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Brews & Views Bulletin Board Service * Brews and Views Archive 2006 * Archive through May 05, 2006 * I'm brewing insipid beer < Previous Next >

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brett matthews
Junior Member
Username: Brettj

Post Number: 90
Registered: 06-2004
Posted From: 124.150.112.149
Posted on Monday, May 01, 2006 - 08:34 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

The last three or four beers I have made have been some of the most disappointing beers I have ever brewed. And two of these are tried and true beers that have worked out time after time. There are two things that have changed in my set up. Firstly, I have moved house so the water is from a different source. Secondly, I now use a March pump to transfer the wort from the mash tub to the kettle and to run the beer through a CFWC. For ales, I mash at a ratio of 2.5 parts water to 1.0 part grain for about 60 mins and recirculate for the final 5-10 mins of the mash (I use the pump to do this) Sparge for 1 hour, a good rolling boil for 70-90 mins and I'm done.
I'm now going to cut out racking to the secondary particularly with ales.
In a nutshell, my beers have been cursed with varying degrees of oxidation which I've never had a problem with before, they lack the hop presence they once had and they aren't as malty as they once were. What's going on??????
 

Bill Pierce
Moderator
Username: Billpierce

Post Number: 5290
Registered: 01-2002
Posted From: 24.57.239.69
Posted on Monday, May 01, 2006 - 11:57 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

The change in the water is the most likely suspect. Do you have an analysis of your local tap water? As for other issues, what is your mash thickness in terms of quarts of water per pound of grain (or liters per kilogram)?
 

brett matthews
Junior Member
Username: Brettj

Post Number: 92
Registered: 06-2004
Posted From: 124.150.112.149
Posted on Monday, May 01, 2006 - 12:04 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Bill, mash thickness is in litres/kilograms, 2.5 lts per kg. I know the info above was very basic and excluded ferment temps, yeast strains, hops varieties etc etc but I reckon it is more to do with mashing or the boil so your query on water quality might be on the money.
 

Bill Pierce
Moderator
Username: Billpierce

Post Number: 5291
Registered: 01-2002
Posted From: 24.57.239.69
Posted on Monday, May 01, 2006 - 12:45 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I doubted the mash thickness would be a problem, but I wanted to check anyway.

If you provide a water analysis we can take a look at that. Values for bicarbonates/carbonates (or alkalinity), calcium and magnesium are essential; those for sodium, sulfate and chloride are very helpful.
 

Dan Listermann
Senior Member
Username: Listermann

Post Number: 2762
Registered: 03-2004
Posted From: 216.23.59.245
Posted on Monday, May 01, 2006 - 01:01 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Were there any dark roasted malts in the recipes?

Dan

--This space is again being left intentionally blank.-


 

fob
Member
Username: Fob

Post Number: 151
Registered: 02-2003
Posted From: 199.184.119.58
Posted on Monday, May 01, 2006 - 04:03 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Did you use an immersion chiller prior to buying your pump? This could explain the change in hop character. Your late addition hops aren't steeping in the kettle under the same conditions. Get a hopback.

(Message edited by fob on May 01, 2006)
 

Chumley
Senior Member
Username: Chumley

Post Number: 4135
Registered: 02-2003
Posted From: 63.118.227.254
Posted on Monday, May 01, 2006 - 04:27 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

>>they lack the hop presence they once had and they aren't as malty as they once were


Sell your recipes to A-B!!!
 

brett matthews
Junior Member
Username: Brettj

Post Number: 94
Registered: 06-2004
Posted From: 220.235.82.12
Posted on Monday, May 01, 2006 - 11:59 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Thanks Chumley, makes me feel much better ; )
Fob, I did use an immersion chiller previously and I had suspected the change in cooling technique could be the problem. There weren't any dark malts in the recipes, apart obviously from an Imperial Stout which frustratingly is looking great.
I'm also thinking hot side aeration as well. The beers have either had some level of oxidation or have been bland, but I am incredibly carefully when it come to handling the wort. Bill, I'm also checking on the water specs for you too.
 

Eric Lord
Junior Member
Username: Eric_lord

Post Number: 79
Registered: 11-2003
Posted From: 71.214.239.178
Posted on Tuesday, May 02, 2006 - 12:29 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I moved from one region with excellent water, to where I am at now with crappy water. I noticed an immediate difference in my beers. Most noticably, was the level of chloramine in the water. It has ruined two batches. I now filter the water prior to use. It seems obvious, but I think chloramine makes a huge difference in the final product.

eric
 

Bruce Williamson
Junior Member
Username: Bwilliamson

Post Number: 41
Registered: 03-2005
Posted From: 24.17.27.108
Posted on Tuesday, May 02, 2006 - 01:37 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I used to live in an area with very poor water and for the three years I brewed there I was happy with my beer maybe a handful of times. Since moving out west Iíve yet to brew a bad beer. Have Bill P take a look at your water specs. Regards, Bruce
 

Bob Girolamo
Member
Username: Brewerbob

Post Number: 227
Registered: 06-2002
Posted From: 192.91.147.35
Posted on Tuesday, May 02, 2006 - 03:11 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Try using Campden tablets in your water to remove the chloramines. I forget what the dosage is but, do a search and you should find the info, otherwise someone who has to do this with their water will chime in I'm sure.
Ask not what your country can brew for you but, what you can brew for your country!

http://www.geocities.com/bob_girolamo
 

Bill Pierce
Moderator
Username: Billpierce

Post Number: 5300
Registered: 01-2002
Posted From: 24.57.239.69
Posted on Tuesday, May 02, 2006 - 12:02 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

One crushed Campden tablet will treat up to 20 gallons of tap water for chlorine and/or chloramines. Stir well and let the water settle for at least 15 minutes. A good (but relatively inexpensive) granulated activated carbon (GAC) filter will also do the job, although the flow rate has to be low to remove most (but not all) of the chloramines. Basically, if you can smell or taste any chlorine in the water at all, it is best to treat it. The taste threshold for chlorophenols in beer is extremely low, less than 10 parts per billion. However, if you can't taste or smell the chlorine, you are very likely all right.

By the way, the Campden tablet treatment will not remove other objectionable aromas and flavors, and standard filtration will not remove dissolved minerals, so it's still entirely possible for the water to have an effect on the mash pH and other issues that could affect beer flavor.

(Message edited by BillPierce on May 02, 2006)
 

George Schmidt
Advanced Member
Username: Gschmidt

Post Number: 684
Registered: 08-2004
Posted From: 68.251.105.3
Posted on Tuesday, May 02, 2006 - 01:51 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Could you make a batch with spring water and see whether the problem goes away?
Be wary of strong drink. It can make you shoot at tax collectors -- and miss. ~~Robert A. Heinlein: The Notebooks of Lazarus Long
 

David Lewinnek
Intermediate Member
Username: Davelew

Post Number: 258
Registered: 02-2005
Posted From: 198.51.251.199
Posted on Tuesday, May 02, 2006 - 02:10 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Have you checked the pH of your mash?

The dark grains in the imperial stout should have been much better at buffering the mash pH to 5.2 than lighter grains. This is more likely to be a problem if you have chloramine in your water which tends to raise the pH above the range uyseful for brewing.

After measuring my (heavily chloramined) local tap water at a pH of 9.0, I started using spring water with mineral additions. I had to get strips from an aquarium store to test my tap water, since 9.0 was off the charts for brewing pH ranges.