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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Extract Brewing > Can warm bottling conditions bring out the sweetness in the beer?
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Old 07-24-2008, 03:57 PM   #1
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Default Can warm bottling conditions bring out the sweetness in the beer?

About three weeks ago, I bottled my Chocolate Oatmeal Cream Stout which calls for 1 lb of lactose. Now I know that this is going to be a bit on the sweet side, but here is what I noticed.

For the first two weeks, the bottles were conditioning at around 74 deg. Since patience is not my strong point, I taste tested one of the bottles. I found it to be quite good actually. Well yesterday marking three weeks in the bottle, the temp. accidently went up to 80 deg. Wanting to taste test my new brew, I threw a bottle in the fridge and let it chill for a bit.

While I was looking forward to that great taste of week two, I found that the lactose was the most prominent flavor of the drink. I realize that stouts and higher gravity beers do take longer to condition and that the different flavors come out at different stages (BTW the OG was 1.060) but was wondering if temp. could play a role in this.

Now what I didn’t tell you, was about two months ago I bottled a beer called sweet stout, a recipe from a brew book, one of my firsts brews. Without knowing any better, I let that condition for two months in 68 deg. Temp. with every brew I tasted was (I will admit it) tasted like ass. There were a few mistakes along the way on that one.

But with room running out of my ferment closet I brought my sweet stout up to the kitchen which was @ 80 deg. Along with taste testing my Chocolate Oatmeal Cream Stout, I tried a bottle of my 2 month old sweet stout at room temp. This is the first time I have ever had the sweetness come through. Just wondering if you guys had any input?

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Old 07-24-2008, 04:06 PM   #2
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Holy run on paragraph, Batman! Some of us have bad eyes and have trouble reading long passages without the white space of paragraph breaks to seperate stuff...

Sweet stouts are supposed to be sweet...that's why you add lactose to them, it's an unfermentable sugar...Therefore after the yeasties eat the fermentable sugar, the lactose get's left behind and we taste it....

Letting beer warm up brings up more of the complexities of the grains and flavorings. It also brings out the flaws inherent in the beer...That's why Bud/Miller/Coors pride themselves on being the "Coldest" beers...try warming them up and you'll taste all the corn and rice they add...and other things.

I hope I answered your question...like I said it was hard to glean the info out of a solid mass of black on white, without breaks...

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Old 07-24-2008, 04:08 PM   #3
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I haven't noticed any of my brews that have been stored at higher temps having a sweeter taste.

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Old 07-24-2008, 04:08 PM   #4
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There are complexities going on that are impossible to calculate.

The one that tastes bad, put it somewhere (ideally) that is 68F or so and leave it for 6 months.

The other one will mature, but heat that high won't do anything good.

"sweetness"? If you are looking for the sugary sweetness, that will most likely not increase. The malt character may improve with age.

If you are intent on drinking it now, brew something else quick! At least put back 12 of the 2nd batch too, and forget about those. Time will improve both beers considerably.

What yeast did you use? I have found WL Irish ale or English ale very good for stouts, the English ale left more "sweetness" IMHO.

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Old 07-24-2008, 04:11 PM   #5
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I think the main question was how does too high a temp at the ageing process affect the taste?

If so, I have a lot to learn, but am waiting keenly for answers. I too have a problem regulating temp in my house.

Edit: Wow. two posts whle I wrote that one! I'll shut up now!

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Old 07-24-2008, 04:13 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cheezydemon View Post
There are complexities going on that are impossible to calculate.

The one that tastes bad, put it somewhere (ideally) that is 68F or so and leave it for 6 months.

The other one will mature, but heat that high won't do anything good.

"sweetness"? If you are looking for the sugary sweetness, that will most likely not increase. The malt character may improve with age.

If you are intent on drinking it now, brew something else quick! At least put back 12 of the 2nd batch too, and forget about those. Time will improve both beers considerably.

What yeast did you use? I have found WL Irish ale or English ale very good for stouts, the English ale left more "sweetness" IMHO.
I used London Ale from white labs. Since it's been three weeks and carb'd, I am going to let them sit for a month or two in the basement closet which I can keep at 68 deg. Time will tell.
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Old 07-25-2008, 05:06 AM   #7
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That is an interesting question and ironically I am going to find out in 4 weeks. I just bottled a case of my Sierra Nevada Pale Ale and put he rest in a keg. The bottles are in my basement at 68* and the keg is in my kegerator at 52*.

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Old 07-25-2008, 05:52 AM   #8
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If it does taste like ass after it conditions then dump it or use it for cooking.
If it just tastes too sweet then open them up and mix it with a green beer then rebottle and condition.

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Old 07-25-2008, 09:03 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stagstout View Post
I used London Ale from white labs. Since it's been three weeks and carb'd, I am going to let them sit for a month or two in the basement closet which I can keep at 68 deg. Time will tell.
Sounds like the flavors are melding together slowly. I'm not surprised that the flavor of the beer has receded really.

I haven't had any problems with my beer getting a little warm in the bottle. My problems have been not taking into account my bottling temperature (the beer as it goes into the bottles) so I've been undercarbing somewhat.
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Old 07-25-2008, 02:36 PM   #10
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Thanks for the replys guys.

Here is what I noticed last night. As of yesterday, the house temp. has been back to normal around 73 deg. I did however put my Chocolate Cream Stout in the basement closet which is at 68 deg. steady. I will wait another week before I sample it again (this will be 4 weeks in the bottle). I did however freeze chill my earlier batch which is something I'm not too proud of.

Remember how I said I tried one at room temp which was around 80 deg for 12 hours or so, and the taste was sweet. Keep in mind that this is also a sweet stout that has been conditioned for awhile at 68 deg and the bottle at 80 deg. was the first time I noticed the sweetness.

Well after freeze chilling, I sampled to my surprise, the sweetness wasn't there. I only noticed it in the after taste while licking my lips. The hop bitterness was more noticable than anything.

So even though I haven't heard anything that has actually confirmed the fact that warmer temps. cause the sweetness to come out, I just wanted to share my observation.

I will let you know how my Chocolate Cream Stout taste in a week. It's supposed to be sweet, I guess I was surprised at how sweet it was. Hopefully lower temps and time will do the job.

Cheers

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