Sweet Stout

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AngryAndy

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Hi. I made a cream Stout with 1/2 lbs of lactose. Anyway it's just over 5.5 gallons. I brewed it on May 15th. The OG was 1070. I watched it for about a week and it came down to 1030. It wouldn't drop any further. I pitched another Windsor yeast packet and gave it a stir. It's been sitting at 70F at 1030 since May 23rd and it hasn't moved. Still 1030. What the hell? More unfermentables than I originally thought? I don't know. It's just too sweet to drink. Is there anything I can do? I've read in other threads that adding coffee might help balance out the sweet flavor.

Any thoughts?
 

day_trippr

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Short of anything dramatic like Beano, maybe brew a dry porter and blend the two?

Cheers!
 
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AngryAndy

AngryAndy

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day tripper, thanks for the thoughts but I refuse to spend that kind of time and money on a beer that stinks. Also I don't have the room to store the extra 5 gal. I slept on it and came up with an idea.

What about taking an oz of hops and racking about a litre of my crappy stout, boiling the stout and hops on the stove for an hour. Then pour that back into the fermenter? That should help with the sweet issues plus the current sweetness has killed the hop profile as it is.

You know, get two birds stoned at once!
 

derekcw83

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I've never had to do it, but couldn't he just boil some water, then cool it and gently add it to the beer to dillute it some? Maybe a gallon or 2 to bring it down to ~1020 or whereabouts
 

mattdee1

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I had almost the exact same thing happen with a sweet stout and Windsor yeast. OG was around 1.070ish and the 10gal batch was split into 2 fermentors. I fermented one with Windsor and the other with Notty.

The Notty attenuated down to something reasonable, but the Windsor stalled at around 1.030. I guess Windsor's alcohol tolerance is low and it runs out of steam.

If I were you, I'd go ahead and package it. You might be surprised at what it tastes like. That's what I did with mine that stalled above 1.030 and I was half expecting it to taste like some kind of bad Hershey syrup but it tasted fine... quite good, actually. I'd be wary of trying a bunch of hacks and trickery on the back end to "rescue" the beer--you got what you got, just roll with it. If it sucks, well, there's always next time; that's homebrewing for you.

If you decide to roll with it, make darn sure the beer is at FG. Windsor can be slow, so it might chip away a bit more, and you don't want to end up overcarbing in the container.
 

triethylborane

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The Notty attenuated down to something reasonable, but the Windsor stalled at around 1.030. I guess Windsor's alcohol tolerance is low and it runs out of steam.
Windsor has moderately high alcohol tolerance IIRC, something like 8%, however it will leave a high gravity if there are "unfermentables" like lactose and trisaccharides (maltotriose) that Windsor cannot catalyze or if there were issues with under pitching or yeast nutrients.

From my experience, Windsor can benefit from a longer fermentation period. Id leave it in primary for another week and check gravity for more data points. If gravity decreases, I would even consider racking to 2° and let it sit for another week or two or even a month.
 

Kent88

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umm, recipe? mash procedure? fermentation temp?

It might have hit 1.030 just because you used ingredients that make for an less fermentable wort.
 

sboyajian

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Keep in mind that the lactose also increases your Final Gravity. Without the lactose you may well be at 1.025. Still a bit high, but not as high as you are thinking and not but a point or two more than the high end of a sweet stout range.

That said, this seems a little dramatic:

day tripper, thanks for the thoughts but I refuse to spend that kind of time and money on a beer that stinks.
Does it actually stink? Is the beer a bad beer or is it just higher gravity than you want?

Throw a pack of US-05 in there, give a week, see if it drops down another few points... and relax.. it still made beer.
 
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AngryAndy

AngryAndy

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I'M PISSED! I'M SO ANGRY....just kidding when I said it "stinks" I don't mean literally. I mean in all the years Ive been brewing Ive never had a wort finish out so high, SO THAT STINKS....not the actual brew..haha.

US 05...I'm gonna try that. And what do people think about my re boiling a liter and adding an oz of hops than pouring that back into the wort to bitter it up a bit. Any takers on that?

US 05...thats the next step.
 

mattdee1

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mattdee, could i buy a package of Notty? or S04, 05 and try that?
I've never tried such a thing, myself -- starting with one yeast, and trying to further attenuate by adding a 2nd strain.

Maybe others can comment but my guess is that even though something like S-05 might out-attenuate Windsor if pitched into a batch of the exact same starting wort, I doubt you'll see much more movement in the gravity by pitching it into your Windsor batch because all of the easy sugars have been eaten; the newly pitched yeast will probably have a look around, try to take a few nibbles here and there, then sink to the bottom and go to sleep without doing much.

I have heard of people in this situation taking really "powerful" yeast like champagne yeast and throwing it into under-attenuated beer but I think the results are unpredictable at best.
 

sboyajian

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not sure about boiling fermented beer to add to also fermented beer. might go sideways.
 

Limbrizik

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Even if boiling a liter of beer with hops in it and adding it back in works like you want it to I would imagine more bitterness on a cloying sweetness wouldn't really create more balance. I think the two flavors would clash; it would be bittersweet.

I vote putting in a higher attenuating yeast and see if you can budge the fg. Maybe wyeast 3711 or something.
 

betarhoalphadelta

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Also would love to know a bit more about your recipe. I typically brew my sweet stout to about 1.065 and with 1-1.33 lb lactose per 5 gallons. And it doesn't come out too sweet. But I hit it with big roasty malts on the front end which helps avoid that sweetness.

So depending on your recipe, you might be at 1.030 and with your fermentation done. Once it's cold and carbonated (remember, carbonation increases perceived bitterness) it will probably taste a lot different.
 
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AngryAndy

AngryAndy

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Well maybe I'll just leave it alone a while longer and consider the Nottingham or us05 at a later date. I might just listen to bwarbiany and live with it. Hit it with co2 and pray that it's not sweet. I'll re post once I know.
 

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