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Old 10-23-2012, 01:23 PM   #1
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Default Unfermentable vs. fermentable sugar theory

Can anyone tell me if this is correct?

Mashing higher creates more maltotriose to glucose and maltose. Maltotriose is less fermentable so some remains and increases the body of the beer. But body does not equal sweetness. Unfermentable sugars don't have a lot of taste.

Using a less attenuative yeast leaves more unfermented sugars in the beer. But these unfermented sugars are not necessarily unfermentable sugars. There is some glucose and maltose left, which increases the beer's sweetness.

I make a Belgian single and dubbel, with 1.050 and 1.070 respective OGs. The single is mashed at 151, and the dubbel at 149. Both use the same yeast and reach an FG of 1.010. Both are pretty much identically hopped with the same IBU number, 20. The dubbel does not taste any sweeter than the single, because the IBU level and FG are exactly the same. The OG of a beer doesn't matter, it is the FG vs IBU that determines how sweet the beer is.

If I want to increase the sweetness of the dubbel, I should lower the hopping rate.

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Old 10-23-2012, 02:06 PM   #2
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I've always understood that unless a yeast is completely overwhelmed by alcohol, it's going to process up to disaccharides until they are gone. Tri's are questionable. My unscientific view is that they are hard to ferment with ale strains but I have no sources for this off the top of my head.
Saccharomyces will not work on 4 chain poly's or dextrines at all. Note that you ignored dextrines in your post and those DO contribute both body and sweetness. Most worts have a moderate dextrine makeup unless you've mashed under 149 for a while. If you go straight into the mid to high 150's, limit-dextrinase is toast and dextrines remain.

So, in conclusion, no, reducing IBU is not the only way to make things sweeter.

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Old 10-23-2012, 02:58 PM   #3
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But dextrins aren't nearly as sweet as glucose/maltose, right? A while ago I thought I'd try making a pseudo English pale ale with an American ale yeast and 154 mash. It didn't work. I know bitters aren't supposed to be full-bodied, but that aside, it didn't have a great malt profile. The level of sweetness was much lower than if I had made the same beer with 002/1968 and mashed at 150.

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Old 10-23-2012, 03:21 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rexbanner View Post
The single is mashed at 151, and the dubbel at 149. Both use the same yeast and reach an FG of 1.010. Both are pretty much identically hopped with the same IBU number, 20. The dubbel does not taste any sweeter than the single, because the IBU level and FG are exactly the same. The OG of a beer doesn't matter, it is the FG vs IBU that determines how sweet the beer is.
Mash the Dubbel much higher, and all other things being equal, I bet you won't finish at 1.010... even with the same yeast used for both beers. Higher FG is what you're after according to the goal in your opening post. The huge disparity between 1.070/1.010 vs. 1.050/1.010 is key here... not so much the IBUs, which are there to balance the malt and not to mute the sweetness per se. If you sprinkle sugar on a lemon, that doesn't make the lemon any less sour. It simply balances the acid for purposes of flavor perception.
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Old 10-23-2012, 08:54 PM   #5
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Quote:
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Mash the Dubbel much higher, and all other things being equal, I bet you won't finish at 1.010... even with the same yeast used for both beers. Higher FG is what you're after according to the goal in your opening post. The huge disparity between 1.070/1.010 vs. 1.050/1.010 is key here... not so much the IBUs, which are there to balance the malt and not to mute the sweetness per se. If you sprinkle sugar on a lemon, that doesn't make the lemon any less sour. It simply balances the acid for purposes of flavor perception.
I want to keep my dubbel dry. I'd rather cut down the IBU than increase the FG. I am trying to make a dubbel that is ready to drink in 3-4 weeks. I know it can be done. My recipe uses a lb of candi syrup, a half lb of caramel malt, and a half lb of aromatic.
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Old 10-23-2012, 09:02 PM   #6
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Old 10-23-2012, 09:12 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rexbanner View Post
I want to keep my dubbel dry. I'd rather cut down the IBU than increase the FG. I am trying to make a dubbel that is ready to drink in 3-4 weeks. I know it can be done. My recipe uses a lb of candi syrup, a half lb of caramel malt, and a half lb of aromatic.
Maybe I'm missing something here, but aren't sweetness and dryness at opposite ends of the spectrum..e.g. if something is dry then it is not sweet and vice versa? Do you mean to say you want more maltiness but not sweetness?
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Old 10-23-2012, 09:48 PM   #8
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Old 10-23-2012, 10:19 PM   #9
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OG does matter. OG plus a yeasts attenuation gives you the FG. If you start with two different OG's but end up with the same FG it's because you haven't reached the limits of the yeast yet. Once the yeast hit a limit (nutrient, alcohol, wort exposure(flocculation)), they quit, and you start to have increasing FG and residual sweetness. Sweetness and Maltiness are different animals and you attain them differently. Belgians typically have a high percentage of simple sugars because they are intended to be dry. Maltiness is derived from grain selection (Munich-style and aromatic malts). Sweetness can be increased with lower attenuation (higher mash temps or yeast strain selection).

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Old 10-23-2012, 10:41 PM   #10
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I've found that higher mash temps will not give you a sweeter final beer. It will give it more body and less alcohol, but the majority of unfermentable sugars that are due to higher mash temps do not taste sweet. The easiest way to add sweetness is to add some crystal malt or reduce IBU's. Kettle caramelization wouldn't be right for a dubbel, so add some lower-mid srm crystal in there. Maybe some caravienne.

I wouldn't relate dryness to sweetness. You could easily end up with a strong beer with a FG of 1.008 that is unbearably sweet.

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