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Old 02-12-2013, 12:23 AM   #1
thejuanald
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Default First recipe, very sweet.

So I am in the middle of doing my first batch now. It's the stone ruination clone that is listed here: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f69/stone-ruination-clone-155771/

I did an extract, full boil with a big starter. The recipe calls for 8lbs DME. I added the full amount at boil but now I'm wondering if that was a mistake. I got great fermentation and everything looked to be going well, but when I racked to secondary, it was way sweeter than I thought it would be. But I let it dry hope for a week and I just tasted and its still very sweet. My OG was 1.075 and it only got down to 1.020.

I don't know if I should have only added half the extract for the boil and the rest at like 10 minutes left or at flameout? Also, the yeast that I used was WLP002 because WLP001 wasn't available at my local shop and the guy said it should be a good alternative.

Why is it so sweet? Did I contaminate it? Is it poor hop utilization because I boiled all the 8lbs of extract? Poor yeast alternative? Will it even out during conditioning? Thanks



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Old 02-12-2013, 12:33 AM   #2
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When did you brew it? Might just not be done fermenting.



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Old 02-12-2013, 12:44 AM   #3
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When did you brew it? Might just not be done fermenting.
Two weeks ago. After the first 5 or 6 days, the specific gravity didn't change. I did rack it to the secondary though so if it wasn't done fermenting would I be able to to pitch more yeast into it?
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Old 02-12-2013, 01:35 AM   #4
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I would think the sweetness has a lot to do with the higher than anticipated FG. The higher OG could have been caused by your pitching rate and/or oxygenation rate, but the most likely reason was the use of WLP002 versus WLP001. WLP002 is less attenuative than WLP001; the WLP002 yeast strain simply doesn't convert as much sugar as 001 in terms of percentage (http://www.whitelabs.com/beer/homebrew_strains.html#ALE_YEAST). The extra sweetness could also be due to a lack of hop bitterness, but I think the yeast attenuation is your main reason.

At this point, it's hard to pitch more yeast. If you're really unhappy with the beer, you can try that, but I don't think you'll get good results with that approach. The problem is, you're adding yeast into an over 7% alcohol envirnoment, which is stressful. Plus, you can't really oxygenate wort effectively for the new yeast without impacting the beer you already have (oxidation). You may want to consider additional dry hopping, or perhaps blending part of the beer with a subsequent batch. If it were me, I'd probably just leave it as is and hope it gets better with age. Good luck, keep brewing.

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Old 02-12-2013, 03:17 AM   #5
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I would think the sweetness has a lot to do with the higher than anticipated FG. The higher OG could have been caused by your pitching rate and/or oxygenation rate, but the most likely reason was the use of WLP002 versus WLP001. WLP002 is less attenuative than WLP001; the WLP002 yeast strain simply doesn't convert as much sugar as 001 in terms of percentage (http://www.whitelabs.com/beer/homebrew_strains.html#ALE_YEAST). The extra sweetness could also be due to a lack of hop bitterness, but I think the yeast attenuation is your main reason.

At this point, it's hard to pitch more yeast. If you're really unhappy with the beer, you can try that, but I don't think you'll get good results with that approach. The problem is, you're adding yeast into an over 7% alcohol envirnoment, which is stressful. Plus, you can't really oxygenate wort effectively for the new yeast without impacting the beer you already have (oxidation). You may want to consider additional dry hopping, or perhaps blending part of the beer with a subsequent batch. If it were me, I'd probably just leave it as is and hope it gets better with age. Good luck, keep brewing.
I was thinking that the lower attenuation could be the culprit. Continuing to dry hop is probably for the best. How long can I dry hop before I get issues from that? Should I just keep what's in there now (2 oz Centennial pellets) or add more? Thanks again for the help!

Edit: I was also reading elsewhere that adding dextrose might help "dry up" the beer a bit. Is that an option?
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Old 02-12-2013, 11:54 AM   #6
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I was thinking that the lower attenuation could be the culprit. Continuing to dry hop is probably for the best. How long can I dry hop before I get issues from that? Should I just keep what's in there now (2 oz Centennial pellets) or add more? Thanks again for the help!

Edit: I was also reading elsewhere that adding dextrose might help "dry up" the beer a bit. Is that an option?
I wouldn't dry hop any more than 2 weeks max. One week of dry hopping seems to work well. Maybe a second dry hop addition will help a little, but I'm not really sure.

When people talk about drying a beer out, they're talking about using sugars (dextrose is corn sugar) to lower the FG which tends to produce a drier tasting beer. I don't think this will help eliminate the sweetness in your beer, the problem is, your beer will still contain the unfermented sugars even if the yeast consume all of the dextrose like they would when you prime your bottles. For instance, if you add 5 gravity points worth of sugar and the yeast consume those 5 gravity points, you still have a FG of 1.020, you just boosted the alcohol content.

Again, I think it's mostly the yeast strain that caused the higher FG, because you got 73% attentuation from the WLP002. White labs lists this strain as attenuating between 63-70%, so you actually got more out of the yeast than it averages. I'll mention this too, but again I think the biggest reason was the yeast strain, but sometimes extracts don't ferment as well as all-grain recipes. I know when I brewed extract, my beers often finished with a higher FG. In Yooper's recipe, she mentions mashing lower than 152 if the brewer has attenuation issues (mashing at lower temps produces more easily fermentable sugars than mashing at higher temps, also a little less body). When using extracts, you lose the control of the mash temperature as that was done by the extract manufacturer. Nothing wrong with extract brewing, just something to think about.
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Old 02-12-2013, 01:49 PM   #7
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Extract is notorious for finishing a little high, especially on higher OG beers. Nothing much you can do about it, it is a function of the temperature when the extract was produced.

That's one of those variables you can control in all grain that you just can't control with extract. Move to all grain

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Old 02-12-2013, 01:58 PM   #8
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You could have done something about it (if you took preventative measures) - Not so much after the fact though. Tips on how to get extract beers to attenuate better are all over this website via a simple search.

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Old 02-12-2013, 06:09 PM   #9
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Thanks for all the info guys! Yeah once I looked up the differences in the yeast I saw that is probably an issue. It's not like the beer tastes gross but it just tastes nothing like I was expecting. I may let it dry hop a couple of more days then bottle.

As to moving to all grain, I was planning on that after my first trial. A friend of mine gave me a 5 gallon mash tun with a false bottom but that seems like its too small for all grain, maybe a partial mash? Is it possible to mash in my 8 gallon kettle? I guess I just need to do some reading up on all grain stuff. Thanks again for all the replies!

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Old 02-12-2013, 06:12 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by thejuanald View Post
Thanks for all the info guys! Yeah once I looked up the differences in the yeast I saw that is probably an issue. It's not like the beer tastes gross but it just tastes nothing like I was expecting. I may let it dry hop a couple of more days then bottle.

As to moving to all grain, I was planning on that after my first trial. A friend of mine gave me a 5 gallon mash tun with a false bottom but that seems like its too small for all grain, maybe a partial mash? Is it possible to mash in my 8 gallon kettle? I guess I just need to do some reading up on all grain stuff. Thanks again for all the replies!
A 5 gallon cooler is too small for big beers, but it will work for normal beers. I mash for my 1.050 OG all grain beers in a 5 gallon cooler mash tun. The cooler is generally pretty full once I add the near boiling water to reach mash out temps. It certainly would not work for a 1.075 OG beer.


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