Sweet smelling partial mashes

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wxworkoff

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Hi all,

I seem to have come across a recurring issue, that seems to be happening again im my recent brew, a saison, and it's pushed me past the breaking point and on to the forum for help.

I'm mainly a partial masher--mashing 3 or 4 pounds of grain before calling in extracts to finish. In my most recent 5 or so beers....I've had an excellent tasting beer come out of fermentation, only to degrade once put into the the bottle to carb. While some beers have come off sweet tasting-- they are ALL very sweet smelling in the bottle. I just sampled my most recent saison after two weeks carbing up, and instead of some awesome tart saison smell, I get this lingering sweet scent. No yeast presence at all--not to mention its a bit too bitter, which is something that may fade over time. It's the same scent I've experienced with my last few batches--a stout, a rye ipa, a pumpkin ale, and a pale ale.

I usually partial mash at 150-152, and even switched thermometers recently in fear that it could be giving bad readings and causing me to mash too warm--and lead to the sweetness. But with this recent saison, I had a new thermo and was safely at 150 for the hour. I know my efficiency will be lacking due to the partial mash method...but is it enought to cause this?

Is it an infection in my bottling equipment, perhaps?

Anyone ever experienced this before, or have any ideas how I can get my beer to smell like...beer?
 

bigdaddybrew

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What was the Final Gravity? Sweet aroma is sometimes related to oxidation. Describe your process...secondary? Bottling process etc.
 

RM-MN

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What temperature are you using for fermentation? I've had one Saison batch that needed the fermentation temperature raised to over 80 degrees to finish. That one gave me a FG of 0.997, definitely dry.
 
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wxworkoff

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My bottling process is pretty standard...at least what I'd think is pretty standard?

None of my recent brews have been secondaried (making up words now), including this saison. I ferment in a plastic bucket, then siphon to another plastic bucket, and then bottle (painfully) with a bottling wand.

Could the simple process of a siphon provide enough oxidation to cause issues here? The bottling process has definitely been constant throughout out all this. Is there a way I can be more careful?


With this saison, the FG was 1.018...which was about .08 higher than I was expecting (shooting for about 1.10). It was fermented fairly cool for a saison, hovering around 68 or so. However I did use 3711, one smack pack, which I've read performs better than other saison yeasts at that temperature range. It was a full four week fermentation, and I have no indications that it was stuck or not completed yet...I honestly chaulked up the higher FG to the fact I started a little higher than expected (1.63 to 1.60) and the partial mash robbing me of some efficiency. Although it did surprise me a bit...because 3711 is supposed to be an attenuation monster.
 

bigdaddybrew

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1.018? It tastes sweet cause it is sweet. Most Saisons I have enjoyed were very dry and refreshing. I haven't used Saison yeast but my friends ferment hot above 80f to get fruit and spice fron the yeast as well as full attenuation. Also what are the malts, grains and extracts you used in this recipe?
 
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wxworkoff

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4 lb Dry Malt Extract - Pilsen. 45.7%
2 lb Belgian - Pilsner 22.9%
1 lb American - Rye 11.4%
0.5 lb German - Munich Light 5.7%
0.75 lb Flaked Rye 8.6%
8 oz Corn Sugar - Dextrose 5.7%

Pilsner, Rye(s) and Munich were mashed for 45 minutes at 150 in 1.75 gallons. DME addition with 20 mins left in boil, Dextrose with 10 mins. .75 oz of nugget for 45 mins (on a terrible suggestion from a friend), with 1 oz of Amarillo for 10 mins and another 1 oz at flameout.

The beer actually doesn't taste sweet...it just smells a bit sweet. Given that it never got near its intended FG, it's mouthfeel is heavier than I wanted, and given the pummeling of bittering hops (I never liked that guy anyway), it's more bitter than intended. Actually more like a Belgian ipa at the moment...but it's still fairly young at 3 weeks in the bottle. But a super dry saison it is not. I'm assuming fermenting warmer would have helped here, but I don't have access to in depth fermentation control yet.

I'm only passing through this partial mash stage on my way from extract to all grain...but this sweet smell issue has popped up in all my partial mashes...so in the interest of learning and problem solving, I figured I'd ask for some opinions.

Although, most of my partial mashes have come in with higher FGs than intended too...so I obviously have an issue there as well.
 

bigdaddybrew

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Your recipe is not full of crystal malt so that is good. I prefer a thicker mash like 1.5 quarts per pound. This might help make a more fermentable mash. I think the biggger issue is your cool ferm temp.
 
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