Building mid pallet sweetness without colour

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beervoid

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Hi everyone,

I've trying to get my beers sweeter and have been experimenting with many different malts.
I'm aiming for a light pale beer.
What malts do you recommend if you want to bring up the mid pallet sweetness.
Trying to avoid crystal malts as I dont't like the caramel notes. Honey malt not available.
Cheers!
 

VikeMan

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Without color? Maybe try:
- High Mash Temps
- Short-ish Mashes
- Yeast strains with low attenuation

Any malts that will bring significant sweetness will also bring color. If you are okay with a little color (but not with crystal malts), you could try Maris Otter or Golden Promise as base malts, and/or some percentage of Munich.
 
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beervoid

beervoid

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Without color? Maybe try:
- High Mash Temps
- Short-ish Mashes
- Yeast strains with low attenuation

Any malts that will bring significant sweetness will also bring color. If you are okay with a little color (but not with crystal malts), you could try Maris Otter or Golden Promise as base malts, and/or some percentage of Munich.
Thanks, I dont want too high fg and already use low attenuating yeast.
Is Munich the sweetest out of the non crystal specialty malts? Eg melanodin, aroma etc
 

VikeMan

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Thanks, I dont want too high fg and already use low attenuating yeast.
Is Munich the sweetest out of the non crystal specialty malts? Eg melanodin, aroma etc
Hard to say. I've used a lot of the "toasted" malts, but haven't A/B compared them. But remember that, in general, the darker you go with them, the less fermentable they'll be. Additional sweetness (if any) would come at the cost of higher FG, which it sounds like you don't want.

Of course, you can also get more perceived sweetness by dialing your hop bitterness down.
 

Bobby_M

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I'm not sure you're using the terms that I would. Just make sure you're distinguishing sweetness from malty and from mouthfeel. You can push malty with Vienna and Munich, Light Caramel malts, and melanoidin without making it finish sweet or with too much mouthfeel (higher FG).

As FG goes up, so does mouthfeel. As FG goes up, so does sweetness given a fixed IBU. If you scale your IBUs with the FG, the perceived sweetness stays the same but just with a slightly higher mouthfeel.

This is a complicated balance. People drinking that beer can easily confuse mouthfeel with sweetness.
 
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beervoid

beervoid

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I'm not sure you're using the terms that I would. Just make sure you're distinguishing sweetness from malty and from mouthfeel. You can push malty with Vienna and Munich, Light Caramel malts, and melanoidin without making it finish sweet or with too much mouthfeel (higher FG).

As FG goes up, so does mouthfeel. As FG goes up, so does sweetness given a fixed IBU. If you scale your IBUs with the FG, the perceived sweetness stays the same but just with a slightly higher mouthfeel.

This is a complicated balance. People drinking that beer can easily confuse mouthfeel with sweetness.
Im talking mid pallet sweetness, one that doesnt stick and isnt overly malty or caramelly.
Aiming for an mid high fg somewhere between 1.014-1.017
I'm trying to build in some extra backbone to be able to carry higher bittering and havent succeeded much yet with any specialty malts.
Trying to stay under 11ebc.
I went up to 20% carapils but that didnt do the trick. Base is mostly golden promise.
 

CascadesBrewer

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People have different definitions of what descriptors like malty or sweet mean to them. To me, grains like Maris Otter, Vienna, and Munich give malty characters, but not sweetness. Alcohol registers as sweet to some people.

Is Lactose an option?

What yeast are you using? Personally, I feel that yeast selection is the biggest driver of sweet vs dry.
 
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beervoid

beervoid

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People have different definitions of what descriptors like malty or sweet mean to them. To me, grains like Maris Otter, Vienna, and Munich give malty characters, but not sweetness. Alcohol registers as sweet to some people.

Is Lactose an option?

What yeast are you using? Personally, I feel that yeast selection is the biggest driver of sweet vs dry.
Cant stand lactose.
Do people get alot of sweetness and or caramel from carapils or light crystal malts?
 

bkboiler

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I've tended to also find that beers with finer bubbles "taste sweeter" even though they are NOT. You can tell if you knock all the bubbles out of solution. Bottle condition?

Possibly to do some decoction to increase mid-palate sweetness (or "maltiness" as it is more often called).

Some may hate me for saying this, but some "matrix" factors can help you as Randy Mosher calls it...I do a cream ale with lactose and vanilla bean. It's awesome (but not to style). I don't make it too sweet...the vanilla makes your brain do the rest and you *taste* sweetness that isn't there since our brains associate vanilla flavor with dessert...
 
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beervoid

beervoid

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I've tended to also find that beers with finer bubbles "taste sweeter" even though they are NOT. You can tell if you knock all the bubbles out of solution. Bottle condition?

Possibly to do some decoction to increase mid-palate sweetness (or "maltiness" as it is more often called).

Some may hate me for saying this, but some "matrix" factors can help you as Randy Mosher calls it...I do a cream ale with lactose and vanilla bean. It's awesome (but not to style). I don't make it too sweet...the vanilla makes your brain do the rest and you *taste* sweetness that isn't there since our brains associate vanilla flavor with dessert...
Interesting so you associate "mid pallet" sweetness with maltyness?
Lets put it in a different perspective. How to cram as much maltyness in a beer without going into amber territory?
Pilsner base and all colour from melanoidin and munich?
 

