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Old 10-06-2012, 02:32 AM   #1
ChasidicCalvinist
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Default Adding body to the secondary

So I keep thinking about my Autumn Bourbon Ale I brewed up. When I racked it, it reminded me of water with hops. I mean it was LIGHT! When I brewed it I didn't use any oats because I ran out of money. So now I'm trying to figure out how I can add some body to it.

I was thinking of adding 1lb of honey if it is still like water. Thoughts? Honey has such a high sugar content it doesn't need to be sterilized or even heated. Do you think 1lb might give it some body? Or is there something else I can do post-boil?

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Old 10-06-2012, 04:12 AM   #2
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So you did a 5-gallon batch with the following fermentables:

4lbs rice syrup
5 cups light brown sugar (convert)
8oz molasses
6oz maltodextrine

That gives me a theoretical OG of 1.054, which isn't too low. But my guess is that everything was so fermentable that it attenuated very high and gave you a very low FG.

I had this very problem with a couple of beers recently. I gave up and dumped 'em, because I was angry and impatient and frustrated. But you are a more dedicated and patient man than I, I'd wager, so if you want to save this beer, I reckon it's possible. It'll end up higher in alcohol, but try this: caramelize some honey as if making a bochet mead--about a pound of it, I'd say. Caramelizing it will make it even less fermentable. Add enough boiling water to thin the honey, and dissolve an extra 8 oz of maltodextrin. With any luck, that'll help it out.

Another possibility would be to puree a few pounds of sweet potato, steep at 150°F for an hour or two, strain out, add 8 oz maltodextrin, and then boil down until you've got maybe 2 or 3 cups of liquid, and then add that. No promises on either of these, it's just what I'd try if I was particularly invested in a batch that came out too thin.

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Old 10-06-2012, 10:36 AM   #3
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I had the same problem with a batch a few months ago. It's sounds crazy, but I added some glycerine to it. Doesn't alter the flavour, but does thicken it enough to give it some body...

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Old 10-06-2012, 07:05 PM   #4
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What do you have at your disposal? You could mash up some grain and just add to secondary. More maltodextrin is always an option too. Also, you can always just use some GF quick oats or other flaked grain in place of oat malt. You don't even need any enzymes if all you want is some non-fermentables. I've actually pondered making GF graff with nothing more than steeped oatmeal.

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Old 10-06-2012, 10:23 PM   #5
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I currently have 3lbs of oats, 1lb of millet and 1lb of Amaranth. I just got home--I've been away for a few days, and I poured a sample. It actually is fairly good--it seems to have improved greatly, in terms of flavor. The spice profiles are now coming through and seem to compliment the hops very well. The aroma right before drinking is excellent. Still light on body though. I will be adding 2 cups of bourbon to this. I saw Jim Beam has a new honey bourbon out that is seasonal, I'm wondering if 2 cups of that might help it out enough. I don't mind a light beer...I just don't want a watery beer.

Both suggestions are intriguing. But the one that especially interests me is steeping grains and then boiling it down to a smaller but thicker liquid. Do you think that could work? Would I have to do anything with the grains--like toast them, or could I just dump say 3lbs of oats into 1 gallon, steep them, boil and reduce and then pour into my secondary?

Patient? Please tell my secretary that. I get tired of her telling me I'm impatient.

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Old 10-07-2012, 04:24 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by igliashon View Post
caramelize some honey as if making a bochet mead--about a pound of it, I'd say. Caramelizing it will make it even less fermentable. Add enough boiling water to thin the honey, and dissolve an extra 8 oz of maltodextrin. With any luck, that'll help it out.

Another possibility would be to puree a few pounds of sweet potato, steep at 150°F for an hour or two, strain out, add 8 oz maltodextrin, and then boil down until you've got maybe 2 or 3 cups of liquid, and then add that. No promises on either of these, it's just what I'd try if I was particularly invested in a batch that came out too thin.
Read through this subforum and you will see that iglisashon has lots of good recommendations, and this one (based by my specific, although admittedly limited experience) is a really good one. Some caramelized honey would do this brew a world of good I think. It's done wonders for mine in the past.
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Old 10-07-2012, 04:28 AM   #7
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Is maltodextrin gluten free?

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Old 10-07-2012, 05:55 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by weirdboy
Is maltodextrin gluten free?
Yes.
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