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Old 03-10-2012, 02:52 PM   #1
Rugrad02
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Default How do I add body?

I bottled my first attempt at an all grain stout yesterday and after a taste was immediately disappointed by the lack of body. I know that my disappointment may be a bit premature as bottle conditioning and carbonation could affect the overall taste but it just had a watered down feel that I wasn't expecting.

I know that adding Crystal malts can add body and looking back at the recipe for my 5 gallon stout, I only used 2 oz. Should I try Lactose or Dextrin malt next time? Should I look at a less attenuating yeast? I used WLP 041, Pacific Ale.

Alternately, how would I add body in a lighter beer, say a pale ale, without adding too much color that using Crystal malts may impart?

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Old 03-10-2012, 03:03 PM   #2
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What temperature did you mash at? What's the recipe?

You can up the percentage of crystal malts, mash higher, replace some of the base malt with munich...the list goes on and on

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Old 03-10-2012, 03:06 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snowveil
What temperature did you mash at? What's the recipe?

You can up the percentage of crystal malts, mash higher, replace some of the base malt with munich...the list goes on and on
7 lbs 2 Row
1 lbs Maris Otter
1/2 lbs roasted barley
1/2 lbs caramel 40
.25 lbs black malt
2 oz. Chocolate malt
2 oz. Dark Crystal
1 oz. Fuggle

Mashed at 156 for an hour.
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Old 03-10-2012, 10:02 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rugrad02 View Post
7 lbs 2 Row
1 lbs Maris Otter
1/2 lbs roasted barley
1/2 lbs caramel 40
.25 lbs black malt
2 oz. Chocolate malt
2 oz. Dark Crystal
1 oz. Fuggle

Mashed at 156 for an hour.
At that mash temp I would probably up the crystal malts/unfermentables.
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Old 03-10-2012, 10:07 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rugrad02 View Post
I bottled my first attempt at an all grain stout yesterday and after a taste was immediately disappointed by the lack of body. I know that my disappointment may be a bit premature as bottle conditioning and carbonation could affect the overall taste but it just had a watered down feel that I wasn't expecting.

I know that adding Crystal malts can add body and looking back at the recipe for my 5 gallon stout, I only used 2 oz. Should I try Lactose or Dextrin malt next time? Should I look at a less attenuating yeast? I used WLP 041, Pacific Ale.

Alternately, how would I add body in a lighter beer, say a pale ale, without adding too much color that using Crystal malts may impart?
I'm a big fan of oats for body in dark beers, and I've also had success with flaked barley (about a pound of either in 5 gallons for substantial body). The flaked barley in particular has little impact on flavor in that quantity. The oats add a creaminess that I enjoy.
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Old 03-11-2012, 11:50 AM   #6
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I would verify the accuracy of your thermometer. It may be reading high.

Also, you can try mashing for less time. Check for conversion at 30 minutes. If its done, it's done. Additional mash time will just increase fermentability of the wort. Last, but not least, along the same lines, do a mash out at 168 or so to halt conversion once you have a good iodine test.

Adam

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Old 03-11-2012, 06:44 PM   #7
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The better way to improve body and mouthfeel is through adding beta glucan containing grain to the grist. As nbolmer mentions above, oats and unmalted barley are good beta glucan contributors. Rye and wheat are also modest contributors.
I do caution on adding too much of these grains. 2 or 3 percent flaked barley will significantly boost body and improve head production and retention. The amount nbolmer is recommending above will provide substantial body, but I suggest that it would actually be too much body and there would be problems with pouring the beer and foaming. In addition, clarity is likely to suffer. In a dark beer, clarity is less an issue. Lighter beers would expose the lack of clarity imposed by too much beta glucan.

Flaked Barley is the highest contributor of beta glucan by weight followed closely by oats, rye, and wheat. Beta glucans can be problematic in the mash and sticky mashes can be produced as the percentage of these grains goes up. You don't hear much about the stickiness of flaked barley since most brewers only use a few percent of that grain in their grists. Oats may see a somewhat higher percentage in some grists. Rye is used at very significant proportions in a Roggenbier and of course wheat beers have very high percentage of that grain. That is why you hear more about the stickiness and problems of mashing with wheat, rye, and oats more than flaked barley. If clarity is going to be a desirable factor, a beta glucan mash rest will help break down some of the beta glucans prior to the main sacharification rest(s).

A good all around head builder is to add a couple percent flaked wheat or wheat malt to the grist. That is a technique that Mike McDole uses in creating his award winning brews. Wheat does add a slightly grainy flavor that is frequently welcome at low levels in many styles.

Enjoy!

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