Water giving unpleasant earthy taste?

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KBaldwin
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Water giving unpleasant earthy taste?

Post by KBaldwin » Mon Apr 01, 2019 5:12 pm

Having switched to all grain brewing from extract my beer has an unpleasant earthy after taste. So much so you can smell it on the beer in the glass. Having tried many different solutions, from changing hops, changing malt and yeast I discovered that its down to my tap water (I think). However, I can't figure out why this would be. I live on the Norfolk coast and the water in my area is very hard in temporary hardness.

Alkalinity as CaCO3: 255
Hardness as CaCO3: 305

To hit my mash Ph I having used CRS as my water treatment. However, my last brew I pre-boiled my water the night before and decanted off the sediment and brewed as usual. This time the earthy after taste has gone. In fact, the beer seems fuller/rounder and balanced. So my question is, what is it that is causing the earthy after taste when using tap water with CRS. I am assuming its something to do with the chalk which precipitates out of solution when boiled. From now on, I will always pre-boil the water and adjust with salt additions.

Any advice would be very much appreciated. Thank you.

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Kev888
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Re: Water giving unpleasant earthy taste?

Post by Kev888 » Mon Apr 01, 2019 7:10 pm

Earthy tastes can be due to infection (and also some hops might give you vaguely earthy undertones, although your description seems to indicate more than that). Then there is the cardboardy flavour from oxidation, that can also give a mustiness some people find a little earth-like.

So I'm not certain the flavour is related to CRS. However, it doesn't suit all water types and so as the flavour wasn't there when you didn't use it, it seems possible that it might be related. A few questions might help to gauge if things are reasonable:

How much CRS did you add to what volume of water?
Is the quoted alkalinity measured from the actual water used on brew-day?
Do you know the sulphate, chloride and calcium levels in your tap water?
Did you add anything else other than CRS and the grains (e.g. gypsum)?
Kev

Robwalkeragain
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Re: Water giving unpleasant earthy taste?

Post by Robwalkeragain » Mon Apr 01, 2019 8:02 pm

Earthy is usually autolysis but if you’ve changed yeast thats probably unlikely unless you’re fermenting somewhere warm?
Are your elements crudded up? Water from a mains source or a well etc - could be sediment in water? Grain well stored and free from pests/mould?

Water filter might be an easy fix and it improves the water in your house anyway.

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Re: Water giving unpleasant earthy taste?

Post by BarnsleyBrewer » Mon Apr 01, 2019 8:27 pm

I once brewed with Cascade and got an overpowering earthy taste..
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Re: Water giving unpleasant earthy taste?

Post by robbarwell » Mon Apr 01, 2019 8:38 pm

It can come from the boil off...I got a earthy cardboard taste from brew after brew. Changed yeast, changed hops still the same, then read that the boil can drive off some nasty stuff that reacts with yeast..
Make sure you boil for at least 60 mins at full chat, really give it the beans, then chill it to pitch temp as fast as possible...Get a proper hot break and all the proteins will drop out

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orlando
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Re: Water giving unpleasant earthy taste?

Post by orlando » Tue Apr 02, 2019 7:45 am

I live close to the Norfolk coast so recognise your water and brew with it without the problems you describe. You don't mention chlorine, do you do anything to eliminate this? I suggest you join the Norwich Amateur Brewers so we can take a little more time tasting and discussing what is happening to your Beer
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Normski
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Re: Water giving unpleasant earthy taste?

Post by Normski » Thu Apr 18, 2019 5:40 pm

Try bottled water. If the taste improves, you know waht to investigate further.
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WalesAles
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Re: Water giving unpleasant earthy taste?

Post by WalesAles » Thu Apr 18, 2019 9:07 pm

orlando wrote:
Tue Apr 02, 2019 7:45 am
I live close to the Norfolk coast so we can take a little more time tasting and discussing what is happening to your Beer
HaHa,
Free Beer for orlando! :D

WA

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orlando
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Re: Water giving unpleasant earthy taste?

Post by orlando » Thu Apr 18, 2019 9:27 pm

WalesAles wrote:
Thu Apr 18, 2019 9:07 pm
orlando wrote:
Tue Apr 02, 2019 7:45 am
I live close to the Norfolk coast so we can take a little more time tasting and discussing what is happening to your Beer
HaHa,
Free Beer for orlando! :D

WA
Some of it can be really good as well. :wink: Always happy to help me. :lol: Although: 17 days and heard nothing more. :cry:
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Drinking: From Russia With Love (RIS), Peaches, Twist & Stout, I Am A Patriot Too, Reasons To Be Beerful (Part Three)

Up Next: With A Bitter Luck, Song For Keith
Planning: Winter drinking Beer

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