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Boozy off-flavour in a big Stout

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PitchAndYaw

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Hi all,

I'm 3 weeks into brewing my first biggish beer and I'm looking for some advice what to do next.

It's a stout with OG of 1.070, so on the smaller end of the Imperial scale. 20 litre/5 gallon batch. I went with Mangrove Jacks M41 Belgian Ale yeast. Fermentation temperature was in the range of 22-24 Celsius, 72-75F.

After 14 days I got an SG of 1.018. The sample tasted good - chocolate, coffee and caramel with a perceptible alcoholic flavour that wasn't off-putting. It was balanced. I decided the beer could benefit from at least another week in primary for yeast to finish up/clean up.

I've taken a couple more gravity readings within days of each other and at 3 weeks the FG is 1.015. However, the beer tastes distractingly hot, spicy and alcoholic. It warms the lips and mouth as a whisky does.

So, my questions are, where to go next? Leave it in primary? Rack it off the trub? Cold crash? Or bottle?

I'm making this beer to bottle for an event in 10 weeks time.
Will the boozy character mellow out? Has anyone had a comparable experience and how did it turn out?
 

grampamark

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The flavors you describe are not really unusual for a young stout fermented with that style of yeast.
You’re at 7.2 ABV which is about 78% attenuation; it’s probably time to package. A couple of months in the bottle will change the character of the beer. The specific flavors you identify now will less specific, more blended. Stronger dark beers tend to improve with age more than most other styles.
 
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PitchAndYaw

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The flavors you describe are not really unusual for a young stout fermented with that style of yeast.
You’re at 7.2 ABV which is about 78% attenuation; it’s probably time to package. A couple of months in the bottle will change the character of the beer. The specific flavors you identify now will less specific, more blended. Stronger dark beers tend to improve with age more than most other styles.
Thank you! I'm going ahead with bottling, looking forward to the results.
 
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