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Brews & Views Bulletin Board Service * Brews and Views Archive 2004 * Januray 20, 2004 * Grist crush...tannins...bitterness < Previous Next >

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Jim O'Conner (64.70.24.205)
Posted on Thursday, January 01, 2004 - 08:58 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I'm trying to narrow down why my weizen and stout have a somewhat bitter finish. It's not a "hops" type of bitterness, but somewhat of an astringency or acridness. I've posted my water report, and things seem okay there. Now I'm thinking my mill crush may be too fine. I'm closing the gap until both rollers touch, and then back off until they just spin freely figuring I'll get good extraction this way. Am I more likely to extract tannins with a fine crush, or is that more a result of water temp? Not all my beers have had this problem though.
 

robert rulmyr (63.156.116.31)
Posted on Thursday, January 01, 2004 - 12:27 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I'm not an expert, but I don't think the crush is the problem!
 

Jim Layton (209.245.225.141)
Posted on Thursday, January 01, 2004 - 02:39 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

The only times that I've experienced a harsh huskiness in my beers were when I was brewing low gravity beers and ran too much sparge water through the grain bed. The SG of the final runnings went too low, not a good thing.

It does sound like you might be crushing the grains much finer than necessary. My mill has a fixed gap of .045 inches, seems OK to me. Your goal here should be to have a reasonable and repeatable efficiency, not the maximum possible efficiency. Unless, of course, maximum efficiency _is_ your goal and you don't give a darn about how the beer tastes. You just can't have it both ways.

I suppose its possible that over crushing the grains might result in the SG of your runoff dropping rapidly during the sparge. Have you checked the SG of your final runnings? The standard advice is to stop collecting runoff before the SG drops below 1.010.
 

Dave Witt (172.170.162.251)
Posted on Thursday, January 01, 2004 - 05:01 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Jim O',

A while back someone posted that they had an astingency problem. After some discussion, the guy said he was running his grain through the mill twice. To me, this could damage the husks leading to more tannins leaching into the wort.

Examine your crushed grain and make sure that the husks are reasonably intact. Take a feeler gauge and set your mill gap to .045, like Jim Layton's fixed mill. The way I have my mill set, a penny will pass through with slight resistance. I'm not sure what the actual gap is in inches.
 

Ray Mills (203.221.141.52)
Posted on Thursday, January 01, 2004 - 08:16 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi

My first post. I hope I can help you with this one. Early last year I started playing around with double decoctions. Not all the beers but most of them had astringency through them. Not a nice taste. My problem was finally solved by Graeme Sanders on the Australian Craftbrewers forum.

All I do is add about 1/8 th of a teaspoon of sodium metabisulfate in the mash tun. It sounds strange but it works and I have never has astringency through my beers since. I use it now in decoction and single infusion mashes.

Cheers
 

Jim O'Conner (64.70.24.205)
Posted on Thursday, January 01, 2004 - 10:33 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Thanks for the replies. Now I'm wondering if my water might need an adjustment after all. There seems to be some conflicting info regarding my water report which I already posted for comments. As far as the crush goes, I was under the impression that was not really a factor, i.e., that the water temp was more commonly to blame. However, I am very careful about water temp, and since I am batch sparging anyway, I'm thinking my water may still need some tweaking.
 

Joe Alf (65.141.57.76)
Posted on Friday, January 02, 2004 - 02:19 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Ray,thanks for the cure but,what was the problem?
Is this the same as potassium meta-bisulphate?
Thanks, Joe
 

Ray Mills (203.221.143.73)
Posted on Friday, January 02, 2004 - 09:22 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi Joe

The problem is astringency, and this is started from the mash. To eliminate the problem is posted above.

Cheers
Ray
 

Ray Mills (203.220.108.219)
Posted on Friday, January 02, 2004 - 10:07 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Jim

Your problem is not your water. The answer is what I have posted. Try it, it works

Cheers
Ray
 

Bretth (67.166.24.209)
Posted on Saturday, January 03, 2004 - 07:26 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I grind the shizz out of my malt with a corona mill. The astringency-from-over-milling idea is wrong, as far as homebrewing methods are concerned.
George Fix identified this problem, but I think he used an extremely fine grind when it occurred.

