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Old 03-08-2012, 12:39 PM   #1
MrHadack
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Default Adding lactose to a black IPA

I have a 5 gallon batch of black IPA that turned out a little more bitter than I would like. I think it's the roasted flavors that are not working really well. It's not bad, just a bit too much.

It's in secondary being dry hopped right now. I was wondering if adding lactose to it at this point would help tone down or disguise the roasted flavors by adding some sweetness to it. I guess I would just boil about half a gallon of water, stir in either a half pound or full pound of lactose (I'll start with a lower amount and taste as I got o make sure I don't over-do it) and then dump that into the secondary after it cools. Any thoughts on this?

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Old 03-08-2012, 06:03 PM   #2
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I was toying with this very same idea on a recipe that I'm formulating. I decided against it since I want a spicy rather than sweet flavor.

Still, it might be good. I can't fault your proposed process. Let us know how it turns out!

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Old 03-09-2012, 03:25 PM   #3
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I think you're better off just letting it age a bit, that'll tame the hop bitterness and the roast as well. I had the same initial reaction to mine and now at about 8wks its much smoother. MY roast was prett restrained though, I added my black malts late in the mash.

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Old 03-09-2012, 08:33 PM   #4
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I can't say adding lactose to an IPA is a bad idea but I don't want to believe that its a good idea either. It sounds like this beer might be in a keg since you seem to have an easy way of adjusting it now that its carbed. If it is in a keg and you want to back sweeten it, I would suggest adding honey to the beer. It won't ferment if you keep the beer cold and I think the flavor of honey would complement the BIPA. That's just a shot in the dark though. Another idea, what about blending this beer with another IPA or Pale ale.

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Old 03-09-2012, 08:58 PM   #5
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Did you try carafa? If you're using chocolate malt and sub carafa instead you'll get a much noticeably smoother roast character.

Personally I hate the mouthfeel of lactose in beer

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Old 03-12-2012, 10:05 PM   #6
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How old is the beer?

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Old 03-19-2012, 11:08 PM   #7
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Hey everyone, sorry for thelack of replies. Work caught up with me for a little bit there and I am just getting back to the thread.

The beer is in secondary, so it isn't carbonated. It's also been either in primary or secondary since early february. I just finished dry hopping it with Amarillo and Citra. I hadn't tasted it for a few weeks and it's definitely not too roasty now. I did use Chocolate malt and Carafa III hoping it would give color without too much roast and it worked out fine. Just needed to relax and wait a bit.

Thanks for the comments, I think I'm going to forego the lactose.

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