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Old 11-30-2007, 12:16 PM   #1
rmdoogs
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Default Did I do something Wrong?

I'm new to the homebrew scene. I just sampled my 2nd batch and was a little disappointed. Here's the recipe I used.

Generic Amber ale (3 gal boil, 5 gallon batch)
6.6 lbs light LME (half at 60 min boil, half at flameout)
1 lb. crystal malt 60L
1 lb. crystal malt 75L
Centennial .5 oz 60min
Centennial .5 oz 30min
Willamette .5 oz 15 min
Willamette .5 oz knockout
Northwest Ale (Wyeast 1332)

I fermented at around 66-70 F for 2 weeks and bottled after that. I've opened about 4-5 bottles after a week to check on the beer (I haven't gained the experienced patience yet).

I like the hop flavor and aroma of the beer, but the beer is very "syrupy/sweet" or feels "heavy" I don't really know how else to describe it. It doesn't seem to lack carbonation and doesn't really taste "flat" Did I add too many steeping grains and/or LME. I followed a recipe out of Palmer's book with a few minor adjustments.

I haven't figured out how to test using a hydrometer yet, but I was guessing my OG was too high and therefore my FG is too high for this style of beer.

Any ideas? Thanks a ton in advance!

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Old 11-30-2007, 12:25 PM   #2
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That's too much crystal malt for almost any beer style that I can think of. Cut that back to one pound and you'll have a drier, more drinkable (lower FG) beer.

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Old 11-30-2007, 03:00 PM   #3
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I'd agree on the crystal. Even if you cut back to 1.5lbs, you'd be better off. Without testing your FG, you really don't know if it fully fermented out. You can still test it. Pour some out of the bottle into your test tube and let it go flat before testing.

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Old 11-30-2007, 03:04 PM   #4
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Just to flesh out my quick answer, crystal malts are used to add sweetness, flavor, and body. The sugars that you get from them are almost entirely non-fermentable, so lots of crystal malts means lots of residual sugars, high sweetness, high body. Especially if you don't have enough hops to balance that out, it can result in a beer that's too cloying.

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Old 11-30-2007, 03:29 PM   #5
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I might use that much crystal in a Porter or Barleywine, not anything else. Most recipes for other styles will use a pound or less.

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Old 11-30-2007, 04:33 PM   #6
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Thanks for the advice ... I had a feeling that I did add too much CM. I must have read the recipe wrong or misinterpreted it.

Any suggestions on a fix or do I learn to love sweet beer for a while and chalk it up to lesson learned.

Thanks again for taking the time to help.

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Old 11-30-2007, 04:35 PM   #7
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Not much to fix it now, since it's bottled. In the fermenter, some dry hopping might have helped to cover it a bit. Just learn to like it a little sweeter this time, and next time post your recipe first, before brewing, so we can help you before hand!

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Old 11-30-2007, 04:39 PM   #8
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Yep with unfermentable sugar there is no fix. Well other then brewing again and mixing them but I would just drink it.

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Old 11-30-2007, 07:56 PM   #9
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I was shooting for a red/amber ale that had a great balance between malt and hops. Anyone have an extract w/grain recipe for that?

Thanks

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