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Lack of Maltiness, or "full" flavor

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fendersrule

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I'm trying to work on an issue that I've run into from time to time. It tends to only happen to me when I make amber-colored beers. Curious on what the common culprits are. I BIAB, and I also bottle-prime.

My latest batch was a Manny's Pale ale clone.

If I pour the beer from the bottle to the glass (like usual and carefully), I get a nice head and proper color. The taste however has a little bit of "dry-ness", but not really malty as it should be.

If I however, "dump" the beer (sloppy pour) into the glass until I fill up the glass (have to wait on beer to foam down, so it takes some time) the malt flavor is all of a sudden there, and the beer tastes better. Basically, I'm de-carbing the beer.

1) I use a kitchen scale in a glass bowl to measure priming sugar. I use an online calculator that takes into beer size and temp. I think for this beer I used 2.4-2.8 co2 level. Cannot recall exactly, but it was probably about 3.6Oz or so of dextrose (boiled in a 1/2 cup or so of water) for bottling day. I may consider using a plastic bowl?

2) I did dry-hop this beer (can't notice it too much, like usual) about 5-7 days after fermentation. I've been considering dry-hopping while fermentation is still active as the last measure I can take to reduce oxygen. Is it just better practice to dry-hop on the tail-end of fermentation, as opposed to waiting until fermentation is over?

3) My bottles are not "gushers". I can pop the tab, and let it sit without any foaming.

4) I mashed this beer at about 154-156--I'd have to look specifically but it was definitely in the appropriate range. I typically mash for 1.5 hours.

5) I do not do a "hard boil". I do a "good" boil, but not a hard boil.

7) I typically do squeeze the bag towards the very very end to get the last several cups out. I don't spend a long time doing it, just about 30 seconds to get all the large running's out.

8) I typically slightly overpitch every batch I do. About 1.5 packets of dry yeast is what I typically do.

9) Beer always tastes great on bottling day for sampling.

This Manny's Pale Ale came in at about 1.013-1..014 I believe.
 
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fendersrule

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Great question that I failed to disclose! I use Bru'n'water and chose the appropriate style based on the beer. I adjust the PH dependent on color. Typically 5.5, but I've stopped measuring since I find Bru'n'water to be accurate.
 

Cool_Hand_Luke

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If I however, "dump" the beer (sloppy pour) into the glass until I fill up the glass (have to wait on beer to foam down, so it takes some time) the malt flavor is all of a sudden there, and the beer tastes better. Basically, I'm de-carbing the beer.
You may have answered your own question here. You may be over carbonating to your personal preference for that beer.
 

Jayjay1976

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Get some calcium chloride. Higher chloride to sulfate provides a rounder, fuller maltiness, and higher sulfate to chloride boosts hop bitterness. @Yooper started a thread here somewhere on basic water adjustments, that is an excellent place to start.
 
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fendersrule

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As mentioned, I treat my water. For this beer, I used:

90 Calcium
20 Magnesium
17 Sodium
154 Sulfate
55 Chloride

This is a pale ale in style, but it's also an Amber-colored one that is supposed to be very rounded in taste. It's from Georgetown brewing in Seattle. I think I used a higher amount of sulfate (not an extreme amount) because of the pale ale style. It may be better to perhaps shoot for less sulfate next time?
 

dmtaylor

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If I pour the beer from the bottle to the glass (like usual and carefully), I get a nice head and proper color. The taste however has a little bit of "dry-ness", but not really malty as it should be.

If I however, "dump" the beer (sloppy pour) into the glass until I fill up the glass (have to wait on beer to foam down, so it takes some time) the malt flavor is all of a sudden there, and the beer tastes better. Basically, I'm de-carbing the beer.
There is definitely a carbonation effect...

1) I use a kitchen scale in a glass bowl to measure priming sugar. I use an online calculator that takes into beer size and temp. I think for this beer I used 2.4-2.8 co2 level.
I never prime for more than 2.4 volumes CO2 anymore. More than that is just too much carbonation for my taste, and probably what you are experiencing.

2) I did dry-hop this beer (can't notice it too much, like usual) about 5-7 days after fermentation. I've been considering dry-hopping while fermentation is still active as the last measure I can take to reduce oxygen. Is it just better practice to dry-hop on the tail-end of fermentation, as opposed to waiting until fermentation is over?
Dry hopping does matter. Better to dry hop during fermentation in my opinion to get benefit from the enzymes in the hops BEFORE bottling, NOT AFTER. Look up "hop creep" if you haven't heard about it already, tons of info out there on it.

