoughts and opinions.
Anyway, for @Wrinkle_Fever I wouldn't be too concerned about pH and buffering with extract brewing. But RO or distilled water IMO make a lot of sense with extract, because the minerals from the extract manufacturer's water are in the extract. They are (usually) unknown, but the approach (RO/distilled with extract) has been working well enough for lots of extract brewers for a long time.
 
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tbaldwin000

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Hey man, I requested it the way you stated it. Perhaps that's the problem.
Yes, it probably is. I don't have a nice study to sum it up for you, but as I say the biological behaviour is well studied and understood, but you'd have to come to your own conclusions as there is no study whose abstract or conclusion will sum it up in the way that I did.
 

VikeMan

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Yes, it probably is. I don't have a nice study to sum it up for you, but as I say the biological behaviour is well studied and understood, but you'd have to come to your own conclusions as there is no study whose abstract or conclusion will sum it up in the way that I did.
Okay.
 

BrewnWKopperKat

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LME is a low grade and very variable product, and most certainly has a specific flavour which would run through all of your batches, owing to how it is made and stored.
I'm not sure how one can make (and support) that claim for all brands and styles of LME.

With regard to identifying stale ingredients, in the past, I've suggested resources (currently outside the things that get repeated here at Homebrew Talk) that could help brewers identify stale LME.

I don't have the time to repeat those resources here.

Maybe a sticky on the subject would be appropriate.

If you are using filtered tap water then I don't imagine that is your issue. Don't get me wrong, water chemistry is a deep and important topic in brewing, but I wouldn't really pay it much attention until you move to brewing with grain.
The makers of the DME/LME take just the water out - so it seems like the best approach would be to add back only water that is known to have no (or low) minerals.

This isn't water "chemistry" - just a "poka yoke"d approach to knowing that the right water source is being used to brew with DME/LME.
 

ThatVideoKid

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The makers of the DME/LME take just the water out - so it seems like the best approach would be to add back only water that is known to have no (or low) minerals.

This isn't water "chemistry" - just a "poka yoke"d approach to knowing that the right water source is being used to brew with DME/LME.
This is correct. Extract already has minerals in it, so I always suggest using RO or distilled if your water contains significant amounts of anything.

I also assume its a fairly balanced profile, so you can still add a bit of sulfate or chloride to steer the beer, but I wouldn't add full mineral additions.
 

BrewnWKopperKat

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you can still add a bit of sulfate or chloride to steer the beer, but I wouldn't add full mineral additions.
One can, many do, and some talk about doing it. It's a "season to taste" approach.

For me, the amount of additional brewing salts varies based on the brand of DME. Brewing Engineering has a couple of pages that provide some brand specific information. How to Brew, 4e, chapter 8 also some general information.

Over the past year, a couple of us have talked about "adding minerals in the glass" in a controlled manner, then using that information to "dial in" the brewing salt additions in the next batch. "State of the art" for this technique appears to be using three 4 oz pours - one for CaCl additions, one for CaSO4 additions, and one as a 'control'. I'm finding that one doesn't need to do this for every recipe - just cover the broad style groups ("Pale Hoppy", "Amber Malty", ...) for each brand of DME/LME.

edited for formatting.
 
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ThatVideoKid

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One can, many do, and some talk about doing it. It's a "season to taste" approach.

For me, the amount of additional brewing salts varies based on the brand of DME. Brewing Engineering has a couple of pages that provide some brand specific information. How to Brew, 4e, chapter 8 also some general information.

Over the past year, a couple of us have talked about "adding minerals in the glass" in a controlled manner, then using that information to "dial in" the brewing salt additions in the next batch. "State of the art" for this technique appears to be using three 4 oz pours - one for CaCl additions, one for CaSO4 additions, and one as a 'control'. I'm finding that one doesn't need to do this for every recipe - just cover the broad style groups ("Pale Hoppy", "Amber Malty", ...) for each brand of DME/LME.

edited for formatting.
Thanks, I didn't know there was any actual brand information out there for extract. I'll have to dig that up for the occasional times I use it.
 

