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Old 03-26-2010, 01:41 PM   #1
patd
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Default Brews turning out too sweet

Any common cause for this? Every brew I've made is coming out too sweet. To date I've done an IPA (the sweetness was kind of good), a Dubbel (way too sweet), a Stout and a Porter (stout is overpowering sweetness, porter is more bearable). I've had 2 hit their FG and OG, and the other 2 didn't make it all the way down to the correct FG.

Ingredients have come from 3 different places.
All were liquid or dry extract.
Fermentation temps were higher than I would have liked (around 72-74 ambient temp).

I'm brewing up a strong dark ale this weekend, my plan is to add half the extract at the end, and to make a swamp cooler to get the fermentation temp down. Any other advice on what to try?



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Old 03-26-2010, 01:51 PM   #2
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Sounds to me like your fermentation isn't completed (eg: there is either not enough yeast or not enough time for it to convert all of the sugars in the wort).

Are you taking SG readings to confirm you are finished?



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Old 03-26-2010, 02:00 PM   #3
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Definitely get the temperatures down, you might be tasting fruity esters. Other options would be to increase the bittering to the high side for the style or using 5-10% dextrose to dry out the beer. People's perception of how sweet sugars are varies, you might just be on the sensitive side for malt sugars. Fructose makes me gag.

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Old 03-26-2010, 02:01 PM   #4
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it would be a FG reading. What yeast are you using. try a yeast that drys out the beer a little more (us-05 or notty) and leave it alone in he fermentor for 3 weeks. If it is done and still sweet (FG >1.02+) there are other options but I would address yeast, time, and temp first.

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Old 03-26-2010, 02:08 PM   #5
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I had the same problem on my first several batches. I don't know for sure what it was, but the sweetness dropped out when I started controlling my fermentation temp instead of going at room temp. I hit or came close to my FG on all of those too.

My $.02 would also be to get those temps down on the next batch.

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Old 03-26-2010, 02:13 PM   #6
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I might have had similar problems with my first brew. I am pretty sure that I ended up with fruity esters because my fermentation temperature (ambient in the room) was in the low 70s. My first reaction to my beer was that it was sweet, but now i realize that it is fruity.

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Old 03-26-2010, 02:34 PM   #7
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Yeah, it's almost definitely (at least in part) the high fermentation temps giving you fruity/sweet esters.

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Old 03-26-2010, 02:51 PM   #8
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Reduce your fermentation temp. Make sure what you are tasting is "sweetness" and not some other off flavor. If you are boiling less than 5 gal., then diluting it in the fermenter, your hop uptake will be low. In such cases, you should increase the amount of hops a recipe calls for.

Another thing, if you were drinking commercial IPAs before getting into homebrew, or IIPAs, your tolerance to hop bitterness is probably quite high. You also must like the taste. Most beginner home brew recipes are based on British bitters and such and are hop wimpy. If you think this is the case, look for recipes with 40+ IBUs and then throw in a 1/2 ounce extra

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Old 03-26-2010, 02:57 PM   #9
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I had the same problem on my first brews. Found out that by adding half the extract at flameout I got better hop utilization, which solved the problem for me. I had a strong malt flavor in my brews, so far by controlling the hop utilization a little better I have been in better shape. My brews werent sweet, they weren't hoppy enough. If that makes sense?

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Old 03-26-2010, 03:12 PM   #10
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very good advise here. So:

--lower fermentation temps (low 60's)
--If doing a half boil add half the extract in the beginning and half in the last 10 minutes. this should make the gravity of the wort the same (or close) to if you were doing a full boil. therefor allowing you to get the right hop utilization w/out increasing hops...

basically what they said (above)



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