Question about sweetness and gravity - Home Brew Forums
Register Now For Free!

Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > Question about sweetness and gravity

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 04-20-2009, 11:46 PM   #1
TwoHeadsBrewing
 
TwoHeadsBrewing's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Feb 2008
Chico, CA
Posts: 3,924
Liked 39 Times on 36 Posts



I've been messing around with mash temps lately to change the final gravity on my beers, and thus the amount of unfermented sugars in the final product. The odd thing is, I've brewed several beers where the taste seems to contradict the hydrometer readings.

For instance, I just brewed a double IPA and it started at 1.070 and finished at 1.010. My target mash temp was 150, but I ended up hitting 151 which I held for 75 minutes. The gravity came out as expected, but the brew tastes decidedly sweet. I used Nottingham dry yeast, no starter, for this batch as well.

I've also had the opposite happen; I ended up with a 1.018 stout, but it actually tastes fairly dry. Not like a guiness or anything, but more along the lines of a blonde ale or Ed's Haus Pale. Any thoughts?

I've always assumed ending gravity to be a good indicator of the sweetness of the final product, but this has not held true for each beer. Anyone else notice this?
__________________

Fermenting: ESB
Kegged: Extra IPA, Brown Ale, American Wheat, Blackheart Stout
Coming Up: Dunkleweizen, 3C Pale Ale


DIY Fermentation Chamber
More Brew Stuff

 
Reply With Quote
Old 04-20-2009, 11:57 PM   #2
mbird
Recipes 
 
Dec 2008
California
Posts: 309


I have found that certain grains add a sweetness to the beer even though the final gravity tells me it is dry. Along with that, certain hops tend to taste sweeter than others, in particular the 'c' varieties. I made a IIPA recently also and it has in the range of 165 ibu's and finished at 1.012 and yet has a sweetness under the big hops bitterness and flavor. Just my experience.
mark
Beer Diary...

 
Reply With Quote
Old 04-21-2009, 12:55 AM   #3
TwoHeadsBrewing
 
TwoHeadsBrewing's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Feb 2008
Chico, CA
Posts: 3,924
Liked 39 Times on 36 Posts


Come to think of it, I did use centennials on at least one of those brews and did a first wort hop. Might that be the key?
__________________

Fermenting: ESB
Kegged: Extra IPA, Brown Ale, American Wheat, Blackheart Stout
Coming Up: Dunkleweizen, 3C Pale Ale


DIY Fermentation Chamber
More Brew Stuff

 
Reply With Quote
Old 04-21-2009, 03:24 PM   #4
mbird
Recipes 
 
Dec 2008
California
Posts: 309


I would definately consider the Centenial hops as a possible source of the 'sweetness' you are experiencing. Did you use any caramel malts? They may also provide some suggestion of a sweet experience.
mark
Beer Diary...

 
Reply With Quote
Old 04-21-2009, 04:00 PM   #5
TwoHeadsBrewing
 
TwoHeadsBrewing's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Feb 2008
Chico, CA
Posts: 3,924
Liked 39 Times on 36 Posts


Quote:
Originally Posted by mbird View Post
I would definately consider the Centenial hops as a possible source of the 'sweetness' you are experiencing. Did you use any caramel malts? They may also provide some suggestion of a sweet experience.
mark
Beer Diary...
Yes, I use some crystal 60L in all of my brews. The only beer I really go over the top with it is in my brown ale...which last time turned out pretty dry. Aside from that, I stick with mostly 2-row and Pale Ale malt with a bit of specialty grains here and there.
__________________

Fermenting: ESB
Kegged: Extra IPA, Brown Ale, American Wheat, Blackheart Stout
Coming Up: Dunkleweizen, 3C Pale Ale


DIY Fermentation Chamber
More Brew Stuff


 
Reply With Quote
Old 04-21-2009, 04:09 PM   #6
Munsoned
 
Munsoned's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Mar 2009
DC Metro
Posts: 642
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts


Sometimes a flowery or fruity aroma can be interpreted by your nose as sweetness on your tongue. For example, a lot of wines come off as "sweet" when in fact there is no sugar left in them, it's just the aroma off of the nose that tricks the brain into thinking the liquid has sugar in it. One test: plug your nose and take a sip. Is your tongue telling you it's sweet, or is it your nose?
__________________
___________________________
“While the rest of the species is descended from apes, redheads are descended from cats.” - Mark Twain

 
Reply With Quote
Old 04-21-2009, 04:53 PM   #7
MNBugeater
 
MNBugeater's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Jan 2006
Minneapolis, MN
Posts: 943
Liked 9 Times on 7 Posts


Is it possible you are producing alot of unfermentable sugars? I don't know the effect these have on hydrometer readings, but you can get a complete fermentation of the fermentables and still have unfermenatable sugars remaining thus giving you the residual sweetness.
__________________
On Tap: Blonde Ale, Apfelwein, Cinnamon Apfelwein, Amber Ale, Irish Red
Bottled: Porter, Wheat, Barleywine, Cranberry Apfelwein, Amber Ale
Buy Bugeater Brewery Gear

 
Reply With Quote
Old 04-21-2009, 05:08 PM   #8
TwoHeadsBrewing
 
TwoHeadsBrewing's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Feb 2008
Chico, CA
Posts: 3,924
Liked 39 Times on 36 Posts


Quote:
Originally Posted by MNBugeater View Post
Is it possible you are producing alot of unfermentable sugars? I don't know the effect these have on hydrometer readings, but you can get a complete fermentation of the fermentables and still have unfermenatable sugars remaining thus giving you the residual sweetness.
I was wondering about that. But I always assumed hydrometers measured sugars in general, and didn't differentiate between ferementable and non-fermentable. Anyone know?
__________________

Fermenting: ESB
Kegged: Extra IPA, Brown Ale, American Wheat, Blackheart Stout
Coming Up: Dunkleweizen, 3C Pale Ale


DIY Fermentation Chamber
More Brew Stuff

 
Reply With Quote
Old 04-21-2009, 05:12 PM   #9
ericm
Recipes 
 
Dec 2008
Posts: 210

Quote:
Originally Posted by TwoHeadsBrewing View Post
I always assumed hydrometers measured sugars in general, and didn't differentiate between ferementable and non-fermentable.
this is true. hydrometers basically measure the density of a liquid; anything dissolved in that liquid will increase its density (sugars of any kind, salts, etc)

 
Reply With Quote
Old 04-21-2009, 05:33 PM   #10
SpanishCastleAle
 
SpanishCastleAle's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Jan 2009
Central Florida
Posts: 4,345
Liked 36 Times on 36 Posts


And in addition to that...the fermentable sugars are decidedly sweeter tasting than the unfermentable ones.

Also, some dark grains like chocolate malt and roasted barley have their own bitterness which counters the sweetness.
__________________
Early brewers were primarily women, mostly because it was deemed a woman's job. Mesopotamian men, of some 3,800 years ago, were obviously complete assclowns and had yet to realize the pleasure of brewing beer.- Beer Advocate

 
Reply With Quote
Reply
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
5.2 Sweetness? DaleJ Recipes/Ingredients 12 06-08-2009 07:04 AM
question about yeast, sweetness and possibility of cherry blandeena Cider Forum 7 02-04-2009 01:27 AM
Gravity and sweetness joejaz Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 2 06-01-2008 11:07 PM
will the sweetness die out? Righlander Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 10 05-08-2008 12:57 AM
Gravity and sweetness? Brewno Extract Brewing 61 11-30-2006 08:10 PM


Forum Jump