Troubleshooting

I wanted to list some tips, characteristics, fixes etc that the typical hombrewer can use for identifying and fixing their own brews.



ISSUE

1)Astringency-raw grainlikeflavor, dry, puckerlike sensation like grape skins/tannins

INGREDIENT CAUSE

1)Alkalinbe or high sulfate water, stems or skins of fruit, occurs more with often with 6 row malts

PROCESS CAUSE

1)Oversparging
Excess Trub
Poor Hop Break (improper boiling)
Sparge Water Temp too high (over 175F), Oxidize hot wort
EQUIPMENT CAUSE





HANDLING AND PROCESS NOTES
1)Aging reduces astringency





2)Bitter-Sensation perceived on roof of mouth or back of tounge-think hops
2)Black and roasted malts and grains, lotsa hops, and alkaline water can draw bitter components from grains

2)Long rolling boil will create more hop bitterness. High fermentation temps and quick fermentations will decrease bitterness of hops
2)Filtration decreases bitterness

2)Aging/oxidation decreases bitterness
3)Body-Sensation of viscosity:thick(full bodied) or thin(light bodied) beers
3)Full-Use of malto dextrin, dextrinous malts, lactose, crystal malt, carmel malt, cara pils
Thn-use of highly fermentable malt and other sugars (corn sugar, honey, etc), or use of enzymes that break down carbohydrates in mash.
3) Full-high temp mash (158F ish)
Thin-Low temp mash (150F ish)


3) Thin-Aged beers will lose body.
Infections (yeast of bacteria) will break down carbohydrates.

4) Clarity-clear beer!
4) High-use of protein reducing enzymes (papain)
Low-All malt beers have higher likelihood of chill haze due to proteins than adjunct beers
Low-Use of wheat malt or unmalted barley can increase chill haze.
Low-Infection (wild yeast or bactierial) can cause cloudy beer.
High-Use of polyclar or active silica gel
4)Low-Overmilling/ginding grain
High-Long vigorous boil and proper cooling


4)Low-bactieria from dirty plasic equipment-especially siphon hoses, scratched fermenter etc
High-filtration can help clear beer

4)High-bottle condition ice cold can clear beer with time
Low-dirty bottles can cause infection/haze

5)Degree of carbonation

5)High-Wild yeast/bacterial infection will cause overcarbonation and gushing as they break down carbohydrates left in finished beer
High-over priming
Note: High iron content will cause gushing. Malts containing Fusarium (mold) from wet harvesting of barley causes gushing. Precipitates of excess salts in bottle cause gushing
5)Low-colder temps inhibit ale yeast
Low-long lagered beer may not have enough viable yeast for bottle condition (carbonating) properly. (Bottle first, then lager)
5)High-unsanitary equipment can introduce bacteria at bottling time causing overcarbonation
Uneven-pour priming sugar into bottling bucket FIRST, then transfer beer into bucket, for even sugar distribution
5)High-unsanitary bottles cause infection and gushing
High-Overpriming kegs; sugar prime kegs at 1/3 rate of bottle condition
High-agitation
Low-improper seal on bottle cap
6) Diacetyl-Butter or butterscotch flavor

6)High-unhealthy, non-floculating yeast
High-not enough nitrogen based yeast nutrient in wort
High-not enough oxygen in wort when pitching yeast
High-bacterial contamination
High/Low-yeast selection will influence production of diacetyl
high-excessive use of adjucts like corn or rice, deficient in amino acid (soluble nitrogen based nutrient)
6)High-chilling fermentation too soon
High-high temp iinitial fermentation
High-premature fining takes yeast out of suspension too soon
Low-agitated extended fermentation
Low-high temperature during extended fermentation
Low-Kraeusening

6) High-bacteria from equipment
High/low-configuration and size of fermentation vessel will influence production



7) DMS or Diemethylsulfide-cooked cabbage or sweet corn-like

7) High- the moisture content of malt used is high, 6 row varieties especially
High-Bacterial contamination of wort
Low-use ofEnglish 2-row malt
High-Under pitching of yeast (lag time)
High-Bacterially infected yeast slurry
7)Low-Longer boil will diminish DMS
High-Oversparging at low temps (especially below 160F)
7)High-Bacteria from equipment


7)High-Introduction of unfiltered CO2 produced by fermentation. Bottle priming will produce small amounts.


