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Old 02-03-2009, 04:02 AM   #1
wiseman
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Default too sweet?

I brewed a big beer according to recipe i found on tastybrew.com. It had 13 pounds of dry malt in a 5 gallon batch, but I ended up watering it down to 6 because it seemed a bit excessive.

It fermented for 4 weeks and then I bottled last monday. I just popped one open today and the flavors present are great but it's way too sweet. Did I just throw too much malt at my yeast (SAFALE S-04)? The beer was carbonated when I opened it which I guess means the yeast is still doing its thing. Should i just give it another week or two to see how it turns out?

recipe:

6 pounds light dme
6 pounds amber dme
1 pound dark dme
2 oz northern brewer 60min
1 oz perle 30 min
1 oz hollertauer 10 min

I'm concerned now because I have already taken everything out of the fermentor and bottled it. Perhaps it is a learning experience, but the ingredients were an 80 dollar christmas gift from my brother and I really don't want to chalk this up to a loss.

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Old 02-03-2009, 04:23 AM   #2
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Last Monday isn't long enough. I don't bother to taste mine until at least 3 weeks. And probably longer with a bigger beer like that. What was the SG when you bottled?

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Old 02-03-2009, 04:27 AM   #3
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That original recipe IS a monster. According to BeerSmith, that is going to have (approximately) an OG of 1.114 with an estimated FG of 1.028 (11.2% ABV). It would have a sweet characteristic because the IBU would only be around 16.

Reducing it to 6lbs of extracts (assuming evenly distribution of original recipe) would bring the OG down to 1.052 and the FG to 1.014 (5.1% ABV) with a bitterness rating of about 50, which shouldn't have a sweet characteristic. It should have a rather nice hop punch. I would DEFINITELY taste this again in two or three more weeks and it should settle quite a bit... is there any hop aroma to it yet?

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Old 02-03-2009, 05:06 AM   #4
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Could that have been 6 lbs light OR 6 lbs amber?

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Old 02-03-2009, 05:57 AM   #5
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Did you make a hefty yeast starter to handle all that malt? What was your FG?

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Old 02-03-2009, 08:16 AM   #6
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I'll do my best to answer the questions here.

I made a 2 liter yeast starter. Fermentation was so vigorous it blew the top off of my brew pail within 24 hours.

the recipe was given as an imperial stout (which, obviously, it isn't) and had an ABV of 11%. It was definitely an "and" not an "or"

Not sure about your math, but with 4 ounces of hops dumped in the way I did it, that makes an IBU of 33, which is what it tastes like to me. Lots of hop taste, lots of bitterness, great aroma.

and to everyone who asked what the gravities were on it, I have no idea. I haven't got myself a hydrometer yet. Probably should get one of those at some point, huh.

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Old 02-03-2009, 08:27 AM   #7
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Crunching the numbers:

IBUs are closer to 50, but the malt bill is still huge. It is going to be a little sweet even if it fermented fully. You would have needed at least 50% more hops to balance that out better.

edit: With a reasonable 70% attenuation, you still have a 11.5% ABV beer on your hands. You would need closer to 100 IBUs to balance that thing out.

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Old 02-03-2009, 09:56 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JMSetzler View Post
I would DEFINITELY taste this again in two or three more weeks and it should settle quite a bit... is there any hop aroma to it yet?
It's really not going to get any sweeter. Not only is it way over the top on the malt side, but what is going to happen in the bottle to change that aside from a bacterial infection?


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Originally Posted by Vic_Sinclair View Post
Did you make a hefty yeast starter to handle all that malt? What was your FG?
He used S-04, a dry yeast which assuming he hydrated it properly would benefit from not using a starter.
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Old 02-03-2009, 11:54 AM   #9
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I got a Imperial Stout on deck waiting to be put on right now. The establishment that I purchased the kit from recommended at least 6 months of bottle aging. It is supposed to be close to 10% ABV (est. 1.091 OG) so I am going to suggest you do the same. I'm thinking time (and a lot of it) will take care of some of the sweetness... How much.... I don't know.

Another little thing I learned from reading up on big brews is past a certain OG you aught to bump up the amount of dry yeast pitched (increase the cell count). I can't seem to find the magic number anywhere, but I am thinking an OG above 1.060 should get more yeast (if I remember correctly). I am going to pitch two packs of SA-04 on mine.

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Old 02-03-2009, 01:59 PM   #10
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The magic numbers live at Mr Malty

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