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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > Making smoother big beers
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Old 01-12-2013, 01:16 AM   #1
blugrazz
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Default Making smoother big beers

How is it done? I have been cloning a lot of stuff I like and then bumping up alcohol content probably no more than 1%. I typically do this through DME additions or base malt increases. But my big beer batches are having a hint of the "hot" phenol finish. One was a winter ale and the other was a pilsner. I now have a controlled fermentation process so I am keeping temps in the mid 60s for ales and mid 50s for my lagers.

In general how does one create smoothness for big beer recipes?

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Old 01-12-2013, 01:28 AM   #2
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A smooth beer is a balance of the ingredients and brewing technique. Bumping up part of the recipe will throw the balance off.

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Old 01-12-2013, 03:30 AM   #3
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There are things you can do in the process that will help. It sounds like you are describing fusel production, not phenols, so I'll just clear that up so if you search for stuff in the future, you'll be on the right track. As you know, higher fermentation temperatures can lead to fusel production, which gives that "hot" alcoholic taste to beer. So you're on the right track, keeping fermentation at the lower end of the recommended range for your yeast is prime. Also, giving the beer time to clean up on the yeast is vital. Leaving it for a month on the yeast cake will help clean up.

You also want to make sure your yeast isn't stressed out. Do this by pitching optimal yeast levels, giving it lots of aeration, you may have to get a pure O2 system if you want to produce award winning high OG recipes.

In your recipe, try to leave some residual sweetness there to counteract the alcohol. Hops also help if they are fruity and there is lots of aroma.

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Old 01-12-2013, 03:47 AM   #4
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If you are getting "hot" beer, that means you aren't getting optimal yeast health. eg they are stressed. That means either not enough O2, not enough yeast, not enough yeast nutrients or too high temps. Sounds like you are paying attention to temps, so can you describe how you are addressing the other 3?

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Old 01-13-2013, 09:36 PM   #5
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Thanks guys.

I usually pitch starters for the big beers so I will work on oxygen content and yeast health. Does anyone have a good simple yeast health suggestion? Its something I have read about but not taken steps toward addressing. I usually pitch White Labs liquid.

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Old 01-13-2013, 11:05 PM   #6
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Focus on oxygen.

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