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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > Beer has a distinct alcohol taste
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Old 05-15-2013, 02:42 AM   #1
wfowlks
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Default Beer has a distinct alcohol taste

So I brewed a DIPA a few months ago, but it has this distinct alcohol taste to it, its kind of hard to describe and I apologize ahead of time for the ambiguities, but the best way I can describe it as a weak grain alcohol flavor added to the beer, kind of like how Sam Adams Utopias tastes like a brandy. The beer only ended up being 8.7% abv, and I've had professional beers such as the Stone Enjoy By, or Delirium Tremens and there isnt the distinct alcohol taste.

The recipe was:
18 lbs 2 Row Pale English Malt -> Mashed at 146 for 120 min
1.5 lbs Clear Candi Sugar added at 10 min of boil

WLP 007 Yeast (Dry English Ale Yeast)

I also made an Oktoberfest last year and had the same problem as it was also around 7% and had a similar flavor. Has anyone else experienced this and figured it out, or does anyone have ideas that I might be able to investigate?

Thanks in advance

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Old 05-15-2013, 02:45 AM   #2
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What were your fermentation temperatures? High temps can lead to hot alcohol flavors.

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Old 05-15-2013, 02:48 AM   #3
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Make sure you're pitching enough yeast and yoir fermentation temps are in the low to mid 60s. High fermentation temps and stressed or a low yeast count are possible factors in the taste you're describing.

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Old 05-15-2013, 02:50 AM   #4
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You should probably be pitching on the order of 2 or 3 vials of liquid yeast in a beer with that much grain if you don't make yeast starters

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Old 05-15-2013, 02:51 AM   #5
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The topic made me laugh. Noob here, but the main 3 things I can think of is your starting water, your ferment temps, or your conditioning times.

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Old 05-15-2013, 02:54 AM   #6
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I would also suspect the fermentation temperature. Also only 2 row and candy sugar leaves a low amount of malt sweetness. I would add a little crystal/caramel. or something...

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Old 05-15-2013, 02:56 AM   #7
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I don't want to stray you from the real problem, but I hate candy sugar, I feel it always leaves a heavy alcohol taste, but I am no expert...

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Old 05-15-2013, 03:04 AM   #8
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The high fermentation temp totally slipped my mind and we did have a hot flash, it was in the high 80s outside for a day or two and I remember the ferm temp being around 74F.

The water I am using is filtered through a camco water filter, and it has provided pretty pure water for me.

I let it go 2 weeks in the primary, 2 in the secondary, and 3 weeks in the keg.

I only wish DIPA's werent so expensive to brew, time to buy that grain mill

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Old 05-15-2013, 03:06 AM   #9
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That's a very "boozy" recipe. A long, low temperature mash with no specialty grains, plus candi sugar. That's going to be very hot and alcohol-ish. You can try aging it for a long time and the alcohol flavor will fade.

A super long low temperature mash means many simple sugars. There would be no long-chained sugars left for body in the beer. It would attenuate well, but be far to boozy for me to want to drink.

That explains this beer, but not your Oktoberfest. If it's boozy as well, I'd consider fermentation temperatures and underpitching of yeast, unless it also had a long and lower temperature mash to give mostly simple sugars.

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Old 05-15-2013, 04:26 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wfowlks View Post
The high fermentation temp totally slipped my mind and we did have a hot flash, it was in the high 80s outside for a day or two and I remember the ferm temp being around 74F.

The water I am using is filtered through a camco water filter, and it has provided pretty pure water for me.

I let it go 2 weeks in the primary, 2 in the secondary, and 3 weeks in the keg.

I only wish DIPA's werent so expensive to brew, time to buy that grain mill
I'm guessing the fermentation temp was too hot. I've noticed a few degrees difference between my fermometer strip on the outside of my fermentation bucket, versus the actual temperature of my wort.

Had a nut brown ale that I pitched the yeast at 80F (per the true brew instructions) and it had the worst hot estery raw alcohol flavor ever. Plus factor in, that during the peak of fermenatation, your wort temp could be up to 5F degrees higher than your ambient room temp...could have def been out of range for that yeast strain.
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