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Old 09-25-2011, 03:21 AM   #1
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Default Back sweetening an IPA that finished too dry

Hello everybody. I have a question that I haven't been able to find a good answer to.

I read the wiki article on back sweetening: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/wiki/ind...ack_sweetening

But the advice wasn't specific enough.

I have a 5 gallon batch of double ipa just fnishing primary right now. The yeast really went to town, and I've ended up with a FG of 1.013. It's too bitter for my taste with all the hops I put in. I was expecting it to finish a few points higher.

Would lactose be a good choice for back sweetening this beer, or should I use something else? I've seen maltodextrin mentioned. How much back sweetener should I use to bump my beer back up to about 1.016?

Or will this taste weird, and I should just leave it be?

Thanks for the help!

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Old 09-25-2011, 04:31 AM   #2
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Lactose isn't really sweet... it will just give your beer more body. And jumping from 1.013 to 1.016 won't make that huge of a difference.

I'd say just leave it as is... you said it's just out of primary so it probably needs time anyway. Plus hops mellow with time.

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Old 09-25-2011, 05:11 AM   #3
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That's true. I bet it will mellow out a bit.

I'm thinking about bottling half of it as is, and then bottling the rest with some added sugar so I could compare and improve my recipe next time around. Is there anything I could add that would taste sweet? If not, I'm not too unhappy the way it is. It'd definitely good, just not quite perfect.

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Old 09-25-2011, 05:15 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TopGear View Post
That's true. I bet it will mellow out a bit.

I'm thinking about bottling half of it as is, and then bottling the rest with some added sugar so I could compare and improve my recipe next time around. Is there anything I could add that would taste sweet? If not, I'm not too unhappy the way it is. It'd definitely good, just not quite perfect.
You absolutely do NOT want to bottle with more sugar than intended. You're looking at over-carbonation or worse: bottle bombs.
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Old 09-25-2011, 05:30 AM   #5
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That's definitely a concern. That's why I'm seeking out a sugar that tastes sweet, but isn't fermentable. From what I've read, hard cider is pretty frequently back sweetened like this, but I don't know what exactly I should use for my beer, or how much.

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Old 09-25-2011, 06:36 AM   #6
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Dudue....just bottle that sh*t the right way and wait it out. i bet it will be the best beer you ever brewed...20 years from now you will say " I remember when......"

I'm a so take this as you may....but i have never met a bitter beer i did not like

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Old 09-25-2011, 09:52 AM   #7
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If you want to add a sweetener that won't be fermented, you'll need a sugar alcohol. You could try Xylitol which should be available at most health stores, or any other sugar alcohol. You could also go with Splenda, or Stevia, both are non fermentable.

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Old 09-25-2011, 03:08 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ASuarez View Post
If you want to add a sweetener that won't be fermented, you'll need a sugar alcohol. You could try Xylitol which should be available at most health stores, or any other sugar alcohol. You could also go with Splenda, or Stevia, both are non fermentable.
Sugar alcohol could work but I feel like that would completely change the profile of the beer.

And if you're going to go with an artificial sweetener, I'd most definitely go with Truvia. It's natural (i.e. made from plants) so you won't get any odd chemicals in your brew.
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Old 09-25-2011, 03:11 PM   #9
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if the beer finished too dry then wouldn't you want to add dextrin? it will add body to your beer.

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Old 09-25-2011, 03:22 PM   #10
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Quote:
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I'm not too unhappy the way it is. It'd definitely good, just not quite perfect.
Don't mess with it. Just bottle it. Anything you do has the potential to ruin it.

Learn from it and adjust your recipe next time. Add some additional crystal or other sweet malt next time.

Personally I prefer it drier. I recently did a 1.070 IPA, wanting it to finish around 1.008; it actually finished at 1.002, and I think it tastes great, and has a surprising amount of sweetness in the flavor. I even checked my hydrometer in some water to make sure it was reading right.
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