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Soapy flavors in a dry hopped IPAs

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  • Soapy flavors in a dry hopped IPAs

    Good day.

    In our last few batches of decently hopped IPAs ((1.5#/BBL in kettle)(.75#/BBL Dry)) we have gotten a subtle soapy flavor in the aftertaste. The hops are 2014 crop year, and the beer was only on the yeast cake for 12 days (assuming Autolysis isn't the factor). We ferment at 68F, but we don't drop the yeast out unless we are harvesting it. The beers in question have both been on the cake for the full 12 days, and were also dry hopped while the cake was still in the cone. After 11 days in the ferm, the temps are dropped to 50F, and the beer is moved to the brites the next day.

    So my questions are these:

    What would cause a soapy flavor in beer?

    How long until Autolysis begins to happen?

    Is there a benefit in dropping yeast before dry hopping?

    Thanks in advance.

  • #2
    What hops did you dry hop with. I have had beers that were heavily hopped with sorachi ace and had a strong soapy flavor to them.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by jebzter View Post
      What hops did you dry hop with. I have had beers that were heavily hopped with sorachi ace and had a strong soapy flavor to them.
      The first beer was Columbus, the second was Centennial.

      One other thing to note - Our yeast is counted, weighed, and is always at least 93% viable when pitching.

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      • #4
        in my experience, soapiness usually comes from the hop variety in combination with other flavors going on; yeast esters, etc.
        for example I get some soapiness from nugget hops and certain english ale strains.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by biglakebrewing View Post
          What would cause a soapy flavor in beer?
          Do you treat your brewing liquor with calcium chloride?
          Steve Straub
          Brewer, Springfield Brewing Company, Missouri

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          • #6
            Originally posted by stephenstraub View Post
            Do you treat your brewing liquor with calcium chloride?
            I use Calcium Chloride to treat my brewing liquor. Could this cause soapy flavours in beer?

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Gbbc View Post
              I use Calcium Chloride to treat my brewing liquor. Could this cause soapy flavours in beer?
              pH and salts can change the perception of hop flavors in beer. I'm trying to think of the reference, but it has been said that higher chlorides (or the relative balance of salts) can lead to the perception of soapiness.
              Steve Straub
              Brewer, Springfield Brewing Company, Missouri

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              • #8
                I've dealt with this before too. It is almost certainly an issue of water chemistry and I will say that Columbus in particular is very prone to going soapy when used in high concentrations, especially in late/ dry hop additions. You should also make sure your chlorine filter is working. $10 says if you were to go from Calcium Chloride to gypsum it would come off as "asprin".

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                • #9
                  Soapy centennial

                  FWIW, I had a Founders Centennial IPA last week from a bottle here in Nashville that was noticeably soapy.
                  Scott Swygert
                  Founder - Honky Tonk Brewing Co.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by stephenstraub View Post
                    Do you treat your brewing liquor with calcium chloride?
                    No. We run our water through Pentek ChlorPlus PAC filters, and use 5Star 5,2 stabilizer in our mash. We change our filters every six months or so.

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                    • #11
                      Dollars to donuts that 5.2 stabilizer is behind the soapy off-flavor. There is some pretty good evidence out there that supports it having lots of flavor carry-over. Is there a reason you don't use other calcium salts plus phosphoric or lactic acid to hit your mash pH?
                      Last edited by BemidjiBrewing; 12-23-2015, 09:39 AM.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by BemidjiBrewing View Post
                        Dollars to donuts that 5.2 stabilizer is behind the soapy off-flavor. There is some pretty good evidence out there that supports it having lots of flavor carry-over. Is there a reason you don't use other calcium salts plus phosphoric or lactic acid to hit your mash pH?
                        The main reason is that we can't treat our water directly. Our brewhouse utilizes our a combi tank design with our HLT under our mash tun. There is no way to get any additives into the HLT. The 5.2 works out really well because we can add it directly to our grist as we mash in. Thinkning through that, we could probably add lactic, or phosporic in small additions in the same manner.

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                        • #13
                          Ah, I see. The 5.2 stabilizer is alluring but comes with a lot of baggage. I think you might be best to give calcium salts plus acid a shot (depending upon your water profile and mash/pH needs).

                          Just curious - what do your mash pH's look like when using the stabilizer and do you see consistency across different mashes (light, amber, dark)? I played with that product awhile back and am curious how other brewer's experiences might stack up.

                          Cheers,
                          Tom

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                          • #14
                            When I tried using 5.2 I was not very happy with it. At recommended usage it never got my pH into the range it said it would. No matter how I adjusted the 5.2 my pH seemed to be off. Went to acid and Ca salts and life got easier. Plus I feel the beer started tasting better
                            Manuel

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                            • #15
                              Acid malt

                              I'm using calcium chloride plus a little acid malt to get ph in the range. Do you guys use phosphoric because it's cheaper or is there another advantage over acid malt?
                              Scott Swygert
                              Founder - Honky Tonk Brewing Co.

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