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Old 10-28-2012, 02:15 AM   #1
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Default Tasting at bottling vs fully conditioned...a robust porter

I did a partial mash on a recipe the best man at our lhbs helped me with. I was hoping for more of a dry rather than sweet, heavy, winter sipper. The beer at bottling was rich and full, very promising. But it was so sweet. How much more dry will it turn after bottle conditioning?

If it is indeed more sweet than we'd initially planned, is that likely due to mashing too hot? I think we were above 155. I don't have the full recipe in front of me otherwise I'd share it.

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Old 10-28-2012, 03:26 AM   #2
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Too "sweet" could be a couple of things. I would initially look at the percentage of Caramel/Crystal malt in the recipe. Then your IBU for the beer (is it too low?). A combination of both?

If you didn't mash above 155, in my eyes, its hard to say that would lead to a particularly sweet beer. Do you have a SG/FG reading?

The beer definitely will be a bit different once it is fully carbed up though, I guarantee that!

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Old 10-28-2012, 01:25 PM   #3
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I am a firm believer that CO2, regardless of the level, has a big impact on the flavor of a beer. Obviously different levels will impact the flavor differently. Also, the obvious effect CO2 has on body/ mouthfeel will also make a difference. I have always had a hard time judging where the beer will be when it's not carbonated. Yes it may in the end be sweet, but the CO2 will change what you tasted.

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Old 10-28-2012, 01:37 PM   #4
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I am a firm believer that CO2, regardless of the level, has a big impact on the flavor of a beer. Obviously different levels will impact the flavor differently. Also, the obvious effect CO2 has on body/ mouthfeel will also make a difference. I have always had a hard time judging where the beer will be when it's not carbonated. Yes it may in the end be sweet, but the CO2 will change what you tasted.
Could not agree more.

I remember the first time I tasted beer out of the bottling bucket...yikes!! A lot can happen in the way of taste once its bottled and carbed up. The darker beers definitely taste strange in the bucket, to me anyway. I tasted 2 out of the bottling bucket the other day, one was an Irish Red Ale and the other a Clone of Shiner's Ruby Redbird, the redbird has a lot of hops and ginger in it. The Redbird tasted exactly the way I expected but the Irish Red like always was a let down. No worries though!

I love to brew a porter but I'm only set up to lager one at a time. How long did you lager it?
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Old 10-28-2012, 01:42 PM   #5
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I love to brew a porter but I'm only set up to lager one at a time. How long did you lager it?
A robust porter is an ale, and is not commonly lagered or treated like a lager.

Anyway, mashing at 155 or above would certainly cause more "long chained" sugars that are less fermentable so I would expect a fuller bodied beer with a higher FG than one mashed at 150 degrees. What are your FG readings?
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Old 10-28-2012, 02:11 PM   #6
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A robust porter is an ale, and is not commonly lagered or treated like a lager.

Anyway, mashing at 155 or above would certainly cause more "long chained" sugars that are less fermentable so I would expect a fuller bodied beer with a higher FG than one mashed at 150 degrees. What are your FG readings?
I honestly didn't know, all the clone recipes I use for porter call for lager yeast, such as Yuengling. I see now in one of my recipe books that Taddy calls for British Ale Yeast! I may need to order some ingredients haha.
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Old 10-28-2012, 07:18 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yooper View Post
A robust porter is an ale, and is not commonly lagered or treated like a lager.

Anyway, mashing at 155 or above would certainly cause more "long chained" sugars that are less fermentable so I would expect a fuller bodied beer with a higher FG than one mashed at 150 degrees. What are your FG readings?
I had taken about 3-4 years off from brewing because I screwed up so many batches after first moving to MI. I was only doing follow the recipe extract kits anyway. Now that I'm getting back at it, I'm doing my own recipes and studying up on this steep learning curve.

I knew that mashing at a higher temp was going to give me more body, but didn't connect that that body would be sweet...which seems like a "duh" now.

Also part of my work of getting into the flow here is making sure I get accurate grav readings....of which I have yet to do in these three batches. I'll get to it!
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Old 10-28-2012, 07:19 PM   #8
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I honestly didn't know, all the clone recipes I use for porter call for lager yeast, such as Yuengling. I see now in one of my recipe books that Taddy calls for British Ale Yeast! I may need to order some ingredients haha.
Yeah, I wouldn't be doing a porter if I had to lager it. I'm not ready for that yet.
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Old 10-28-2012, 07:21 PM   #9
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I am a firm believer that CO2, regardless of the level, has a big impact on the flavor of a beer. Obviously different levels will impact the flavor differently. Also, the obvious effect CO2 has on body/ mouthfeel will also make a difference. I have always had a hard time judging where the beer will be when it's not carbonated. Yes it may in the end be sweet, but the CO2 will change what you tasted.
Maybe someday I'll get to CO2. Bottling is a pain in the ass, but I'm really enjoying the simplicity of my system and the work it takes. I'm thinking of trying to stick to beers that are still classically bottled. To learn as much about that before (if) I ever get to CO2.
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Old 10-28-2012, 07:47 PM   #10
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How long was it in primary? What yeast did you use? What was the OG and FG? If you bottled it too soon (FG not established) then you're in for some busting bottles (very high chance, depending on the bottles used). Also, getting the OG and then FG is a bit more important than you seem to think (or you just don't care). Without those you won't know what to expect.

Personally, I've learned what the yeast strains I use will do for me. I DO take OG readings (not always on brew day) as well as an FG reading (on kegging day). I use a refractometer so getting the numbers is easy, requires little sample, and fast. Often I'll keep a sample of the batch in the fridge (4 dram vial) and test it later. The FG sample is taken from the transfer hose I use to go from fermenter to keg. I can get the readings at any point.

BTW, IF you had established the FG, you'd know why it's tasting sweet. You'd also know IF you had a stuck fermentation, or just the effects from mashing warmer than you had expected. Knowing the yeast, and how it performs, will also help in these things.

I'd highly recommend getting/using brewing software before you make another batch. Use a program that factors in things like mash temp and yeast attenuation range. BeerSmith 2.x does both of these things. The very latest release does it even better.

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