I have had quite a weird taste in the last couple batches of beer I have made: Smashing Pumpkin and Winter Warmer. I followed Brew day, fermentation (primary and secondary), and bottling instructions packaged with the kits to a ‘T’. However, when I taste the beer after being chilled for 24hours in the fridge. I taste this weird, but tolerable taste sort of astringent-y taste. I know its not hops. Here are a couple of things I am questioning about my brew day procedures:
Steeping the grains: I usually pour the water into the brew pot, put it on the burner (propane), and steep them until the water gets to 170 degrees (which usually takes about 20 minutes). Im questioning this… should I get the water to 170 then steep for 20 monitoring the temp to make sure it doesn’t go over.
Your thermometer could be off and some of the steeping time is at over 170°. If you are not peiodically swirling the grain bag in the steep water the temperature under the bag can be well over 170°.
After the wort is cooled to 100 degrees as stated in the instructions, I will just dump it all (trub and all) into the fermentation bucket, put my hydrometer in there and add water until it reaches the OG stated on the instructions. Then I will pitch the yeast (which happened to be a yeast starter for my most recent batch). Im questioning this… should I siphon it into the bucket instead will that mess with the O.G.?
[color=#0000BF]Try to get your wort cooler. Less stress on the yeast by pitching into wort that is cooler than the fermentation temperature. Are you doing full volume boils or partial volume? If you are doing a partial boil of 2.5 gallons, add 2.5 gallons of cold water to the fermentor then dump the boiled wort. You can strain through a bag to remove most of the hop debris. Top off to a total of 5 gallons in the fermentor. (Have the 5 gallon level measured.) The specified OG for a kit will be the OG in the fermentor if the volume is 5 gallons. Don’t try to adjust with hydrometer readings. It is difficult to get a good mix of boiled wort and top off water to make a hydrometer reading at this point meaningful.
Are you using a good yeast calculator for the proper pitch rate. Under pitching can stress the yeaast and cause off flavors.
As I said, both the last batches have had this strange but tolerable taste to it. Im not sure how to really describe it.
If you would like more information, please let me know, because I want to start brewing ‘perfect’ batches of beer.
Are you controlling the fermentation temperature for the first few days of active fermentation. Check the yeast producers site for the ideal fermentation temperature range. Hot fermentation will produce fusel alcohols. Fusels will bite the back of the throat.
What yeast did you use and how much did you pitch?
What was the wort temperature during fermentation?
How long did you primary?