matt76's Brewdays

Discussion in 'Beer Brewdays!' started by matt76, May 14, 2019.

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  1. Oct 19, 2019 #141

    strange-steve

    strange-steve

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    I suppose you could add a few drops of lactic acid to a glass of beer, something like a Bud or Coors, to see if you pick up the same flavour.
     
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  2. Oct 19, 2019 #142

    matt76

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    Thanks @foxbat , appreciate that, mate athumb..

    I was using Ashbeck until recently too but switched to tap water as I want to reduce plastic waste. But my tap water is very hard so I need a lot of acid in there! The real kicker is I recently bought some CRS which you need to add more off (according to Brewers Friend water calculator) but which I believe is more flavour neutral (right @strange-steve ?) - I used this in my recent bitter, and plan to use in in an upcoming IPA. But I so very nearly used it in the Helles I brewed the other day but then changed back to lactic!!! Aarrgghh!! So annoyed at myself!
     
  3. Oct 19, 2019 #143

    matt76

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    Thanks steve, yes I was thinking along similar lines already. The weird thing is I don't pick it up when I try the (still cool) water from the HLT after I add everything, or the hydrometer samples - it's only after bottling and carbonation I seem to notice it.

    Hmm.... all very frustrating. But just have to keep reminding myself, it's a hobby not a space shuttle launch! asad1
     
  4. Oct 19, 2019 #144

    matt76

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    So i did a bit of experimenting this evening.....

    First I checked the measuring spoons I use - sure enough 5ml water (1tsp) weighed exactly 5.00g on my drug dealer mini scales. So when I use this spoon to measure 5ml lactic acid I'm confident it really is 5ml.

    I took 1L tap water and added 0.33ml lactic acid 80% and gave it a good stir (equivalent to 5ml acid in 15L water). I compared the taste against a glass of water straight from the tap.

    I also poured a 330ml bottle of Cobra lager and added 0.11ml of the same lactic acid (again equivalent to 5ml/15L). It's a tiny amount btw, literally 2-3 drops! For comparison I poured a second bottle to try the two side by side.

    Now clearly this is not a blind test - I knew which was which, and I knew exactly what I was looking for.

    Nevertheless, in both the water and the beer I could detect a difference in taste with/without lactic acid added - quite subtle actually, but definitely there (again I emphasise, I knew what I was looking for).

    (Oh, and for all you comedians reading this, yes, I could also detect a clear difference in taste between water and Cobra lager! o_O:laugh8::tongue:)

    With the Cobra the acid taste was more distinct as it warmed up from fridge temp 4degC - if I'm honest I thought the lactic acid was actually an improvement!!! :laugh8: But the difference was really quite subtle - I'm convinced that had I had a mate on hand to act as Guinea pig they would have struggled to pick up much difference at all, much less actually tell me what the difference was. If i just served up a beer like this I have serious doubts anyone would give it a moment's thought.

    So this is interesting and puzzling all at the same time - adding lactic acid 80% at a rate of 5ml/15L is enough (for me at least!) to get over that taste threshold.

    But what I tasted in this little experiment was way more subtle than what I'm tasting with AG#23 Bitsa - and I'm damn sure i didn't do something daft like confuse tsp with tbsp or add the lactic acid twice or something...

    So in one sense it was a helpful exercise, but in another sense I'm almost even more confused as to why AG#23 had such a strong lactic acid twang...

    Nevermind - I still have another 4 x 10L brews either conditioning in bottles or in the FV where i used lactic acid at the same rate so if nothing else that'll provide a few more data points aheadbutt

    (Two of these are stouts and I'm hoping like crazy the roastiness will mask some of this effect! :confused:)
     
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  5. Oct 19, 2019 #145

    strange-steve

    strange-steve

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    Nice, I love a bit of kitchen experimentation even if it raises more questions than it answers. It does seem though that you're sensitive to the lactate taste, in which case swapping back to the CRS is probably a good idea. Hopefully your other brews will be OK.

    clapa
     
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  6. Oct 20, 2019 #146

    matt76

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    2 Updates:

    AG#26 Bloody Head Stout

    Airlock still bubbling occasionally I think - hard to tell which FV it is, as AG#27 is sat alongside it!

