Harsh bitter Taste at end of flavour profile

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mfuggles

Harsh bitter Taste at end of flavour profile

Post by mfuggles » Mon Jun 26, 2017 2:47 pm

This problem has been with me forever.
Over the years I have targeted certain areas in the process and gradually upgraded my kit.
This has improved things a little but still this harsh bitter taste at the back end persists wrecking good beers which otherwise have great front end flavours.
What I have tried -
Reduced the hop pellet amount by 10% in recipes
Recirculating mash liquor maintaining temp
Reduced and maintained a constant 80deg c when sparging - this is where I thought the problem was extracting tannins
Not sparged below 1010
Adjusted grain crush
Rapid cooled beer after boil
Skimmed top of fermented beer to keep clean - sometimes
Dropped beer - sometimes
Fermenting temp - recently controlled with aircon
Still happening and it must be me and I keep repeating it ... driving me crazy
Can anyone offer further advise ?
I must have missed something.

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Jim
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Re: Harsh bitter Taste at end of flavour profile

Post by Jim » Mon Jun 26, 2017 3:09 pm

If it was me, I'd have a more careful look at my fermentation.

You mentioned using aircon to control it, but how exactly, and how consistent is it? Are you monitoring the actual temperature of the beer and keeping it constant - between, say 18C and 22C for ales?

Also, you don't mention what yeast you're using. Best fermentation temperature depends a lot on the yeast.
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Eric
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Re: Harsh bitter Taste at end of flavour profile

Post by Eric » Mon Jun 26, 2017 3:38 pm

I'd ask what's in your water?
I wouldn't sparge at 80C either, but many do and are happy.
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Re: Harsh bitter Taste at end of flavour profile

Post by chris2012 » Mon Jun 26, 2017 3:48 pm

What temp would you advise sparging at, out of interest?

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Re: Harsh bitter Taste at end of flavour profile

Post by Eric » Mon Jun 26, 2017 4:02 pm

Just over 70C. I don't mash out as I don't finish my beers in the same way as has been done in the US.
At 80c it is possible to extract unwanteds from the top of the grainbed apart from denaturing the enzymes which would continue to increase the range of sugars into the fermenter.
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Re: Harsh bitter Taste at end of flavour profile

Post by chris2012 » Mon Jun 26, 2017 4:11 pm

Cheers! That's very interesting. I think I used to do 80C, I'm pretty sure last time I brewed it used only around 70 odd.

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Re: Harsh bitter Taste at end of flavour profile

Post by Eric » Mon Jun 26, 2017 5:15 pm

chris2012 wrote:Cheers! That's very interesting. I think I used to do 80C, I'm pretty sure last time I brewed it used only around 70 odd.
In many ways we homebrewers are like the earlier commercial ones when scientific research was being carried out to solve the problems they found. Since then, of course, many things have changed, but if I look at my setup it isn't much different to what those brewerers had and the methods much the same.

In 1895 Cuthbert Vaux asked the same question. He was advised to, and I quote, "regulate the heat of the sparge by not allowing the tap heat to rise above 160F for ordinary beers and above 165F for black beers."
So in centigrade, do not allow the tap heat to be above 71 for ordinary beers and 74 for black beers. Ask yourself why the difference. When you work it out, please let me know as I'm still guessing.

Vaux Brewery closed in 1998 when his descendants and heirs liquidated their assets to do other things.
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Re: Harsh bitter Taste at end of flavour profile

Post by f00b4r » Mon Jun 26, 2017 7:07 pm

Eric wrote:I'd ask what's in your water?
I guess on top of the question from Eric, where are you based, are you using your tap water to brew and what type of beers?

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Re: Harsh bitter Taste at end of flavour profile

Post by chris2012 » Mon Jun 26, 2017 7:16 pm

Eric, very interesting about the Vaux brewery and those two temps! That's interesting wrt darker beers. I believe with black malt sometimes people cold steep it, so the bitterness from the malt doesn't come out as much if I recall correctly. Could the higher temp be to accentuate the bitterness from the malt, but that's purely conjecture ;)

Also it's a shame when such an old brewery etc. closes. I'd not heard of it before though alas.

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Re: Harsh bitter Taste at end of flavour profile

Post by Eric » Mon Jun 26, 2017 7:47 pm

In those days they didn't cold steep. They long knew it was bad idea to put starch in the kettle.
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Re: Harsh bitter Taste at end of flavour profile

Post by chris2012 » Mon Jun 26, 2017 8:15 pm

Sorry yeah, I mean, maybe if you heat the mash during sparging to a higher temp, with dark malt in, it becomes more bitter?

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Re: Harsh bitter Taste at end of flavour profile

Post by PeeBee » Wed Jun 28, 2017 11:40 am

"Harsh bitterness" and so not astringency due to tannin (I always like the description of astringency as "drawing your mouth and bottom together)? Bitterness and astringency often get confused, like my partner illustrates to me regularly (she does get it right at times though: "Those bamboo shoots taste bitter...", what like cyanide, too late I've eaten them :-& ).

"Harsh bitterness" just seems to point to spent yeast to me. Jim was on the subject of yeast in the first reply to this thread. And Eric mentions it recently in another thread. I got reminded of it last week using spent yeast (lots) to make bread. But you mention "dropping" which I take to mean put in secondary? I know a modern trend is to ferment 2 weeks before putting in a secondary for 2 weeks, perhaps skipping the secondary and just leaving in the primary for 4 weeks. This is all possible because of the modern trend of using airlocks or blow off tubes from the very start. These practices worry me about length of time in contact with spent yeast. Spent yeast certainly has a "harsh bitterness" - taste it and see.
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Re: Harsh bitter Taste at end of flavour profile

Post by Eric » Thu Jun 29, 2017 11:05 am

Has anyone else noticed several single postings on contentious subjects from apparent newcomers? The posts are made minutes after joining but never return. I assume this is some alto ego. I'd like to be proved wrong about this.
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Re: Harsh bitter Taste at end of flavour profile

Post by Dave S » Thu Jun 29, 2017 12:26 pm

Eric wrote:Has anyone else noticed several single postings on contentious subjects from apparent newcomers? The posts are made minutes after joining but never return. I assume this is some alto ego. I'd like to be proved wrong about this.
Yes, I've noticed one or two, most vexing. They must think we've got nothing better to do. Maybe they should find something better to do. But to address the topic, I too would go for water, it sounds like an alkalinity issue.
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Re: Harsh bitter Taste at end of flavour profile

Post by Jim » Thu Jun 29, 2017 3:08 pm

Eric wrote:Has anyone else noticed several single postings on contentious subjects from apparent newcomers? The posts are made minutes after joining but never return. I assume this is some alto ego. I'd like to be proved wrong about this.
I don't think that's a new thing. It's just the kind of thing people sometimes do - they maybe have a problem and want solutions, but aren't interested in participating in a community. They just want quick answers without having to give anything back. I wouldn't be surprised if they post the same question on several relevant forums, then never go back except to harvest any replies they might have got.
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