Achieving Cleaner Tasting Beer?

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Acasta

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I've been brewing a while now, got a decent amount of beers under my belt that I am extremely happy with. One thing I would like to tackle next is the issue my lighter beers not tasting clean.

The flavour I'm getting isn't terrible, or off putting, but its just not what I'd put next to a well made craft beer for example.

To describe the flavour I'd have say 'dirty' (not soil) or 'noisy'. Like there's something in there over bearing on the hops and malt's subtle flavours.

I've got temp control and brew most beers on the lower end of the recommended temp range.

Any ideas?
 

NickB

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As someone who has just acquired one, get yourself a good filter (I use an RO filter) or use tank water.

Best change i've made in ages!

Cheers
 

Jazzafish

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I've been brewing a while now, got a decent amount of beers under my belt that I am extremely happy with. One thing I would like to tackle next is the issue my lighter beers not tasting clean.

The flavour I'm getting isn't terrible, or off putting, but its just not what I'd put next to a well made craft beer for example.

To describe the flavour I'd have say 'dirty' (not soil) or 'noisy'. Like there's something in there over bearing on the hops and malt's subtle flavours.

I've got temp control and brew most beers on the lower end of the recommended temp range.

Any ideas?
Sometimes sulfur gives a dirty mouth feel?

I think it best that you give an example recipe and fermentation steps
 

razz

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How clean is your equipment acasta and how often do you clean it? I'm just in the middle of pulling down s/s valves, pumps etc and I'm surprised at the minor amounts of gunk that can build up from brew to brew.
 

Jazzafish

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As someone who has just acquired one, get yourself a good filter (I use an RO filter) or use tank water.

Best change i've made in ages!

Cheers
Water is also a good point depending on the recipe
 

Brewer_010

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I have been looking for balance in my beers for quite some time now and try to have a clean malt flavour complemented by the hops. I've actually had good results over the past year or so. One of the major changes I did was to get rid of the 60 or 70 minute hop addition and go for 40 or 45 minute, and have eased right back on the under 15 minute hop addition too. I really notice the lack of a 'clean' taste in AIPAs and IPAs compared to my lighter, paler beers. Even my APAs are pretty lean on hops nowdoays. Flowers help too.
And yeast...I never use dry yeast except in emergencies - my 4 hours time and $$ on brews are more important than skimping a few dollars on a liquid yeast.
Hope this helps you get that clean taste.
cheers
 

MHB

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Couple of things that might help
If you are a mash brewer drop your mash temp a degree or two and maybe add 15-30 minutes to your mash.
A longer say 90 minute boil will reduce the protein content of the beer giving a cleaner profile.
Up the yeast pitch rate and use a bit of nutrient to encourage better attenuation.
Use a good Lager yeast, look for the more highly attenuateive ones.
Lager or cold condition the beer further reduces high molecular weight proteins (and polyphenols) a good rule of thumb is 7 days at -1oC and 7 days for every degree above -1oC, so at 3 degrees 4 weeks! (goes to shit over about 5-6oC)
Make sure you have plenty of Calcium in the mash > 75ppm
MHB
 

Nick JD

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Get someone BJCP-wise to taste your beers. Without isolating the "soil" or "dirty" you're following the guesswork of people who don't know what's wrong with your beer.

Could be something really simple.
 

kario

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Get someone BJCP-wise to taste your beers. Without isolating the "soil" or "dirty" you're following the guesswork of people who don't know what's wrong with your beer.

Could be something really simple.
BJCP-wise?
 

Acasta

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get yourself a good filter (I use an RO filter) or use tank water.
I'm hoping its not a water thing as I don't REALLY want to invest alot, but I did have a feeling this could be it haha.

How clean is your equipment acasta and how often do you clean it?
Reasonably clean. I've only got one ball valve which receives a high pressure wash post use. I may do a bit soak in sodium percarb before my next batch.

eased right back on the under 15 minute hop addition too. Even my APAs are pretty lean on hops nowdoays. Flowers help too.

yeast...I never use dry yeast except in emergencies - my 4 hours time and $$ on brews are more important than skimping a few dollars on a liquid yeast.
Thanks brewer, however I don't think I could live with less hops being a fully addicted hop head and all...
Good idea with the yeast. I've been messing around lately with a few different liquid yeasts and I'm not noticing a HUGE difference, but its something ill explore.

Couple of things that might help
If you are a mash brewer drop your mash temp a degree or two and maybe add 15-30 minutes to your mash.
A longer say 90 minute boil will reduce the protein content of the beer giving a cleaner profile.
Up the yeast pitch rate and use a bit of nutrient to encourage better attenuation.
Use a good Lager yeast, look for the more highly attenuateive ones.
Lager or cold condition the beer further reduces high molecular weight proteins (and polyphenols) a good rule of thumb is 7 days at -1oC and 7 days for every degree above -1oC, so at 3 degrees 4 weeks! (goes to shit over about 5-6oC)
Make sure you have plenty of Calcium in the mash > 75ppm
MHB
Sounds like a few simple things I will try.
The batch I brewed yesterday actually had a lower temp longer mash, as well as a 90min boil coincidently.
I use dry and liquid yeasts and will give them some attention, that was another thing I was considering may be acting out.
I don't really brew lagers, but when I do I will.
I also cold condition for around 4-7 days and keg carbonate over a week at serving pressure, so I do get a good bit of conditioning on them before consumption.
I've been adding Calcium Chloride to my brews and following the Melbourne water guide that floats around here.

Get someone BJCP-wise to taste your beers. Without isolating the "soil" or "dirty" you're following the guesswork of people who don't know what's wrong with your beer.

Could be something really simple.
Definitely agree with that one. However I don't know anyone local with that type of education.
 

