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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > Is there a fix for a sweet stout that is TOO sweet, or do I dump it?

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Old 01-21-2013, 06:42 AM   #1
MetallHed's Avatar
Jun 2010
Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin
Posts: 834
Liked 29 Times on 25 Posts

I brewed a sweet stout back in August. Here is the recipe I used:

Recipe: Todd's Sweet Stout
Brewer: Steel Horse Brewing Co.
Style: Sweet Stout
TYPE: All Grain

Recipe Specifications
Boil Size: 6.97 gal
Post Boil Volume: 5.98 gal
Batch Size (fermenter): 5.00 gal
Estimated OG: 1.064 SG
Estimated Color: 32.0 SRM
Estimated IBU: 24.0 IBUs
Brewhouse Efficiency: 72.00 %
Est Mash Efficiency: 84.1 %
Boil Time: 110 Minutes

Amt Name
9 lbs Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM)
1 lbs Caramel/Crystal Malt - 60L (60.0 SRM)
1 lbs Chocolate Malt (350.0 SRM)
4.0 oz Roasted Barley (300.0 SRM)
1.00 oz Goldings, East Kent [5.00 %] - Boil 60.0
1 lbs Milk Sugar (Lactose) [Boil for 60 min]
1.00 oz Goldings, East Kent [5.00 %] - Boil 15.0
1.0 pkg Irish Ale (Wyeast Labs #1084) -

Mash Schedule: Single Infusion, Full Body, No Mash Out
Total Grain Weight: 12 lbs 4.0 oz
Name Description Step Temp. Step Time
Mash In Add 14.06 qt of water at 165.5 F 154.0 F 60 min

Sparge: Fly sparge with 5.05 gal water at 170.0 F

My SG was 1.070 and my FG was 1.022. I thought the FG was good for the style and would be okay. I kegged it after a few weeks in the primary and stuck it in the fridge until now.

I tapped it and had a pint the other day and I had to pour the glass out. I couldn't even finish it. It was waaaayyy too sweet. Almost comparable to drinking the wort sample from measuring SG.

My question is will it get better with time (it has already been aged a while), is there any other fix, or should I just call it a loss and move on to the next brew?

Any suggestions would be very helpful!
Steel Horse Brewing

My Fermentation Chiller Steel Horse Brew Labels

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Old 01-21-2013, 06:53 AM   #2
b-boy's Avatar
Jun 2011
The Frozen Tundra, NY
Posts: 4,444
Liked 1232 Times on 808 Posts

I'd take it out of the fridge and let it condition at a warmer temperature for a while. Might give the yeast some time to work on it. If it's been in the fridge since week 3 it may need some more conditioning.
Never underestimate the potential of someone who refuses to act their age.

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Old 01-21-2013, 07:05 AM   #3
Feb 2011
Seattle, Wa
Posts: 414
Liked 27 Times on 19 Posts

I would try conditioning it longer, but if you are absolutely sure that it is done fermenting, you could try adding a very tiny amount of amylase. I have no experience doing it myself, but I have seen some recipes call for it in secondary to help dry the beer out. I'm thinking something on the order of a few drops. Then let the yeast go at it again. Diluting the enzyme in some extra water to dilute your beer slightly will also bring the FG down.

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Old 01-21-2013, 07:19 AM   #4
May 2011
Carlsbad, CA
Posts: 568
Liked 110 Times on 78 Posts

I would take note of the above comments first, but if you feel like you just can't take the taste I would try to add some coffee to it to counteract the sweetness before dumping it. There has to be someting you could do with it.

Or brew up a regular stout, ferment it out and then mix the two.

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Old 01-21-2013, 08:59 AM   #5
mike_in_ak's Avatar
Apr 2012
anchorage, ak
Posts: 546
Liked 85 Times on 52 Posts

It doesn't look like it should be too sweet. Wonder if a measurement went wrong. Lactose does more for mouthfeel than sugary sweetness in my experience.

Let it sit at room temp for as long as you can forget about it, maybe it gets better?

If it doesn't get better, just make sure to drink at least two pints of your other home brew before drinking a pint of the stout.

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Old 01-21-2013, 03:27 PM   #6
May 2010
Posts: 49
Liked 5 Times on 3 Posts

I'd age it on oak. The tannins will balance the sweetness.
I just did this with a porter that I screwed up and it worked well.

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Old 01-21-2013, 03:56 PM   #7
Jan 2012
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Posts: 136
Liked 16 Times on 16 Posts

I made a similar milk stout that was lower OG but finished up about the same. IIRC it was a bit sweet early on, though not terribly so. It has since come along nicely and while you could never call it bitter - it is a sweet stout, after all - it is very drinkable and quite delicious. If yours is not, I would definitely consider the mixing suggestion, maybe even with a commercial, drier stout.

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Old 01-21-2013, 04:00 PM   #8
Junior Member
Dec 2012
Lake Wissota, Wisconsin
Posts: 1,037
Liked 94 Times on 75 Posts

It did taste pretty sweet and also a hint of apple as I recall. I'd give it some more time and see if it gets better. If you need help taste testing let me know. Lol

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Old 01-21-2013, 07:40 PM   #9
Apr 2011
Denver, CO
Posts: 134
Liked 10 Times on 10 Posts

You could try adding coffee to it, the bitterness may balance it out better.

I learned that a while back with lactose - you can always add more, but you can never take it out.

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Old 01-21-2013, 08:54 PM   #10
Aug 2012
Posts: 449
Liked 48 Times on 39 Posts

You could add some fruit to it, cherries or raspberries, then let the yeast eat through ask of the sugars in the fruits, it'll leave the tart fruit taste. Just be sure to let it condition for a while.

Conditioning alone might take done of the sweetness away... Is it a cloying sweetness or a sugary sweetness?

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