Brown ale... astringency?

Help me diagnose this off flavor that’s reoccured in two brown ale’s. I’m not sure if it’s really astringency, but that’s the closest I can figure. On initial sip, there’s a “tightness” to the tip of the tongue, as if a rubber band were wrapped around the tip of the tongue just until it goes numb. There isn’t a mouth pucker, and it has a good mouth feel in the middle and back of the tongue. Tastes like a great brown ale at the back of the mouth, the only oddity is the tip of the tongue issue.

Both batches had the same recipe, although different processes for each; one batch sparge, the other BIAB. The off flavor is equivalent in both, and they are equal in a blind taste test, so I know it’s not a process issue. It’s gotta be an ingredient or water issue. I didn’t dechlorinate the water for these batches, so could this be a chlorine issue too? Details below, thanks!

:cheers:

8lbs 2-row
1lb flaked corn
1lb Crystal 80
0.5lb Crystal 60
0.5lb Carapils
0.25lb Chocolate

2oz EKG
S-05

Vitals and Process (Batch #1):
Vol: 7 gallons
OG: 1.044
FG: 1.008

Batch sparge
Mash @152 for 60 minutes
60 minute boil
Immersion chill

Vitals and Process (Batch #2):
Vol: 7 gallons
OG: 1.052
FG: 1.005

BIAB
Mash @ 152 for 60 minutes
60 minute boil
No chill

Also, it has only recently occurred in these two batches of brown ale. I have brewed 40ish batches and this is probably only the 5th time I’ve encountered it. IIRC I may have had this issue in an amber ale, and possibly a wheat, but those were a few years ago so can’t remember exactly. My two top candidates are chlorine or astringency, but not sure why they wouldn’t have shown in all my other batches.

Maybe fermented too warm? Sometimes a warm ferment produces some medicinal flavors that can numb the tongue.

Pitched at 64F, and fermented at 60F ambient temp. Not to say that the fermentor didn’t get too warm during active fermentation, but I don’t think that’s the issue. I’ve definitely had brews ferment too warm, and this flavor isn’t reminiscent of a warm ferment. As Chazz would say, “it’s mind bottling”…

Do you check pH in the process? Could be the pH is a little low. What about brewing salts?

Good thoughts, you might be onto something. I haven’t checked pH or used brewing salts in the last couple of years because my water never needed much adjustment, and when I did add salts I never noticed a difference. It’s possible that my city water profile has changed. I’ll for sure check pH on my next brew day.

You wouldn’t think a brown ale grist like yours would produce that much acid though.

How carbonated is the beer? Sometimes carbonation will numb the tongue a bit when its newly carbonated.

[quote=“tom sawyer”]You wouldn’t think a brown ale grist like yours would produce that much acid though.

How carbonated is the beer? Sometimes carbonation will numb the tongue a bit when its newly carbonated.[/quote]

Bottle carbed for 2.2 volumes. I usually shoot for the 2-2.5 range on most brews, whether I’m bottling or kegging. I suppose it could be a contributing factor, which would explain why the issue fades with aging. Just not sure why it shows in the brown ales and none of my other brews.