3) My bottles are not "gushers". I can pop the tab, and let it sit without any foaming.
This is called luck. Eventually you'll get burned by overcarbonation. One of these days a batch is going to gush all over on you.

4) I mashed this beer at about 154-156--I'd have to look specifically but it was definitely in the appropriate range. I typically mash for 1.5 hours.

5) I do not do a "hard boil". I do a "good" boil, but not a hard boil.

7) I typically do squeeze the bag towards the very very end to get the last several cups out. I don't spend a long time doing it, just about 30 seconds to get all the large running's out.

8) I typically slightly overpitch every batch I do. About 1.5 packets of dry yeast is what I typically do.

9) Beer always tastes great on bottling day for sampling.
None of these things matter for what you are experiencing.

Tone down the carbonation / priming sugar. Maybe calculate down to 2.2 volumes for a while and see how you like that. I like it better around there. Sometimes even lower.

Also, looking at your water profile...... that's a fairly high amount of sulfate. Use less gypsum and the beer will turn out not so dry.

But I think this is likely a carbonation thing. Or a combo of the two. Water adjustments alone will not fix this.
 
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fendersrule

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Sounds good! I'll work on that. Too much carbonation does indeed hide the malt, it seems like. I may drop that down a little lower for this style. I'm pretty sure I used 2.4 Co2. May even try 2.2 or 2.3 next time.

I'll also drop the sulfate down a hair for this style. Maybe 100ish may be a good next target since it's a very well-rounded pale ale. It's actually a beer that has a slight identify crisis, but that's why it's so good. :)
 

bobeer

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when I bottle I do 2.1 or 2.2 for hoppy beers. Stouts and darker beers I like a tad less. I'd make 1 adjustment first then see how it affects the outcome so you know exactly what it the issue was.
 

Vale71

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Excessive carbonation will coat your tongue with CO2 bubbles and mute taste. CO2 will also enter your nose via the "back entrance" and play havoc with your sense of smell as well. Like others have suggested try dialing down your carbonation until the results are optimal for your palate.
 
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fendersrule

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Thanks everyone. I'll work on reducing the Co2 content. Many calculators and guides show most ales being in the 2.4-2.6 range. I'm also finding that for most styles, that's a bit too much. I'll drop mine down a tad!
 

ncbrewer

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If I however, "dump" the beer (sloppy pour) into the glass until I fill up the glass (have to wait on beer to foam down, so it takes some time) the malt flavor is all of a sudden there, and the beer tastes better.
How long does it sit waiting for the foam to go down? I've found that my fridge is too cold to get the best beer flavor - I leave a bottle out for 20 minutes to warm up a little. Maybe you're doing the same by waiting.

Another thought - when you use the priming calculators, do you input the volume or in the bottling bucket? I've never found it shown in the calculators, but from the explanations I've read, you should use the volume in the bottling bucket (this would normally be an estimate). If you use fermenter volume, you're getting higher carb level than desired.
 
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fendersrule

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Yea, I actually checked my fridge temp and it was 33F. That may have something to do with it too, so bumped it up.

I calculate based on what goes into the bottling buck, which is typically 4.5 gallons from a 5 gallon carboy. Good question!
 
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fendersrule

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I learned something very interesting today that may provide another clue to the puzzle.

I marked some of the bottles "Trub"--the ones which I bottled at the end of the bottle bucket that had more sediment.

I've opened about 4-5 of these bottles tonight, and all were gushers. I opened 3-4 of the non "Trub" labeled ones and they were not gushers.

Priming sugar (which I make into liquid/boil) not stirred in properly?
 

ncbrewer

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I learned something very interesting today that may provide another clue to the puzzle.

I marked some of the bottles "Trub"--the ones which I bottled at the end of the bottle bucket that had more sediment.

I've opened about 4-5 of these bottles tonight, and all were gushers. I opened 3-4 of the non "Trub" labeled ones and they were not gushers.

Priming sugar (which I make into liquid/boil) not stirred in properly?
It seems that it could be incomplete mixing. It might also be something in the sediment that acted as nucleation points.
 
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