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Old 02-21-2013, 06:43 PM   #1
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Default Why is my beer too dry?

I just kegged a couple of 5.5G batches of APAs. They both use the same grain bills, but in one I used Cascade hops, and the other, Mosaic. Here's the grain bill (all organic btw):

9.5 lbs 2-row
8oz Crystal 60L
8oz Crystal 120L
4oz Cara-Pils

Beersmith predicts OG 1.052, FG 1.011

I use BIAB.

Batch #1:
Mash temp 150-147, 70 mins (lower temps than I was going for).
OG 1.047, FG 1.006

Batch #2:
Mash temp 154-148, 80 mins.
OG 1.050, FG 1.008

Just tasting them after the 7 day dry hop time and now in the kegerator, I'm disappointed because they taste too dry to me. They are missing that little bit of sweet to balance out the hops (like Mirror Pond for example, which this is supposed to be a clone recipe for). Is it my mash temps, mash time, or maybe the grain bill (need more crystal?). By the way I did substitute the 60L+120L for a similar amount of 80L, because they didn't have organic 80L, and I just wanted this to be an all-organic grain beer.

What do you think?

Thanks,
Mark

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Old 02-21-2013, 06:44 PM   #2
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Which yeast?

It could be that you are mashing too low of temp which will provide more fermentable sugars from the grain and result in a drier FG. Maybe your thermometer is reading high? Generally for a well rounded beer most people are mashing in the 152F range. I mash at 156 for my brown ale to give it a sweeter finish.

Even when I mash high I still get low FG's with Nottingham and US-05 (my 2 preferred yeasts).

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Old 02-21-2013, 06:45 PM   #3
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US-05 in both

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Old 02-21-2013, 06:47 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mscaron View Post
I just kegged a couple of 5.5G batches of APAs. They both use the same grain bills, but in one I used Cascade hops, and the other, Mosaic. Here's the grain bill (all organic btw):

9.5 lbs 2-row
8oz Crystal 60L
8oz Crystal 120L
4oz Cara-Pils

Beersmith predicts OG 1.052, FG 1.011

I use BIAB.

Batch #1:
Mash temp 150-147, 70 mins (lower temps than I was going for).
OG 1.047, FG 1.006

Batch #2:
Mash temp 154-148, 80 mins.
OG 1.050, FG 1.008

Just tasting them after the 7 day dry hop time and now in the kegerator, I'm disappointed because they taste too dry to me. They are missing that little bit of sweet to balance out the hops (like Mirror Pond for example, which this is supposed to be a clone recipe for). Is it my mash temps, mash time, or maybe the grain bill (need more crystal?). By the way I did substitute the 60L+120L for a similar amount of 80L, because they didn't have organic 80L, and I just wanted this to be an all-organic grain beer.

What do you think?

Thanks,
Mark
My take would be that it is your mash temp. The mash temps you are using will lead to highly fermentable wort, which will lead the finished beer to be dry. If you want more sweetness, you should mash at a higher temp.
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Old 02-21-2013, 06:48 PM   #5
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Quote:
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US-05 in both
Yup, US-05 is a beast! That with low mash temps is why you are finishing dry. My APA; OG 1.052 always finishes between 1.008 and 1.010 when mashed at 152F with US-05.
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Old 02-21-2013, 06:54 PM   #6
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I think you are right to suspect the mash temp. I like my beers dry and ferment in the 147-152 range. I go to 156-159 to increase the unfernmentable sugars when I want to increase the sweet taste. I guess you could probably add lactose to increase the sweetness as well.

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Old 02-21-2013, 06:55 PM   #7
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Your Mash temps are lower, so you're getting a more fermentable wort.

That being said.... Why are you losing 3-6 degrees during a 60 minute mash? Are you pre-heating your mash tun in any way?

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Old 02-21-2013, 07:13 PM   #8
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I use BIAB outdoors on my apt patio (not even in a garage). I'm in Minnesota, and the outdoor temps were mid-30's (which was warm for January!). I do wrap my kettle with a Columbia winter coat during mash, but I think maybe that's why my temps are dropping a bit this time.

Thanks everyone for your comments! Next time I'll mash this at higher temps.

Mark

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Old 02-21-2013, 07:40 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mscaron View Post
I use BIAB outdoors on my apt patio (not even in a garage). I'm in Minnesota, and the outdoor temps were mid-30's (which was warm for January!). I do wrap my kettle with a Columbia winter coat during mash, but I think maybe that's why my temps are dropping a bit this time.

Thanks everyone for your comments! Next time I'll mash this at higher temps.

Mark
Could you bring your kettle indoors just for the mash?
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Old 02-21-2013, 07:53 PM   #10
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I think your mash temps are low... 148 is a bit low for the end of a mash to me...

I only lose 2 degrees in an hour in my setup and the mash is usually finished 30 to 45 minutes...

Check your thermometer because it could be off a few degrees and then you migh have even low than you think temps.

Warmer temps or add some dextrin malt of some kind if you are going to keep using the same equipment,,, maybe that will help

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