    Gravity 1.015 @ 21degC. Hydrometer reads 1.002-1.003 in water @ 18degC.

    It's been in the FV just over 2 weeks so it probably is done, but I'll give it another couple of days then check again.

    Dark obviously but otherwise seems "bright". Not much aroma. Not as much hop character as I might have expected though the amount of bitterness is adequate, not over the top, harsh or aggressive. Smooth mouthfeel. A little sweetness from the crystal malt. Searching hard for any lactic acid taste but really not picking anything up up, certainly nothing obvious or intrusive. Seems promising.....

    AG#27 Chocks Away Best Bitter
    I used CRS in this brew so no concerns about lactic acid taste! (17.5ml CRS in 15L water).

    Airlock still bubbling occasionally.

    Gravity 1.014 @ 21degC. Hydrometer reads 1.002-1.003 in water @ 18degC.

    Still quite cloudy but could just be it hasn't dropped clear yet as only 10 days in the FV. Cold crash might help.

    Nutty aroma, nutty taste! Most likely from the Belgian biscuit malt. Not getting any breadiness from it though. Nevertheless I quite like it. It would go lovely with a bit of caramel flavour in there, maybe from crystal malt for example - there's always next time.....

    Ever so dry! I can almost feel my tongue curling up! Not unpleasant (not to me at least) but it's about as dry as you'd want to go. Not sure why this is, would like to understand the cause for future brews.
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2019
  7. Oct 21, 2019 #147

    cushyno

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    What do you wash your bottles with? Are they getting a good enough rinse?
     
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  8. Oct 21, 2019 #148

    matt76

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    Same as I've been doing pretty much since I started brewing:

    Rinse bottles thoroughly immediately after pouring to remove any crud and stop it getting dried on.

    Then when ready to store away (usually within the next day or two) rinse thoroughly again with hot water, blast with Starsan, shake, leave to stand a few minutes, drain the worst of it then cover with cling film and store away in a plastic crate with lid until required for next use.

    It's a good point, and always worth considering the basics, but I've been doing it this way for long enough without a problem that I don't believe bottles are suddenly the issue.
     
  9. Oct 21, 2019 #149

    cushyno

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    Yea, sounds good. Just a thought.
     
  10. Oct 27, 2019 #150

    matt76

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    Update: AG#26 Bloody Head Stout

    Bottled this today;

    20191026_160557.jpg

    ~10.5L in bottling bucket
    1.94vols CO2
    50g brown sugar boiled in 300ml water for 4mins

    Yield = 20 x 500ml + 1 x 330ml bottles
    Waste = zero!

    Colour = Dark brown to black
    Aroma = Slight malty aroma with very subtle orangey citrus notes.
    Taste = There is a hoppiness there in the aroma and taste but it's very subtle, like a dialled down version of my "Chequered Flag" BIPA - less hoppy but a bit more roast. BJCP guidelines for American Stout pretty much sums it up: "Much more roast and body than a Black IPA".

    ABV = 5.7%
    SRM = 37
    IBU = 38
     
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  11. Oct 27, 2019 #151

    matt76

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    AG#29 "Flat Spin IPA"

    I wanted to make an IPA using some different hops to my simcoe, citra & amarillo hopped "Podium IPA".....

    Instead this brew is heavily inspired by a recipe I found for Green Flash West Coast IPA (no, I've never heard of it either!), but with a simplified grain bill, scaled and adapted to my 10L 30min no-sparge 30min boil process - the original recipe has a rather disorienting hop schedule where you could easily lose your bearings, hence I'm calling this "Flat Spin":
    https://www.homebrewersassociation.org/homebrew-recipe/green-flash-west-coast-ipa/

    I was also aiming for a somewhat reduced strength to suit my tastes so I reduced the grain bill quite a bit. While googling i also found a recipe for Lagunitas IPA which is apparently mashed at 70degC (yes, really!). I wanted to replicate this, though I'm struggling still to hit my mash temps.

