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Excessive Maltiness

New here and didn’t see a forum space for Extract. I’ve brewed two Dead Ringer IPA kits using specialty grains. I’ve been following instructions to a “T” except I’ve been doing full boils. Each time I make beer… but, it is too sweet,way too malty and way too dark for the style.

I believe I can correct the color by modifying the instructions to add the extracts in the last 0-5 minutes of the boil… but… don’t know what to do about the sweetness and maltiness… just way too much.

Thanks for any help…

Don’t confuse malty with sweet, they’re two different things. Sweet comes from underattenuation and malty comes of a grainy, bready, toast-like flavor. Malty beers can be very dry.

The dead ringer doesn’t have dark extract so it can’t be from that, what was the final gravity of the beer? If it’s sweet, it’s likely you didn’t pitch enough yeast to finish eating all the sugars.

Thanks for the quick reply. I think I’m seeing both sweetness and maltiness. I’m pretty green at this. On both kits, I started a bit below what the instructions said I should get… It says OG of 65… I got 61. My FG was 12 after an added three weeks at that gravity.

I think the darkness might be from the full hour of boiling… I did take it off the burner while stirring in the extract.

Were the hops free-floating or were they in a sack? A sack will reduce hop utilization.

Once in the sack and once dumped. The results seemed the same. When in a sack, I used a large one and dipped it back and forth periodically to give the sludge more exposure.

What are you using for yeast?

Safale -05 which comes with the kit… Liquid should be a bit better… but, I’d think that choice would have little/no affect on the color and sweetness or maltiness… I’m not sure how to tell the difference… but the friends who have had it seem to all say too malty. But, it definitely has sweetness despite how far it fermented down. The FG of 12 with a quite constant temp between 68 and 70* should say something about that part… especially beings it stayed there for about 3 weeks after reaching 12 the first time it reached that gravity.

To all who have responded… Thanks

just thinking out loud… is it possible the sulfate content of your water is low for the style?

Some extracts leave a little sweetness. You might try brewing a recipe from the lightest DME and specialty grains.

Don’t remember for sure… but I think it had Gold Malt Syrup…

It’s part of a Northern Brewer extract kit… I’m sure a lot of research went into this because it’s one of their top rated ale kits… a LOT of reviews, all of which seemed quite good as reviews go.

Again, thanks for the input

Actually, I’m thinking of going BIAB… hoping this might take care of some of the issues.

That would be my guess as well, especially given that the other “usual suspects” have been ruled out. Personally, I don’t see how a beer with a FG of 1.012 can be excessively sweet, which makes me think it’s a question of balance rather than raw maltiness or sweetness.

In my experience, US-05 is a MONSTER attenuator…if anything, more so than liquid 1056 or WLP001, and your FG bears that out (nothing wrong with 80% apparent attenuation, that’s for sure :slight_smile: )

I hesitate to make water recommendations knowing nothing about the water you’re using, but 2-3 grams of gypsum might help.

One last thought–what kind of beers do you usually like/drink? Everyone’s tastes are different, and the dead ringer is definitely not the most dry beer out there, espcially compared to macros or many pale lagers. Hope this helps.

That kit might be popular just because it has great malt flavor. I’d agree that with an FG of 1.012 any sweetness is going to be coming from a light crystal. The sulfate might punch up the hop bitterness.

Again… and again… thanks for the comments… Well, I like high hoppy beers… What I’m used to…

Lagunitas IPA, SN PA,… and of course, where I live… Russian River Blind Pig and Pliny the Elder… and from my town… Bear Republic Racer Five… Those are my go-to’s for craft beers. When I go to the local pubs… it’s one Blind Pig followed by a Pliny The Elder… only because if you do PTE first… you are ruined for any other tasting… unless it happens to be PTYounger. Bear Republic on tap has great brews… all of which are very clean… but, the go to is Racer V.

I need to talk, possibly, to the brewmaster at Bear Republic. I know they use local water from the Russian River aquifer… and I don’t think they add anything to it… but, worth a check.

I neglected to mention that I’ve brewed two Brewers best kits… one is their IPA and the other is Falconers Flight. Great hop character in both… especially the FF. But, they are also too malty/sweet… I guess I don’t know how to characterize it. Both of those also had great attenuation.

I think I have some people in the area who are judges that will have a more refined palate than I do… that can help me discern what I think is the problem… whether it is sweetness, maltiness or as Rustyhoover mentioned… balance

You’re judging these kits against some high class hop monsters. I would advise you to simply up your hopping rate. Put your kit at an IBU:OG ratio of 1 or higher and use plenty of late additions to enhance flavor/aroma.

