Blonde ale strangeness.

Discussion in 'Homebrewing' started by gvickery, Nov 29, 2018.

  1. gvickery

    gvickery Aspirant (266) May 13, 2017 Texas

    My blonde ale (faux Pilsner) has turned out a little odd. First, my 3000 watt induction burner did not produce a very robust boil and I ended up with too much dms. I fermented very cool with Nottingham dry yeast (52-56) for 8 days and then 65 for 3 more days. (OG 1.048. FG 1.007) I’m thinking maybe I should have went 6 or 7 more. Another weird thing is the color, I was anticipating between 2 and 3L but it’s more like 6 or 8. My grain bill was 9lbs Pilsner and 1lb Vienna. It tasted good before bottling but after 17 days in the bottle the carbonation is perfect but it has a fair amount of cooked vegetable flavor. It’s not undrinkable but certainly not good. Will some of this go away if I load it all in the fridge and let it sit? If so, what kinda time frame? Not concerned about the color but it’s sure darker than I expected.
     
  2. GreenKrusty101

    GreenKrusty101 Crusader (730) Dec 4, 2008 Nevada

    ...even though Lallemand says it's good from 50-72*F, it performs much better from 65-72*F IMHO. US-05 from Fermentis on the other hand, will handle the mid 50s no problem...again, IMHO

    The wimpy Induction burner probably didn't help either :slight_smile:...maybe sub some Caramel Pils in for the Vienna also. Cheers
     
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  3. dmtaylor

    dmtaylor Aspirant (204) Dec 30, 2003 Wisconsin

    DMS will not age out. Not sure what's going on with the color, might be a mislabeling issue on seller's end or yours, who knows, maybe you actually got a pound of dark Munich or crystal or who knows instead of one or both malts. Chalk it up to a one-time error and hope for the best next time. And yeah... boil a little harder.
     
  4. VikeMan

    VikeMan Meyvn (1,469) Jul 12, 2009 Pennsylvania

    Do you know what your mash pH was?
     
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  5. gvickery

    gvickery Aspirant (266) May 13, 2017 Texas

    Yeah I’m thinking it might have been caravienna instead. I fermented low trying to make it more lager like without the longer ferment time a real lager requires. I got the induction burner after a lot of research, it’s a commercial size running on 220v at 3000 watts, not sure why it’s not working better. I guess the propane’s coming back out. I’ll let it sit for a few more weeks, maybe the flavors will come together. It’s not horrible but you notice it on the finish. At least it’s pretty hoppy, 1oz sterling at 60, 1 oz each of sterling and liberty at 10. Approximately 35 ibu.
     
  6. gvickery

    gvickery Aspirant (266) May 13, 2017 Texas

    No I don’t. How’s the best way to test the mash ph? Would a pool test kit work?
     
  7. VikeMan

    VikeMan Meyvn (1,469) Jul 12, 2009 Pennsylvania

    I don't know anything about pool test kits. But the best way to test mash pH is with a pH meter. The reason I brought it up is that high mash pH can result in more maillard reactions in the boil, darkening the wort.
     
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  8. gvickery

    gvickery Aspirant (266) May 13, 2017 Texas

    I wanted it to be clean with no esters, that’s why I went low. My induction rig really pisses me off. I did a lot of research and got a 220v 3000 watt that should be boiling the hell out of my 8.5 gals. Guess it’s back to propane.
     
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  9. gvickery

    gvickery Aspirant (266) May 13, 2017 Texas

    If the mash ph is high would it be my tap water? If that’s the cause I know I can test the ph of my water. I think I got a lb of caravienna instead of the Vienna though. Except for the dms aftertaste it’s pretty close to what I was after. Maybe slightly on the sweet side. I’m going to make another batch with just Pilsner.
     
  10. minderbender

    minderbender Initiate (186) Jan 18, 2009 New York

    The mash pH is a function of a lot of things, including the mineral content of your tap water, but it is not really a function of the pH of your tap water. Calcium and magnesium in your tap water will react with the malt to lower the pH, while carbonate will increase the pH. Mash pH is also a function of the malt - roasted malt and crystal malt tend to lower the pH, while a beer made with mostly base malt will tend to be higher pH.

