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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Beer Discussion > Triple a tad too sweet--not bottled--fixable?
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Old 11-06-2009, 03:58 AM   #1
erichowerton
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Default Triple a tad too sweet--not bottled--fixable?

I've brewed a few beers before, mostly IPAs, a dubbel, and a saison, all with good results. I recently tried my hand at a Belgian Tripel. After four weeks in the primary (bubbler had completely stopped), I moved the beer into the secondary and tasted what was left in the syphon. While the smell is very good, the taste is just a tad sweet for me. I know a lot of triples are often on the sweeter side, but I prefer mine dry. Because the beer isn't bottle yet, I'm wondering if there's something I can do to it in the secondary to help it dry out a bit. Any suggestions? I appreciate the help.

I've attached the recipe below. It's a modified version of a Northern Brewer triple, which actually called for 2 lbs. of sugar but I reduced it to one pound because I knew I wanted it dryer.

8 lbs LME malts (6.5 pale, 1.5 amber)
2 lbs Base malts, steeped for 45 minutes (1 lb Vienna, ½ Crystal 20L, ½ Special B)
1 lb Belgian Candy sugar
1 oz bitter orange peel
Wyeast Saison yeast (alteration to their recipe, I hoped the saison yeast would also dry it out more)

1 oz Simcoe (60 min)
1 oz Fuggle (10 min)
1 oz Riwaka (5 min)

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Old 11-06-2009, 04:18 AM   #2
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What is your currenty gravity reading? What is your expected FG?

Eric

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Old 11-06-2009, 04:21 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erichowerton View Post
It's a modified version of a Northern Brewer triple, which actually called for 2 lbs. of sugar but I reduced it to one pound because I knew I wanted it dryer.
I think you got something backwards, sugar will dry out a beer; so by leaving the sugar out you're leaving it less dry.
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Old 11-06-2009, 04:26 AM   #4
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So if I add that extra pound of sugar, the beer will end up drying out more?

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Old 11-06-2009, 04:28 AM   #5
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So if I add that extra pound of sugar, the beer will end up drying out more?
Yes, in theory, but you already transferred to secondary right? You might need to add more yeast as well.

The simple sugars in Belgians are what give them the characteristic dry flavor. The simple sugars are 100 percent fermentable, which dry out the beer more. By removing that pound from the recipe, you raised the FG.

Did you take a hydrometer reading?

Eric
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Old 11-06-2009, 04:58 AM   #6
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Thanks for all the help so far.

Fortunately, I harvested the yeast from the primary, so I can make a starter and pitch it with another pound of dissolved sugar. Do all types of sugar produce the same degree of dryness, or do some produce more than others?

I didn't take an original hydrometer reading, but I'll take one tomorrow and post it.

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Old 11-06-2009, 05:59 AM   #7
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All simple sugars should ferment out completely. The only difference being some slight flavor differences depending on the type of sugar.

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Old 11-06-2009, 06:20 AM   #8
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How sweet was it really? Our perception of sweetness is often affected by carbonation. For instance, which tastes sweeter, a flat coke, or a freshly cracked can of coke? Certainly the flat one tastes sweeter but the carbonation helps cut the sweetness thus altering our perception of it.

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Old 11-06-2009, 06:37 AM   #9
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True. It's not cloying, it's perfectly drinkable, but ideally I'd like it just a tad dryer. I was hoping it would be at least as dry as Victory Golden Monkey and that flavor's not really there yet.

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Old 11-06-2009, 07:55 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erichowerton View Post
True. It's not cloying, it's perfectly drinkable, but ideally I'd like it just a tad dryer. I was hoping it would be at least as dry as Victory Golden Monkey and that flavor's not really there yet.
I think your hydrometer reading will help you decide if the level of dryness is appropriate. Please post both your OG and FG, so we can look at ADF to see if it is in line with the yeast used.

Eric
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Fermenting: Arrogant Bastard Clone, BCS Dry stout

Planned: Rye IPA, ESB, Oatmeal Pale Ale, Rye Amber

Can You Brew It Recipe Database
Convert an all grain recipe to extract
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