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Old 09-15-2010, 01:58 AM   #1
srkaeppler
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Default Bottled tonight - Strong Alcohol Taste/smell

Hey All-

Tonight I bottled a modified version of a papazian recipe, the Garden Grand Cru, on p 192 of his book. Instead of adding 2 lbs of honey, I added closer to 4lbs. I also added an extra lb or so of malt extract(total about 6 lbs of light dried extract). Fermentation went fine, eventhough it was a bit warm(I swamp cooled it). Put it into the second, let it sit. I bottled it tonight and naturally took a sip. WOOOO! It definitely had some kick to it! I would describe it as being a bit harsh, and you could really taste the alcohol. I was hoping for more orange flavor, I didn't taste much. No significant off tastes, just a strong alcohol taste and smell. For the record, OG was about 1.064 and FG was 1.010-1.012

I initially wanted to have this done about Oct 3th for the homecoming tailgate/football game(GO HAWKS!), but I am not sure I want to unleash this on the masses. I am wondering if letting it age for a long time will help the 'harsh' alcohol taste I described. Any suggestions?

Thanks all!

Steve

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Old 09-15-2010, 02:08 AM   #2
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1.06 to 1.01 isn't too bad. You can always sample one that day and make up your mind. I think using that much honey will give you a more alcohol taste though.

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Old 09-15-2010, 02:09 AM   #3
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How much was a bit warm? High fermentation temperatures can lead to a strong alcohol taste.

I'm actually in the same pickle. I brewed a batch with 2lb of orange blossom honey. Recently tried a bottle and the alcohol taste was a little too strong. My temps were fine also, so I have no idea what it could of been. Did you taste it before bottling? Did it have that same alcohol taste?

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Old 09-15-2010, 02:10 AM   #4
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Well, this can result from many things here...
You added a ton of extra fermentables without adding more hops to balence the malt.
Honey takes a while to ferment, although from your og/fg it seems you took the time to wait.
Aaand, yes, you need to let them sit and wait. Time heals *most* wounds in beermaking. Chances are if you age the beer for a while in the bottle, and I'm not talkin a just a couple weeks, it will turn out much better. This should mellow out the alcohol taste and meld the flavors together much more thoroughly, allowing the honey/orange/malt/whatever else you added to come through.

Good luck and I hope this helps. I'm sure other, more qualified, members will come to the rescue in helping you to alleviate this small 'problem'.

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Old 09-15-2010, 02:14 AM   #5
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I brewed a tripel that was was 1.075 down to 1.006. Nothing but 2-row, cane sugar, minimal amount of hops, and belgian yeast. Bottled after a 4 week primary at 68 degrees. You could smell and taste the alcohol at bottling. It goes away and your beer should smell and taste nice in a couple weeks. Mine is at 3 weeks and the harsh alcohol smell and taste are gone. I know it's not at it's prime yet but a defininate improvement and I happy to see how it tastes in another month of two.

Give it a couple weeks and then try one and see what you think once it's carbed up.

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Old 09-15-2010, 02:17 AM   #6
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Hey All-

Again thanks for all of the comments. Yeah, this one may not be ready for homecoming in a couple of weeks, but our home schedule for football is STACKED! So I think I may have a good beer, ready to roll, for later games this season in 1-2 months. Hopefully by then it will have calmed down and make a great beer to enjoy and keep one warm on the cold late fall games.

Still would love to hear advice, as always!

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Old 09-15-2010, 02:57 AM   #7
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"You added a ton of extra fermentables without adding more hops to balance the malt."

I knew I shouldn't have cheaped-out with only 1 oz of hops.

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Old 09-15-2010, 03:01 AM   #8
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honey ferments out slow, and the more you add, the slower the beer ferments out. 4lbs? you'll probably have to give it 2-3 months

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Old 09-15-2010, 03:29 AM   #9
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On all my beers, I let the flavor be the judge of when to bottle. if it has that alcohol bite, then it needs more time in the fermenter. It'll age out bulk a lot faster than in the bottle.

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Old 09-15-2010, 01:06 PM   #10
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I had the same issue with my wee heavy. after 4 weeks in the bottle it has mellowed out nicely.

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