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Just how DO you get that juicy IPA taste and aroma?

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Doctormcbrewdle

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It was on for 9 days at 19 degrees. Then ramped to 22 after 1 week. I'm thinking it will clear up (hoping anyway) my 7.5% IPA used 2x yeast sachets and is still a bit funky 2 months on
 

manticle

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Sounds very much like diacetyl. Can be overcome if kegging and not the result of infection. Bottle conditioning also gives a small chance that the yeast will reabsorb that flavour so give them time. Diacetyl will mask hops and malt.
 

Doctormcbrewdle

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Today's tasting: Had 1x from the bottling bucket experiment and 1x from the straight from fermenter. The bottling bucket one has less trub and already tastes the same as always. Little to no hop aroma :( flavour, but not aroma

Specimen straight from fv with more trub is a different beer.. it has more fresh aroma at this stage. Diacetly is somewhat less in both beers than just yesterday already. I can however say that hop aroma is already fading a tiny bit so don't hold out much hope for bottling without co2 at least. Kegging definitely seems the way to go with these. Still shaping up to be a nice beer, I just hope it doesn't fade any more

Stay tuned
 
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goatchop41

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Today's tasting: Had 1x from the bottling bucket experiment and 1x from the straight from fermenter. The bottling bucket one has less trub and already tastes the same as always. Little to no hop aroma :( flavour, but not aroma

Specimen straight from fv with more trub is a different beer.. it has more fresh aroma at this stage. Diacetly is somewhat less in both beers than just yesterday already. I can however say that hop aroma is already fading a tiny bit so don't hold out much hope for bottling without co2 at least. Kegging definitely seems the way to go with these. Still shaping up to be a nice beer, I just hope it doesn't fade any more

Stay tuned
You need to taste these blind. Have someone else serve you one sample of one of them and two samples of the other (all at the same time) and see if you can pick the odd one out (they should obviously remember which is which). At least then you're minimising your internal bias
 

Doctormcbrewdle

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Update: ok. I've sat down with both beers (the straight from fv and bottling bucket) and they are in fact the same.. Apologies for my bias earlier

Now. I really dislike a couple of things about this brew that's affected the nose.

1. 40 - ebc cara malt. The stuff is just awful. It's so potent that just 4% has somewhat masked a really nice hop aroma. I don't find crystal 60 problematic but this I'm just going to get rid of. Possibly old when I bought it or something but it wrecks anything I put it in, so, bye bye

2. I didn't use any sucrose in this batch. 5% sucrose has been really doing wonders for my pale ales. It tastes so much cleaner and drier than all malt. I know some may disagree here but they may not have actually tried it before. In which case, I recommend it

The big hop aroma is actually still there! But problem is, it's muddled in with the caramalt, making it just a bit too complex for what it's supposed to be

I'll be making another in a few weeks with a simple grain bill and sucrose so, stay tuned. But I think I can confidently say that.. I FINALLY HAVE THAT JUICY HOP AROMA!! :party:

Thanks to all who contributed. Cheers
 

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Doctormcbrewdle

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I'm sorry to be back so soon when apparently the thread had drawn to a close.. but, I've just popped the top off another and omg, it's just blown my mind.. this is definitely the best pale ale I've ever made. Even with my arch nemesis cara malt.

Diacetly has completely dissapeared so it was just secondary fermentation inside the bottle that created it and inturn destroyed once again.

Cara malt has mellowed and is quite bearable. Probably safe to say I'd actually willingly use it again in a smaller amount with maris otter.

Maris Otter shining through clearly and equally with the hop finish as a base

And the hop aroma? I'm sure is on par with the best of them such as Modus, Pirate Life etc! It now actually seems to be coming alive even more with aging rather than dissapearing. Incredible!!

I'm putting this down to

1. Not splashing after the boil into fermenter. I used to splash to oxygenate while hot.

2. Not taking off the airlock to sniff inside fv.. (stupid bastard. But I didn't know any better!)

3. Not inducing oxygen because I didn't cold crash this one

4. Not splashing into a bottling bucket like I usually would

5. Possibly leaving caps loose for 5 mins or so and then tapping each bottle to rouse more co2 before crimping

That's alot of error I was making previously so no wonder at all my beers were always going downhill in the bottle instead of getting better. I can finally see why people say beer gets better with time! You can see why I didn't believe them before (laughs)

I've no idea why, after so much reading I never knew post fermentation oxygen could even cause any problems. I've been brewing for years now and have asked so many people but no one had answers for me (I attribute this to looking in the wrong place. I was in Coopers forum prior to coming here) @manticle knew straight away! So thanks man. You've really helped alot. Cheers mate
 

Doctormcbrewdle

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I've canned and bottled at two micros - both have already had the beer carbed and hopped in tanks. The bottles/cans are purged with co2 then filled and capped (possibly with a little injection of c02 to top it off - can't remember) on a foamy head.