-Bretth
 

Chuck Denofrio (64.135.203.42)
Posted on Saturday, January 03, 2004 - 02:46 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I'll vote over sparging. I switched to batch sparge, with Pro Mash doing the numbers. That ended the bitterness.
 

Dave Witt (172.145.8.199)
Posted on Saturday, January 03, 2004 - 04:35 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Whether you have shredded your husks or not does not matter. If you're doing something to cause extraction of tannins from the grain, ie sparge water pH, temp too high, etc, it will be worse if the hulls were shredded.

"Shredded hulls also contibute to a rough, harsh palate in the finished beer." Noonan, pg 122.
 

Pete Strunk (67.74.76.166)
Posted on Sunday, January 04, 2004 - 02:57 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hey Dave, I measured a penny with my mic's. it was .057. there may be varation cause pennies have tolerances for thickness.I hope this will give you an insight of your gap width.
 

tranquil_liza (68.40.214.13)
Posted on Sunday, January 04, 2004 - 09:49 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

i am currently using briess 2 row.

i have my barley crusher set at .038. even at this setting, i find that many grains pass through untouched. at .045 the grain would fall right thru.

bottom line....i grind my grain twice. never had a stuck sparge AND my starting gravities hit the promash mark consistently. i don't seem to have any harsh flavors...but i'm not a judge...so how would i know?

the sodium metabisulphate sounds worth a try. where does one find that chemical??
 

Bill Pierce (24.141.63.119)
Posted on Sunday, January 04, 2004 - 03:28 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Sodium (or postassium) metabisulfite is the ingredient in Campden tablets sold for wine sanitizing, liza.
 

Dave Witt (172.171.173.88)
Posted on Sunday, January 04, 2004 - 03:39 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Pete,

The penny came out with some knurl indentations. The mill is set around .045-.050". I just did this to give anyone that didn't have feeler gauges a way to estimate the gap.

t_l,

I find I need to close the gap with less modified malts, like German Pilsner, etc. Even the regular two-row Am malts seem to need a tighter gap. But I have recently been using pale ale malt which produces too much flour when ground with a mill setting of <.045".

 

Jim Layton (64.152.234.165)
Posted on Sunday, January 04, 2004 - 03:48 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

>at .045 the grain would fall right thru.

That just doesn't sound right to me.

I thought I might have mis-remembered the roller gap on my mill so I wiped most of the motor oil off of my feeler gauges and rechecked it. Yep, .045 inches. My mill passes a few undersized grains but the vast majority get are broken up. My efficiencies run between 75% and 80% with the malts that I use.

I'm not familiar with the barley crusher mill. Are you verifying the gap with a gauge or does the mill have markings from the factory? If the latter, the markings may not be terribly accurate due to manufacturing tolerances.
 

Bill Pierce (24.141.63.119)
Posted on Sunday, January 04, 2004 - 04:49 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I spent a lot of time fooling with my adjustable JSP mill when I first got it. When the crush seemed "perfect" to me I measured the gap. It was 0.044 inch, extremely close to the non-adjustable model's setting of 0.045. I might open it up a little if I were crushing unmalted wheat, but otherwise I just leave it alone now.
 

tranquil_liza (68.40.214.13)
Posted on Sunday, January 04, 2004 - 08:59 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

jim layton....of course i'm using a feeler gauge. cut me a little slack.

when i first got the barley crusher it was set around .044. large amounts of grain went thru uncrushed. i noticed this after making a few batches that didn't measure up in gravity. maybe it's the briess 2 row. i'll have to grind my specialty grains separately next time so i can check the crush.
 

Dave Witt (172.154.165.144)
Posted on Sunday, January 04, 2004 - 11:06 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

liza,

There have been reports of this years' Briess malt being of exceptionally low yield (small kernels?). Maybe that is part of the problem.
 

Jim Layton (67.31.255.10)
Posted on Monday, January 05, 2004 - 03:37 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

>cut me a little slack.

Yeeeow! A thousand pardons....:o)

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