Beers too dry

So I think one of my issues when comparing my beers to commercial beers of the same style is they are just too dry. There seems to be a sweetness to each beer that I can’t seem to attain. Specifically my IPA’s. The most recent IPA I brewed had slightly over 10% caramel malt and I mashed at 156*. OG was 1.063 and FG is around 1.015. It’s still super dry to taste and that’s before it’s carbed.

Any suggestions on how to get a little more sweetness in my beer?

biab?

hmmm…Your numbers look good and I am guessing around 1 pound of crystal. What yeast did you use? Maybe use a less attenuating yeast to increase the FG. How did your Munich Helles turn out, dry as well? Maybe look at your water profile?

OK I’m curious…why do you ask that?

I’m surprised that a 1.015 beer tastes dry, especially pre-carb. My guess would be phenols/tannins, possibly extracted somewhere in your process, as they at low levels can be similar to dryness. Or high minerals in the water, perhaps?

Just like others said…

Calibrate your thermometer? And try a different yeast. And what is your water source? Got a lot of sulfate in there? Are you adding a lot of gypsum? If so, stop doing that and use calcium chloride instead. Could make a huge difference.

[quote=“dmtaylo2”]Just like others said…

Calibrate your thermometer? And try a different yeast. And what is your water source? Got a lot of sulfate in there? Are you adding a lot of gypsum? If so, stop doing that and use calcium chloride instead. Could make a huge difference.[/quote]

For my IPA’s I am adding some gypsum. I target the Pale Ale profile in Brunwater. I’ve made IPA’s with both 100% tap and 100% distilled (both targeting a specific water profile) and with the same results.

I’m wondering if it is the mineral content though. Maybe I should target the Yellow Malty profile on my next IPA and see if that improves the flavor. Maybe I’ll try WY1272 as all of my IPA’s have been done with WLP001/US05.

The Helles turned out dry but I was definitely aiming for a dry finish with that one. It also has an almost “grape” note too it. Not necessarily pleasant either.

This is possible but I usually acidify my sparge or use distilled so I’m not sure where the tannin extraction could be taking place. I don’t have a pH meter but use Brunwater and had my water tested about a year ago. My water source is mostly from Lake Erie so it doesn’t fluctuate much.

I’ve been backing off on sulfate lately, maybe 150-200 ppm for hoppy beers and have been a little happier with them. Also, what mash pH do you target? I was told by some of the local pros that a kettle pH of 5.2 is ideal, so you may want to drop mash and sparge pH a little to see if it makes an improvement. I don’t have a pH meter, either, but am trusting Brunwater to get close enough.

You can actually extract tannins from bittering hops if your kettle pH is out of whack. It doesn’t just come from the grain husks. Lowering the pH may help, as you can extract harsh compounds from the hops themselves if your kettle pH is on the high side. Also, the grassy flavor you get when dry hopping too long is partially made up of tannins, which can enhance the sensation of dryness.

Just my $.02.

[quote=“porkchop”]I’ve been backing off on sulfate lately, maybe 150-200 ppm for hoppy beers and have been a little happier with them. Also, what mash pH do you target? I was told by some of the local pros that a kettle pH of 5.2 is ideal, so you may want to drop mash and sparge pH a little to see if it makes an improvement. I don’t have a pH meter, either, but am trusting Brunwater to get close enough.

You can actually extract tannins from bittering hops if your kettle pH is out of whack. It doesn’t just come from the grain husks. Lowering the pH may help, as you can extract harsh compounds from the hops themselves if your kettle pH is on the high side. Also, the grassy flavor you get when dry hopping too long is partially made up of tannins, which can enhance the sensation of dryness.

Just my $.02.[/quote]

My target pH is always 5.4 - 5.3. Maybe I’ll look at dropping it to 5.2. My concern there is if I’m using my tap water that getting into the 5.2 range will force my lactic acid additions to be pushed above the flavor threshold. Brewing with distilled gets expensive if I do it regularly.

Same here - If I make the adjustment with all phosphoric, I can taste it in the final product. I’ve found a nice workaround to use one acid in the mash, and a different acid in the sparge. This way, maybe you can keep both below the flavor threshold. I’ve only tried it a couple times, but it seems ok so far…

I’'m curious, how much phosphoric acid are you using? It has a pretty high flavor threshold. I use quite a bit (at least IMO) and I’ve never detected it in any of my beers.

I used about 65 ml 10% phosphoric acid in a poorly executed attempt at a DIS, with keeping the roasted barley out until the last 10 minutes of the mash. My tap water is pretty hard. Fail. Won’t be doing that again.

But hey, it was a good learning experience! :mrgreen:

I also recommend reviewing your mashing temperature. If the temp is too low, the wort will be too fermentable. However, in an IPA of typical strength, I find that keeping the mash somewhere in the 152 to 154F range is about right.

If you have been targeting the Pale ale profile, I suggest backing off on the sulfate to see if you prefer less. Something in the 150 to 200 ppm range should produce a notable difference.

Finally, what bittering calculation are you using? I’ve settled on Rager since it tends to match the typical recipes and BJCP bittering in my opinion. I tried Tinseth, but found that the beers were notably more bitter compared with the Rager results. This is subjective, but just consider it.

[quote=“mabrungard”]I also recommend reviewing your mashing temperature. If the temp is too low, the wort will be too fermentable. However, in an IPA of typical strength, I find that keeping the mash somewhere in the 152 to 154F range is about right.

If you have been targeting the Pale ale profile, I suggest backing off on the sulfate to see if you prefer less. Something in the 150 to 200 ppm range should produce a notable difference.

Finally, what bittering calculation are you using? I’ve settled on Rager since it tends to match the typical recipes and BJCP bittering in my opinion. I tried Tinseth, but found that the beers were notably more bitter compared with the Rager results. This is subjective, but just consider it.[/quote]

I think I’m going to shoot for 150 in the sulfate range next time. I have been using Rager as my IBU calculation. I started using Tinseth early on in my brewing career and noticed things turned out a lot more bitter than I expected and switching to using Rager has been a step in the right direction.

FWIW, I use Tinseth. Every time I’ve had a beer analyzed, it’s been right on almost to the IBU.

FWIW, I use Tinseth. Every time I’ve had a beer analyzed, it’s been right on almost to the IBU.[/quote]

Not that it matters much but I spoke with one of the brewers at GLBC and they said all their recipes use Rager. When I first started brewing I used those beers as my baseline for bitterness so knowing the calculation they used helped to get a point of reference for designing my own recipes.

OK I’m curious…why do you ask that?[/quote]

I pick up a grainy astringency/something that comes from the bag squeezing in BIAB(this includes just lifting the bag out). It comes across as very dry and husky.

OK I’m curious…why do you ask that?[/quote]

I pick up a grainy astringency/something that comes from the bag squeezing in BIAB(this includes just lifting the bag out). It comes across as very dry and husky.[/quote]

I always thought squeezing the bag extracting tannins was a myth. It’s a product of higher temperature and pH that extracts the tannins.

[quote=“mattnaik”]

I always thought squeezing the bag extracting tannins was a myth. It’s a product of higher temperature and pH that extracts the tannins.[/quote]

Yea, its not like mouth puckering tannins… its more likely some other protein that comes to play. It is off putting to me, but I have been told I have a very sensitive palate. Its usually not over the top, and some don’t pick it up. However I can pick it up pretty much right away. I ran quite a few BIAB tests, awhile back.