Oddly enough, I’m always looking for MORE maltiness in my AG beers. So I’m somewhat ambivalent to actually jealous of your excess maltiness issue.

Thanks TomSawyer… going back to an earlier comment… balance… most brews I taste… homebrews by friends, etc… seem cleaner than mine… I haven’t had a chance to talk to any of them since I started this thread. But, I can agree with these friends… there is SOMETHING. I’ll bet it can be picked up by one of the LHBS folks… both of whom are judges and have a far better palate for discerning things that I’ve never been able to pull out of their comments about other beers that are sampled at a club meeting. If I have a way to get some brews down there… cold… they might be able to help.

Also, I just wrote Bear Republic to see if they can tell me what, if anything, they do with the local water.

I’ll get back once I hear from them… and/or after I talk to the LHBS for help. I do minimal business there due to cost… but they are good guys and I plan on buying some stuff there just to help keep them going.

[quote=“JusPlainBill”]Again… and again… thanks for the comments… Well, I like high hoppy beers… What I’m used to…

Lagunitas IPA, SN PA,… and of course, where I live… Russian River Blind Pig and Pliny the Elder… and from my town… Bear Republic Racer Five… Those are my go-to’s for craft beers. When I go to the local pubs… it’s one Blind Pig followed by a Pliny The Elder… only because if you do PTE first… you are ruined for any other tasting… unless it happens to be PTYounger. Bear Republic on tap has great brews… all of which are very clean… but, the go to is Racer V.[/quote]

OK, good–helps one “calibrate” to your palate :slight_smile: . I haven’t had all of those (we don’t get RR in the mid-Atlantic), but I’ve had most.

Most of those are very hop-forward beers, with the exception of SNPA, which is extremely modest in just about every way compared to the modern double-imperial hopbombs that are so prevalent today.

Sulfate and some additional hops might help, cutting the crystal back could help. I don’t think it should be necessary, but it seems like most of the other bases are covered.

Just curious–have you calibrated your hydrometer?

One other question…ever had Bear Republic’s Red Rocket? I really love that stuff, and think it’s quite well balanced, but it’s definitely got some malt backbone…

Yea… I’ve had Red Rocket… but prefer Racer V.

Hope you all aren’t thinking I’m trying to compare between these bombs and mine… I realize they are different animals. I drink a lot of different brews… most not near my “Fav” list. I’m really looking for good balance.

I agree with Tom. Those beers you are describing use a lot of hops. For example, the SNPA recipes I’ve seen use 4 oz per 5 gallons. The house IPA recipe I’ve been tweaking for 10 years (OG 1.065) uses 6 to 7 oz of hops per 5 gallons. The Pliny clones I’ve seen uses almost double that.

One of the greatest things about homebrewing is that you get to choose you ingredients and techniques to get a beer that you want to drink. Given what you like to drink, I suggest that for your next Dead Ringer, order up double hops with the kit and give that a go to see how you like it.

[quote=“JusPlainBill”]Yea… I’ve had Red Rocket… but prefer Racer V.

Hope you all aren’t thinking I’m trying to compare between these bombs and mine… I realize they are different animals. I drink a lot of different brews… most not near my “Fav” list. I’m really looking for good balance.[/quote]

Yeah, I understand fully that you don’t expect it to taste like Pliney :slight_smile: .

The reason I mention Red Rocket is because I think it’s got quite a bit of body. If you don’t find that offputting, I think I can definitely conclude that your expectations are not a problem at all.

I just thought of something else: you do full-wort boils…what kind of burner are you using? Have a nice rolling boil?

The reason I ask is because I used to do full wort boils on a stovetop years ago, and my boil was never very vigorous. I think I recall feeling that some of my stuff was underhopped, probably due to to a weak boil. Just another thought as to a possible issue.

Also, I mentioned above that you might want to check the accuracy of your hydrometer with distilled water, or even with a carefully-measured and mixed water/sugar solution (or both).

Just a little more unsolicited advice. You mentioned your beers not tasting “clean”, how are your ferm temps? Keep’em down in the mid-60’s and thats beer temp not ambient.

The one other thing that could lend a certain sweet character is oxidation. Keep the beer under airlock, if using a bucket for primary you might want to transfer to a secondary as soon as the activity slows but transfer plenty of yeast over to finish cleaning up diacetyl and acetaldehyde. Transfer quietly and just keep exposure to air to a minimum at every point.

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