Seymour Citra Dark

(That's water to the rest of us!) Beer is about 95% water, so if you want to discuss water treatment, filtering etc this is the place to do it!
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f00b4r
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Seymour Citra Dark

Post by f00b4r » Sat Jul 16, 2016 12:14 am

What are people's opinions on water treatment for this brew? I saw Eric make some comments very recently about black IPA's but he didn't go into detail (might have been because it was a bit off topic for the thread if I recall).

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Eric
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Re: Seymour Citra Dark

Post by Eric » Sat Jul 16, 2016 1:06 am

Citra is a quite assertive hop by any anyone's standard and it is very popular. To bring the best from this and similar hops, the norm would be to have a sulphate dominent water profile to produce a drier beer and subdue sweet, malty flavours. This brings problems when the malts are dark and brim full of complex properties.

On JBK and other, lesser forums, we frquently read suggestions that dark grains should be steeped and not included in the mash, and while there can sometimes be reason to do this, it makes me sad to think of grain that is the result of so much loving work being brought to perfection should be wasted in this way. The problem being the conflict of water profile to assert the hops versus one that extracts the glory of dark malts which cannot be done with the same liquor profile as used for a pale beer.

In my opinion only a few brewers have produced decent dark beers with American hops. I've not tried myself, but I suspect a wise starting point would be equal sulphate and choride levels with about 150mg/l calcium. Any dark beer brewed with a sulphate dominent profile will result in any mesmerizingly glorious dark malt flavours becoming quite acrid.

One way to approach this might be to brew a dark beer with a low sulphate level and plenty of chloride with none agressive hops. A reasonable amount of roasted barley will provide most of the bitterness to compliment the sweetnesses of the other dark malts and blend nicely with any flavoursome hops. Such might be an aquired taste for many, but once one has found enjoyment from such brews it can be hard to understand why one would want to convert such to something that makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand out and send shivers down ones spine.

Good luck.
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Goulders
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Seymour Citra Dark

Post by Goulders » Sat Jul 16, 2016 8:42 am

There is a good blog here which discusses water treatment for black IPA. I found best success by sparging through the dark grains and a 1.5:1 chloride to sulphate ratio. As Eric points out a usual sulphate heavy profile will make the beer to astringent.

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Re: Seymour Citra Dark

Post by f00b4r » Sat Jul 16, 2016 9:32 am

Interesting info guys, although I will be full volume mashing in a Braumeister (it is possible to add grains after a period in the mash though e.g. acidulated malt is often added this way).

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Eric
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Re: Seymour Citra Dark

Post by Eric » Sat Jul 16, 2016 4:46 pm

Goulders wrote:There is a good blog here which discusses water treatment for black IPA. I found best success by sparging through the dark grains and a 1.5:1 chloride to sulphate ratio. As Eric points out a usual sulphate heavy profile will make the beer to astringent.
I've read some of that Port66 blog stuff before, but in general didn't agree with their opinions and advice. I'm sure they have helped many improve their beers, but feel they haven't helped the way to a deeper understanding for those who wish to advance. An example of this from the link you gave is the following sentence, "Carbonates mellow the harshness of some complex Maillard reaction products, therefore there is a positive relationship between carbonates and dark malts." To me that can be read to mean that increasing alkalinity improves the result in a mash with roasted grains, but my understanding is that the quantity of alkalinity necessary for optimum performance is dependent upon the particular process used to darken the grains where the Maillard reaction takes place.
Your findings for a chloride:sulphate ratio of 1.5:1 for sparging giving the best results are noted. You would probably agree that moving from a chloride:sulphate of 3:1 to 3:1 would make a greater difference to a dark beer than any amount of change in alkalinity in the mash.

f00b4r, using a Braumeister requires a different consideration for alkalinity than with a more conventional system due to the greater ratio of liquor to grist in that system combined with wort recycling where it is important to take into account the total amount of alkalinity present in the mash compared to the quantity of grain. It is likely advisable to have less than half the alkalinity when using a Braumeister than in a system with a separate mashtun with a liquor:grain with something like 2.5l/kg.

As for adding dark grains late, that's up to yourself, it's something I've not tried. The results from putting all grains in the mash has always produced for me the flavours I adore and explore their depths with other, less significant variations. I also mash dark grains for at least 90 minutes because those grains have few or no enzymes to do any conversion and in a dark mashes it isn't possible to observe if conversion is complete with a simple iodene test.
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Re: Seymour Citra Dark

Post by Goulders » Sat Jul 16, 2016 7:32 pm

Eric wrote: Your findings for a chloride:sulphate ratio of 1.5:1 for sparging giving the best results are noted. You would probably agree that moving from a chloride:sulphate of 3:1 to 3:1 would make a greater difference to a dark beer than any amount of change in alkalinity in the mash.
For a Black IPA doing what I said above works well, as you're not trying to make a dark beer per se.
For other dark beers, I do go for 3:1 chloride:sulphate. I have a porter recipe which has won its category a couple of times (and scored 43 in a Southeast competition last year) and that profile gives a very smooth beer.

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Re: Seymour Citra Dark

Post by Matt12398 » Wed Jul 20, 2016 1:28 pm

I've used the advice in JK's Portt66 blog to make a very good black IPA and there is a water profile in the linked blog which is a good starting point.

I've cold steeped roasted barley and it provides a quality quite different to when mashed. It's similar situation to why people cold steep coffee for iced coffee. You end up with less of the bitter, harsh roastiness that is pleasant in a stout but less desirable in a black IPA but you still get a lot of the roast complexity.

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Re: Seymour Citra Dark

Post by f00b4r » Wed Jul 20, 2016 8:56 pm

All food for thought. I do wonder if Seymour has ever tried steeping the grains, although I suspect the recipe was not created with that in mind.

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