American Wheat too Sweet

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by ChicoBrewer, Mar 28, 2019.

  1. ChicoBrewer

    ChicoBrewer Well-Known Member

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    #1 ChicoBrewer, Mar 28, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2019
    So I brewed this American Wheat. Recipe here. Looks beautiful. Problem is its too sweet. I mashed it at 149 assuming I would get a dryer beer. Flavor is of oranges and something hard to describe (Butter?) although it is not that bad. It's pretty good actually... I could not source any WLP320 so I had to use US-05. I started my ferment at 64 for a week until the krausen fell then I raised the temp to 68 for another week. My OG was 1.058 and my FG was 1.008. Trying to raise my brewing to the next level. I want to rid myself of these two faults (sweet and a little butter which I assume is Diacetyl maybe)

    Edit: My wife can't taste butter and she likes it sweet LOL.

    20190326_163739.jpg
     
  2. lonelymtn

    lonelymtn Member

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    Butter flavor sounds like diacetyl. How big was your batch and how much yeast (and how old?) did you pitch?
     
  3. ChicoBrewer

    ChicoBrewer Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the reply.

    5 gallon - 1 sachet of US-05. Brand new.

    As I stated above the butter(scotch) flavor isn't that pronounced. Maybe it's just me.
     
  4. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    With the OG and FG you're measuring, I don't think you're getting a lot of residual sugar from an incomplete conversion or fermentation. US-05 at that temp will throw a lot of soft fruit (very peachy) that can come off as very sweet. Butter flavor is almost certainly diacetyl from yeast metabolism. Diacetyl is a little unusual with that yeast, but again, that temp can cause it to do some stuff. I got something similar with a blonde I did quite some time ago...not too objectionable, but really not right. And other times I've fermented right at 64F, I've gotten very specific peachy flavors.
    I use US-05 quite a bit and I make it point to keep it at 66-67F to avoid those particular esters. I think it's better at a slightly higher temp but it's hard to keep wort temp just so and I tend to err on the low side. Now that I have real wort temp control with chiller coils in my fermenters, I can be confident of setting at 68F and know that it's not going to get more than a half a degree either way.
     
  5. ChicoBrewer

    ChicoBrewer Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the thoughtful reply J A. I think I overemphasized the butter thing. Your description of "Peachy" rings true. I use US-05 almost exclusively and I have usually fermented at 68 in my temp controlled fermentation freezer. Maybe I should just go back to that . . . My wife and I just shared a Peach & Mango Hazy IPA and I was commenting how it had a similar sweetness to the wheat. Hmmmmmm.

    Most of my beers are hopped up so the flavors are covered up. This one probably uncovers something that has been there all along with the fermentation at 64.
     
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  6. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    If your fermenting on the yeasts cold side you maybe stressing it a little but it's more common from temperamental lager yeast I'd recon. A wheat beer is going to be a pretty straightforward grist so a good indicator of any fermentation flaws will shine through.
     
  7. Mark Farrall

    Mark Farrall Well-Known Member

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    Echoing JAs reply, my wife often uses the word sweet when she gets fruit flavours that are subtle and not easily assigned to a particular fruit. She's pissed off a lot of winemakers over the years using it in that context. Luckily brewers don't seem to mind and have an inkling of what she's talking about.
     
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  8. thunderwagn

    thunderwagn Well-Known Member

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    Also wonder if bumping up the ibu's a bit would help balance it out some. Creeping up there in abv at approx. 6.5%. Just a thought.
     
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  9. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    In certain beers that soft, sweet fruit note can be great. I did a blonde with a little wheat (...wheat malt may be a consistent factor in getting this flavor when I think about it) and Tahoma hops. The aroma was absolutely awesome rich peach/strawberry and the flavor and creamy mouthfeel reinforced the flavor just enough to make it seem like I'd added strawberries to the fermentation.
    The flavor-producing esters of strawberry and peach are closely related. They're both a mixture of different molecules that produce a spectrum of grape-y, caramel, cinnamon-spicy, creamy-sweet flavor notes. I read an article that described how in the process of breeding strawberries over time to be big and beautiful and robust, the distinct strawberry flavor (fresh, tiny, wild strawberries) has been replaced by more bland peachy sweetness from gamma-decalactone. A light bulb definitely went on in my head regarding the US-05 flavor when I read that.
     
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  10. HighVoltageMan!

    HighVoltageMan! Well-Known Member

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    I think thunderwagn is right on the money. The gravity to bittering ratio is .25 or so. With a gravity that high it should be .35-.40 or 19-22 IBU's. The other thing that creeps in is maltiness, which some people describe as a type of sweetness. I think your bitterness is a little low on this beer. Fermenting US05 at 64F is where I would ferment as well, maybe even lower. The butter can be fixed with a little O2 at pitch and a higher yeast pitch.
     
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  11. Brewer #225978

    Brewer #225978 New Member

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    Thanks for the recipe, I wish I could make this one but it seems to be harder for me to have.
    But at least I can try.:)
     
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  12. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Too sweet.... Yeast ferments effectively all the sugar out of beer so there's no "sweetness" until the amylases in your saliva break the dextrines down into sugars. So as mentioned above, you'll need to offset that "sweetness" with bitterness - more hops. Or more dark grains or other sources of bitterness. Mashing at a lower temperature reduces the perception of sweetness because there are fewer dextrines for your saliva to convert to sugar, that's an option, too. Hope this helps!
     
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  13. ChicoBrewer

    ChicoBrewer Well-Known Member

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    Thanks everyone. I think there are a couple of things going on here. The Butter flavor may well be the Peachy flavor noted by @J A. The flavor has developed a bit since I first posted this and it is tilting toward malty. If I'm going to raise the IBU's should I do it with the first addition Pearl? Also, I think I'll try to source some WLP320 next time and see what difference that makes. I have never used that yeast before. 90% of my brewing is US05. @Nosybear - what is the lower limit for mashing? I mashed at 149.
     
  14. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Lowest practical is about 140 degrees. I use a 144 degree saccarification rest when I'm doing step mashes, works well for me. Single infusion, 148 is about my lowest practical limit.
     
  15. Brewer #225978

    Brewer #225978 New Member

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    This is really making me to have this but I have to start from the starting.
     
  16. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    I've done some saccharification steps starting relatively low like Nosy, but I've settled on a schedule for nearly everything I do of a thick dough-in at 122 for a short rest, infuse and ramp temp to 148 for the bulk of the time I'm mashing and then small infusion and ramping to 158 to squeeze out a little more conversion before mash-out at 168. I find I get a good balance between attenuation and body and I can adjust mouthfeel and head by altering the malt bill a little. For instance, my 1.042 Blonde that I brew for building yeast slurry would be pretty watery but I add about 6% wheat malt to the 2-row and it holds up very nicely.
     
  17. HighVoltageMan!

    HighVoltageMan! Well-Known Member

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    If your numbers are correct on your recipe, your apparent attenuation is 89%. If that’s true, your problems are not in the mash.
     
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