    Full recipe details here.

    2500g Golden Promise
    250g Flaked Barley

    Mash 30mins @ 68degC with 15L water

    10L Tesco Ashbeck + 5L tap, treated with 5g gypsum, 7.5ml CRS and 1/2 campden tablet. I noted the water in the HLT was pH 4.8, and 5.2 @ 68degC in the mash at half time.

    Boil 30 mins
    7g each Simcoe and Columbus added at 30mins, 15mins & flameout
    An additional 14g Cascade also added at flameout
    (I'll dry hop for 5 days with Simcoe, Cascade, Amarillo and Centennial)

    Cooled to 20degC in 6 mins with immersion chiller. As is now my tradition I let the crud settle out for about an hour before syphoning 9L crystal clear wort to the FV. I also jugged 3L wort & sludge through a coarse grain bag into plastic bottles to settle out - I'll add the clear wort to the FV over the next couple of days.

    Finally I pitched WY1272 grown from slurry in a starter over the last few days.

    OG = 1.042 which should end up about 4% ABV. Bitterness is about 58 IBUs and colour 5 SRM. Despite the low strength hopefully it'll end up with some body still, and I'm hoping i can keep it nice and clear even with a dry hop. Fingers crossed!
     
  12. Oct 28, 2019 #152

    matt76

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    Updates:

    AG#27 Chocks Away Bitter
    It's done, gravity down to 1.011 but still looking a bit cloudy so I've stuck it in the fridge to cold crash for a few days.

    AG#28 Munich Helles

    20191028_192905.jpg

    Diacetyl rest complete, gravity down to 1.007 (1.010 shown but my hydrometer is consistently out by 3 points!). Looks much less cloudy than before though not quite crystal yet. Tastes fine, clean, crisp, no obvious lactic acid or other off flavours. Moved FV to shed to start cold crash since it's pretty cool weather at the moment, and AG#27 is already occupying the fridge!

    AG#29 Flat Spin IPA
    Bubbling away nicely, I whipped the lid off quickly to top up with 1L clear wort that had settled out in bottles, bringing it up to just over 10L. It smells utterly glorious, can't wait to try this one!
     
  13. Nov 3, 2019 #153

    matt76

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    Update : AG#27 Chocks Away Best Bitter

    20191103_161030.jpg

    20191103_161102.jpg

    It's had nearly a week to cold crash so time to bottle.

    FG = 1.015 (hydrometer reads 1.003 in water so call it 1.012)

    ~10L in bottling bucket
    1.6vols CO2 (neglecting any CO2 absorbed during cold crash!)
    30g table sugar boiled in 250ml water for 4mins

    Yield = 20 x 500ml bottles
    Waste = 25ml

    Colour = Brown (photo looks more ruby, but it's brown) - I think the cold crash has really helped with the clarity.
    Aroma = Nutty
    Taste = Nutty. There's a hint of esteriness appropriate for bitter. Mouthfeel seems pretty good considering the modest strength. The nuttiness seems to have rounded out a bit since previous samples and dryness didn't seem so pronounced - will be interesting to see how it conditions.

    ABV = 4.3%
    SRM = 10
    IBU = 35

    Pleased with the ABV too, I wanted something more sessionable in the locker athumb..acheers.
     
  14. Nov 6, 2019 #154

    matt76

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    Update: AG#29 Flat Spin IPA

    10 days in the FV, gravity and taste check: 1.014 but hydrometer measures 1.003 in water so let's call corrected gravity 1.011, same as FG predicted by BF.

    20191106_134049.jpg


    I'm calling that done so it's time to dry hop.

    It's very clear and pale, though dry hop may change that! Aromas of citrus and floral - more lemony than orangey. Taste reminds me of lemon drops. It's bitter, like a grapefruit bitterness, but a more lemoney flavour. Mouthfeel is good, doesn't seem thin or watery as you might expect for a ~4% brew.

    Let's see what the dry hop does.....

