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 Post subject: Too Much Gypsum w/AB Clone?
PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2012 12:13 pm 
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Good afternoon all,

I am puzzled by a recent brew and am still trying to put my finger on what happened. I brewed the Arrogant Bastard clone recipe a few weeks ago. The recipe was scaled to my system. BeeerSmith estimated the IBUs at 91. OG 1.067 FG 1.017. When I tasted it and as I taste it now it has a flavor I am unable to describe and its not good. I't not sour in any way and has not grown in intensity as the beer has sat in keg/fermentor. A friend of mine came up with tomato paste as a descriptor. The beer really bitter and somewhat harsh. It tasted fine going into the fermentor. Potential issues are obviously infection or I was thinking salt additions in combination with big dose of Chinook hops. I've since done an intensive clean and sanitation of my Therminator and my following batch has no sign of the issue. I've never had this flavor appear in any batch before.

My water looked like this after diluting 50% with distilled and salt additions:

Ca 103
Mg 17
Na 16
Cl 30
SO4 220
CaCO3 91

I plan to dump the beer as soon as I need the kegs for a party I am having in 3-weeks so I am still able to taste it. I know it's really difficult to troubleshoot in a forum, but I figured I'd see what ideas anyone had.

Thoughts?

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 Post subject: Re: Too Much Gypsum w/AB Clone?
PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2012 12:52 pm 
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I am no water guru by any means, but your SO4 levels seem pretty high for this beer. Is it the malt that tastes like tomato paste or do the hops come across like that? Or does it seem to be a combo of both? Is the bitterness biting and or rough at all? I don't remember the recipe right now, but does it call for 91 IBU's? I thought it was a bit lower....the higher than called for IBU's with additional gypsum could be making the beer taste a bit harsh.


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 Post subject: Re: Too Much Gypsum w/AB Clone?
PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2012 1:04 pm 
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The SO4 is probably high if I was trying to match San Diego water. However, it is lower than I typically use in my APA and IPA (I target Tasty's APA water profile). The IBUs are in the ballpark from the recipe I wrote down from CYBI. The hops all smell ed great out of the bag. I could not tell you whether the flavor is hop or malt driven. The hop bitterness is very course.

I will taste it again tonight and really try to get a good descriptor for it. It could smell like sulfur, but that'd be weird to me since previous doses of gypsum have not driven that odor.

I'm stumped.

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 Post subject: Re: Too Much Gypsum w/AB Clone?
PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2012 2:07 pm 
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That sulfate level is fine. You don't really start having sulfate taste problems until you get above the 300 ppm range. The rest of the profile looked fine too. It doesn't look like water was your problem, but you don't mention the mash pH. If that was high, then several problems can develop.

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 Post subject: Re: Too Much Gypsum w/AB Clone?
PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2012 2:33 pm 
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Martin - thanks. I've used upwards of 300 ppm SO4 before with no issue as well. My mash pH was 5.35 measured around 25C on a ATC pH meter. End runnings gravity were 1.012.

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 Post subject: Re: Too Much Gypsum w/AB Clone?
PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2012 3:18 pm 
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Went back and checked the IBU's and you came in pretty close at 91. I think the original recipe called for 95, so I was wrong. Still curious to hear what may be causing the off-flavors in your beer. Is it reminiscent of DMS? Were your grains fairly fresh and freshly crushed?


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 Post subject: Re: Too Much Gypsum w/AB Clone?
PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2012 3:58 pm 
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brewinhard wrote:
Went back and checked the IBU's and you came in pretty close at 91. I think the original recipe called for 95, so I was wrong. Still curious to hear what may be causing the off-flavors in your beer. Is it reminiscent of DMS? Were your grains fairly fresh and freshly crushed?


Definitely not DMS, grain freshly crushed and pretty fresh considering I buy in bulk, but store ait-tight and run a de-humidifer in my brew room where the grain is stored. I might bottle a 6-pack and send it off to some folks for tasting. I will pull another sample tomorrow and see if I can get a better descriptor.

I just tasted the 2nd batch following this one and it is clean with no signs of "that" flavor. I am leaning toward some sort of funk in my Therminator from that day or something with the Chinook hops I used (ordered for this batch from NB...came in Hopunion bags)

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 Post subject: Re: Too Much Gypsum w/AB Clone?
PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2012 7:27 pm 
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TimmyR wrote:
Martin - thanks. I've used upwards of 300 ppm SO4 before with no issue as well. My mash pH was 5.35 measured around 25C on a ATC pH meter. End runnings gravity were 1.012.


Timmy your mash ph was too low. Measure your beer ph and see if it is above 4.1.

5.35 is good at mash temp, but it reads about 0.3 higher at room temp. So your mash ph was about 5.05.


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