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Old 02-21-2010, 04:25 PM   #1
Saint Aardvark
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Default How to keep the creaminess?

Hi everyone -- a little while ago I brewed a sorta-SMaSH that turned out really well. Just one week after bottling, it was lovely: smooth mouthfeel, dry, low bitterness without being too malty, and no green flavour at all. It came across as a creamy taste...almost like a cream soda, but without the vanilla flavour. What's really amazing to me is that it was about 7.2% ABV, but you'd never know it; no high-alcohol flavour comes through at all.

The beer has been about six weeks in the bottle now, and it has changed considerably. The bitterness of the hops has come through a lot more; they're now the dominant flavour of the beer. It's still very good, but I really loved the original flavour.

The beer has been stored in a dark locker in the parking garage where I live; temperature is a pretty constant 18-20C (64 - 68F).

I realize that homebrew will probably always change as it ages. But is there any way I can keep this kind of flavour? Are there any changes to the recipe I can make to capture and keep this flavour? What about storage?

Here's the recipe; the batch size is 1 gallon.

  • 1.5 lb Gambrinus ESB
  • 0.25 lb palm sugar
  • 0.5 oz Willamette @ 60 (5%)
  • 0.25 oz Willamette @ 5 mins (5%)
  • Wyeast 1056 (American Ale)
  • OG: 1.075
  • FG: 1.007
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Old 02-21-2010, 05:37 PM   #2
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I had the same thing happen with a porter I brewed. (Yes, I tried one after 1 week)
I chalked it up to 2 things.
1. The priming sugar was not fully fermented, lending a little bit of a sweeter, richer flavor to the beer.

2. It wasn't fully carbonated. Low carbonation levels will tend to make a beer seem "creamier" If one is highly carbed, it will have what is called "carbonic bite"--you'll have to look that one up.

To help keep these flavors, you can add more light crystal to the recipe--giving it more unfermentables and making it a little sweeter tasting. Also, leaving out the sugar will richen it up as sugar tends to thin a beer.

And, adding less priming sugar to get a lower carb level.

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Old 02-21-2010, 08:26 PM   #3
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I'm interested in this too, I've had a few beers which I can only describe as "creamy" and want to be able to replicate that. I'm not talking about milk stouts either, but an Oktoberfest and an IPA.

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Old 02-21-2010, 09:04 PM   #4
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I attribute the "creamy" feeling to my beer when it's on the warmer side... seems like the bubbles are smaller when it's warm, but bigger and more soda-like when cold.

I have no idea why.

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Old 02-22-2010, 03:33 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RCCOLA View Post
I had the same thing happen with a porter I brewed. (Yes, I tried one after 1 week)
I chalked it up to 2 things.
1. The priming sugar was not fully fermented, lending a little bit of a sweeter, richer flavor to the beer.

2. It wasn't fully carbonated. Low carbonation levels will tend to make a beer seem "creamier" If one is highly carbed, it will have what is called "carbonic bite"--you'll have to look that one up.

To help keep these flavors, you can add more light crystal to the recipe--giving it more unfermentables and making it a little sweeter tasting. Also, leaving out the sugar will richen it up as sugar tends to thin a beer.

And, adding less priming sugar to get a lower carb level.
Thanks -- those are all good suggestions. The thinness and dryness of the beer was something I was aiming for, because I'm not a fan of big ol' malt bombs/high ABV beers. So that part, I think, succeeded (though it was as much an accident as planning).

I imagine that getting the balance of flavours right by introducing crystal would take some doing....but changing the priming sugar should be pretty simple to try. I think there's another trial batch coming up!
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Old 02-22-2010, 03:57 AM   #6
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It could be that the first taste you had had a good amount of yeast still in suspension. As the beer aged, the yeast dropped and left a 'cleaner' tasting beer. The way to keep the yeast in suspension is to maintain the proper temp for the particular yeast strain.

On the other hand, I could be completely wrong and something else happened to your beer.

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Old 02-22-2010, 01:06 PM   #7
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Although a 1-week old beer foams when poured, I've noticed that the body of the beer isn't really carbonated until 2-3 weeks, and more for big beers. That carbonation in the body of the beer lightens it, and also adds an acidic component in the dissolved CO2. This might be the difference you are detecting.

A warmer beer will also seem smoother due to the decrease in dissolved CO2 when poured.

If the above is true, the solution is to leave more unfermentables in your beer through process (mash temps) or ingredients (oatmeal, yeast choice, specialty malts).

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Old 02-22-2010, 01:11 PM   #8
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I'm assuming its carbonation. Prime your next beer with less sugar and see if that helps. Also, like passedpawn said, let the beer warm a bit before drinking.

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