Why so sweet?

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Wrathchild

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I'm a year into brewing and I tried my hand at an Irish red beer. I used all grain 10 lbs of marris otter, 2lbs briess bondland Munich, 1lb of briess crystal 60L, and 2.75 oz of roasted barley. Made a 5 gallon batch starting with 8 gallons full volume biab. 2 oz of East kent goldings for hops.I pitched with lallemand Nottingham dry ale yeast. OG was high at 1.074 and FG was 1.008. I fermented at 60-64 degrees and its been bottled for a month now. Its not a bad flavor if it didn't ha e so much sweet to it. Seems like its getting sweeter with age. Anyone have any input on why it would be so sweet? Thanks
 

VikeMan

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Seems like its getting sweeter with age.
"Sweeter with age" may be a symptom of oxidation.

As an aside, 1.074 -> 1.008 is crazy high attenuation for your grain bill and yeast strain. If those are accurate numbers, I would suspect contamination with something other than Nottingham. Though that wouldn't explain the sweetness.
 
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Wrathchild

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I've tasted contaminated brew before and its got a sour nasty taste. Not to say its not contaminated but I've been pawing over Google and I've been seeing that under hopping could be an issue. I did 1 oz east kent at the beginning of the boil and the 2nd oz right after flame out. My calculator said I was at about 9 ibu's and I think I should have been around 25-30. I never used an ibu calculator before and just shot from the hip but now I'm starting to understand the process of balance. Guess I've just been lucky so far. I usually don't use dark malts either. Thanks for the response too!
 

VikeMan

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I've tasted contaminated brew before and its got a sour nasty taste.
Depends on the type(s) of bug(s) involved. With that kind of attenuation (~89%), and no souring, I would suspect a wild yeast strain or one of the belgian diastaticus strains.
 

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1.008 should not be 'sweet'. You do not have an infection. Any infection takes time to have an impact, and you would taste it. Notty can be a beast, and 89% attenuation is not out of the question.

Why it is getting sweeter - I don't have any advice on that.
 

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I'm a year into brewing and I tried my hand at an Irish red beer. I used all grain 10 lbs of marris otter, 2lbs briess bondland Munich, 1lb of briess crystal 60L, and 2.75 oz of roasted barley. Made a 5 gallon batch starting with 8 gallons full volume biab. 2 oz of East kent goldings for hops.I pitched with lallemand Nottingham dry ale yeast. OG was high at 1.074 and FG was 1.008. I fermented at 60-64 degrees and its been bottled for a month now. Its not a bad flavor if it didn't ha e so much sweet to it. Seems like its getting sweeter with age. Anyone have any input on why it would be so sweet? Thanks
Every year the hops growers have the alpha acid tested and it is listed on the package. East Kent Goldings is a relatively low alpha hop but some years it may be even less.

Beer is sweet by nature and we balance that with the bitterness of the hops. To make it bitter the hops need to be boiled. Your one ounce at the beginning of the boil only gave you a very limited bittering so your beer tastes sweet. Those hops added after flameout add very little bittering. Tiny hop particles can be suspended in the beer for a while after the fermentation has stopped and these will taste bitter. Given time, those particles will settle out, making the beer less bitter and thus sweeter.

I choose a relatively low flavor, higher alpha acid hop for the initial addition. Since Nugget is usually available locally, that is my starting hop but Magnum works well for this too. That sets my bitterness level. Then if I want hop flavor (which is mostly the aroma) I add flavor hops later, most often as a dry hop.
 
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Wrathchild

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Thanks everyone for the input I really appreciate at. Im not almost confident in saying its just flat out under hopped. I am a rookie making rookie mistakes but thats how I learn. Ive brewed mostly ipas so I hopped them fairly high without a calculator, just hip firing and its worked pretty well so far but this brew proved my ignorance. I did a sort of smash beer that now I go over my notes and do the ibu calculations and it was under hopped. When I drank it, it felt under carbed and too sweet. 3 months later it was carbed and one of the best beers I've ever tasted. In fact I had a buddy of mine taste them all the way through and he says now they could be sold professionally for money! I understand now how patience and time can make a brew better. Thanks again for the help yall
 
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Wrathchild

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meant im almost confident. Mistyped the "not"
 

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Dancy

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What about mash temp? High end of the scale vs. low end of the scale?
 
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Wrathchild

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What about mash temp? High end of the scale vs. low end of the scale?
Ran it up to 155 then mashed in and stirred until I was exactly 150. Opened 3 times at 15 minute intervals to stir. After an hour soak i was at 144. I guess that's middle-middle low?
 

Dancy

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I thought if you had mashed at the high end — 158, 160F — that might be a factor but you didn’t, so....
 
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Wrathchild

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I though if you has mashed at the high end — 158, 160F — that might be a factor but you didn’t, so....
I really think its just a matter of under bittering it. Makes the most sense to me. Ive never messed with anything lower then 20L and I understand lots of people say darker crystal malts impart a sweet taste. I may have under carbed it too. Why does mashing high cause sweetness?
 
