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Drying out the finish of a beer...


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#1 ER Pemberton

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Posted 17 June 2019 - 10:31 AM

I have my helles on tap right now.  I consider it good but I'm noticing that with the low-oxygen processes in place, using the malty Weyermann Barke Pils and with having all the hop additions at FWH or the start of the boil, the finish could be slightly drier.  I mentioned this to Drez and he said that mashing longer and/or lower don't seem to help with this.  This is not as pronounced on my American Lager where there is a late hop addition (5 minutes left in the boil).  My source water has 27ppm of sulfate and I don't add any additional SO4.  LeftyFromDE sent me a nice helles from a local brewery and the first thing I noticed was the crisp and dry finish on the beer.  Any thoughts on this?

 

EDIT:  The low-O2 guys say that the low-O2 processes should make beers finish drier but they also say that those processes bring out more malty depth in the beer so it's tough to square those two concepts.  



#2 HVB

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Posted 17 June 2019 - 10:35 AM

Do you think upping the SO4 could help in the perception of dryness?


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#3 ER Pemberton

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Posted 17 June 2019 - 10:41 AM

Do you think upping the SO4 could help in the perception of dryness?

On one hand, yes.  OTOH, sometimes too much SO4 in a soft, pale beer like that is wrong.  It could just be a very, very fine line.  The other idea is a modest addition of hops at FO but I feel like a helles should not really have that... but that's more just me being a style-nazi (relatively speaking) as opposed to just doing whatever is necessary to create the beer I want.  It's a hard thing to describe but I noticed it in the finish of that beer that Lefty sent me... it's not a flavor as much as it is a component of the brewing.

 

Drez, if you make a helles, do you happen to know your SO4 level?  What about the low-O2 guys suggesting just mashing the hell out of a beer... 2, 3 hours?  Or could it be a step-mash doing this?  Maybe one of these 145x30 + 160x60 kind of things?

 

Also, I sent an email to the brewery.  ;)



#4 HVB

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Posted 17 June 2019 - 10:51 AM

So, my helles is designed after what I like so I am not sure how it will fit in for you.  My SO4 is a lot higher than yours!!  I think the 145/160 mash schedule would be better than a 3 hour mash. 

 

Ingredients:

9.5 lb (90.5%) Pilsen Malt - added during mash

.5 lb (4.8%) Acid Malt - added during mash

.5 lb (4.8%) 2-Row Carapils® Malt - added during mash

56 g (80.0%) Hallertauer Mittelfrüher (3.9%) - added during boil, boiled 30 m

14 g (20.0%) Hallertauer Mittelfrüher (3.9%) - added during boil, boiled 5 m

0.0 ea White Labs WLP833 German Bock Lager

 

Notes

Water

Ca - 68

Mg - 3

Na - 24

SO4 - 78

Cl - 64

 

pH - 5.31


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#5 ER Pemberton

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Posted 17 June 2019 - 11:05 AM

My calcium is about the same as is my chloride.  My SO4 is 27 and I think my Na is only 12-13 so yours is about double mine.  I could see adding a smidge more and see how it comes out.  When I emailed the brewery I asked about the entire beer (grist, hops, water, mash schedule) with the hope they divulge all.  :lol:



#6 HVB

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Posted 17 June 2019 - 11:11 AM

My calcium is about the same as is my chloride.  My SO4 is 27 and I think my Na is only 12-13 so yours is about double mine.  I could see adding a smidge more and see how it comes out.  When I emailed the brewery I asked about the entire beer (grist, hops, water, mash schedule) with the hope they divulge all.  :lol:

 

My sodium is what comes in my water. I have read that you do not notice it till 100PPM


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#7 ER Pemberton

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Posted 17 June 2019 - 11:15 AM

My sodium is what comes in my water. I have read that you do not notice it till 100PPM

I've asked about that many times.  Some have mentioned that sodium enhances the flavor of whatever it's used in so would a lower-sodium beer be boring compared to a higher-sodium beer?  Any time I asked on any forum, the replies were not very informative or people just shrugged and said they didn't think it mattered much.  I could see a smidge more SO4 and/or a ½ ounce hop addition at FO or something but I'm also interested in the response from the brewery... if I get one.  



#8 denny

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Posted 17 June 2019 - 11:23 AM

Add a bit of sulfate to the glass, then figure out how much to add to the keg.  Works great!