I met a guy the other day who used to work at Gage Roads in the early years, he said they worked out that a shot of hot water (not sure of temp and amount) was used just before capping the bottles...but again this is carbed beer going into bottles not uncarbed and sugar

sorry - prolly not that helpful but maybe an insight into at least a couple of micros and how they go about it
Ok. I've got a strange finding. Although nice and hoppy n malty, my brews normally turn out just too flavoursome. I've done an experiment by pouring my latest lager and pale (both only low 4%abv by the way) into a glass and adding different ratios of water.

I've gotta say, it really seems to me that this is a major thing I've been missing in my quest for a great commercial micro brew. Strange as hell, but seemingly true

About 10% straight water makes them both come alive on all fronts. The pale is more vibrant and aromatic, fresher and same with the pilsner. Then I remembered what you said about the shot of straight water/steam

I'm intrigued enough to change my malt bill for next brew to up abv by a few % and watering down 10%

Keep you posted. Nothing at all to do with oxidation I know but a great clue nonetheless
 

mtb

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What exactly are you trying to achieve here? It doesn't really make sense
In lieu of the innovator himself - I'm guessing he is under the impression that brewing to a higher OG and watering back down to target OG would make a better beer than one brewed to the target OG without watering down.
ie wort at 1.06 watered down to 1.052 > wort at 1.052 without water addition.
 

Doctormcbrewdle

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Yea I've since learned that my recipes have just been a bit too strong in both malt and hops. So have scaled back a bit. Probably why I prefer using a small amount of sucrose to mimmick commercial filtering.

Funnily enough, I bought a Pirate Life pale and was completely suprised that I'd finally nailed it! And no longer really love any of them. Isn't that Murphy's law.. they're just a bit too over the top for me now but completely stoked to know I finally evolved enough to make them!

In another finding, I've just had my last pilsner bottled 20.12.17 and it's now oxidised.. tipped it down the sink. They seemed to be pretty much fine a week prior so if I do keep bottling I'm just going to have to drink them fresh.. I do have a bag of sodium metabisulfite that I'll experiment with on a couple bottles bext batch so still hold some hope at least. I do hear yeast won't survive the journey so I'm either stubborn or ignorant but determined either way

Stay tuned, I guess (sighs)
 
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goatchop41

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In lieu of the innovator himself - I'm guessing he is under the impression that brewing to a higher OG and watering back down to target OG would make a better beer than one brewed to the target OG without watering down.
ie wort at 1.06 watered down to 1.052 > wort at 1.052 without water addition.
I cannot in any way see how that would make any difference. In fact, you'd have to feck about with the hopping rate to adjust for effect of watering down on the IBUs...seems unnecessarily difficult for no difference.

In another finding, I've just had my last pilsner bottled 20.12.17 and it's now oxidised.. tipped it down the sink.
Sounds like you need to have a good hard look at your bottling process...you've got to be f'ing something up badly in that process to oxidise a beer that quickly after bottling
 

Doctormcbrewdle

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Do you think? Well I'm completely open to suggestions

Here it is

Do not splash ANYTHING on the hot side including transfer from kettle to fv. Aerate wort once cooled to under 20 degrees. Ferment without taking a sample or removing airlock, no touching at all other than to dry hop during fermentation if applicable. Cold crash after a couple weeks lagering. Bottle within 2 days by priming each individual bottle with sucrose, transferring by bottling wans without splashing. Leave caps loose 10 minutes, tap bottle to rouse o2 then cap off

I don't know what could possibly be done any better
 

mtb

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Ferment without taking a sample
How were you taking your samples before? Your writing seems to imply you were exposing your beer to oxygen when doing so. Were you opening the lid for some reason?
 

Doctormcbrewdle

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Yea, I'm filling to the brim of overflow as I always have. I 'was' taking a hydro sample or two. Along with pulling the airlock off and pushing the lid to 'sniff' the hops.. nooooo! But NOT with the lager. That was tbe first one I watched everything meticulously. Even did low oxygen mash by boiling beforehand

I also had a latest pale straight after. And it's still fantastic! Though also a few weeks behind/ahead of the lager (3 weeks or so in bottle) I'd like to say we'll see how it goes over the next few but that was the last one
 

Doctormcbrewdle

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Though, it has also been quite hot this time of year. Bottles probably averaged 30 degrees. Low as 25 but as high as about 45 as well. Maybe this is the entire problem now? Is it worth me investing in a bottle aging/lagering fridge?
 

fdsaasdf

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Nope just cap them immediately instead of letting them sit on the bench to oxidise, and make sure you leave an inch of headspace in the bottle when you prime.
 

Doctormcbrewdle

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Are you sure this is a good idea? Sitting caps purges a small portion of oxygen I thought?

I capped my bottles right away for 15 years prior with bad results too
 

mtb

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I 'was' taking a hydro sample or two. Along with pulling the airlock off and pushing the lid to 'sniff' the hops.. nooooo!
I'm still confused. Why did you stop taking hydro samples? How are you exposing your beer to O2 by drawing it from the tap?
 

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