Pale ale (flavor degradation)

Discussion in 'Recipes for Feedback' started by tenorposaune, Aug 27, 2018.

  1. tenorposaune

    tenorposaune New Member

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    https://www.brewersfriend.com/homebrew/recipe/view/215636/rgv-rye is my most frequent brew. It consistently takes about 5 weeks in the bottle before it tastes good, and then it suddenly blossoms into a very well-balanced, layered delicacy. Three weeks later, it's bland and not worth drinking any more. I expect the hop flavor to develop (and eventually degrade), but I'd like to get a more generous window of acceptability.

    Any ideas how I can increase the shelf life (in either or both directions)?
     
  2. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    I hate to tell you this but that's about the best you can do with a pale ale. Hop flavors degrade rather quickly and there's not much you can do other than keep as much oxygen as possible out of your beer one it's fermented.
     
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  3. White Haus Brews

    White Haus Brews Active Member

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    If you could keep all your brew cold once it's near and definitely once it's in the prime window that should help. I've heard for every 10C(18F) the shelf life approx doubles so you could hopefully extend that prime time. Oxygen exposure would be another factor like Nosybear said.

    Let us know if you try something that works :)
     
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  4. thunderwagn

    thunderwagn Well-Known Member

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    I have had the best luck as white haus suggested. When I bottled, once it primed up, i'd keep it chilled.
     
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  5. sbaclimber

    sbaclimber Well-Known Member

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    Not that it really helps you any, but I can empathize! 1 month in the bottle = awesome, 2 months = still okay, but meh...
     
  6. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    That's just about the main reason I don't do pale ales and IPAs - I can't drink them before they go from glorious expressions of hoppy goodness to swamp sludge.
     
  7. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    my best pale ales were from very hoppy ipa's, I don't brew bitter beers with my water and acid so it all works out
     
  8. thunderwagn

    thunderwagn Well-Known Member

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    One great thing about kegging. I can hang hops in the keg and they last till it kicks. Takes some experimenting to get a good balance, but worth it in my opinion. May not win any awards, but I get plenty of hoppy flavor and aroma throughout, and very satisfying.
     
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  9. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    I keg Pales and IPAs and they last very well. Any time I've bottled, things go downhill much more quickly.
    If you have to bottle, get it cold as soon as it's carbed and keep it that way for the duration. If you can possibly start kegging, do so. :)
     
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  10. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    they even make inexpensive hop cylinders just for keg hopping now, makes it too easy but your right thunderwagn on the balance, it can be a bit much at times
     
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  11. thehaze

    thehaze Active Member

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    Hop forward beers should not be drunk 5 weeks after they have been bottled or kegged.

    Any IPAs and Pale Ales I brew, sit 11-12 days in the fermenter and that's with 2-3 days of dry hopping. At days 11-12 I bottle it and I have well-carbonated beer in 5-7 days. At day 10 days I am drinking that and sharing with friends and family. But I don't think I ever had similar styles sit with me more than 4-5 weeks from bottling, so hoppy beers should be drunk fresh... and quick. Hop flavour does not develop with time, it actually dulls and fades with time. Recent studies/articles written on the subject of dry hopping show that you do not need to dry hop for more than 2 days. Hop oils are extracted in the first 24 hours or so.

    Shelf life can be increased by minimizing protein in the kettle by using finnings and an extended whirlpool, using maybe Brewtan B or other similar stuff and by avoiding O2 as much as possible, as 02 is your biggest enemy, when it comes to hop heavy beers.

    If I may, I looked over your recipe: I don't think that's a Pale ale in terms of hops. You want hop flavour, but only use 3 oz of hops for 5.5 gallons of beer. My latest Mosaic smash and Pale ale with Simcoe, Chinook and Centennial used 10.7 oz hops each. I believe you can try to change your approach and use some more hops and see if that helps. And don't wait 5 weeks to drink the beer.
     
  12. The Beerery

    The Beerery Active Member

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    I agree oxygen is the enemy, and I agree beers should be drank fresh(sorta).