I've asked about that many times.  Some have mentioned that sodium enhances the flavor of whatever it's used in so would a lower-sodium beer be boring compared to a higher-sodium beer?  Any time I asked on any forum, the replies were not very informative or people just shrugged and said they didn't think it mattered much.  I could see a smidge more SO4 and/or a ½ ounce hop addition at FO or something but I'm also interested in the response from the brewery... if I get one.  

 

Sodium will enhance the malt and sweetness in beer.


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#9 ER Pemberton

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Posted 17 June 2019 - 11:26 AM

Add a bit of sulfate to the glass, then figure out how much to add to the keg.  Works great!


 

Sodium will enhance the malt and sweetness in beer.

Good call on both.  Thanks Denny.

 

Is it possible that chloride could also enhance the malt and sweetness in a beer?  In a helles I typically add only chloride and there is FAR more chloride than sulfate in the beer.



#10 HVB

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Posted 17 June 2019 - 11:26 AM

 

Sodium will enhance the malt and sweetness in beer.

At what PPM though?  I swear I have seen post from Martin saying that up to 100ppm it is not detectable.  I may be wrong and mis-remembering what I saw though.


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#11 ER Pemberton

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Posted 17 June 2019 - 11:46 AM

At what PPM though?  I swear I have seen post from Martin saying that up to 100ppm it is not detectable.  I may be wrong and mis-remembering what I saw though.

It could explain why very few brewers have a passionate feeling for Na in a beer.  If it were something that made a HUGE difference at various levels, you would think we would have heard about it.  When people bounce recipes around, Na is rarely mentioned.  



#12 Zsasz

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Posted 17 June 2019 - 12:54 PM

I'll check my helles water numbers when I get home...
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#13 ER Pemberton

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Posted 17 June 2019 - 01:08 PM

It should be mentioned that I'm looking to make some very fine adjustments.  My sprinkler guy was just here and the tradition is that I feed him some beers while he's working and he likes his gold lagers.  I tapped him a couple glasses of this helles and the appearance and aroma are just stellar.  The flavor is great too but one small tweak to slightly dry it out and I think it would be perfect.  



#14 Zsasz

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Posted 17 June 2019 - 01:09 PM

I may not be the best person to ask since I add Munich and carapils to my helles. Do you just use base malt?

Edited by Zsasz, 17 June 2019 - 01:10 PM.

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#15 denny

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Posted 17 June 2019 - 01:27 PM

Good call on both.  Thanks Denny.

 

Is it possible that chloride could also enhance the malt and sweetness in a beer?  In a helles I typically add only chloride and there is FAR more chloride than sulfate in the beer.

 

Yep, chloride will do that.  Sodium will do it more.


At what PPM though?  I swear I have seen post from Martin saying that up to 100ppm it is not detectable.  I may be wrong and mis-remembering what I saw though.

 

IIRC, the numbers he quoted were more like 25-30 ppm.  But I could be mis remembering, too.


It could explain why very few brewers have a passionate feeling for Na in a beer.  If it were something that made a HUGE difference at various levels, you would think we would have heard about it.  When people bounce recipes around, Na is rarely mentioned.  

 

My dad seldom drank beer, but when he did he would always put salt in it.  He said it made the beer less bitter and also reduced the carbonation.  He didn't realize it, but the salt provided nucleation sites for CO2.


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#16 ER Pemberton

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Posted 17 June 2019 - 01:54 PM

This latest helles (and it's typically in this zip code) is 74/11/11/4 Barke Pils, Munich 2, Vienna, CaraHell.  An ounce of Hallertau as a FWH and another ounce at 30.  Tough to calc out the IBUs because none of the calculators I use will add the FWH addition... it comes up zero.  I could see a smidge more SO4, a ½ ounce hop addition at FO or maybe less chloride.  



#17 HVB

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Posted 17 June 2019 - 02:19 PM

Here is what I was thinking about. From brew'n waters FB page December 23,2015

SODIUM...IT'S OK IN BEER

A recent post by a brewer with somewhat elevated sodium content in his tap water pointed out a potential misconception that many brewers have about sodium. Many think that sodium is never desirable in beer, but it's OK to have a modest sodium content in beer. This is one of the many points that John Palmer and I tried to point out in the Water book. Great beer can be made with sodium in the brewing water.

