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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Brew Science > What factors influence sweetness?
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Old 01-23-2011, 01:50 AM   #41
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maltol

Bam. Found in roasted malts, imparts sweetness, and is used as an artificial flavor enhancer for that exact purpose.
If I'm reading that properly then it would leach aluminum from an aluminum pot. Anyone else reading it that way.
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Old 01-23-2011, 02:11 AM   #42
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Originally Posted by rocketman768 View Post
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maltol

Bam. Found in roasted malts, imparts sweetness, and is used as an artificial flavor enhancer for that exact purpose.

I saw this earlier, but it just isn't specific enough to be of much use. "Roasted malt" isn't defined. All malt can be considered roasted to some degree but in beer making it has a specific meaning. Also there isn't a level given. To 'debitter' a black malt you remove the husk.
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Old 01-23-2011, 02:13 AM   #43
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No. You can just keep heating it (like any other food) and it'll all turn to charcoal (carbon) because all the hydrogens and oxygens will hook up and float away as water vapor.
Well, let's call in within 'normal working limits'. There is a reason that crystal malts stop at a certain level. Jamil mentions one that was darker than Special B but it isn't around anymore.
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Old 01-23-2011, 02:37 AM   #44
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Well, let's call in within 'normal working limits'. There is a reason that crystal malts stop at a certain level. Jamil mentions one that was darker than Special B but it isn't around anymore.
Probably because it just tasted burnt. The only practical limit is what tastes good.
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Old 01-23-2011, 02:42 AM   #45
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If I'm reading that properly then it would leach aluminum from an aluminum pot. Anyone else reading it that way.
Not true. The article says it increases aluminum uptake in the body...meaning that if aluminum is floating around in your blood, maltol causes it to be absorbed.
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Old 01-23-2011, 04:52 AM   #46
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Jumping back to the original part of this thread, it makes sense that higher mash temps would produce a sweeter tasting beer if long-chain unfermentable, but still sweet tasting, sugars were produced. It is just that I have never read that explanation in the brewing literature. I thought the term "dextrins" referred specifically to long-chain unfermentable sugars, and dextrins supposedly do not taste sweet. However, if there are many different types of polysacharrides that are unfermentable but still taste sweet, then clearly high mash temps would increase the number of these polysacharrides, because by denaturing beta-amylase, you are preventing these polysacharrides from being reduced to short-chain fermentable sugars such as glucose, sucrose, maltose, and maltotriose. So high mash temps would simultaneously reduce fermentability, increase body, and increase sweetness (if there are indeed polysacharrides that are unfermentable but add sweetness).

Now, regarding the second part of the question, are you guys saying that Maltol is the characteristic of certain malts that imparts sweetness to beer? So is it the compound that is in crystal and Munich that is responsible contributing sweetness? The wikipedia link didn't really elaborate on any link between particular malts and this compound. Of course all roasted malts do not impart sweetness. So perhaps only a certain type of roasting produces this compound?

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Old 01-23-2011, 06:07 PM   #47
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Jumping back to the original part of this thread, it makes sense that higher mash temps would produce a sweeter tasting beer if long-chain unfermentable, but still sweet tasting, sugars were produced.
I agree, but that's a big if.

Just empirically speaking, go drink a Lagunitus IPA. That's what a beer mashed at 160F with mostly base malt and a moderately flocculant yeast tastes like. It isn't sweet at all. Now compare that to Fuller's ESB which has a higher proportion of crystal malt (though not a ton), mashes much lower, and uses a very flocculent yeast. It is much sweeter.

Kinda makes you think old uncle remilard is on to something, doesn't it?
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Old 01-23-2011, 06:56 PM   #48
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I agree, but that's a big if.

Just empirically speaking, go drink a Lagunitus IPA. That's what a beer mashed at 160F with mostly base malt and a moderately flocculant yeast tastes like. It isn't sweet at all. Now compare that to Fuller's ESB which has a higher proportion of crystal malt (though not a ton), mashes much lower, and uses a very flocculent yeast. It is much sweeter.

Kinda makes you think old uncle remilard is on to something, doesn't it?
Or Lagunitus IPA uses lots of hops to balance the sweetness?
Per the film clip on their site. "Just enough bitterness to balance out the sweetness..." So, they say they use a lot of hops in the clip. That means the high mash does produce a lot of sweetness then?
http://www.lagunitas.com/beers/ipa.html
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Old 01-24-2011, 12:50 AM   #49
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So does anyone know if mash temps do have an influence on sweetness? Fundamentally, I just want to figure out what conditions to alter to produce a sweeter or less sweet beer. The question partly arises because I recently tried to brew a relatively sweet fruit beer for my wife, using a combination of Crystal and Honey malt for about 18% of the grain bill, and yet still achieved 75% attenuation using Wyeast 1056 (and a not particularly sweet beer). Anyway, this made me wonder whether most of the perceived "sweetness" of beer is due to residual unfermented, but fermentable, sugars left around by more highly flocculent yeast. The American Ale 1056 is a low flocculator and is good at fully attenuating. As we have discussed, it is not clear whether higher mash temps actually produce sweetness, they may just primarily produce body by leaving more long-chain (non-sweet tasting) dextrins. If that is the case, then the key to brewing a sweeter beer would be to choose the appropriate low-attenuating yeast strain and pitching rate.

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Old 01-24-2011, 01:37 AM   #50
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Originally Posted by sniemeyer View Post
So does anyone know if mash temps do have an influence on sweetness? Fundamentally, I just want to figure out what conditions to alter to produce a sweeter or less sweet beer. The question partly arises because I recently tried to brew a relatively sweet fruit beer for my wife, using a combination of Crystal and Honey malt for about 18% of the grain bill, and yet still achieved 75% attenuation using Wyeast 1056 (and a not particularly sweet beer). Anyway, this made me wonder whether most of the perceived "sweetness" of beer is due to residual unfermented, but fermentable, sugars left around by more highly flocculent yeast. The American Ale 1056 is a low flocculator and is good at fully attenuating. As we have discussed, it is not clear whether higher mash temps actually produce sweetness, they may just primarily produce body by leaving more long-chain (non-sweet tasting) dextrins. If that is the case, then the key to brewing a sweeter beer would be to choose the appropriate low-attenuating yeast strain and pitching rate.
I've had a few beers that didn't attenuate to where I wanted them but still carbonate. This tells me the yeast hasn't exactly quite on fermentable sugars. Getting yeast to not eat fermentable sugars I think is harder than most of us think. You don't want to even think of leaving unfermented sugars in your beer if you bottle. If you keg, you can kill the yeast off when you reach a desired level.

Bottom line, you can do this experiment pretty easily yourself. Remember though, sweet is relative in this case. How sweet do you find your unhopped pre boil hydrometer sample. It isn't the same sweetness. I've kicked around the idea of putting a little stevia in during bottling just to see if it is ferementable or not. A little goes a long way so I wouldn't have to worry about bottle bombs if the yeast eat it and could do it to taste. Quick search turned up people using it for cider and were pleased with the results so is probably unfermentable by yeast.
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