Watery Beer

Homebrew Talk - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Forum

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

BeerGrills

Member
Joined
Jun 27, 2008
Messages
20
Reaction score
0
Location
Allentown, PA
I am a new all grain brewer. I have now brewed 5 all grain batches. Compared to the extract batches I have done my All-grain batches seem at first taste to be watery. There is some good beer flavor but the mouthfeel and maltiness I would expect is not present.

I assume this is a propblem in the cracking the grain or bad sparge technique.
Maybe some other issue I am unfamiliar with?

Has any had this issue and overcome it? Can you offer any suggestions?

Thanks in advance.

BeerGrills
 
OP
BeerGrills

BeerGrills

Member
Joined
Jun 27, 2008
Messages
20
Reaction score
0
Location
Allentown, PA
Example # 2

10 Gallon Batch Ingredients:
• 14 pounds, Klages malt
• 1/2 pound, chocolate malt
• 1/2 pound, black patent malt
• 1 pound, 80 L. crystal malt
• 2 ounce, Willamette hops (3.8% alpha) (boil 60 minutes)
• 1.6 ounce, Perle hops (8.5% alpha) (boil 30 minutes)
• 1 teaspoon, Irish moss (boil 15 minutes)
• 1 ounce, Willamette hops (3.8% alpha) (dry hop)
• Wyeast English ale yeast
• 1.5 cup, corn sugar (priming)
Procedure:
Mash - 30 minutes at 145-150, 90 minutes at 155--160, sparge at 170).

Boil Total boil time was 1 ½ hours.
30 minutes to bring to rolling boil
Boil 1 hour.
Cool and pitch yeast.
After 6 days, rack to secondary and dry hop.
One week later, prime and bottle.
Specifics:
• O.G.: 1.040
• F.G.: 1.008
 
OP
BeerGrills

BeerGrills

Member
Joined
Jun 27, 2008
Messages
20
Reaction score
0
Location
Allentown, PA
Example # 1

Hop Juice Double IPA All-Grain Recipe
10 Gallon Recipe

29 lb Briess Pale Ale Malt
2.00 oz Columbus, 15.0% alpha acid (added to end of mash)
2.00 oz Chinook, 13.0% alpha acid (first wort hop)
2.00 oz Columbus, 15.0% alpha acid (first wort hop)
2.00 oz Centennial, 10.5% alpha acid (120 minutes)
4.00 oz Amarillo, 10.0% alpha acid 0 min.
2.00 oz Centennial, 10.5% alpha acid (Dry Hop Primary)
2.00 oz Columbus, 15.0% alpha acid (Dry Hop Primary)
4.00 oz Amarillo Gold, 10.0% alpha acid (Dry Hop Secondary)
White Labs WLP001 California Ale or Wyeast 1056 American Ale Yeast
O.G.: 1.077
IBUs: 100+
 1. Single infusion mash at 148-150 ° F.

 2. About 5 minutes before sparge add Columbus pellets to mash.
2.00 oz Columbus

 3. When kettle is about 1/3 full add first wort hops
a. 2.00 oz Chinook
b. 2.00 oz Columbus

 4. Add the rest at beginning of boil.
2.00 oz Centennial

 5. Add aroma hops after boil, during cooling in a hop sack.
4.00 oz Amarillo

 6. When wort temperature is below 75 o F, pitch yeast and aerate well.

 7. After primary fermentation is done, dry hop and let sit for at least 5 days.
a. 2.00 oz Centennial
b. 2.00 oz Columbus

 8. Rack to secondary and dry hop again for at least 5 days.
4.00 oz Amarillo Gold

 9. If you are kegging, prime with 1.1 cups of Briess Golden Light dry malt
extract or force carbonate.
 

Beezer94

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 26, 2009
Messages
638
Reaction score
30
Location
Harmony
In example #1 I would think 58 pounds of malt should not yield anything resembling watery on a 10gallon batch ;)


From what I have seen most extract contains carapils which is used for mouthfeel. I think adjuncts like the flaked barley etc are supposed to also add to that mouthfeel.

I am not a pro, just remember reading about it for what it's worth.
 
OP
BeerGrills

BeerGrills

Member
Joined
Jun 27, 2008
Messages
20
Reaction score
0
Location
Allentown, PA
It was 29 lbs of grain (the 2 previous rows added together) and I would agree that even 29Lbs of grain should not yield a watery brew.

Both of these beers had good taste but just felt watery as the first noticable trait.
 