BrewnWKopperKat

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I didn't know there was any actual brand information out there for extract
I'm not aware of any specific brand information (for example: Bora Bora Malting DME contains 734 ppm of S04). Both books I referenced talk about additions of CaS04 or CaCl in grams per gallon. It's not science-y, but it works.
 

ThatVideoKid

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I'm not aware of any specific brand information (for example: Bora Bora Malting DME contains 734 ppm of S04). Both books I referenced talk about additions of CaS04 or CaCl in grams per gallon. It's not science-y, but it works.
Yeah that'll still be a better guideline than what I've currently been doing of just assuming its "pale balanced" and going from there.

Though I generally only use it for quick Berliners, which I don't really put any work into adjusting at this time.
 
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Transamguy77

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I read through most of this thread and my suggestion is to buy a kit from a big supplier, I totally get supporting local but sometimes it’s their kits and ingredients that can be older and cause an issue.

when I can‘t brew AG I look for deals from northern brewer, their kits are pretty solid and being that they are a large volume distributor their ingredients are pretty fresh. I’d give that a try to in case it’s the kits you’ve been buying.
 
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Wrinkle_Fever

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All,
I've gone ahead and brewed the Honey Brown Ale on 6/6 and pitched two packets of US-05 and used plain distilled water. OG was supposed to be 1.053, but I came out with 1.056; hopefully that's not much of an issue. Everything else went according to plan without any mistakes that I'm aware of. I've placed the fermenter into the fermentation fridge at 64 degrees F. Should I change that temp at all? If so, when and for how long? I had nice activity on 6/7 AM.
@Cammanron Thanks for the insight with your results using MB. I'm glad that other people noticed how they all seemed super similar. I'm thrilled to hear that by switching to BIAB you were able to consistently make great beer that you enjoy.
@satph I had actually seen that they were meeting. I had plans to go up and maybe sit in on their get-together and see if I could peel any words of wisdom from anyone's brain. Thank you for the suggestion though! A week ago, I had no idea there was a brewing club in the area.
@Transamguy77 My plan is to do some SMaSH brews after this brown ale recipe is completed, and then after that I will likely try a kit from one of the big suppliers just out of curiousity.
 

Knightshade

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Smack dab in the middle of the recommended Ferm temp for that yeast, sounds like you'll do just fine. I usually let mine sit for 14 days and usually turn up the temp about 3-5 degrees after I notice activity slowing down a bit, which is usually between days 4-6.

Digging your plan on trying some smash brews too. @NathPowe has a Mosaic SMaSH that is pretty popular, and @Dgallo has a pretty simple base Pale Ale recipe for trying out different hops, give them a look.


 

Snark_Wolf_Brewing

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And before I forget, where does everyone suggest getting their DME? I'm sure I could go to the LHBS, and I truly would like to continue to support them, but I'm also really desperate to make something I can be proud of, so if anyone has a great suggestion to offer, I'll happily jump on the idea.
Welcome to Adventures in Homebrewing - What is your Adventure? <----- My LHBS. Their shipping is pretty reasonable. I've never had a problem with anything I've purchased there.
 

Transamguy77

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Wrinkle_Fever

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@Knightshade That's what I was hoping to hear. So activity has practically come to a crawl, so I'll move the temp from 64 to 68 today and let it keep on. Thank you for those recipe suggestions. I swear, I've gotten so many different recipes on my "make it" list now that my wife is going to start questioning why I can't be happy with just one!

@Snark_Wolf_Brewing That's actually where I picked up my fermenters. I've only purchased equipment from them though, no ingredients as of yet. But I'm glad to hear you and @Transamguy77 speak highly of them. I'll certainly take a deeper look.
@hamachi Glad to hear it. I won't stress over a few missed gravity points. I'm really not too worried about what the abv is anyways. I just want the beer to be good enough to share without my friends making ugly faces at the taste or smiling while tears run down their cheeks...

Side note: Signed in as a guest last night at the local homebrew club meeting. They had a lot going on, so I didn't want to interrupt too much, but I was thrilled beyond reason to get to sit and listen to old and new brewers talk about their experiences, how they do things, what they do and don't worry about, and everything inbetween. Taking the trip out there was worth it.
 

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