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-   -   How to get more flavor without adding Fermentables (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f36/how-get-more-flavor-without-adding-fermentables-384914/)

wdwalter 01-27-2013 02:03 AM

How to get more flavor without adding Fermentables
How do I get more flavor out of my beers without boosting my OG too high? I'm thinking something along the lines of steeping grains after the mash but before the boil. Steeping around 160 should get some flavor but none of the fermentables right?

jarnock 01-27-2013 02:48 AM

I would say add some specialty grains, i.e. crystal 60 to start. If thats too sweet, go down from there...(to crystal 40, ect)

chickypad 01-27-2013 08:38 PM

When you say more flavor, do you mean you're beers seem too thin? Can you give more info on your recipes, OG and FG, and process? Could be a problem with recipe formulation, could be mashing too low, hard to tell without more specifics.

wdwalter 01-28-2013 01:30 AM

Here's the last one I made that really came in below expectation. It was a an ESB, all-grain, brewed using White labs Burton Ale Yeast. *Note: this was for a 2.5 gallon batch.

2.5 lbs Marris Otter
1 lb Biscuit Malt
8 oz Wheat malt (going for head retention on that)
4 oz Victory Malt

.3 oz both Northern Brewer and Goldings for 60 minutes
.2 oz both fuggles and goldings for last 5 minutes of boil

Made a starter, and pitched at about 70. Fermented low, about 62 ambient. OG was close to 1.038 FG reading was pretty inacurate (which I fixed later) but was close to 1.014.

Definitely thin on body, and overall flavor just seems kind of bland. I think I got close to 65% efficiency on mash.

*A lot of "I thinks" in here. I have improved my methods since this batch but at the time I was making some mistakes.

chickypad 01-28-2013 02:54 AM

If the 1.014 is right then you didn't over- attenuate. If you were expecting an ESB maybe this recipe is just not what you wanted? Looks like a 3.1% ABV ordinary bitter. You also don't have any crystal in there, which I don't think is alwyas required but maybe you were expecting more caramel notes. Just my thoughts, I haven't brewed many bitters.

dcp27 01-28-2013 06:25 PM


Originally Posted by wdwalter (Post 4830835)
Steeping around 160 should get some flavor but none of the fermentables right?

you'd still get fermentables

i dunno how that recipe could be bland, looks like it should taste like a liquid biscuit. 1lb biscuit is way too much in a 2.5gal batch, definitely didn't need another 4oz victory on top of that either. next time, i'd split the 1lb biscuit between some crystal malt & more of the MO

aiptasia 01-28-2013 06:35 PM

I agree, you need to mix in some light additions of specialty steeping grains. Scale back on the biscuit malt and try adding four ounces of crystal 60 and maybe special B (or crystal 120+).

The roasted malts will raise your OG but there's less fermentables being released, which gives your beers that roasty body and caramel, toffee depth you're looking for. Just a few ounces can go a long way.

PS: When you steep specialty grains, get a good crush on them and steep them for about 70 minutes at 155*f. This is warm enough to extract all of the converted sugars and flavor and be sure to do plenty of swirling and dunking with them. A muslin bag (or similar) works great for this.

WoodlandBrew 01-28-2013 06:47 PM

Your attenuation is plenty low. I would expect quite a bit of flavor just from the numbers, so it must be something else.

A little Calcium Carbonate can add a perception of body and richness. Try putting a pinch in a glass before pouring your beer in.

Or to bring out the maltiness a pinch of Calcium Chloride. If you don't have that you could try a pinch of table salt just to get an idea. (I wouldn't recommend brewing with NaCl. It's too harsh in my opinion. CaCl, when used in moderation, seems much smoother and just emphasizes the sweetness.)

More information here:

captaincoffee 01-28-2013 07:14 PM

I'm trying to imagine the flavor of a 25% biscuit grain bill. I can believe it would taste out of balance, but would not have expected it to be thin. I think dcp27 has the right recommendation for you.

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