Robust lingering bitterness

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Sadfield

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Hmmm I was beginning to think that too, but the (very fair) feedback from the recent comp on the above lager was pretty clear on the point (!)
If it was a comp with qualified judges you should have an indication from the feedback whether the issue was astringency or the beer too bitter for the style.
 

Oneflewover

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If it was a comp with qualified judges you should have an indication from the feedback whether the issue was astringency or the beer too bitter for the style.
I think that you may have stumbled upon one of the issues here 😃. I'm certainly not a qualified judge, and I have confessed that I do struggle to tell the difference between bitterness and astringency. My feeling is that it was the latter, but until TETB put me straight I would have sworn that it was perceived bitterness as a result of a sulphate forward liquor.
 

Oneflewover

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That said, and just looking over the recipe, I might expect - empirically - that 24g of an 8%AAU hop at 75mins in 23l brew length would result in higher than 26ibus. I think my observation (and forgive me @The-Engineer-That-Brews if you would have preferred me to be more discrete) was that the beer was somewhat unbalanced, and maybe 26ibus in a 4% lager was not quite to my personal taste.
 

marshbrewer

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I had a similar perceived bitterness / astringency that I struggled with. For unrelated reasons, I recently went from a plastic cool box mash tun to a stainless thermopot based one. This involved changing the plastic pipework from the HLT to the sparge arm as well.

I've absolutely no idea why* and I'm not counting my chickens just yet, but the three batches I have done since (all blonde beers where this astringency would have been most noticeable) are fine.


* I suspect my old tubing wasn't suitable for HLT temperatures and was tainting the mash and sparge water, as millions use plastic mash tuns without issues, but it's only a guess; it was a bit stained and battered.
 
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forgive me @The-Engineer-That-Brews if you would have preferred me to be more discrete
Good lord no - quite the opposite: I thought your judging remarks were bang on, and precisely the reason I entered: i.e. to get fair and objective feedback athumb.. Getting f/b from friends and swaps is pretty hopeless because everyone is WAY too kind.
You did a great job running that comp - and clearly it's a lot of work.
 
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That said, and just looking over the recipe, I might expect - empirically - that 24g of an 8%AAU hop at 75mins in 23l brew length would result in higher than 26ibus. I think my observationwas that the beer was somewhat unbalanced, and maybe 26ibus in a 4% lager was not quite to my personal taste.
Very interesting! I got the BU:GU ratio straight from the GH recipe... BUT the problem (having just checked my detailed notes from the brew-day) was that my efficiency was WAY down on normal, leading to a lower than expected OG.

IMG_6949.jpeg
 

dmtaylor

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Since your OG only hit 1.035, I think this threw your BU:GU ratio out of whack (BU:GU of 0.74 is fairly high).

Also I think your sparge pH was likely quite high around 6.0 or higher, unless you acidified your sparge water. This could lead to astringency in addition to your high BU:GU, the combination of which might be what you are experiencing.
 
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UPDATE: I think I may have found part of the reason for the high bitterness in my brews. It's how I filter the wort out of the boiler.

I boil in a 30L Burco and I use only whole-leaf hops.
I throw the hops in loose and let them 'free roam' in the boil. This probably does already give me a higher hop utilisation than if I used a hop-spider - but I don't think that's a massive effect.

To filter the hops I use a false bottom made from a drum sieve.
After the boil I wait 10 mins for the hops to settle onto this, then siphon the wort out from underneath via a tube connected to the tap:
1654433250420.png

I was pleased when I came up with this arrangement: it allows me to recover almost the entire kettle volume; and the layer of hops acts like a filter-bed and gives me nice clear wort.
BUT the run-off is fairly slow (15-20 mins) and the full volume of hot wort runs through the bed of spent hops.

I think it's these last two factors that cause the problem: 20 mins more soaking of the hops in the still hot liquor, and then the run-off draining through them to extract every last IBU.

I'd be interested in people's thoughts on this. In the mean time I shall borrow a hop-spider for my next brew and see if that makes any difference...
 

the baron

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I would definitely say this is it, its like doing a extra hopstand/whirlpool for the extra time the hops are in contact with the wort and the draining through them will flush out anything left too. I know you will get the scientists who say you do not get further IBU's below a certain temp but in real terms yes you do and thats why I use a hop spider so the hops can be removed at the correct time and stop any further utilisation/IBU extraction
 

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