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Wrathchild

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It creates a less fermentable wort, i.e. containing more unfermentable sugars/dextrins.
Cool man it makes sense as well. I dont prefer sweet so ill stick with the lower end as I've been doing. I meant ive not used anything higher then 20L in the last post. I gotta start proof reading before folks think im drunk!!!!
 

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Keep in mind the IRA is supposed to have a malty sweet to it, and you did use 3 lbs of caramel malts. That, coupled with a very high OG (1.074 is what I would consider a big beer), and your tiny tiny hop addition would explain the sweetness. Keep in mind a semi-sweet wine is usually backsweetened to around 1.006~1.010, so 1.008 is right in the middle of that. If you don't have the IBUs to back up that malt, sweet is what you'll taste.

In the future, check out the BU:GU ratio. It is a Bittering Units to Gravity Units ratio, used to look at the balance of a beer. If I take your hop addition at 60 minutes, it give me, let's say, 15 IBUs. Comparing that to your 1.074 OG, you get a 0.2 BU:GU ratio (calculated here: Bitterness To Gravity Ratio Calculator ( BU:GU ) - BrÜcrafter)

An IRA is supposed to sit around 0.5 to 0.6. I like mine a bit sweeter, so I make mine a bit sweeter, but not at 0.2, that's a bit tight. At least you know why it's sweet and how to fix it in the next one!
 
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Wrathchild

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Keep in mind the IRA is supposed to have a malty sweet to it, and you did use 3 lbs of caramel malts. That, coupled with a very high OG (1.074 is what I would consider a big beer), and your tiny tiny hop addition would explain the sweetness. Keep in mind a semi-sweet wine is usually backsweetened to around 1.006~1.010, so 1.008 is right in the middle of that. If you don't have the IBUs to back up that malt, sweet is what you'll taste.

In the future, check out the BU:GU ratio. It is a Bittering Units to Gravity Units ratio, used to look at the balance of a beer. If I take your hop addition at 60 minutes, it give me, let's say, 15 IBUs. Comparing that to your 1.074 OG, you get a 0.2 BU:GU ratio (calculated here: Bitterness To Gravity Ratio Calculator ( BU:GU ) - BrÜcrafter)

An IRA is supposed to sit around 0.5 to 0.6. I like mine a bit sweeter, so I make mine a bit sweeter, but not at 0.2, that's a bit tight. At least you know why it's sweet and how to fix it in the next one!
Thanks for the input. I have heard of the bu-gu ratio but never paid it mind. I got lucky so far I guess until this brew. Ive only really brewed hoppy beers and now I see the error of my ways. Ive kept really detailed notes on each batch and ive actually gone back through and calculated the ibu's for each brew. I did one with 12 lbs of just pale 2 row and 2 lbs of flaked wheat and it turned out sweet as well. I went back and looked at my notes and did the ibu calculation and it was really under hopped as well. After about 3-4 months in the bottle, the sweet died down and it became one of the tastiest beers I've ever made. It took on a dark fruit almost plum flavor that really hit me well. I hear alot of guys say thats not a great thing to happen to your beer but I loved it whatever it was
 

rburrelli

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Thanks for the input. I have heard of the bu-gu ratio but never paid it mind. I got lucky so far I guess until this brew. Ive only really brewed hoppy beers and now I see the error of my ways. Ive kept really detailed notes on each batch and ive actually gone back through and calculated the ibu's for each brew. I did one with 12 lbs of just pale 2 row and 2 lbs of flaked wheat and it turned out sweet as well. I went back and looked at my notes and did the ibu calculation and it was really under hopped as well. After about 3-4 months in the bottle, the sweet died down and it became one of the tastiest beers I've ever made. It took on a dark fruit almost plum flavor that really hit me well. I hear alot of guys say thats not a great thing to happen to your beer but I loved it whatever it was
Yeah. That is oxidation happening. Sweetness is not something that would usually die down over time. But as you state, it is not always all bad at first. It will get funkier over time though.
 
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Wrathchild

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Yeah. That is oxidation happening. Sweetness is not something that would usually die down over time. But as you state, it is not always all bad at first. It will get funkier over time though.
I'm sure its different for different styles of beer but what is a good age when beer tastes the best? For example ive done mostly pale ales and ipas which in my book are similar except one has more hops. Ive never had one that tastes that great after it carbs in the bottle. I usually give fermentation 3 weeks then I prime and bottle and ill try one after 5 days and if its not carbed ill wait 5 more. It always tastes sharp on my palate. I did one with 7 ounces of hops, it was a perpetual clone by a brewer called troegs. It came out about 98 ibu's by my calculations and it was pretty good after about a month from grain to glass. The others all seem to need a couple months. Should beer be excellent as soon as its carbed? I thought commercial brewers age in barrels for a few months before bottling. I see guys hard pressure ferment and keg and carb with co2 and they are drinking beer in a week. I dont think it can taste that good that quick. Or am I wrong? Its drinkable yeah but is it good?
 
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