Gremlyn

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 26, 2009
Messages
2,347
Reaction score
37
Location
Ann Arbor
Example #2 has a relatively low SG, but pretty close to 75% efficiency based on my quick calcs. Was that supposed to be a porter? I would definitely add some carapils for mouthfeel and up the pale malt by 2-3 lbs to get the SG up a little more.
 
OP
BeerGrills

BeerGrills

Member
Joined
Jun 27, 2008
Messages
20
Reaction score
0
Location
Allentown, PA
Example 2 was actually a Brown ale. The OG/SG were right on target from the original recipe. It came out pretty good except for the "watery" mouth feel.

Is carapils a commonly used item for home brewers or is it "cheating"?
 
OP
BeerGrills

BeerGrills

Member
Joined
Jun 27, 2008
Messages
20
Reaction score
0
Location
Allentown, PA
Taste is fine - it is a mouthfeel thing. A friend said to me - "why does all of your beers seem to hit you with a wtery taste as the first thing you notice?" I knew exactly what he meant when he asked it.
 

Brocster

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 21, 2009
Messages
279
Reaction score
4
Location
Twin Cities
Taste is fine - it is a mouthfeel thing. A friend said to me - "why does all of your beers seem to hit you with a wtery taste as the first thing you notice?" I knew exactly what he meant when he asked it.
How is the carbonation? Did you bottle or keg? Sometimes, the carbonation can affect this on younger beers. Newer beers that have not conditioned or carbed correctly can show this, especially if you got decent attenuation on lower gravity beers.
 

purechaos

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 21, 2009
Messages
231
Reaction score
2
Location
Indianapolis
Example 2 was actually a Brown ale. The OG/SG were right on target from the original recipe. It came out pretty good except for the "watery" mouth feel.

Is carapils a commonly used item for home brewers or is it "cheating"?
Is the beer kegged or bottled? Has it had time to condition?

I brewed a brown and used carapoils (aberdeen brown) I let it ferment for 14 days, action started within 30 mins of pitch.

I kegged it tuesday,I tried a sample yesterday just to see how it tasted cold. It had a watery taste to it. It was only my second brew so I just attributed it to being green.

I pulled it out of keezer and dropped it back into fermenter under 8psi co2.

I figure I will give it another 10 days and the cool it again.

My og was 1.050 and fg was 1.018.
 
OP
BeerGrills

BeerGrills

Member
Joined
Jun 27, 2008
Messages
20
Reaction score
0
Location
Allentown, PA
The beer was in keg for 4 weeks before I put on tap.
It is now kicked.

The HOP Juice clone was in keg for 5 weeks and just put up on Saturday.
 

Brocster

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 21, 2009
Messages
279
Reaction score
4
Location
Twin Cities
The beer was in keg for 4 weeks before I put on tap.
It is now kicked.

The HOP Juice clone was in keg for 5 weeks and just put up on Saturday.

Did you force carb the right way? If not, this could affect it. Otherwise, there may be some other issues.

In essence, if the beer is at 40 degrees or so, and you have at least 2 - 2.5 volumes of Co2, then you may have another issue to dig into.
 

sonetlumiere85

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 19, 2008
Messages
389
Reaction score
5
Another thing to consider is how accurate your volume measurements are. Are you measuring the amount of water at dough in, mash out, runoff, etc?
 

wildwest450

Banned
Joined
Dec 27, 2007
Messages
8,978
Reaction score
189
Why the 2 hour mash on example #2? It may have converted in the first 30 minutes, 145f is way to low for a porter type beer. I would check your thermometer and mash a beer of this type at least 154-156F for one hour. And even for an IPA, I mash in the 152-154 range.
And some Carapils\Dextrine wouldn't hurt.
 
OP
BeerGrills

BeerGrills

Member
Joined
Jun 27, 2008
Messages
20
Reaction score
0
Location
Allentown, PA
Sonetlumiere - I am measuring water when I add to mash and i measure after sparge in to boiler. I have equipment with volume measurments and the are accurate.

WW450 - The recipe I had called for 2 hour mash so I mashed for 2 hours.
 
