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Bitter turned out tannic

So I’ve been brewing the NB Brokenspear Bitter since I first tried the kit. This latest batch came out quite tannic! You taste some malt sweetness at the beginning, but the finish is very very dry and tastes like I chewed on a grape seed.

I hit all my temps dead on, but I did make two mistakes for this batch:

  • Forgot the Irish Moss

  • Used twice as much Black Malt as the recipie called for (brain fart when weighing out the grains).

I’m thinking it was the excess Black Malt. Any chance it’ll smooth out in the bottle? I nearly didn’t bottle it…but eventually did.

The malt bill:
– 6.25 lbs. English Maris Otter
– 0.25 lbs. Simpsons Dark Crystal
– 0.125 lbs. Simpsons Black Malt

[quote=“SoltanGris”]So I’ve been brewing the NB Brokenspear Bitter since I first tried the kit. This latest batch came out quite tannic! You taste some malt sweetness at the beginning, but the finish is very very dry and tastes like I chewed on a grape seed.

I hit all my temps dead on, but I did make two mistakes for this batch:

  • Forgot the Irish Moss

  • Used twice as much Black Malt as the recipie called for (brain fart when weighing out the grains).

I’m thinking it was the excess Black Malt. Any chance it’ll smooth out in the bottle? I nearly didn’t bottle it…but eventually did.

The malt bill:
– 6.25 lbs. English Maris Otter
– 0.25 lbs. Simpsons Dark Crystal
– 0.125 lbs. Simpsons Black Malt[/quote]

I doubt very much that either forgetting the Irish moss addition or 2 ounces of black malt were the cause of your tannin problem. The likely culprit of a overly tannin beer is oversparging combined with a pH rising to 6 and above in the runoff.

Hmmm…I’ll have to check my records of previous brews. I used the same tap water / RO water ratio I’ve always used. Same volumes too. Maybe the tap pH changes due to the season or something.

Black malt is most likely causing this sensation. It should mellow some with age. You might still detect it more than the batches with the regular amount. Might even grow on you. I play around with my bitters all the time.

Some people are adding their black malts to the mash at the end rather than mashing with them. This is supposed to give a more mellow result.

I perceive that same flavor whenever I use Maris Otter. I know I’m in the minority here, it seems everyone loves that malt but for me it tastes like over sparged grain / tannins / really hard water whenever I brew with it. It took me a long time to figure it out but when I had a Magic Hat #9 one day I noticed the same exact flavor that I don’t like at all. When I checked into it, I found they use MO malt for that beer. It may be a combination of my water profile / PH and MO malt but if that is the problem, Magic Hat has the exact same problem.

Good info guys. My water is fairly hard to begin with…220TDS, so I cut it 50/50 with my RO water that is 22TDS so that should result in 120TDS which is still pretty hard but doesn’t work the filter too hard.

Next time I’ll get the grains right and 25/75 tap/RO I think.

Magic hat also has a wicked diacetyl problem sometimes. Comes accross like buttered popcorn.

After a week in the bottle the tannic character has faded somewhat. It is becoming more drinkable!

Is your water the same in summer and winter? Denver’s is harder (and lower residual alkalinity) in the Winter.

It may well be different. Some day I’ll buy a pH meter :smiley:

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