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Identify My Off-Flavor

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GroovePuppy

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I'm rephrasing last weeks post since I got no responses. My Nut Brown has a mild salty taste, kind of like sparkling mineral water. I've been using DeathBrewers stovetop AG method and got some excellent results on EdWorts Pale Ale recipe prior to this batch. It's possible the Pale had the same thing going but was masked by the hoppiness.

My water report is here although I used filtered from the fridge, so the chlorine was probably almost zero. I added some Calcium Chloride and Baking Soda using to John Palmer's calculations, but only small amounts.

What would cause a "seltzer" kind of flavor? Over-carbonation? Minerals? Aluminum from mash pot?

Code:
Recipe Specifications
--------------------------
Batch Size: 5.00 gal      
Boil Size: 5.72 gal
Estimated OG: 1.044 SG
Estimated Color: 16.1 SRM
Estimated IBU: 22.3 IBU
Brewhouse Efficiency: 75.00 %
Boil Time: 60 Minutes

Ingredients:
------------
Amount        Item                                      Type         % or IBU      
6 lbs 4.0 oz  Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM)            Grain        75.21 %       
1 lbs         Caramel/Crystal Malt - 20L (20.0 SRM)     Grain        12.03 %       
12.0 oz       Victory Malt (25.0 SRM)                   Grain        9.03 %        
5.0 oz        Chocolate Malt (350.0 SRM)                Grain        3.73 %        
0.75 oz       Challenger [6.30 %]  (60 min)             Hops         18.0 IBU      
1.25 oz       Goldings, East Kent [4.50 %]  (5 min)     Hops         4.3 IBU       
0.13 tsp      Calcium Chloride (Mash 60.0 min)          Misc                       
0.25 tsp      Irish Moss (Boil 15.0 min)                Misc                       
0.33 tsp      Baking Soda (Mash 60.0 min)               Misc                       
1 Pkgs        British Ale (Wyeast Labs #1098) [Starter 1Yeast-Ale                  


Mash Schedule: Single Infusion, Full Body, No Mash Out
Total Grain Weight: 8.31 lb
----------------------------
Single Infusion, Full Body, No Mash Out
Step Time     Name               Description                         Step Temp     
45 min        Mash In            Add 12.00 qt of water at 168.8 F    158.0 F       


Notes:
------
1:37 Mash water @ 174F.
1:50 Mash in @ 159F.
2:50 Sparge water @ 175F. Mash complete @ 156F.
2:55 Sparge grains @ 169F.
3:05 Out of sparge. 6.25G @ 1.035 = 74% efficiency.
3:30 Boil start, Challenger in.
4:15 Added Goldings and Irish Moss.
4:20 Chiller in.
4:30 Chiller on.
4:50 70F.
5:17 Pitched yeast @ 70F. 1.043 SG, collected 5.1G.

2/7 Moved to secondary. Gravity @ 1.013.
2/21 Gravity @ 1.014.
2/22 Bottled 48 bottles.
 
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GroovePuppy

GroovePuppy

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But the baking soda was used to balance the water profile per John Palmers method. I find it hard to believe I can taste a third of a teaspoon in 5 gallons.
 

EoinMag

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Yeah it doesn't sound like much, but if you asked me what baking soda would taste like in water, it'd be salty.
As an experiment, mix up 5 gallons of water with the same amount of baking soda in it, taste the water.
 
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GroovePuppy

GroovePuppy

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OK, just wanted to update where this problem ended up. I tried a small amount of baking soda in a glass of water and you can't taste it.

What I've found is that all of my darker, maltier AG beers start out with this flavor, even the Hobgoblin where I added no minerals at all. It seems what I'm tasting relates to "green" beer since it mellows out if left long enough.

It may be something else in my water profile, maybe I'll experiment by doing a batch with distilled water, but even so I DID NOT screw up my batch! :D
 

JoefromPhilly

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Distilled water would be a no-go. Here is an excerpt from "The Joy of Brewing::

1. Water. This ingredient, while the most readily available, needs to be of a certain quality for beer production. The water should be clean, so as to be free of any rogue bacteria and yeast. However, the water should also have the necessary trace minerals in order to support the beer yeast that will be added at a later time. Therefore, distilled water is a no-no. Spring water is considered ideal, and for those who really want to splurge, mineral water may also be used.

Also, Distilled water does not contain minerals that are necessary for good beer taste.

- Joe
 
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GroovePuppy

GroovePuppy

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That's what I meant. I assume I could use spring water, find the mineral profile, and tweak that for the beer style.
 

HillbillyDeluxe

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I'd say stop screwing with your water, i went this route for awhile and really messed up 2 batches. My water profile isnt ideal for brewing but i make great beers.... until i male it ideal, and then bam...off flavor. I know a few things about water and water chemistry because of my work, i deal with it every day. It seems that when you adjust a paramater within your water you almost always alter another, even though it doesnt seem like an important one. I've found tht good ol tap water run through a softner works great.
 

Trubadour

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If you want to use bottled, I'd say use "drinking water" - definately not distilled, and spring can sometimes have too many minerals.

I agree with Hillbilly - tap water. Maybe add 1/2 a campden tablet to remove the chlorine.
 
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GroovePuppy

GroovePuppy

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OK, I think I'll start using filtered tap water for a few batches of differing styles and see what happens.

Thanks all!
 
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