8) Fruity/Estery-flavors similar to fruits such as strawberry, banana, rasberry, apple, pear

8) Yeast strains produce various esters.
High-Loaded with fruit
8) High-Excessive trub
High-Warm Fermentation
High-High pitching rates
High-High gravity wort
High-High aeration of wort
Low-Opposite of above

8)Low-Age will reduce esters to closely related fusel alcohols and acids (solventlike qualities)

9)Head retention-physical and visual degree of foam stability

9)Good-High malt content
Poor-use of overmodified or underkilned malt
Good-mashing in of barley flakes
Good-licorice, crystal malt, dextrine (cara pils) malt, wheat malt
Good-High bittering hops in boil
Poor-hard water
Poor-germ oil in whole grain
Poor-elevated levels of high alcohols
good-high nitrogen content
9)Low-oversparging (releases fatty acids)
Low-high aeration of wort before pitching
Low-extended enzymatic molecular breakdown of carbohydrates during mashing
Low-fatty acid release during yeast autolysis
Low-high fermentation temps (production of higher alcohols)
High-good rolling boil in kettle
9)Poor-cleaning residues,improper rinsing of fats, oils. detergents, soaps
Poor-filtration can reduce head retention


9)Low-oxidation/aging breaks down head stabilizing agents
Low-dirty bottles, improperly rinsed
Low-improperly cleaned glasses

10)Metallic-tinny, coinlike, bloodlike

10)High-high iron content in water

10)High-mild steel, aluminium, cast iron
High-cleaning stainless steel or copper subsequently oxidizing surfaces to form a protective layer of oxide on metal


11)Oxidation-paper or cardboardlike, winey, sherrylike, rotten pineapple or rotten vegies

11)Low-addiction of ascorbic acid (vitamin c)

11) High-aeration when siphoning or pumping
High-adding tap or aerated water to finished beer


11)High-malfunction airlock

11)High-too much air space in bottle
High-warm temps
High-age
12) Phenolic-medicinal, Band-Aid-Like, smoky, clovelike, plasticlike

12)High-Chlorinated (Tap) water
High-Wild Yeast
High-Bacteria
High-wheat malt(clovelike) or roasted barley/malts or smoked malts (smoky)

12) High- Oversparging mash
High-boiling grains


12)High- defective bottlecap linings

13)Salty-sensation generally perceived on sides of tongue as with table salt (NaCl)

13)High-brewing salts, particularly those containing sodium chloride (table salt) and magnesium sulfate (epsom salts)



14)Sour/Acidic-sensation generally perceived at sides of tongue as in lemon juice (citric acid)

14)High-introduction of lactobacillus, acetobacter, or other acid-forming bacteria
High-Too much refined sugar
High-addition of citric acid
High-excessive acorbic acid

14)High-mashing too long promotes bacterial growth and acid byproducts in mash
High-Bacteria in wort, fermentation
High-excessive fermentation temps promote bacterial growth
Low-proper sanitization of equipment

14)High-bacteria harbored in scratched surfaces of plastic, glass, stainless, improper welds, valves, spigots, gaskets, discolored plastic
High-use of wooden spoon in cooled wort or fermentation

14)High-Storage at warm temps
high-unsanitary bottles or kegs

15) Sulfur-sulfur dioxide, hydrogen sulfide (rotten eggs)
15)High-various yeast strains will produce byproducts
High-malt releases minor amounts

15)High-yeast autolysis (sedimented yeast in contact with beer in fermenter too long)
High/Low-yeast strains will influence



16)Sweet-sensation generally perceived on the tip of the tongue as with sucrose (white table sugar)

16)High-high malt content
High-crystal malt, Munich malt, and toasted malt create sweet malt flavor
High-low hopping
High-licorice
High-low attenuation or unhealthy yeast strains

16)High-within the general 145-150 range of mash temps. The higher temps 155-160 produce more unfermentable carbohydrates


16)Low-aging reduces sweetness

ISSUE
INGREDIENT CAUSE

PROCESS CAUSE
EQUIPMENT CAUSE
HANDLING AND PROCESS NOTES