    Added dry hop of loose pellets, 8g each Simcoe, Cascade, Amarillo and Centennial.
     
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  15. Nov 10, 2019 #155

    matt76

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    Updates, updates, lots of updates - and even some pictures.....

    AG#22 GH Cornish Tin Miner's Ale - second tasting:
    After an uncertain first tasting this seems to have improved after a few more weeks in the bottle, nicely balanced. Game on!

    AG#23 Bitsa SCA - second tasting:
    Still no idea what went on with this - everything else seems fine so I can only guess I must have added 1tbsp of lactic acid instead of 1tsp or something. Nevertheless, despite a weird tartness it somehow combines with juicy hops to be quite ok.

    AG#24 Oatmeal Stout first tasting:
    Quite unremarkable but in a good way. It's a stout - it looks like a stout and it tastes like a stout. I'm happy with that.
    20191107_212535.jpg
    20191107_212636.jpg

    AG#25 Vienna Lager emergency first tasting:
    No, seriously I had to! Only 3 weeks in the bottle but I had to try one to help me gauge the right level of carbonation for my Munich Helles (see below). The Vienna Lager is really nice, man I could drink it all day - it's about as dark as a dark bitter and tastes clean with toasty notes. Only slight issue is it's a little under carbonated so I've upped the priming sugar for the Helles.
    20191110_172754.jpg
    20191110_172759.jpg
    20191110_172845.jpg

    AG#26 "Bloody Head" Stout:
    Still a couple more weeks until it's ready to drink but bottle cap labels done in the meantime.
    20191109_160216.jpg

    AG#28 Munich Helles bottled:
    Yield = 30 x 330ml bottles
    Carbonated to 2.5 vols CO2 (hopefully!)

    Colour = Pale yellow straw
    Aroma = Clean
    Taste = Clean, bready, restrained, maybe just the slightest hint of lemon.

    ABV = 4.7%
    SRM = 4
    IBU = 21

    AG#29 "Flat Spin" IPA:
    Dry hopped the other day with 8g each Simcoe, Cascade, Amarillo and Centennial. Should be ready to bottle in the next day or two.
     
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  16. Nov 10, 2019 #156

    Rodcx500z

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    Bloody hell Matt your busy athumb..
     
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  17. Nov 10, 2019 #157

    Rodcx500z

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    Hi Matt I have done 4 wilko kits I had bought for me all tweaked with dme and dry hops, so far no twang, the only thing I have done is leave them alone in the fv for 3 weeks (it,s hard)athumb.. but I have been buying loads of Belgium and german beers next year is going to be grand, the best 2 I have a passion for are Duvel triple, and Hoodagarden, that triple is off the chart gave me a bad head a couple of weeks ago clapaclapaclapaclapa
     
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  18. Nov 12, 2019 at 7:26 PM #158

    pilgrimhudd

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    That oatmeal stout looks bleddy lovely. I had one of my stouts that I brewed back in feb/march the other nights and blimey its improved! Even the mother in law had one!
     
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  19. Nov 13, 2019 at 9:02 PM #159

    matt76

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    Update: AG#29 "Flat Spin" IPA bottled

    OG = 1.042
    FG = 1.010

    2.35vols CO2

    Yield = 19 x 500ml bottles

    Colour = Pale gold, hazy
    Aroma = Citrus
    Taste = Lemony citrus, grapefruit bitterness. Bitter. Dry.

    ABV = 4.2%
    SRM = 5
    IBU = 58

    Big-up to @Keruso who recommended using a hop spider to filter out the dry hops when syphoning to the bottling bucket - this worked a treat. The beer is hazy, just hop haze it think, but I avoided transferring a load of hops. Nice one athumb..

    Anyhow, mouthfeel seems good for something of fairly modest ABV. The BU:GU ratio is actually 1.39 which maybe explains the bitterness!!! It's ok as far as I'm concerned though I'd probably dial it back next time. Overall though I think the lower strength combined with a refreshing grapefruit bitterness will make for a nice session IPA.
     

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