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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Beer Discussion > Is it possible to have ABV of 5% and not taste it?
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Old 10-11-2012, 02:28 PM   #1
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Default Is it possible to have ABV of 5% and not taste it?

Last night I bottled my blueberry wheat and due to my calculations of hydrometer readings it states that I have 5.6% but it tasted like a very light beer... This is the first time I dont taste the alcohol.... Is it possible that the Blueberry is overpowering the taste of alcohol?

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Old 10-11-2012, 02:31 PM   #2
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I honestly can't tell there's any alcohol in just about all of my beers below 8% or so. Did you control fermentation temps on this batch better than your previous ones? Warm fermentation temps can lead to fusel alcohols, which are definitely perceptible no matter what the abv.

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Old 10-11-2012, 02:39 PM   #3
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I don't own a cooler yet which is why I make ales instead of lagers because I don't have a way of controlling the temperature but I know that its always been below the 78 degrees.

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Old 10-11-2012, 02:47 PM   #4
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I've made a 14.5% beer where the alcohol was barely perceptible! This could definitely be the case for you as well.

It's possible the blueberry is overpowering the taste of the alcohol but I don't think I would perceive blueberries to be a strong flavour component of a beer like that. It's more likely you've done something right so that the flavours are properly balanced. Well done!

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Old 10-11-2012, 02:52 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pcollins View Post
I've made a 14.5% beer where the alcohol was barely perceptible! This could definitely be the case for you as well.

It's possible the blueberry is overpowering the taste of the alcohol but I don't think I would perceive blueberries to be a strong flavour component of a beer like that. It's more likely you've done something right so that the flavours are properly balanced. Well done!
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Old 10-11-2012, 03:55 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big_Cat View Post
I don't own a cooler yet which is why I make ales instead of lagers because I don't have a way of controlling the temperature but I know that its always been below the 78 degrees.
78 is way too warm for most any fermentation. Based on my limited info, my guess is that you have become accustomed to fusel alcohols in your beer and the blueberry is covering them up in this particular beer.
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Old 10-11-2012, 04:32 PM   #7
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I recently made a pumpkin ale and I can't taste any alcohol at all in it and the hop flavor is all but indistinguishable.
Not sure if I like it because I wanted a slight spicy hop taste to it but my calculations apparently were not figuring the pumpkin as being as big a factor as it ended up being.

So yes, some flavors can easily hide others from coming to the front.

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Old 10-11-2012, 04:46 PM   #8
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Most of my ales are over 5% & I don't taste the alcohol. No fusels or any of that. I think beers have to be pretty high in ABV before you can taste it or feel some real warmth from it.
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