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Old 01-07-2014, 05:31 AM   #1
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Default Newcastle Brown Ale Clone --- Very Sweet

So I brewed this batch before Christmas. I was going away and was impatient to get it into the bottles. Fermented for only 9 days, but I got the same gravity readings (1.014) on day 7 and 9 so I went ahead. Interestingly, the beer's expected FG according to the person that posted the recipe is 1.007. Now, I've also only bottle conditioned for 12 days thus far. I decided to give one a try tonight, and it's very very sweet... undrinkable. I put in 105 grams of table sugar for priming into 5.5 gallons. So my 3 interrelated questions are:

1) Is it likely just a matter of time and it will be fine?
2) Might I have bottled too early and I may have some explosions?
3) Why was my FG so high? Did I err somewhere or was the recipe's original expectation unrealistic? Note: the recipe didn't recommend a yeast.

The yeast I used was Wyeast 1968. I've read elsewhere (after the fact) that it has a tendency to stall and restart up again. My OG was 1.046. I hit the 152 for the mash, and used batch sparge method.


Boil Time: 60 Minutes

Amount Item
7.75 lb Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM) [note: I used Marris Otter instead]
1 lb Corn, Flaked (1.3 SRM)
0.5 lb Cara-Pils/Dextrine (2.0 SRM)
0.5 lb Caramel/Crystal Malt - 20L (20.0 SRM)
0.5 lb Caramel/Crystal Malt - 60L (60.0 SRM)
0.5 lb Caramel/Crystal Malt - 80L (80.0 SRM)
0.25 lb Chocolate Malt (350.0 SRM)
0.05 lb Roasted Barley (300.0 SRM)
0.5 oz Target [11.00%] (60 min)
0.25 oz Goldings, East Kent [5.00%] (15 min)

Mash 152 for 60 mins.

Edit: A fellow poster recommended that I cut the crystal by at least half -- said it was waaay too much. I didn't follow that advice. Could this be the source of the high FG?

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Old 01-07-2014, 05:46 AM   #2
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Default Newcastle Brown Ale Clone --- Very Sweet

That yeast's attenuation is 67-71% so you are well within your range. Of course we all know that those numbers aren't set in stone but at least you are in range.

To get to 1.007, I personally would have mashed lower (148) with that OG and the amount of crystal/roasted grains in your grist. Letting the temp free rise after the vigorous part of fermentation could help attenuation as well. Maybe even use a slightly more attenuative yeast with a similar flavor profile. All of that should help you knock off quite a few points.

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Old 01-07-2014, 07:13 AM   #3
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For what its worth, from the Clone Brews book your OG isnt lists it at 1.012-1.013.

But the ingredients are also way different, and has way less crystal which is likely whats giving you the sweetness.

Its listed as
9.25# British 2 Row
2oz 55 Lovibond British Crystal
2oz British Chocolate
1oz British black malt

About 19oz Target 8AA @ 90 minutes
About 1/2oz EK Goldings @ 15 minutes

Mash 152
Wyeast 1098

So it seems you did just put in way too much crystal malt. The sweetness wont go away, if you notice it becoming less sweet you need to get the bottles into the fridge asap or if they drop a few more gravity points + priming sugar they will start popping.

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Old 01-07-2014, 02:02 PM   #4
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Yeah - I think your gravity is ok. the 2 lbs of crystal/carapils is likely the culprit. Give it some time - I have had some beers I used too much crystal in come around a bit - not great, but better. I have also found that british crystal malts seem to give a more intense crystal/caramel flavor.

I would go way down on that crystal/carapils..... definitely a pound or less total at most. A good malt for some color and flavor in brown ales like this is pale chocolate - a way to replace a bunch of that crystal, but not end up with an overly roasty/dry/acrid beer that too much dark malt can bring.

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