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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > Caramel Flavor in Pale Ale
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Old 06-22-2012, 01:42 AM   #1
sag1189
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Default Caramel Flavor in Pale Ale

The most recent PM batch I just kegged has an overpowering caramel flavor to it. The PM temp I was aiming for was 151 but I overshot it and mashed at 158. I only mashed 2.5 lbs. of grain so I didn't think it would make too much of a difference, but could have it?

Also I use LME. I brewed the day after I got it in the mail from MoreBeer (after 7 days of shipping) so I'd assume it is fresh as MoreBeer has provided me with quality ingredients in the past. Therefore, I don't think that it could be the LME caramelizing, especially since I add it late in the boil as well.

So basically, my question to the more experienced brewers is what could cause the caramel flavor, the high mash, the LME, or a combo of both?

Here is the recipe:

OG: 1.059 (wanted it to be closer to 1.055)
FG: 1.016 (wanted it to be closer to 1.012 but I mashed high)

6# Pilsen Light LME
2# Golden Promise
1/2# Vienna
6oz. Crystal20

1oz. Centennial at 60 min
1oz. Centennial at 15 min
2oz. Centennial at 1 min

WLP007 Dry English Ale

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Old 06-22-2012, 02:08 AM   #2
scottlabadie
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Usually Carmel flavor is contributed to using to much crystal malt. Although the recipe isn't presenting this scenario.

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Old 06-22-2012, 02:43 AM   #3
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I dont know, but I think you can cross out the high mash temp as a cause.

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Old 06-22-2012, 03:17 AM   #4
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Vienna gives a rich, slightly sweet, malty flavor that might come across to some as toffee/caramel.

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Old 06-22-2012, 04:08 AM   #5
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How many gallons was your boil? If you had a 3 gallon boil, that could cause higher caramelization than expected. Your grain bill doesn't fit a high caramel flavor profile

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Old 06-22-2012, 04:09 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Piratwolf
Vienna gives a rich, slightly sweet, malty flavor that might come across to some as toffee/caramel.
But at only half a lb? The Vienna lager guys are in big trouble.
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Old 06-22-2012, 04:19 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dgez
How many gallons was your boil? If you had a 3 gallon boil, that could cause higher caramelization than expected. Your grain bill doesn't fit a high caramel flavor profile
Yeah it was 3 gallons. I added 2# of the LME at 60 min and the remaining 4# at 15 min.

Edit: Just thought of this, it was the first batch I ever did on a gas stove (normally do it on a not-so-powerful electric in my apartment) and I still use one of those cheap thin SS 5 gal kettles. Could the added heat of the gas burner caramelize the wort? Just food for thought.
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Old 06-22-2012, 05:52 AM   #8
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Maybe you didn't completely mix all the LME into solution after you added it and it sunk and caramelized on the bottom of the pot. A high heat burner would probably make getting it fully dissolved more important because it would caramelize faster. Just a thought...

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Old 06-22-2012, 07:56 AM   #9
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super thin pots can scorch or caramelize the wort very easily. id bet thats what happened. just to give you an idea, i thought i was slick once and bought an 8 gal $10 steam pot from walmart and tried to use it on a turkey fryer. at the end of the boil i dumped the wort and was scooping out ash by the handful.

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Old 06-22-2012, 01:51 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by heckels

But at only half a lb? The Vienna lager guys are in big trouble.
A good point! Kettle caramelization seems a better vote.
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