    Danger-warning-look away- If you don't like science.


    Dalton and Ficks Laws AKA gas laws.

    The amount of oxygen before staling accelerates is 150ppb, this is the industry standard. SO even if you have a flawless bottle session, due to the laws above, you ingress 5-7ppb per day (we will use 5 for easy math). It's all fine and dandy until your yeast in the bottle stops and falls. One that happens its going DIRECTLY in your beer. Therefor not counting refermention for carbonation your bottled beer is a ticking timebomb.. 150/5 is 30 days before the noticeable effects of oxidation start. So 8-9 months of that is 270x5= 1.350ppm of DO, which is nearly 10x the oxidation allowed in the industry standard. :wink: Bottled beer loses freshness the fastest of any packaging. I will stop you before you say you used o2 absorbing caps, because if you did and you sanitized them they are done. Due to the DO in water (~5-7ppm) those caps used all the scavenging power the second you dunked them.

    What all you bottlers should do, is to add the priming sugar to water then boil it. Then inject it into the fermenter. Allow fermentation to pick back up steadily, then bottle. This protects all point of ingress in the bottling process.


    Yeast are not absorbing o2 when there is no food source its a simple as that.

    The reason naturally carbonated beers (this is not limited to bottles, either) via, spunden, krausen, or simple sugar have more antioxidant properties is because they produce antioxidants. Fermentation generates sulfites. Both of them, the main and the second (at packaging).

    For ales you have <=10ppm
    Lagers <=50ppm - the colder the fermentation and the strain will be dependent on actual numbers- this is a reason why zee Germans ferment cold (there are others though of course). Colder the better, which is why I also promote cold with no ramps. Ramps lose them.

    So to break down why tests show naturally carbonated beers having the highest antioxidant power it's because they do.
    But it's not because of continual oxygen consumption it's the sulfite production in the carbonating vessel and the oxygen consumption on the original transfer.

    The bright beer transfer, is going to be the least protected because of what we outlined above. You have zero active consumption, and you are immediately digging into your first fermentation sulfites, with no second reserves. You probably expended most of them pushing the beer around to filter and whatnot.

    When you transfer naturally carbonated beer, you are rousing the yeast and adding a very easily digestible food. That yeast grabs some oxygen after it stretches, grabs a quick meal then goes back to bed, at the bottom of the container. If he gets more food he will wake up, if not sleeping like a bear is he.

    I think I wrote about fermentation generated sulfites years ago on the blog. The resource sections probably has some papers on this as well.


    I will never say one has to stop bottling. I am just answering your question as to "why". Now the more stringent on the cold side the better/longer freshness will last. It can be done, my canned beer routinely measures 20ishppb on the orbisphere, at that rate hoppy beer freshness will last for nearly a year.

    Hope this helps

    Bryan
     
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  13. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Despite all that, despite extra caution on the cold side, I still don't do pale ales and IPAs. They fade too quickly.
     
  14. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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    I don't seem to have any trouble finishing them before they go stale. ;)

    That's impressive chemistry? Fluid dynamics?
     
  15. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Highly thirsty?
     
  16. Ozarks Mountain Brew

    Staff Member

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    I've found the best ways to hold hop flavor and that's to do a true whirlpool at 170F holding that temperature with 4 times the hops you normally would for a dry hop, most people under pitch hops in general as it is, I guarantee you'll taste it a lot longer
     
  17. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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    I find the keg seems to empty unusually fast. I made a Citra IPA last week with 8oz of whole leaf hops where 3oz went into the dry hop. I'm never doing that again, I'm still getting hop cones out of my equipment.
     
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  18. The Beerery

    The Beerery Active Member

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    Well the best way is to be very cold side o2 aware. But you gotta, do what you gotta do.
     
  19. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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    I don't personally doubt it a bit, but I'm still a long way from being that sophisticated.
     
  20. The Beerery

    The Beerery Active Member

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    Its tremendously easier than you think, which I would be more than willing to help with. But if you have a solution that works for you, have at it.
     

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