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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > fist batch...too malty and sweet
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Old 06-15-2006, 05:22 AM   #1
pariah
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Default fist batch...too malty and sweet

So it's been a week after I bottled my first batch...which spent a week in a primary and a week in the secondary. I followed the instructions fairly well, but only used 3.7 gallons instead of the required five. I opened my first bottle today and it was incredibly malty and sweet. It also wasn't nearly hoppy enough for an IPA but I blame that on the prehopped LME I used. Any reason it's so damn sweet/malty? Think things will improve in another week or so?

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Old 06-15-2006, 05:24 AM   #2
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what was your full recipe - what did you add, and when in the boil?

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Old 06-15-2006, 05:37 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pariah
I followed the instructions fairly well, but only used 3.7 gallons instead of the required five. I opened my first bottle today and it was incredibly malty and sweet.
I would say the problem is right there. Did you use the amount of ingredients for a 5 gallon recipe and do only 3.7 gallons?
Imagine if you had added 1.3 gallons of water to it. Most likely it would have diluted it to the specific maltiness you were looking for.

If this is so, the outcome is a much higher gravity 3.7 gallons and only 1 week in the primary would not have given the yeast enough time to eat, thus, leaving more sugar.
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Old 06-15-2006, 07:02 AM   #4
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Well, probably 1/2 gallon evaporated while boiling it and I accounted for the volume of the LME (6.6 lbs) so I *thought* it would be okay at the time. But do you think in a few weeks it will be better?

I think this may have happened with my second batch as well, even though I tried to make sure it came out to five gallons. Probably can't add water during a secondary though.... ?

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Old 06-15-2006, 07:50 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pariah
Well, probably 1/2 gallon evaporated while boiling it and I accounted for the volume of the LME (6.6 lbs) so I *thought* it would be okay at the time. But do you think in a few weeks it will be better?

I think this may have happened with my second batch as well, even though I tried to make sure it came out to five gallons. Probably can't add water during a secondary though.... ?
I don't understand the guessing game...does your PF not have gallon lines on the side?
Sounds like your doing a full volume boil but correct me if I'm wrong.
I've never heard of adding water to the secondary...I don't think so...sounds raunchy...
I've only heard of bitterness and harshness mellowing with time, not sweetness...by tomorrow, the masters will add their opinions. This is as far as my knowledge goes.
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Old 06-15-2006, 01:41 PM   #6
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When you siphon or pour your wort into the fermenter on brewday, you should add water as needed to bring the total wort volume to 5 gallons or whatever the target of the recipe is.

(Lots of homebrewers brew more like 5.5 gallon batches, so that by the time you actually bottle, you have 5 gals of finished product.)

I think you could probably add water in the secondary, if you had overly concerntrated wort in the primary.

Also, depending on what you primed your bottles with and what temperature they've been living at, the yeast may not have finished eating the priming sugar. So that would partially account for the sweetness as well.

What and how much hops did you add? Perhaps your recipe is underhopped for the style, which would also make it taste too malty/sweet.

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Old 06-15-2006, 02:07 PM   #7
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Sweetness, in my experience has almost always been attributed to a fermentation not being complete and me being too impatient to wait for it to complete or not fermenting at the right temperature and have the yeast not perform their best to complete fermentation, or even adding too many non fermentable grains or additives.

The second thing I'd look at was my hop/grain ratio because that could also attribute to overly malty/sweetness, but I'm not sure that's a factor here.

You want to always have "top off" water on hand during brew day, whether it's an extra bottle of bottled water or if you breboil or pretreat your tap water (whatever you do to prep your main brew water) so that your fermenter is at at least 5 gallons (I prefer 5.5 to allow for sediment buildup and to allow a full 5 gallons in my secondary to reduce headspace).

I've heard of people topping of a secondary, but usually with other flavorings or more boiled and dissolved DME in their water.

Finally, are you priming with corn sugar? Alot of people use DME for a better result and more natural carbonation and flavor, but it does take more patience. I'd leave it capped for two weeks minimum and three to four weeks for an even better carbonation/flavor.


Just off hand I'd say you bottled your beer a week too early and opened it another week too early. I'd be interested to hear how your batch was bubbling at the time of bottling and also, how carbonated it is now. Time is your friend though and your beer should become more and more drinkable as time goes on. I predict two to three weeks.


Hope this helps!

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Old 06-15-2006, 02:25 PM   #8
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Incomplete fermentation, too high a sugar concentration for the yeast, racked too soon, bottled too soon, drank too soon.

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Old 06-15-2006, 03:53 PM   #9
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Personally, I'd be looking at those bottles a little suspiciously. Lots of unfermented sugars, still some yeast likely at work (even moreso since the relatively short time before bottling likely left more in suspension)... heard any strange noises, any loud POPS! or BANGS!?

How IS the carbonation of the brew? Did it seem to be under excess pressure when you uncapped?

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Old 06-16-2006, 12:16 AM   #10
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My second batch was in the primary for 1 week and 4 days, I just put it in the secondary. I'll probably leave it in there for at least two weeks. But I had a taste, and it still tasted a bit too sweet! Think it should mellow in the second?

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How IS the carbonation of the brew? Did it seem to be under excess pressure when you uncapped?
Nope.
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