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Old 05-14-2009, 03:36 AM   #1
seanhuber
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Default Please Help - My beer tastes too sweet/malty

I tried brewing midwest's octane IPA, which is supposed to have an OG of 1.064-1.068 and an FG of 1.012-1.018.

Had the brew 7 days in the primary fermenter and about 11 days in secondary. There was about a 24 hour lag before noticeable fermentation started. When I took it out of primary it had a gravity of 1.034. When I took it out of secondary it had a gravity of 1.024. Fermentation temperature varied a bit and tended to be on the cooler side.

I then force-carbed at 30psi for 34 hours and then for 2 days at 12psi. Just had my first glass and it tastes pretty gross to me, way too sweet. I can't imagine drinking 5 gallons of this stuff and I'm quite disappointed.

Anybody have any idea what went wrong? My guess is I racked to secondary too early? Or maybe the White Labs British Ale Yeast (WLP005) produces too many sweet esters? My other question is, should I just dump what I have? Will the sweetness subside over time? Is it possible to pitch yeast into a carbonated beer so that some of this residual sweetness can ferment to alcohol?

Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks,
Sean

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Old 05-14-2009, 03:43 AM   #2
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Well your FG was too high. As an opening guess, since you said the temp was on the cool side perhaps the fermentation was very slow?
You didn't say if the FG was stable, so perhaps the fermentation didn't finish.

I am guessing this was an extract so we can eliminate problems a with the mash?

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Old 05-14-2009, 03:46 AM   #3
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Wow, thats a terrible FG to force carb. Noooo way that was done. I've never tried to pitch a yeast into something i force carbed. I think your screwed but this is new to me. I'm not sure.

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Old 05-14-2009, 03:47 AM   #4
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Days 10 and 11 of secondary both had readings of 1.024 so I assumed it was done.

Yes this was an extract.

Thanks for the response. Do you think there is anything I can do with this beer?

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Old 05-14-2009, 03:48 AM   #5
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Serve it to your in-laws. Sorry.

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Old 05-14-2009, 03:49 AM   #6
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After a thought or two there is one thing you might do, dry hop the **** out of it with 2 oz of cascades for a weak at room temp with an airlock on your gas in post to let the co2 ou and if you wanna try a yeast it might work. then carb it again. Ask revvy or yooper, thats what i do when i **** up at this magnatude!

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Old 05-14-2009, 03:52 AM   #7
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I guess I can give that a shot. I have nothing to lose at this point.

So frustrating. This is only my second batch and my first batch was on the sweet side as well but not this bad.

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Old 05-14-2009, 03:55 AM   #8
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I made an airlock out of an old damaged gas in post to use my corneys for conditioning/fermentation. I've dry hopped IPA's alot so i couldnt hurt.

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Old 05-14-2009, 09:52 AM   #9
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Why did you move it to secondary with such a high gravity?

When I use a secondary it is for clearing the beer and fermentation is pretty much done. I rarely get more than a .001 drop in the secondary.

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Old 05-14-2009, 10:36 AM   #10
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As you've discovered, you racked way too early. Please ignore the kit instructions that say to take the beer off the yeast at 7 days. They are outdated.

A good rule of thumb is 10-14 days in primary then rack to your secondary to allow the beer to clear ("drop bright"). Or just keep it in the primary for three or four weeks. The old fears about yeast autolysis are unfounded. After fermentation the yeasts go to work cleaning up after themselves, smoothing out flavors, reducing esters and phenols and just generally making your beer a lot more pleasant to drink. That added time also gives them the leeway to deal with lower fermentation temperatures.

Your FG (final gravity) should have been somewhere around 1.014. If it wasn't, you should have let it sit longer. Patience is critical.

At this point you could brew another, similar, batch of beer at a lower gravity and ferment it with a clean yeast known for strong attenuation, Wyeast 1056/WLP001/US-05 or Nottingham, for example, let it ferment all the way out, and blend the two beers.

I hope one of the more experienced brewers will chime in because I'm trying to figure out why you can't take it off the gas, rack to a carboy, let the CO2 off-gas at room temperature for a couple of days, and hit it with another dose of yeast until it drops to your target FG.

Chad

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