    There are spreadsheets to calculate all of this. The ones I've used are EZWater, Bru'nwater, and BrewCipher (that's the one published by VikeMan, it's the one I use these days). You input certain details from your water report (if you can get one from your water provider), and then you input the grain bill and water adjustments for each recipe. You can dial in an appropriate pH by adjusting the additions of calcium chloride and calcium sulfate (gypsum), and by adding food-grade lactic or phosphoric acid. (It can get a bit more complicated than that, but not by much.)

    To my mind, there's no other way to design a new recipe. Once you've brewed a recipe, of course, you probably don't have to run the numbers again, unless you know that your water source has changed.
     
  11. gvickery

    gvickery Aspirant (266) May 13, 2017 Texas

    I’ll check with my water district if they have specs on the water. I appreciate all your help. I gave a sample to the wife and asked her to tell me the first flavor that comes to her mind and she said “corn”. She also said it wasn’t overwhelming so at least that’s good. I only get to brew about every 2 or 3 months so I’m a work in progress. There’s a fairly large brew club in my area, I guess I need to get over my antisocial self and join. Your expertise is a big help, I’m gonna get this right one of these days.
     
  12. VikeMan

    VikeMan Meyvn (1,469) Jul 12, 2009 Pennsylvania

    @minderbender provided a good summary/primer on this above.

    Caravienne would have been pretty obviously darker than the Pilsner, just looking at the malt itself. Vienna would have been more subtly darker than the pilsner, but still easy to distinguish side by side with pilsner.

    The public reports often don't contain all the information brewers need, but you might get lucky. If not, Ward Lab can test your water for 20-something dollars. (Not sure of the price these days.) Here are the numbers you need:
    Ca
    Mg
    Na
    Cl
    SO4
    Alkalinity as HCO3 or Alkalinity as CaCO3

    ETA: If you can test the pH of your tap water, you should be able to test the pH of the mash, which is the important thing.
     
  13. Eriktheipaman

    Eriktheipaman Savant (938) Sep 4, 2010 California

    As said above, DMS will not diminish with age. As for color, I'd guess oxidation is more likely, but that seems like a pretty big jump in SRM.
     
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  14. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,712) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Premium

    When you speak to them tell them you are a brewer and that you need mineral content information. When I called my municipal water supplier and asked for a water report including mineral amounts he responded: You must be a homebrewer, I know the report you need."

    Cheers!
     
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  15. EvenMoreJesus

    EvenMoreJesus Champion (866) Jun 8, 2017 Pennsylvania
    Premium Trader

    Agreed on the oxidation bit. This doesn't sound like DMS, however. More like sulfur-based compounds from the colder than ideal fermentation temperatures. Those will age out.
     
  16. dmtaylor

    dmtaylor Aspirant (204) Dec 30, 2003 Wisconsin

    "Cooked vegetable" and "corn" sounds exactly like DMS.
     
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  17. EvenMoreJesus

    EvenMoreJesus Champion (866) Jun 8, 2017 Pennsylvania
    Premium Trader

    Sure. As long as you trust what he's describing. DMS character, with modern malts, is VERY difficult to create. Malt produced using older techniques, like floor malting, is a different story.
     
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  18. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,712) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Premium

    @gvickery posted: "I gave a sample to the wife and asked her to tell me the first flavor that comes to her mind and she said “corn”."

    That sure sounds like DMS to me.

    Also in post #1 he stated: "...did not produce a very robust boil..."

    Not having a robust boil and the resulting beer having a flavor of "corn" = DMS in my opinion.

    Cheers!

    P.S. For those of you who are AHA members I would recommend that you read/watch the presentation that Martin Brungard gave at HomebrewCon 2018 which relates to this thread discussion.
     