OP
BeerGrills

BeerGrills

Member
Joined
Jun 27, 2008
Messages
20
Reaction score
0
Location
Allentown, PA
I keg conditoned each of these 2 example the beers for 4 weeks minimum.
I have about Co2 set at 5lbs on keg in fridge(the Hop Juice clone)
 

Yooper

Ale's What Cures You!
Staff member
Admin
Mod
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jun 4, 2006
Messages
74,923
Reaction score
12,808
Location
UP/Snowbird in Florida
Why the 2 hour mash on example #2? It may have converted in the first 30 minutes, 145f is way to low for a porter type beer. I would check your thermometer and mash a beer of this type at least 154-156F for one hour. And even for an IPA, I mash in the 152-154 range.
And some Carapils\Dextrine wouldn't hurt.
That's exactly what I was thinking. Mashing below 150 degrees, and for a long time will give you a very "thin", highly fermentable wort. It should finish with a low FG and give you nothing in the way of body or mouthfeel or residual sweetness.

A porter should be mashed at 156 for 45 minutes to one hour, and that will make a huge difference.

I've even mashed a couple of beers (Orfy's Hobgoblin and my Dead Guy Ale Clone) at 158. That will give a very dextrinous wort, with some residual sweetness.

Check your thermometer, too. If you're even off by 1-2 degrees, you may have been mashing at 145 degrees which would give you a very watery thin beer.
 

Yooper

Ale's What Cures You!
Staff member
Admin
Mod
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jun 4, 2006
Messages
74,923
Reaction score
12,808
Location
UP/Snowbird in Florida
Sonetlumiere - I am measuring water when I add to mash and i measure after sparge in to boiler. I have equipment with volume measurments and the are accurate.

WW450 - The recipe I had called for 2 hour mash so I mashed for 2 hours.
sounds like a problem with the instructions, not your technique.

I can't imagine a time when anybody making "regular" beer would mash for more than 90 minutes. Only if you're using a lot of adjuncts that take a long time to convert. For a beer like a porter, you could mash as little as 30 minutes as long as you have conversion. Most people who don't check for conversion will go just an hour on every beer, which is fine.
 
OP
BeerGrills

BeerGrills

Member
Joined
Jun 27, 2008
Messages
20
Reaction score
0
Location
Allentown, PA
Yooper - Let's talk about technique a minute.
I brew with my brother and we are brewing 10 gallon batches.
When I mash what is the correct ratio of water to grain? Does it vary from recipe to recipe or is it fairly straight forward?
 
OP
BeerGrills

BeerGrills

Member
Joined
Jun 27, 2008
Messages
20
Reaction score
0
Location
Allentown, PA
Ok - so If I use a ration of 1.35 for my aforementioned Example 1 - 29 lbs of grain * 1.35 = 39.15 qts /4 = 9.79 gallons of water for the mash.

If this is accurate when I complete the mash I should get some absorbtion and would need enough sparge water on hand to produce about 12 gallons of water for the boil.

Do I spagre until I hit my intened volume or my OG or until I have had too much beer that it doesn't matter any more :) ?
 

Gremlyn

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 26, 2009
Messages
2,347
Reaction score
37
Location
Ann Arbor
Too much beer is the stopping point :p

I always go by what BeerSmith tells me to do, which is use the specified amount of sparge water, and collect everything possible, which takes into account the dead space. I don't recall if you said you use a brewing program, but check out the free trial of BeerSmith at least. It's very good at getting you good, consistent results.
 

Yooper

Ale's What Cures You!
Staff member
Admin
Mod
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jun 4, 2006
Messages
74,923
Reaction score
12,808
Location
UP/Snowbird in Florida
Ok - so If I use a ration of 1.35 for my aforementioned Example 1 - 29 lbs of grain * 1.35 = 39.15 qts /4 = 9.79 gallons of water for the mash.

If this is accurate when I complete the mash I should get some absorbtion and would need enough sparge water on hand to produce about 12 gallons of water for the boil.

Do I spagre until I hit my intened volume or my OG or until I have had too much beer that it doesn't matter any more :) ?
I always sparge until I hit my intended boil volume. That's why my efficiency is less with "bigger" beers- less sparge water.

For anything other than a cream ale, or other "light bodied" dry beer, try mashing at a higher temperature. I mash most of my APAs at 153. The other thing you might try is to either do a mash out, or bring your first runnings up to a boil faster. As the temperature drops, you lose the mash profile that you've set.

Your technique looks good, so I think your issues of watery beer are mash temp and time issues.
 
OP
BeerGrills

BeerGrills

Member
Joined
Jun 27, 2008
Messages
20
Reaction score
0
Location
Allentown, PA
I will try the next batch at higher mash temp. I think this seems to be the most likely area. I think I may switch to a Cooler for mashing instead of my Stainless pot. I think I will get better temp control and by extension consistancy .
 
Top