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Old 02-10-2011, 06:24 PM   #1
Apt23Brewery
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Default Hot alcohol taste!??

So I just finished racking my Belgian Tripel from my primary to my secondary. I took a swig of the sample that i used for my gravity reading and thought that somehow whiskey had gotten into my glass! I'm going to post several things that I noticed, and the advice that my homebrew guru/shop owner told me and I'll like your feed back.

1) The O.G. was 1.090. Gravity at transfer was 1.010
2) I had a hard time getting the wort transferred over to the primary with out bringing the trub over with it.
3) After 24 hours in the primary I noticed nothing was happening, so I cracked the lid and say no indication that anything was going on. So I added a second packet of brewers yeast to the primary.
4)Beer sat for 11 days in the primary.
5) My homebrew store owner said I should wait this out. That time will diffuse the pugent taste of alcohol, and that adding 8oz of Lactose, or
8oz-1lb of Maltodextrin will help sweeten/bring out the body of the beer.

Here is the recipe that I used.
13.2 lbs of LME
1 lb 20/40 crystal
1 lb clover honey
1 lb candi sugar
2 oz kent goldings 4.5 AA
1 oz liberty hops 4.3 AA (aroma)
White labs Belgian Ale yeast
1 packet 24hours later of brewers yeast from a brewers best kit.

Thank you for any insight you can give me!

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Old 02-10-2011, 06:30 PM   #2
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What was your fermentation temp? Too high a temp can cause the hot or solvent-like flavors you're describing.

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Old 02-10-2011, 06:36 PM   #3
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There's always going to be a little of this going on with a really big beer, especially right after fermentation is over. Drinking a gravity sample that is young, warm, uncarbed, and light in color & flavor (as compared to an RIS, for example) will make it seem all the worse. That said, if it's really overwhelming, you may have had some issues with pitching temps or fermentation temps. Give it some time, as in a couple months, and it should improve substantially.

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Old 02-10-2011, 06:39 PM   #4
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give it time, it will mellow - 11 days primary is no where near long enough. 3 weeks is a good starting point for "normal beer". Big beers need to age, and its likely you've still got a lot of yeast in suspension still.
I wouldn't think lactose would be optimal for a tripel, but maybe somebody with soem more experience can verify that for you.

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Old 02-10-2011, 08:13 PM   #5
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I brewed a Belgian Strong Ale and it took over a year for it to mellow. I had the strong Alcohol taste also.

Belgians need to age - a long time. I am keeping a six pack and will check it in 18 months.

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Old 02-10-2011, 09:11 PM   #6
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I am going to be presenting a beer at our club meeting this Saturday. It was an extract brewed with 2 pounds of honey. I brewed it in June of 2009. The beer is FINALLY ready.

Like the previous posters said, a Belgian tripel is going to need time.

P.S. Look over the recipe you posted. Is your LME amount correct?

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Old 02-11-2011, 07:47 PM   #7
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So I took by brew shop owners advice and boild up 2 1/2 cups of water and added 8 oz of lactose to it. I let it cool and added it to the secondary. I now understand that this beer is going to take a good long while to become what I dream of nightly. How long would you all suggest leaving it in this secondary before moving it again? Also, should I move it to another fermentor, or move from here to bottling?

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Old 02-11-2011, 08:12 PM   #8
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Really? Lactose in a triple? If that's what you like, that's great, and it's what we're about in homebrewing, but it's going to taste a good deal different than any triple you've had before. Just so you're prepared.

Next time, be prepared to wait at least a month or two before tasting and evaluating a beer. How it tastes at day 11 will not be a whole lot like how it tastes at week, or month, 11. Anyway, what's done is done, and I hope it turns out well. I'd probably give it a couple weeks where it is, and then bottle.

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Old 02-11-2011, 08:33 PM   #9
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Next time, you should just be patient and leave it alone. What temp did you ferment it at? That was likely your problem, and the only cure for hot alcohol is time.

Agree with GuldTuborg. Day 11 is WAY too early to do anything, especially to a 1.090 beer.

You're just adding other stuff on top of it, like working out at the gym and spraying yourself with cologne. You may not smell just like sweat anymore, but you probably don't smell too good, either.

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Old 02-13-2011, 02:41 AM   #10
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Need to know what temp you fermented at to be of any help... Also adding too much sugar may give a solventy quality as well.If that is the case, then it most likely will not get too much better with time, if it was high fermentation temp , then it will improve with time, but do not make a decision on this until you have given this beer at least 2 months to condition. High fermentation temp ( like above 70 ) during the 1st week of fermentation can cause hot alcohol / solvent like flavors.... The key with a belgian tripel is to start fermentation in the cool range ( like low 60s) , then after about a week slowly ramp up the temp 1 degree per day over the course of the next week to somewhere around 70-72 although many have had good results in the upper 70s , but the key is to know that yeast throw off a lot of hot alcohol character in the beginning of fermentation if you start with too high a temp. I just made a belgian tripel and it's fantastic after 1.5 months from brewday.... So if you have good temp control, pitch enough yeast, and don't use too much sugar , you could successfully go from grain to glass in under 2 months.However if you need lots of conditioning time before the beer is good , you're basically fixing flaws that were made during the brewing process..... Which is ok because not everybody has perfect temp control for fermentation.

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