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Old 09-26-2010, 02:14 PM   #1
nigel31
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Default Not sweet enough after fermentation. How to fix?

Hi Gang,

I brewed a wee heavy a little over a week ago and, aiming for it to be on the sweeter side, added a can of Lyle's Golden Syrup and half a can of Lyle's Black Treacle. The Golden's to sweeten it up and give it a bit of extra body, and the Black Treacle's to give it a molasses/rum complexity.

After a week in the primary on a very healthy/happy yeast cake, I sampled it and took a reading. The reading is right on (1.026--began at 1.089, so 71% attenuation), but the brew's not nearly as sweet as I'd hoped.

Should I add something to the secondary/aging/conditioning vessel, like possibly more syrup?

Thanks for any suggestions,
Nige


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Old 09-26-2010, 02:24 PM   #2
Edcculus
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I can't imagine wanting a 1.026 beer much sweeter. In any case, more syrup won't do it unless you are going to keg it. Addding more sugar like that will just cause it to ferment more and drive the gravity down further. A lot of people will add lactose, which is unfermentable. Since it is unfermentable, and thus more complex, it isn't a very sweet sugar. It will give it more body and make it slightly more sweet.


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Old 09-26-2010, 03:34 PM   #3
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Back sweetening is also possible with sucralose (Splenda). It is non fermentable and carries the same perceivable sweetness as table sugar.
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Old 09-26-2010, 03:59 PM   #4
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@Edcculus: When would you suggest that I add lactose? To the secondary in a few weeks?

As for the sweetness factor, I really (pretty much only) enjoy sweet beers, and like my Scotch ales malty and on the sweetest end of the style. Just a little background...or justification. I'd added the syrups I did for sweetness and body. (Also, a Belhaven Wee Heavy clone recipe I saw had a can of the golden syrup, so it wasn't totally out of the blue.)

So you think that adding, say, .5 to 1 lb. of lactose would help "sweeten the deal"? I'd boil it a bit in some water and what, rack the beer onto it in the secondary?

Thanks for your thoughts and advice.
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Old 09-26-2010, 04:08 PM   #5
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Hey, nothing wrong with loving malty beers! You mind posting the recipe? We might have some suggestions as to what you can change to make this beer finish sweeter or give it more malt kick for next time.


People normally add it to the boil, but its perfectly fine to add it along with the priming sugar when you are bottling.
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Old 09-26-2010, 07:45 PM   #6
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I based it on mojotele's wee heavy recipe from the board here and made some changes (in italics):

It was my first partial mash, and I had a devil of a time locking in the temps, which may've had something to do with it, perhaps. It was a stovetop mash; I didn't have/use a cooler, but I'll be getting one soon enough to really nail the temps. I'd gone for mashing at the high end of the range, too, but the temp fluctuated. Also, did 1.25 qts. of water per # of grain, looking for a thicker/less fermentable mash.

4.00 lb Light Dry Extract [Beginning of 90-minute boil]
3.30 lb Gold Liquid Extract [Boil for 5 min]
1.00 lb Lyle's Golden Syrup [Boil for 15 min]
0.50 lb Lyle's Black Treache [Boil for 15 mn]
2.00 lb Golden Promise (2.0 SRM) (He'd suggested 2-row US pale)
0.60 lb Caramel/Crystal Malt - 60L (60.0 SRM) (He'd suggested .56#)
0.25 lb Biscuit Malt (23.0 SRM)
0.20 lb Aromatic Malt (26.0 SRM)
(I opted out of the peat smoked malt)
0.10 lb Simpson's Chocolate (He'd used Black (Patent) Malt (500.0 SRM))
0.10 lb Light Roasted Barley (300.0 SRM)
1.10 oz. East Kent Goldings pellets (added at 40 minutes into a 90-minute boil)
(He'd used various amounts/times of EKGs and Fuggles)
1.00 tsp Irish Moss (Boil 15.0 min)
1 Pkgs Edinburgh Ale (White Labs #WLP028) with a 1.5-liter stir-plated starter

Again, my aim was a somewhat syrupy/sweet wee heavy. The OG was 1.089 and the SG after initial fermentation (1.026) were spot on. I can't see it increasing in sweetness at this point, and it's a good wee heavy but not sweet like I like it, so I'll do something to touch up the sweetness. Cloying to most is wonderful to me, for the record.

Thanks for your consideration and suggestions.


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