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Old 11-08-2012, 06:06 AM   #1
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Default Beer to sweet- caution wordy post

I'm getting ready for my 16th beer this weekend ALL HAVE BEEN EXTRACT... overall I have learned a lot. In general I have eliminated nearly all of the off taste that haunted me earlier, but typically after 6 weeks in the bottle my beers still tend to be a bit sweet or sugary. They have been getting better.

Here is what I have learned...
1) Add 1/2 LME at the later part of the boil (20 min) and also add nutrient
2) Add oxygen via tank and stone for about 1 min.
3) Make a 1 liter starter a min of 24 hours in advance and bring to the fermenting temp slowly which is 66 F for my IPA's
4) Chill wort to 66 F quickly and with chill plate and pump and add yeast
5) Temp control fermentation at 66 F
6) First fermentation for about a week- second for another 2 weeks
7) Bottle conditioning with about 4 oz of corn sugar let it sit temp control for for 4-6 weeks

My beers are always a bit sweet. Should I...
1) Make a larger starter or add wort after 24 hours for another 12 hours
2) Add more oxygen to the wort
3) Keg condition
4) let them bottle condition for 8+ weeks
5) Other
6) Find another hobby- this is the nature of home brew

My wife is a beer snob and won't drink my beers- I need to bring her over to my side, please help

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Old 11-08-2012, 06:15 AM   #2
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What would be a typical recipe for you??

Are you doing all extract, extract and steeping grains, partial mash?

What sort of hopping schedules have you tried. Could the sweetness be better balanced by being more bitter or having a hoppier aroma and flavour?

What yeast(s) have you tried?

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Old 11-08-2012, 11:53 AM   #3
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Try leaving then in the primary for 2 weeks instead of one

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Old 11-08-2012, 12:22 PM   #4
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Yeah,def leave it in primary till it hits FG & settles out clear or slightly misty. Also,carbing & conditioning your bottled beers at 70F or a bit more will get them more carbonated & quicker than low ferment temps. I had two batches not carbonate much at all by low conditioning temps. Try adding thr remaining extract at flasme out & steep covered for 15 minutes to pasteurize. This will leave more fermentable sugars rather than caramelized ones. And what does your hop schedule look like?
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Old 11-08-2012, 12:26 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tvc15 View Post

My beers are always a bit sweet. Should I...
1) Make a larger starter or add wort after 24 hours for another 12 hours
2) Add more oxygen to the wort
3) Keg condition
4) let them bottle condition for 8+ weeks
5) Other
6) Find another hobby- this is the nature of home brew

My wife is a beer snob and won't drink my beers- I need to bring her over to my side, please help
I'd go with "none of the above"!

I'd try two things. One, add the LME (or the bulk of it) at flame out instead of at 20 minutes. Secondly, use the yeast calculator at "mrmalty.com" to pitch the correct amount of yeast. More isn't necessarily better, but it might be if it's needed.

One last, maybe radical, thought. Instead of racking to a secondary, more properly called a "bright tank" or a clearing vessel, keep the beer in primary for 2 weeks and then bottle. That won't change the sweet finish, but it will keep risks of oxidation lower, and might surprise you with the results.
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Old 11-08-2012, 12:48 PM   #6
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In addition to Yooper's suggestions, make sure you use fresh LME. LME will darken as it ages. As it does this, the fermentable sugars will oxidize. This could cause a sherry-like sweetness. It's OK to add all of your LME at flameout. There are some things you want to keep in mind when you do this.

1) You'll want to make sure to pasteurize the LME. To do this, the LME needs to be held above 160F for 15-20 seconds. The higher the temperature, the shorter the time you need to pasteurize. This relationship is not linear. But it's likely that adding 6lbs of LME to a 3 gallon hop tea will not drop the temperature below 160 before you've pasteurized the wort.

2) If you don't have anything other than water and hops in your boil, your beer is going to be more bitter than you expect. If you're designing recipes, you need to account for it when calculating IBUs. If you're brewing kits, you'll want to recalculate your bittering hop additions.

3) When you have fermentable sugars in the boil, you want to have the lowest amount of heat going into it that will still give you a rolling boil. This reduces the risk of carmelizing simple sugars into more complex unfermentable sugars. Moving to a full volume boil will also reduce this risk.

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Old 11-08-2012, 04:47 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ogri View Post
What would be a typical recipe for you??

Are you doing all extract, extract and steeping grains, partial mash?

What sort of hopping schedules have you tried. Could the sweetness be better balanced by being more bitter or having a hoppier aroma and flavour?

What yeast(s) have you tried?
Extract with steeping grains.
Hopping schedule is typically something like 60, 30 or 20, 5
Yweast American Ale

Thanks!
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Old 11-08-2012, 04:48 PM   #8
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Awesome advise as usual, thanks!

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Old 11-08-2012, 04:51 PM   #9
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If your steeping grains contain a lot of crystal/caramel malt that could be adding to your residual sweetness.

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Old 11-08-2012, 04:55 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yooper View Post
I'd try two things. One, add the LME (or the bulk of it) at flame out instead of at 20 minutes.
Thanks!!! Should I go ahead and add DME at the beginning or should I push that out to the end to?
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