CascadesBrewer

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Do people get alot of sweetness and or caramel from carapils or light crystal malts?
I am not sure that Briess Carapils actually adds much to a beer (maybe some head retention). With limited data points, I feel that Weyermann Carafoam does add body to a beer (but not sweetness).

I find that lighter Crystal malts (like 20L) give a noticeable bump to sweetness, where the mid Crystal (~60L) give more caramel flavors and dark crystal start to push the raisin/dark fruit character. It might be bias, but I feel that Briess Crystal/Caramel does give more sweetness than some of the English and German Crystal malts I have used. I have not used Honey Malt myself either.

Reducing bitterness might actually be the best way to amp the sweet perception of a beer.
 

WESBREW

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You can use 8oz honey malt to make a noticeable sweetness without darkening the beer.. could go as high as 14oz and still be within pale ale guidelines
 

FunkedOut

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Try experimenting with different base malts.
Pilsner is a different experience than pale malt or 2row domestic.
Try different pilsners too (and different pale malts).
I found Crisp best ale to be a touch sweeter than pilsner.
Castle pilsner sweeter and hay like over Weyermann.

You might also dial that last little bit in, with water.
 

couchsending

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If your using Golden Promise you’re already using the sweetest base malt there is without getting into biscuit like flavors from other British malts.

Not 100% sure what you want to accomplish can be accomplished without either increasing the FG, ABV, or adding an unfermentable sugar. What ABV are you shooting for? Alcohol is sweet and will add sweetness regardless of gravity.

Most of the beers I brew that I think end up a bit too sweet are beers that don’t have enough bitterness for balance and really soft, CL focused, water profiles. Have you tried messing with NaCl in your water?
 

bkboiler

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Interesting so you associate "mid pallet" sweetness with maltyness?
I should clarify...I don't associate the two, but got the impression that the OP does.
I think mid palate sweetness is a multifactor thing where most people sense it when detectable sugars are held on the tongue by a more viscous liquid in the absence of the scrubbing action of bubbling on the tongue.
It's funny though...some beers the bubbling leads to more foam, so perception of mid palate sweetness also depends on the absence of bitterness and serving temperature and other factors (lots to list)
 

Bobby_M

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I don't really know what mid-palate sweetness means. I mean you're describing it so I get that you're talking about sweetness that doesn't linger. If you're working with a baseline recipe that lacks that character, you can back off the IBUs by a few percent and that alone can do it. You can raise your mash temp by a few degrees to retain more unfermentable dextrines. You can shift more of your base malt to something with more sweet/malty flavors. For example, replacing 2 row brewer's malt with pilsner will make it taste sweeter. More? Replace some or all of it with Vienna as long as the color target can stand it.

Malty, sweet, and full are three different things but they don't all work in a vacuum. A 1.030 FG beer can be sweet and full if the IBUs are low or it can be bitter and full if the IBUs are cranked. I wouldn't call that sweet.
 

grampamark

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Taste is highly subjective. There are folks who put hot sauce on their cornflakes and folks who think ketchup is a little too spicy. Consequently, trying to describe what you’re tasting compared to what you want to taste, to a bunch of strangers on a message board, is like trying to describe the color blue to a blind person.

The OP has gotten a lot of useful suggestions here. He may want to try changing his recipe, one variable at a time, until the desired result is achieved. That could require a lot of brewing, but that’s what we’re all about here, right?
 

CascadesBrewer

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I've trying to get my beers sweeter and have been experimenting with many different malts.
I will admit that I am curious what different malts you have used and what the result was. Got any thing to share?

While I have been brewing for year, I have only used a small fraction of the different malt + maltster combos on the market. Without specific trails it can be hard to pick out the contributions from each ingredient and variable (was that character from my yeast, the fermentation temp, a tap water difference, the type of crystal, my base malt?). As a brewer, it can also be hard to get over biases of knowing the ingredients and process details (mash temp, OG, FG, ...).

In a recent Genus Brewing stream (on YouTube) they talked about sweetness from yeast. I did not get that much out of the talk, but they did mention how some yeast character (or additions like vanilla) can give a perception of sweetness. Also that low carbonation tends to make beers seem sweeter.
 
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beervoid

beervoid

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I pretty much used any specialty malt I could mainly from, Weyermann, Best and Thomas Fawcett. Pilsner + any of the following or a combination of; Munich, Vienna, Melanoidin, Crystal Malt to achieve the same EBC (around 10-11EBC) as using a straight Golden Promise only basemalt bill.
Never really noticed any huge differences.

What im trying to achieve is building in a high bitterness that gets overtaken by the mid pallet sweetness. I'm at a point now where I think using extracts for bittering is the only way to achieve this.
With pellets it seems you just hit a point with bitterness where it becomes lingering and overpowering all the rest of the malt backbone, perhaps because of not precise enough control over exact IBU's or possibly cause of polyphenol overload.
Also the type of pellet plays a role, I've trialled the known "clean" bittering ones, magnum, warrior.
Basically im constantly shifting from too bitter or not bitter enough.
Cheers everyone for the comments!
 

bkboiler

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I've heard this term applied in a wine tasting context for a number of years. The concept of zones of our tongue is bunk.
But I do think that we taste as a time progression (time from smell, to taste to retronasal).
I think if you can build a malty aroma, you're more likely to get a retronasal malt perception.
I think one reason floral herbs are used in a lot of continental beers is for the cross-perception I described earlier (a rose by any other name would smell as....)
 

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