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  19. dmtaylor

    dmtaylor Aspirant (204) Dec 30, 2003 Wisconsin

    While I agree that DMS is a rare problem in the 21st century, it's far from impossible, and seems most likely in this instance.
     
  20. GreenKrusty101

    GreenKrusty101 Crusader (730) Dec 4, 2008 Nevada

    If it tastes like corn, it's probably got fucking corn in it :stuck_out_tongue:
     
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  21. EvenMoreJesus

    EvenMoreJesus Champion (866) Jun 8, 2017 Pennsylvania
    Premium Trader

    Although I would disagree on the latter statement, it's kind of a moot point as neither of us will get to try the beer or see if the character ages out in the long term.
     
  22. dmtaylor

    dmtaylor Aspirant (204) Dec 30, 2003 Wisconsin

    Cheers to that.
     
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  23. Brewday

    Brewday Initiate (118) Dec 25, 2015 New York

    I think your problem is something else and not the boil. My boil rate is slow 3/4 gals per hour and i don't get the corn issue.
     
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  24. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,712) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Premium

    And that is for a wort that is predominantly from Pilsner Malt? If so, which malting company/type of Pilsner Malt?

    Also, how long do you boil your Pilsner Malt wort?

    Cheers!
     
  25. Brewday

    Brewday Initiate (118) Dec 25, 2015 New York

    That rate is for every malt i use. I mostly use Avangard pale and pilsner which is suppose to be highly modified and create less dms. I also do whirlpools for every batch which also helps.Here's some good reading.
    http://brulosophy.com/2015/09/14/boil-length-pt-2-pilsner-malt-exbeeriment-results/
    http://brulosophy.com/2015/10/08/update-lab-data-on-pils-malt-boil-length-exbeeriment/
    http://scottjanish.com/how-to-prevent-dms-in-beer/
     
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  26. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,712) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Premium

    The issue with Pilsner Malt is that since it is lightly kilned it is higher in the precursor of S-methylmethionine (SMM) vs. more heavily kilned malts (e.g., Pale Malt, etc.).

    Based upon your input of Avengard Pilsner malt creates less DMS I would surmise that specific malt has lower amounts of SMM and therefore less likelihood of perceptible DMS after the boil (i.e., lesser amounts of SMM to create DMS).

    If you are a member of AHA you can read the presentation entitled Boil Pro: What Homebrewers Can Learn from Pros on Wort Boiling that Martin Brungard gave at HomebrewCon 2018. There is data in that presentation.

    Cheers!
     
  27. NeroFiddled

    NeroFiddled Poo-Bah (10,334) Jul 8, 2002 Pennsylvania
    Premium Trader

    This just happened to me! An entire 55# bag of malt that was supposed to be caramel/crystal appears to have been simply pale malt - mislabeled. I have my malt pre-milled so I'm assuming I got the other bag (with the caramel/crystal) but where did it go? I'm no fool, I've been doing this for 25 years, and I didn't make a mistake on this, whomever was doing the milling of the grain did. It's a simple mistake, throwing the wrong label on when the milled and re-sewn bags all look the same, and I'd imagine this happens to home-brew shops as well.

    Luckily I caught it, and I assume I'll find the caramel/crystal soon enough, but that could have been a disaster depending on whatever beer it might have gotten in to.
     
  28. gvickery

    gvickery Aspirant (266) May 13, 2017 Texas

    It’s a good thing you won’t get to sample it, it’s awful. I’m pretty sure my Vienna was actually caravienna, I’m drinking an Oktoberfest right now and mine is the same color. I think it was my lack of boil, I just tried another bottle and it seems like it’s getting worse. Well, my ingredients costs about $28, probably going down the drain soon. I guess I’ll try it again, surely I’ll figure this out at some point.
     
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  29. gvickery

    gvickery Aspirant (266) May 13, 2017 Texas

    I wish that was the case.
     
  30. EvenMoreJesus

    EvenMoreJesus Champion (866) Jun 8, 2017 Pennsylvania
    Premium Trader

    Probably your best bet.