Beers turning out with a light body
I have brewed about nine batches of home brew, all extract, to this point. Most of the batches have had this light body to them: not really complex or interesting bodies and dare I say, at times, even watery. The latest in the line is an American IPA that I made the recipe for.
Before I make a recipe though I start with "Brewing Classic Styles" by Zainasheff and Palmer to get a rough idea about the style. I search these forums and google, usually plowing through 15 - 20 extract recipes before I start to formalize my own recipe.
The recipe has the hop profile I want: citrus with floral/tropical fruit aroma but there is a very light body which seems to also cause a slightly unbalanced but not crazy bitterness to the finish.
Extract & Grain:
Light DME 6.00#
Crystal 40 0.75#
Crystal 60 0.50#
Centennial 1.00oz 60min
Centennail 1.00oz 10min
Simcoe 1.00oz 5min
Amarillo 1.00oz dry
Grains were steeped 154 degrees for 30 minutes in 1 gallon of water. Added 2.5 gallons of water to bring water to 3.5 gallons in brew kettle (partial). Brought to a boil. Added 3# of DME and first hop addition. Continued boil and adding hops but added last bit of DME with 5 minutes left in boil. Coiled in 25 minutes, racked to carboy, etc.
Beer was fermented and left in one carboy for 4 weeks and added dry hops for last 8 days.
The hop profile is perfect but the body is weak (as usual). I can post more recipes and results but I pretty much do the same thing over and over again.
Is my recipe not including enough DME? Should I add all the DME at the 60 minute mark and the late addition is screwing up the body?
Any help and input would be awesome as I want to brew this one again but get a nicer, bolder body to compliment the hops.
Thank you for your time and help,
Sorry, but DME isn't going to give you more body. To get more body you're going to want to focus on your specialty grains and add something there to improve body and mouthfeel.
I also highly recommend trying out partial mash brewing. The way you described your process, I think you'd have no problems doing a PM and it'll open up the types of grain you can use in your recipes.
Thank you for your quick reply. I plan on going to all grain this winter - getting the needed items for birthday and Christmas gifts :)
For an IPA, like I am trying to make, what would you recommend, since I will be going the DME route, to get more body and how much of it?
I like to use flaked barley, but I think you need to mash it to really get the effect. That's part of why I was suggesting moving to partial mash. It's really not much harder than steeping grains and it's a good half-step before you go to all-grain this winter.
You could also add a little malto-dextrine powder.
Another thought... how long are you waiting before you start cracking beers open? I find many of my beers seem thin and watery until they've been carbonated for a few weeks. If you're drinking 'em up right after they reach carbonation, you might not be giving them time to come into their own.
I understand your thoughts about doing the mini mash. I guess I am wondering if most home brewers that do extract and steeped grains have the same issues and how they solve it?? I would like to be "good" at extract before I switch to all grain.
Malto-dextrine - how much of that would you add to a five gallon batch?
I wait a while to crack open beers as I have never been in a rush so I don't think that is the problem.
do you know what volume of co2 you ended up with? i've overcarbed a few and that hurts the body/mouthfeel.
No I don't. But from John Palmer's book ("How to Brew") I use 1.25 cups of DME and 2 cups of water for a 5 gallon batch. I don't think they are over carbonated, but they could be, but some don't have much carbonation to be honest rather than too much. Could that be a possibility? Based on the book and the temperature and the amount of time I let the bottles sit, they should be fine??? I will take any and all input :)
Shute, you are in Beecher, my parents live in Frankfort, I drive some over for you to taste next time I visit ;)
well then, carbonation probably isn't your problem. i would look more into the afore mentioned mini mash.
p.s. i grew up in frankfort. my parents and inlaws both still live there.
I like Chshre Cats Idea of flaked barley or malto-dextrin. Try adding 4-6 ounces of flaked barley to your specialty grains. Might be an easy fix for you.
I haven't used malto dextrin, but some of the recipes I see call for a half pound.
Does maltodextrin go in the boil then? If so, the entire 60 minutes?
On another note, should I add all DME at the beginning of the boil? I guess I am saying, if I add it with 5 minutes left in the boil do I get full "usage" of the sugars?
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