Outdoor AG in brewing in coolers

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maxvolume

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SO, I tried AG for the first time. Everything went well; good efficiency, temps, the whole bit, but the flavor seems off - bitter. I used a converted partial mash recipe I have done before, so I feel I have a decent comparison.
Why the off flavors? Could it be the plastic coolers? Because I used water from the garden hose? Something in the mashing process? Or a combo effect?
 

SamuraiSquirrel

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probably need a little more on the recipe and process to get an idea where it couldve come from.

I doubt its from the plastic cooler or garden hose. I have always used a plastic cooler and water from the hose. I would say the majority of people on here probably use cooler mash tuns with great success.
 

eriktlupus

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well i guess it could be a cooler issue: what kind of cooler did you use? since it was a PM was it a food grade plastic (the 5g and larger rubbermaid/igloos are food grade hdpe). did you sparge super hot ie; over 200 degrees f?. if your answers are yes and no then it's not the cooler. it also could be from the grains if you sparged hot or got grain husks into the boil.

astringent is a discriptor of beer that is sometimes mixed with bitterness. it is usually caused by an overly hot sparge, grain bed gets over 180(f) or by having husk material in the boil itself(you need quite a bit for it to happen this way).
 
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maxvolume

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Astrigent is exactly what it was -like tannin

here's the recipe if that helps:
11# maris otter
.5# victory rst
.25# 10L crystal
.25# flaked

1oz chinook 60 min
1oz summit 30 min
1oz cascade 10 min
1oz cascade dry hop

I did get a pretty clean sparge - doesn't seem like there was a lot of grain/husk in the boil, but maybe there was.
 

Bizoune

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Astringent taste might be from sparging with a grain bed temp over 185F. Or maybe you sparged to much. You might want to stop before you runnings go below 1.010.
 
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maxvolume

maxvolume

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ahh, I did take quite a bit of the sparge. Next batch I'll check the gravity. Thanks.
 

JuanMoore

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While the tannin extraction could have come from excessive sparging or high sparging temps, it just as easily could be from the mash Ph being too high. I'd actually guess that's the case with such a low SRM recipe. What does your water chemistry look like, and is it suited for such a light beer? If you have somewhat hard water and want to brew light beers, you might consider diluting your brewing water with some distilled water, or boiling it the night before to let some bicarbonates drop out.

If you haven't already, I suggest reading this chapter prior to your next AG batch-http://www.howtobrew.com/section3/chapter15.html
 

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While the tannin extraction could have come from excessive sparging or high sparging temps, it just as easily could be from the mash Ph being too high. I'd actually guess that's the case with such a low SRM recipe. What does your water chemistry look like, and is it suited for such a light beer? If you have somewhat hard water and want to brew light beers, you might consider diluting your brewing water with some distilled water, or boiling it the night before to let some bicarbonates drop out.

If you haven't already, I suggest reading this chapter prior to your next AG batch-http://www.howtobrew.com/section3/chapter15.html
That's exactly what I am thinking- water chemistry can cause that flavor. My water is great for stouts, and other dark beers. But the first time I made a kolsch, it was harsh and astringent and bitter. I finally got a water report, and fixed that problem.

It makes sense when you think about it- beer only has four ingredients, and water is 1/4 of the "recipe" with the other ingredients being malt, hops, and yeast. Water is a huge part of the AG beer.
 

riromero

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If I ever used hose water (or even faucet water) I'd be screwed because the water quality where I live is foul, foul, foul. In my opinion, to avoid these types of dilemmas, you need to get the entire process under control. Do the easy stuff first, like controlling the temperature of the sparge. But also, before, you use your tap water, see if you can scare up your municipal water analysis. Mine is available on the city's utilities web site. So I think you gotta address both the sparge temperature and the water quality issues to avoid wondering what the problems might be.
 
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maxvolume

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This was my first AG, but I've done a few batches of partial mash using of the same recipe with great results. I'm using San Francisco tap water - it's good stuff. My local home brew place (SF Brewcraft) only recommends 1 tsp gypsum in the water. Would the water Ph effect AG more than partial mash?
 

JuanMoore

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Would the water Ph effect AG more than partial mash?
It's not the water Ph, but the Ph of the mash, and yes it can effect an AG much more than a PM. When you say partial mash, how many pounds of grain are we talking about, and how long was it mashed? Many of the PM batches I see only use a pound or two of specialty grains, and get most of the sugars from extract. They also often have a much shorter mash. Four to twelve times the amount of grain, and a much longer mash would amplify any water ion concentration issues greatly.

A quick internet search shows bicarbonate levels in San Fran for 2008 to vary between 12.2 and 117 ppm, with an average of 61 ppm. Beersmith estimates an SRM of 14 for the recipe you posted, which would mean that ideally you'd want the bicarbonate levels to be under 50 ppm.

Not only does the water vary quite a bit throughout the year where you live, but it probably also varies depending on what part of town you live in. It is very likely that the water you used for the AG batch had more than the desired amount of bicarbonates. If your recipe had included a few darker malts, you probably wouldn't have noticed any issues at all.
 
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