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Old 12-20-2013, 04:47 PM   #1
irishrover32
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Default ABV and flavour

hi i recently brewed a porter but i cocked up the mash temp and in turn the beer finished high which gave me a 3% beer, its really lacking in flavour it comes through a tiny bit at times but it takes some concentrating. is this due to the low alcohol? iv heard people say its hard to get flavour from low ABV beers why is this?

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Old 12-20-2013, 05:09 PM   #2
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The only flavor alcohol provides in a beer is the actual taste of alcohol. For instance, if you just use a ton of base malt and zero specialty malts and hops you'll get a pretty awful brew, in my opinion. A lot of high percentage beers like IPAs, Imperial Stouts, or Belgium Tripels will have a lot of other malts in the grain bill to counteract the booze in the beer, which adds flavor and mouthfeel to the beer. I've made a high alcohol IPA before and didn't use enough specialty malt and the booze flavor cut through most of the taste.

That being said, a lot of low alcohol beers get the reputation of having no flavor because of the American Style Lager (i.e. Bud Light, Coors Light). There is little malt in these beers to keep them lighter and easier to drink (and less sugar means less calories). There are some session beers out that are low in alcohol (2.5% to 5%) but big on taste; they are starting to change how people look at flavor and alcohol content.

From what it sounds like your problem is an issue with your mash. The high mash temp probably caused your enzymes to not convert the starches to sugars properly, which might have to do with way your ABV is so low. Also, your fermentation might not be done; what was your starting gravity and final gravity? Share the recipe as well; there might be a problem with that too.

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Old 12-20-2013, 05:47 PM   #3
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ok heres the recipe. im pretty sure i mashed so high (163F) i got a lot of un-fermentable sugars it finished at 1.028 :/, the OG was 1.052 giving me 3.1%

BeerSmith 2 Recipe Printout - http://www.beersmith.com
Recipe: Hanged, Drawn And Portered Actual 2
Brewer: Scott Maher
Asst Brewer:
Style: Brown Porter
TYPE: All Grain


Recipe Specifications
--------------------------
Boil Size: 5.15 gal
Post Boil Volume: 3.96 gal
Batch Size (fermenter): 3.96 gal
Bottling Volume: 3.70 gal
Estimated OG: 1.052 SG
Estimated Color: 46.8 SRM
Estimated IBU: 31.1 IBUs
Brewhouse Efficiency: 67.00 %
Est Mash Efficiency: 67.0 %
Boil Time: 60 Minutes

Ingredients:
------------
Amt Name Type # %/IBU
3 lbs 1.7 oz Pale Malt, Maris Otter (3.0 SRM) Grain 1 37.0 %
1 lbs 6.0 oz Pilsner (2 Row) UK (2.5 SRM) Grain 2 16.4 %
15.7 oz Caramel/Crystal Malt - 60L (70.0 SRM) Grain 3 11.7 %
13.4 oz Brown Malt (70.0 SRM) Grain 4 10.0 %
13.4 oz Chocolate Malt (550.0 SRM) Grain 5 10.0 %
8.2 oz Wheat Malt, Ger (2.0 SRM) Grain 6 6.1 %
6.6 oz Oats, Flaked (1.0 SRM) Grain 7 4.9 %
33.05 g Fuggles [5.10 %] - Boil 60.0 min Hop 8 31.1 IBUs
0.69 Items Whirlfloc Tablet (Boil 10.0 mins) Fining 9 -
5.3 oz Milk Sugar (Lactose) [Boil for 10 min](0 Sugar 10 3.9 %
0.9 pkg SafAle English Ale (DCL/Fermentis #S-04) Yeast 11 -


Mash Schedule: BIAB, Full Body
Total Grain Weight: 8 lbs 6.3 oz
----------------------------
Name Description Step Temperat Step Time
Saccharification Add 21.74 l of water at 72.8 C 68.9 C 60 min
Mash Out Heat to 75.6 C over 7 min 75.6 C 10 min

Sparge: Remove grains, and prepare to boil wort

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Old 12-20-2013, 05:59 PM   #4
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Overly high fg beers just taste sweet. It really messes up your ability to taste much else. Your recipe didn't have any flavoring hops at all, so if you were looking for some sort of a hop flavor, that just wasn't going to happen no matter what.

And just for the record, IIPA's and Tripels definitely don't have a lot of malts in the grain bill. Most tripels literally only have pilsner and sugar. Most IIPA's have base malt and maybe a touch of crystal. In fact, most of the world's great beers are relatively simple recipes brewed to perfection.

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Old 12-20-2013, 06:22 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billl View Post
And just for the record, IIPA's and Tripels definitely don't have a lot of malts in the grain bill. Most tripels literally only have pilsner and sugar. Most IIPA's have base malt and maybe a touch of crystal. In fact, most of the world's great beers are relatively simple recipes brewed to perfection.
I'll be the first to admit my mistake - yes, tripels are very straight forward and generally have little to no additional grains or adjuncts other than pils. My bad. However, regarding IPAs I've seen recipes with only two grains and some up to four. We can agree to disagree on that one.
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Old 12-20-2013, 06:35 PM   #6
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Me thinks the issue was the mash temp., as you expect. But even then your attenuation is around 50%; I would expect that number to be a little higher even if your mash temps were high.

Can anyone confirm or dispute my response?

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