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Old 03-28-2008, 11:38 AM   #1
ohad
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Default Controling the different types of sweetness in your beer

from the BJCP style guidlines of Oktoberfest: "...Initial malty sweetness, but finish is moderately dry".
I've been reading a lot in recipe books and style description about initial sweetness and sweet finish.
I couldn't find any explanation to what is the cause for the different types of sweetness.
I know two kinds of sweetness, the one that comes from caramel malt (or other caramel) or a long boil - this is caramel sweetness. The second is the complex sugar sweetness of maltodextrin (and some more sugars, I think) that comes from high mash temps.
I suspect that the caramel causes the initial sweetness, and the mash causes the sweet/dry finish.

Does anyone knows if my assumptions are correct?
any extra information will be great!



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Old 03-28-2008, 11:45 AM   #2
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I imagine the initial sweetness comes from the aroma, and not from any residual sugars. If I'm correct, you need an aromatic malt type like Münchener, and a well attenuated beer.



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Old 03-30-2008, 12:03 PM   #3
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anybody knows the answer for this ?

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Old 03-30-2008, 12:45 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ohad
from the BJCP style guidlines of Oktoberfest: "...Initial malty sweetness, but finish is moderately dry".
I've been reading a lot in recipe books and style description about initial sweetness and sweet finish.
I couldn't find any explanation to what is the cause for the different types of sweetness.
I know two kinds of sweetness, the one that comes from caramel malt (or other caramel) or a long boil - this is caramel sweetness. The second is the complex sugar sweetness of maltodextrin (and some more sugars, I think) that comes from high mash temps.
I suspect that the caramel causes the initial sweetness, and the mash causes the sweet/dry finish.

Does anyone knows if my assumptions are correct?
any extra information will be great!
Maltiness and sweetness are two different things. This beer is malty, not sweet, at least not sweet in the way that plain sugar is sweet. As for the contribution of crystal malt please see a recent thread here about its' use in 'Fest beer. There is a difference of opinion on the issue but mine is that the caramel/toffee sweetness of crystal malt is not appropriate in this beer.

The overall malty aroma and flavor should come from the richness of quality German higher kilned malts like Vienna and Munich. The malty sweetness of these malts are enhanced by a low hopping rate, a southern German yeast strain and long lagering time. I also would not use too high of a mash temperature. Again this beer should be "malty"-sweet without being cloying and have a clean finish.
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Old 03-31-2008, 08:46 AM   #5
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Actually, I'm not even planning on making an Oktoberfest. I just showed it as an example...

My question is what are the different types of sweetness in a brew and how are they controlled?

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Old 03-31-2008, 12:12 PM   #6
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Beers that are "balanced" with malt and hops are just that- neither particularly hoppy or malty. If you tilt that balance more towards hops, the beer will be more bitter and hoppy than malty. And of course, if you use less hops to balance the malt, the beer will be malty and perhaps sweet.

I would suggest reading "Designing Great Beers" by Ray Daniels to get the science behind it, and how to put it together.

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Old 03-31-2008, 03:56 PM   #7
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Like Yoop said, it's a matter of balance. You tend to detect sweetness earlier than bitterness, so if you have a beer that is not overly bitter, you will get that sweet beginning. The dry finish also is a matter of balancing properly with the hops, as bitterness tends to linger better than sweetness. So, it is not a matter of mash chemistry as much as a matter of properly balancing your malt and hops.

So, if you balance to much towards the malt, you wind up with a sweet, cloying finish. If you balance too far towards the hops, you fail to get that sweetness in the beginning, and the drinker starts scraping alpha acids off his tongue. Thus, the craft of brewing!


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