Backsweeten beer?

HomeBrewTalk.com - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Community.

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

Homercidal

Licensed Sensual Massage Therapist.
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Feb 10, 2008
Messages
33,324
Reaction score
5,801
Location
Reed City, MI
Brewed an Amber last week and wanted it to be full bodied and kind of sweet so I could oak and bourbon it and get a fall beer I could enjoy.

Well, it turned out a bit too bitter and not sweet at all. I doubt oaking it at this point is going to make it a tasty beer, so I wonder what I can reasonably do to add some sweetness.

Dextrine?

Kind of spitballing here. I'll drink it, but it's not going to be what I hoped for. After mashing at 160 and using 1.5 lbs of crystal, I can't believe it ended up like this. It's sitting at 1.026 too!

Another case of missing the IBU mark again. This time too bitter.
 

LLBeanJ

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 27, 2012
Messages
3,249
Reaction score
888
Location
Northern Colorado
Lactose will sweeten it up without adding fermentables. I recently did this with a hefeweizen that finished a bit lower than I wanted. 8 oz of lactose boiled in a bit of water and added to the keg sweetened it up nicely.
 

Kent88

Sometimes I have to remind myself
Staff member
Mod
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
May 13, 2014
Messages
4,009
Reaction score
2,622
Location
Midwest USA
Was going to suggest lactose, but I'm sure you're well aware that it isn't all that sweet.

It would be time consuming, but you could always try brewing another beer, maybe a little less bitter this time, and blend.
 
OP
Homercidal

Homercidal

Licensed Sensual Massage Therapist.
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Feb 10, 2008
Messages
33,324
Reaction score
5,801
Location
Reed City, MI
Both were options I've thought about. I really wanted something quick and easy. I might try lactose and see what happens, but I agree it's not that sweet.

My keg is already empty and ready, so brewing another beer and adding 1-2 weeks additional time is not ideal. I mean, it won't kill me to wait, but... ;)
 

JimRausch

JimRMaine
Joined
Jan 17, 2012
Messages
2,689
Reaction score
876
Location
Ellsworth
Don't rule out Xylitol either. You'd have to experiment with amount, but I'd suggest 1/2 cup per 5G as a starting point.
 

RM-MN

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Nov 26, 2010
Messages
14,112
Reaction score
4,807
Location
Solway
Brewed an Amber last week and wanted it to be full bodied and kind of sweet so I could oak and bourbon it and get a fall beer I could enjoy.

Well, it turned out a bit too bitter and not sweet at all. I doubt oaking it at this point is going to make it a tasty beer, so I wonder what I can reasonably do to add some sweetness.

Dextrine?

Kind of spitballing here. I'll drink it, but it's not going to be what I hoped for. After mashing at 160 and using 1.5 lbs of crystal, I can't believe it ended up like this. It's sitting at 1.026 too!

Another case of missing the IBU mark again. This time too bitter.
Dextrine should add body without changing the sweetness. I might steep some C-10 or C-20 and add that to the fermented beer. It may add a little fermentable sugar too so take that into account as it may take a few days to ferment out. It shouldn't matter if you are adding oak and letting it sit for the flavors to leach out as there should be very little fermentably sugar and won't affect the oaking.
 

ArcLight

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 2, 2011
Messages
1,404
Reaction score
131
Location
Millburn
Is it possible that the sweetness is correct but that the bitterness is masking it?
I know it's a pain but if you made a smaller test batch and cut down on the hops maybe you would be pleasantly surprised.
 
OP
Homercidal

Homercidal

Licensed Sensual Massage Therapist.
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Feb 10, 2008
Messages
33,324
Reaction score
5,801
Location
Reed City, MI
Tasted again last night to see if it's progressed, and it doesn't seem as bitter as before. I think there may have been some hop matter floating around in the beer, even though it looked fairly clear for only being 1 week old.

In any case, I added some whiskey to the sample in various amounts and I could not get it to have a level of flavor that fit the beer. It just tasted off. The beer itself tasted ok. Very malty, actually, if not really very sweet. Not sure if I want to continue the experiment at this point or not. I'd hate to ruin 2.5 gallons of beer.

I think my plan now is to keg and carb this beer and then add some whiskey to a glass and evaluate at that point. I can always add it to the keg if it ends up tasting ok then.
 

Hoppy2bmerry

My hop trellis brings the boys to the yard.
HBT Supporter
Joined
Aug 10, 2015
Messages
7,344
Reaction score
12,737
Location
Long Island
I have a pumpkin porter that I'm needing to adjust -- the cinnamon flavor is off/bitterish I've got spice and vanilla macerating in vodka and plan on adding lactose when bottling. Small batch, thankfully.
 

BlkWater_brewer

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 25, 2014
Messages
515
Reaction score
90
Location
Webster
I wouldn't make any rash decisions after a week. I think that oak aging will mellow it out enough but don't age it in your barrel too long. A 5gal barrel will age it enough in a week to 10 days at the max.
 

BrewerBrad82

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jun 13, 2013
Messages
1,208
Reaction score
1,030
Location
Minneapolis
If you can find pure Sucralose (the sweet part of Splenda), it would not take much at all to sweeten a full five gallon batch, likely as little as half a teaspoon. It is 100% unfermentable, so it would pretty much be an instant fix and it is stable at the lower pH of a finished beer (where aspartame is not)
 
Top