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Old 02-03-2013, 05:07 PM   #1
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Default Mouthfeel, mouthfeel, mouthfeel

So we brewed our first all-grain, a St. Paul Porter kit from Northern Brewers. The flavor is great, the alcohol is right on, the color is perfect, but it tastes thin.

This isn't the first time we've had issues with mouthfeel. A number of our extract brews had great characteristics, but poor mouthfeel. It's amazing how much mouthfeel affects the overall enjoyment of a beer.

We've thought of adding malto-dextrin but I hate adding sugars to beer. Any suggestions? How have you conquered this issue?




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Old 02-03-2013, 05:38 PM   #2
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Add some carapils to your recipe. Extract usually has some carapils in it so that is why your extract brews had more mouthhfeel.


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Old 02-03-2013, 05:53 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PhineasJWhoopie View Post
So we brewed our first all-grain, a St. Paul Porter kit from Northern Brewers. The flavor is great, the alcohol is right on, the color is perfect, but it tastes thin.

This isn't the first time we've had issues with mouthfeel. A number of our extract brews had great characteristics, but poor mouthfeel. It's amazing how much mouthfeel affects the overall enjoyment of a beer.

We've thought of adding malto-dextrin but I hate adding sugars to beer. Any suggestions? How have you conquered this issue?




Ghghghg
How long has it been since you pitched the yeast? Time is pretty important as you start brewing darker beers or beers with more alcohol. I try to leave my porters and stouts much longer before sampling because I have been brewing them long enough to discover that time in the bottle is where the mouthfeel changes. I'm sorry to tell you but my porters have developed that maturity in 2 1/2 to 3 months. You may have a wait ahead of you.

If you have that wait, brew up something lighter colored. A wheat (given a proper pitch of yeast, ozygenation, and temperature control) could be good to drink in 3 weeks.
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Old 02-03-2013, 06:26 PM   #4
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Mash at higher temps and add a pound or two of flaked oats
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Old 02-03-2013, 06:55 PM   #5
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Mash at higher temps and add a pound or two of flaked oats
Body and mouthfeel are added to your beer when you have unfermentables in the mix. Mash temperature is the best way to control the mouthfeel without significantly changing the recipe. Here's a baseline that I follow for a single infusion mash (that may be wildly inaccurate, fellow brewers feel free to correct me):

Thin body - 148F to 152F: prefer 151-152F
Medium body - 153F to 156F: prefer 154F
Fuller body - 156F to158F: prefer 158F, above this point you may experience trouble with conversion.
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Old 02-03-2013, 10:46 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tantalus

Body and mouthfeel are added to your beer when you have unfermentables in the mix. Mash temperature is the best way to control the mouthfeel without significantly changing the recipe. Here's a baseline that I follow for a single infusion mash (that may be wildly inaccurate, fellow brewers feel free to correct me):

Thin body - 148F to 152F: prefer 151-152F
Medium body - 153F to 156F: prefer 154F
Fuller body - 156F to158F: prefer 158F, above this point you may experience trouble with conversion.
Exactly what I would have said if I wasn't being lazy haha. Except I think you can mash all the way up to about 170 without running into too many problems. I've mashed a few beers beginning at 162. The key here is that at the higher temps there are longer/more complex sugar compounds being converted so the yeast has a harder time fermenting them and more mouthfeel is left in the beer.

Flaked oats will leave a sort of slippery, heavy texture.
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Old 02-04-2013, 10:44 PM   #7
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What was the OG/FG of the brew?

The kits that I bought from NB always tasted thin.

Agree with mashing higher or adding Carapils or Flaked Barley. I've found, at least with Carapils it's tough to meet your expected fg. So its a trade off.
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Old 02-05-2013, 05:52 PM   #8
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Is your thermometer calibrated? Missing the proper mash temp by a couple degrees can certainly change the body. Was your FG lower than anticipated?

Also, I'd wait to judge the beer until it's fully carbed and has conditioned for a while.
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Old 02-05-2013, 06:06 PM   #9
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You can still mash around 150 and add some rye. I've found that not very much adds silky mouthfeel without that heavy sugar syrupy feel. The mouthfeel is apparent way before any taste.
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Old 02-05-2013, 06:49 PM   #10
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To improve your mouthfeel, if you move to a higher mash temp, consider checking for conversion at 30 minutes so you don't spend an extra half an hour breaking down your nice long chain sugars back down in to short fermentable ones.


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