Originally Posted by jigidyjim
Often times with my maltier beers I feel like they taste/feel "watery" - though they certainly aren't watered down. for example, I just made a fat tire clone, and while I can taste the malt and it has a roasty/chocolate taste to it, it feels watery even though the O.G. and F.G. were correct. Whenever I do a more malty style, I feel this way...
Oh, I do extract partial boils with steeping grains.
Does anyone know what this might be?
My theory is that it's because I'm partial boiling and for whatever reason the 2-3 gallons I top of with end up not mixing that well. But that's just a theory and has nothing to back it up (though I'm buying a full kettle this week so I guess my next few beers will tell).
Or maybe there's something the pro's do to make the tastes feel more full?
Topping off doesn't have anything to do with mouth feel, you water and wort mixes perfectly fine on it's own during fermentation. Plenty of topped off extract batches are full of body and mouth feel. There are plenty of great reasons to do full volume boils, but that's really not one of them.
It all comes down to what's in the recipe more than anything else.
Your grain/extract bill affects mouthfeel, as does the level of carbonation, and even conditioning time. And also your mash time/temp with all grain.
It's those nonfermenatable or partially fermentable sugars in your grain bill the stuff that is left behind after fermentation that gives a beer it's body.
But unless you are topping off to a final volume different than your recipe calls for, such as topping to 5.5 gallons, or 6 gallons when your original recipe calls for topping to 5 gallons, doing partial boils and topping off has nothing to do with it.
In fact I've been playing with partial boil all grain recipes on my stove top, mashing a concentrated wort, overhopping by 18% to compensate for hop utilization by not doing a full boil, boiling down to 2.5-3 gallons in my 5 gallon pot on my stove, then using beersmith's dillution tool to dilute to 5 gallons. I have done two beers so far, one an ipa and and one a red ale they have turned out great, with plenty of body, and I have a wit in primary that I did that way as well.
In fact I am drinking my SMa2H (single malt and 2 hop) Marris otter/cascade/centennial Ipa that was made that way and even though it only has one grain, it has plenty of body.
TO get better mouth feel make sure there is a dextrinous grain in your steeping grain, like 1/2-1 pound of carapils, Wheat malt, or oats, or use something like maltodextrine in the boil to add some body.