One of the trials that John conducted while working on the book was to spike a few of his beers with various sodium salts to assess the effect on beer flavor. In every case, beer flavor improved with minor sodium content. Fifty to 100 ppm sodium is not a red flag for all brewing. In the case of darker styles, sodium is very often beneficial to beer flavor.

The illustrative finding from the brewer mentioned above with the elevated sodium content in his water, is that he has advanced multiple beers brewed with his tap water to the final round of the National Homebrew Championship and the MCAB. Having tasted at least one of his beers myself, I can attest that sodium in the 80 to 100 ppm range can taste great. By the way, sodium doesn't taste salty until its concentration is around 250 ppm. That is well above the desirable level in beer.

Don't be afraid of sodium in your brewing water. The only caution is that high sodium with high sulfate can be rough tasting. Otherwise, do consider boosting sodium in some of your beers.

Enjoy!
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#18 denny

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Posted 17 June 2019 - 02:28 PM

Here is what I was thinking about. From brew'n waters FB page December 23,2015

SODIUM...IT'S OK IN BEER

A recent post by a brewer with somewhat elevated sodium content in his tap water pointed out a potential misconception that many brewers have about sodium. Many think that sodium is never desirable in beer, but it's OK to have a modest sodium content in beer. This is one of the many points that John Palmer and I tried to point out in the Water book. Great beer can be made with sodium in the brewing water.

One of the trials that John conducted while working on the book was to spike a few of his beers with various sodium salts to assess the effect on beer flavor. In every case, beer flavor improved with minor sodium content. Fifty to 100 ppm sodium is not a red flag for all brewing. In the case of darker styles, sodium is very often beneficial to beer flavor.

The illustrative finding from the brewer mentioned above with the elevated sodium content in his water, is that he has advanced multiple beers brewed with his tap water to the final round of the National Homebrew Championship and the MCAB. Having tasted at least one of his beers myself, I can attest that sodium in the 80 to 100 ppm range can taste great. By the way, sodium doesn't taste salty until its concentration is around 250 ppm. That is well above the desirable level in beer.

Don't be afraid of sodium in your brewing water. The only caution is that high sodium with high sulfate can be rough tasting. Otherwise, do consider boosting sodium in some of your beers.

Enjoy!

 

Thanks for that!  I was thinking he quoted lower levels on the AHA forum.  Notice though, that he says "for all brewing" and poi ts out that darker styles can take more.  This implies to me that less than 50-100 would be better for lighter beers.  Only way to know fir certain is to try it on different styles.


Edited by denny, 17 June 2019 - 02:30 PM.

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#19 ER Pemberton

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Posted 17 June 2019 - 02:29 PM

Here is what I was thinking about. From brew'n waters FB page December 23,2015

SODIUM...IT'S OK IN BEER

A recent post by a brewer with somewhat elevated sodium content in his tap water pointed out a potential misconception that many brewers have about sodium. Many think that sodium is never desirable in beer, but it's OK to have a modest sodium content in beer. This is one of the many points that John Palmer and I tried to point out in the Water book. Great beer can be made with sodium in the brewing water.

One of the trials that John conducted while working on the book was to spike a few of his beers with various sodium salts to assess the effect on beer flavor. In every case, beer flavor improved with minor sodium content. Fifty to 100 ppm sodium is not a red flag for all brewing. In the case of darker styles, sodium is very often beneficial to beer flavor.

The illustrative finding from the brewer mentioned above with the elevated sodium content in his water, is that he has advanced multiple beers brewed with his tap water to the final round of the National Homebrew Championship and the MCAB. Having tasted at least one of his beers myself, I can attest that sodium in the 80 to 100 ppm range can taste great. By the way, sodium doesn't taste salty until its concentration is around 250 ppm. That is well above the desirable level in beer.

Don't be afraid of sodium in your brewing water. The only caution is that high sodium with high sulfate can be rough tasting. Otherwise, do consider boosting sodium in some of your beers.

Enjoy!

I like it but I wonder if they saw that LOW sodium equated to bland beer.  



#20 Zsasz

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Posted 17 June 2019 - 03:33 PM

my last munich helles water profile:

 

Ca: 39

Mg: 3

Na: 29

SO4: 58

Cl: 52

 

no sparge mash pH was about 5.3


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