Water profile and harsh flavours

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Adamkav

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Hello guys, so my last few beers turned out really well and am feeling pretty confident In my process, but just ran into an issue again and was hoping to get some insights.

Problem: Getting harsher flavours (from what I assume is high sulfate content) on the end of the flavor profile, with long lasting bitterness(not really the good the good kind). What confuses me is a sulfate content of 131 ppm isn't really that high...?

The beer:
ESB
OG 1.052 FG 1.011
Batch size 5G
8.5 lb esb malt
8 Oz victory
10oz crystal 40
8 Oz crystal 100(meant to put in less but was a mistake)
Hops: Ekg 1.7oz 60 min
Ekg 0.25 Oz 20 min
Ekg 0.5 Oz 0 min

Imperial pub yeast, fermented at 69F ambient temp (70F is recommended limit for this yeast, so I'm sure I went over 5 degrees or so considering exothermic reaction) with would explain my lower than expected FG
IBU 35

Water profile, as per brewfather total (7.27G) water:
Ca, 93 Mg, 7 Na, 28 Cl,92 S04, 131 Hc03, 68
Salts I used: Gypsum 5g, CaCl 5g, Epsom 2g, Baking soda 2g

One other odd thing that happened was my mash ph was estimated to be 5.35 but was actually about 5.62 which is only slightly higher the top range, so not sure if that has anything to do with it.
 

Spundit

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I have some thoughts but I am not sure I have a solution.

I have not done the calculation but I would not have added baking soda to this brew. I only use baking soda to adjust mash ph. This grain bill doesn't look like it needs adjusting in that direction. I am not sure if that explains your extra bitter bitter. It probably explains your mash ph being a bit high.

I cannot speak from experience but I have read people find high mash ph beers to be a little harsh and bitter. I think brulosophy has experiments that show it both does and does not have an impact so there may be a little more to the story. That said, if your ph measurement is accurate it isn't really that high.

Crystal 100 can be a bit harsh but 5% of the grist seems like It should be ok. If you want to read more on this I think it is Randy Mosher (author) who termed these medium dark malts to be in the Harsh Zone.
 

mabrungard

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The sulfate level is fine for an ESB, but I’m a little concerned with the addition of the somewhat high chloride level. It’s getting near the ‘minerally’ level. I’m a little surprised that more alkalinity was recommended, but it might be necessary with those darker grains. The resulting high pH might have created some harshness.

I agree that the C100 and also the Victory could have contributed harshness.

Another thing to avoid, is sparging too much. Overly low runoff gravity will leach all kinds of tannins and silicates into the wort. I try to stop sparging at around 5 brix to help avoid this problem.
 
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Adamkav

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Thanks guys for the replies, certainly something to think about. Still unsure what it was... over sparging is a good consideration Brungard! I'll keep an eye on that next time. So at least the consensus seems to be its not due to high sulfate content? And I should be able to get away with 130ppm no problem..?
 
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Adamkav

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I’m a little surprised that more alkalinity was recommended,
I used baking soda only because I assumed I wanted to avoid a low mash ph (thought it would fit the style) and to bump up Na as well.. so avoid baking soda next time?
 
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