My Beer is too Sweet!

Discussion in 'Introductions' started by Jaystrat, Feb 16, 2020.

  1. Jaystrat

    Jaystrat New Member

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    I have been home brewing for about 2 years. I used a BIAB set up until my last 2 batches when I went all grain. My BIAB beers were pretty damn good. My first 2 batches all grain I have a sweet finish...on an IPA. My set up is a 10 gallon kettle, 10 gallon cooler with false bottom and 5 gallon HLT. I have a pump to move everything around. My calculator has had me put twice as much water to dough in as sparge. Could this have anything to do with my sweet finish? I also have sparged and left it for about 20 minutes prior to moving it to my kettle. Any comments are appreciated.
     
  2. 4Bentley

    4Bentley Active Member

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    Did you measure your OG and FG? If so, can you share. Also can you share the recipe?
     
  3. Jaystrat

    Jaystrat New Member

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    Yes, OG was 1.072(expected 1.082) and FG was 1.009(expected 1.016).
    15 lbs 2 row
    2 lbs rye
    1.25 lbs crystal 10(used 15 as my store was out of 10)
    .75 lbs Munich light 10
    2 oz Citra at 60 min
    2 oz Citra at 10 min
    2 oz Citra at 5 days
    2 oz Mosaic at 5 days
    San Diego super yeast WLPO90
    7.13 gallons strike water
    4.4 gallons sparge
    As you can see, sweet was not what I was looking for! Thanks!
     
  4. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    But it's what you designed - if I'm assuming a 5 gallon batch, you have 2 pounds of crystal malt, low lovibond (meaning more sweet honey-like flavors). Also you have a very high OG, can't see the mash temperature but since you keep mentioning sweet, I'm guessing it was pretty high. Also, I can't see the IBUs but the higher the OG, the more bitterness you need to offset the sweetness. The SD super yeast usually finishes out pretty dry but I'm guessing you had a high amount of unfermentable sugars and dextrines, consistent with the crystal malt and the high OG.

    To tell more accurately what happened, can you give the predicted IBUs and the mash temperatures you used? Initial diagnosis (cue Car Talk banjos), you designed a fairly sweet beer, say barleywineish.
     
  5. Jaystrat

    Jaystrat New Member

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    My predicted IBU's were 82.76. Mash temp of 152(it held at 151) for 60 minutes. Sparge temp of 168 for 20 minutes. This was my first beer that I designed but even my last beer(these were my first 2 all grain with my set up) came out sweet as well. Sparge and mash temps similar on first batch.
     
  6. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    I went back and checked: Your BU/GU ratio (bittering units to gravity units) is 83/72, or 1.15. That's kind of the low end of IPAs. Since you mention these are your first brews on your all-grain setup, I'd first check to make sure your mash temps aren't too high, that will create sweetness in the beer. It could be that your setup has "hot spots" too. I'd also check your altitude: I brew at 6,000' so my hop utilization is about 82% of normal. Since it's happened with two batches, check for something systemic. BTW, I ran the hop calculator on your beer and got a lot more IBUs than you did. And I saw that the Munich was Munich light, not a crystal malt.
     
  7. Megary

    Megary Well-Known Member

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    This is a long shot, but do you know your brewing water mineral profile?

    The reason I ask is that a high chloride content (and high Cl:SO4 ratio) could accentuate the fullness of a beer...which could be perceived as sweet or malty.
     
  8. Jaystrat

    Jaystrat New Member

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    I used Brewers Friend calculator and it came up with the IBU's. I am in Orange County at sea level so that is probably not an issue. The design was not thought out very well, my first design. I am wondering if I should sparge with about the same amount of water as I dough in with? Split the water so it is closer to half and half? I see that on a lot of recipes.
     
  9. Jaystrat

    Jaystrat New Member

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    I use zero water and added some gypsum and calcium chloride. Probably not in the correct amounts.
     
  10. Megary

    Megary Well-Known Member

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    #10 Megary, Feb 17, 2020
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2020
    Well, without a good water calculator on your brewing software it would be hard to tell if you got it right or not. This site's water calculator makes mineral additions a breeze.

    But in general, a CL:SO4 ratio of:
    2:1 - Full/Malty (could be perceived as sweet)
    1:1 - Balanced
    1:2 - Dry

    This assumes you are in the acceptable ranges for these (and other) minerals.

    Not saying this is what is causing your issue, just something to consider.

    **EDIT**
    I will insert a caveat here: I don't know if the average beer drinker (of which, I'm one) can honestly perceive the effects of the above ratios. I guess in the extreme, sure. But its not like I ever made two beers exactly the same, except one with a Dry profile and one with a Malty profile. Take this all for what its worth.
     
  11. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    That could be part of the problem but not likely to over-exaggerate sweetness. One thing to consider when mashing (oversimplified but it should work for you): You want a minimum of 1.5 quarts of water per pound of grist, that includes grain and rice hulls, primarily. It's not a hard/fast rule, variation either way won't cause too much of an issue. But that wouldn't explain sweetness. About the only things that can are high dextrines, lactose, and low hop bitterness. Dextrines come from higher temperature mashing or addition of things like maltodextrine, can also come from crystal malts. Lactose, well, you'd have had to add that. Low bitterness can come from old hops, low utilization for whatever reason, mis-measuring them. The hops could be mis-labeled, who knows. It's a tough problem to diagnose something like this at a distance.
     
  12. Jaystrat

    Jaystrat New Member

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    I truly appreciate all of the answers/suggestions. My hops have been in the freezer for a while now. My water was probably a little off(my additives) and my recipe was not the IPA I was looking for. Only thing to do is make adjustments and get brewing again! Thanks everyone.
     
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  13. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    If I can make a suggestion: Change one thing then brew again. That way you zero in on what went wrong, one factor at a time.
     

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