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The taste of Tannins

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Dave the Brewer

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I've heard the taste of tannins from boiling grain or sparging too much is harsh, but what do these harsh flavors taste like? How would one know if they are tasting tannins or not. Just curious.
 

Beerrific

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Suck on a tea bag....that is tannin city. Kind of like a bitter taste but more of a dry feeling than taste.
 

explosivebeer

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A lot of wines have high tannin contents. Here's a pretty interesting article on them: http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-tannin.htm

Also, I was talking to my LHBS owner awhile back about tannins and how they could possibly be utilized to make better, more complex beers. He said that the tannins that come from barley and other grains don't necessarily have the same qualities as those that come from grapes, and that generally they were only detrimental to the flavor of beer.

As a caveat though, when I was starting out, I mashed a beer at 190*f. At first the tannic quality was overpowering. But with time, it turned into a phenomenal beer. Whether that was due to the maturation of the tannins or the other compounds in the beer, I cannot say.
 
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