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Old 10-10-2006, 06:07 PM   #1
Monk
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I've made several batches of Pale Ale that were just too sweet. They have a good amount of bitterness ~35 ibu and I use US56 yeast. My assumption was that the Crystal malt was to blame (about .5 lb 10Lovi for a 5 gallon recipe). Has anyone else had this problem? The batch came out tasting close to SNPA (sorta close ), but too sweet.

Here's the recipe:

5 gal batch; 4 gal boil; 3 qt steep for spec grains with 2 qt sparge

4 lb Pale DME
2 lb Pale LME
.5 lb 10L Crystal Malt

1.25 oz Cascade 60 min
.5 oz Cascade 30 min
1 oz. cascade for 2 min
us56 Yeast

what do you guys think?

TIA

monk



 
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Old 10-10-2006, 06:16 PM   #2
Evan!
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Monk
I've made several batches of Pale Ale that were just too sweet. They have a good amount of bitterness ~35 ibu and I use US56 yeast. My assumption was that the Crystal malt was to blame (about .5 lb 10Lovi for a 5 gallon recipe). Has anyone else had this problem? The batch came out tasting close to SNPA (sorta close ), but too sweet.

Here's the recipe:

5 gal batch; 4 gal boil; 3 qt steep for spec grains with 2 qt sparge

4 lb Pale DME
2 lb Pale LME
.5 lb 10L Crystal Malt

1.25 oz Cascade 60 min
.5 oz Cascade 30 min
1 oz. cascade for 2 min
us56 Yeast

what do you guys think?

TIA

monk
"Too Sweet"? I wouldn't "blame" any particular type of malt for something being on the sweet side, unless it happened to be something like maltodextrin, which beer yeasts cannot ferment.

In all likelihood, your yeast stalled or you racked too soon. Did you take gravity readings before and after fermentation? I used to make the mistake...come on these boards asking for help, but never taking OG or FG readings...and nobody could really help me when it came to fermentation or sweetness or alcohol levels. It was all "up in the air". Since I ran into issues refermenting my barleywine (it actually fermented down to 1.030 with the regular ale yeast), I've been diligent in taking gravity readings. That way, you'll know where to look for culprits of oversweetness.

No, the culprit here is probably the yeast. I've used US-56 plenty of times, and I think it does a fine job. In fact, I used it on my Barleywine's primary fermentation, and as I said, it took my gravity from 1.123 all the way down to 1.030, which is excellent attenuation for a dry strain, IMHO. You may want to make sure that you make a starter next time, and make damned sure that you take gravity readings before and after fermentation, and keep the wort in the temperature range that Safeale lists as optimal for US-56.


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Old 10-10-2006, 06:17 PM   #3
Monk
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Oh, I sorta forgot to clearly ask the question:

Has anyone noticed getting an overly sweet taste in a pale ale or ipa? And do you think this is a hazard that goes with using low lovibond crystal?

there. that's a bit more to the point.

monk

edit: evan, you're quicker than me!

 
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Old 10-10-2006, 06:23 PM   #4
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Half a pound of crystal is anything but unusual. I, too, am curious about your OG, whether you happened to rack too soon, or if your yeast pooped out on you for whatever reason (not that this is a common thing, but I have a hard time thinking the half pound of crystal would cause excess sweetness).

What brand DME and LME did you use? Some have more unfermentables that others, that could be a culprit.
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Old 10-10-2006, 06:24 PM   #5
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Evan,

as far as gravity readings, my og is around 1.044 and my fg about 1.012. That seems grossly in the range appropriate, I think. Am I wrong?

I use a freezer for fermentation, so I know the temp was exactly 68 in for the entire fermentation period (~ 2 weeks).


monk

 
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Old 10-10-2006, 06:24 PM   #6
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The recipe actually looks pretty straightforward for an American Pale Ale (don't think you're quite in IPA turf). SG of 1.053, 42.3 IBUs... that seems pretty well-balanced to me.
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Old 10-10-2006, 06:26 PM   #7
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For the DME, Cooper's. The LME is Alexander's. The LME is added late in the boil (20 min to go) and dissolved in some hot water before being added to the kettle, so it doesn't carmelize.

 
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Old 10-10-2006, 06:33 PM   #8
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I'd say cut the crystal in half. Even though what you are using is in the "normal" range, if the IPA is too sweet for your tastes, it is the logical thing to cut back on.
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Old 10-10-2006, 06:35 PM   #9
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Hmm.... your OG is off quite a bit from what ProMash says it should be. not sure what's up with that.
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Old 10-10-2006, 06:48 PM   #10
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bird, is it too high? With a 1.044, I thought it would get lower, to around 10 at least. What does promash say?

BTW, thanks for checking for me.



 
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