Nick JD

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Definitely agree with that one. However I don't know anyone local with that type of education.
Send someone a 750ml PET.

Next question: who's got judging skills? Loads here have done the courses.
 

beerdrinkingbob

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Hey Acasta,

If you want some judges and skilled brewers to shot at nailing it, come along to the next Westgate brewers meeting, we meeting on the third Sunday of the month, shoot fergthebrewer a PM for more info if it suits.

For the record, I didn't get any of the above from the beers you gave me, is this a recent thing?

Cheers BDB
 

MHB

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Sounds like you have most of the bases covered; the yeast pitching rate really is the big one.
Make sure you are getting 0.75million cells/ml/oP thats about 3 packets of Saf yeast in a 23 L brew @1.050
$ 15+ on yeast might be more than some people want to invest in every brew, but worth trying once, if it fixes the issue you can look at propagating or harvesting yeast to fill your requirements.

The guys at G&G might be worth putting the question to, make sure you take a COLD beer ready to taste and have it labelled, I dont know about other HBSs but my fridges fill up with mystery bottles.
MHB
 

Filby

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What about hot break? Im right in the middle of a BIAB brew (pulled the bag and am bringing to boil) and I cant believe the amount of hot break I get compared to 3v systems. Could this not be adding to some 'dirty' taste?


Fil
 

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What about hot break? Im right in the middle of a BIAB brew (pulled the bag and am bringing to boil) and I cant believe the amount of hot break I get compared to 3v systems. Could this not be adding to some 'dirty' taste?


Fil
As long as you leave all the hot break in the kettle at the end, the answer is no. For further reading regarding wort turbidity this is a good article.
http://www.google.com.au/url?sa=t&rct=...xRkDUCdo556konQ
 

Brewer_010

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As long as you leave all the hot break in the kettle at the end, the answer is no. For further reading regarding wort turbidity this is a good article.
http://www.google.com.au/url?sa=t&rct=...xRkDUCdo556konQ
Quite an interesting read - apart from some of the really techie bits which I skimmed over - actual yeast nutrition improved in turbid wort (which is not surprising), but the flavour and stability components were basically no different from clear lautered beers. Makes me a little more relaxed about getting break material out of the mash :icon_chickcheers: .
 

MHB

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Thinking is a really important pass time, in this case we have a scientific paper that talks about turbidity, it says that much more turbid worts than are traditionally obtained from commercial lauter tuns arent all bad.
The conclusion that that makes it Ok to runoff any amount of muck is I think a little bit of a stretch.

IIRC I posted this picture last time someone posted a link to the same paper.
FTU_NTU_Turbidity.jpg
This is a standard Turbidity Scale used to calibrate the instruments used to measure turbidity, there are lots of scales used indifferent industries and we have to convert between them, in this case the scale is in FTU NTU, which is 4 times the EBC unit referred to in the article so the 42 and 83 EBC are 10.5 NTU and 20.75 NTU on the scale above. Typical Wort far right, Turbid Wort second from right

Plenty of BIAB worts are opaque the article sighted isnt talking about that sort of concentration of solids by a factor of hundreds of times. It isnt possible nor appropriate to draw a conclusion that projects that far.
M
 

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Thinking is a really important pass time, in this case we have a scientific paper that talks about turbidity, it says that much more turbid worts than are traditionally obtained from commercial lauter tuns arent all bad.
The conclusion that that makes it Ok to runoff any amount of muck is I think a little bit of a stretch.

IIRC I posted this picture last time someone posted a link to the same paper.
View attachment 51379
This is a standard Turbidity Scale used to calibrate the instruments used to measure turbidity, there are lots of scales used indifferent industries and we have to convert between them, in this case the scale is in FTU NTU, which is 4 times the EBC unit referred to in the article so the 42 and 83 EBC are 10.5 NTU and 20.75 NTU on the scale above. Typical Wort far right, Turbid Wort second from right

Plenty of BIAB worts are opaque the article sighted isnt talking about that sort of concentration of solids by a factor of hundreds of times. It isnt possible nor appropriate to draw a conclusion that projects that far.
M
Interesting and valid points. Thanks for the more in-depth explanation.
So my biab yesterday would have been somewhere between 200 and 500 on that picture, so i get its inappropriate to draw a conclusion either way from that paper.

Providing that i follow my usual regime, whirfloc, chill in pot so mostly everything gets left behind. Always pitch as close as i can estimate to recommended amount of fresh yeast as possible, gelatine or chill then polyclar and filter, beer ends up pretty clean for me.
So is it just a stability issue? or do you think there are people that could pick the difference if i was to place same beer side by side with one that was lautered till clear?

I guess i am just thinking out loud and starting to debate whether or not it would be worth it to add some braid and a tap to my cooler and ditch the bag?
And even them i am the only one who will be able to decide if the upgrade would be worth it, after the fact. I am happy with my beers and for me the sheet of swiss voile is easy to use, but i have to drain out the esky anyway, so may i as well be draining through the grain bed and running of clear wort into the kettle?? :unsure:
 

MHB

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The question of whether anyone could tell the difference between beers resulting from cloudy or clear wort is for me the crux of the matter.
I believe Yes; although the difference might not be startling or all that great in young beer. I do believe that a decent beer judge will consistently score well made beer from one where corners have been cut higher, particularly as the beer ages.
With a vigorous boil and good separation of the hot break and other Trub material I believe the impact will be minimised.
Most importantly beer is a product of the whole brewing process, if at every step in the process we try to achieve the optimum outcomes the cumulative result is better beer.
Im not trying to suggest that BIAB is bad; its a good starting point and its got a lot of people brewing AG that would otherwise never have started. But it isnt without its issues; wort clarity is one that we should think about.
MHB
 

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