Back to Shopping at NorthernBrewer.com

Extract Kits Turning Out too Sweet?

Hello All,
I’ve brewed a few NB extract kits now and each one of them has turned out overly sweet. I started with the White House Honey Ale and Caribou Slobber kits. I did partial boils(per the instructions) and kept the fermentation vessel at steady temps for 3 weeks before bottling. There were no other “off” flavors with these other than the sweetness. I used the recommended Danstar Nottingham dry yeast for both brews and got an attenuation that was within the manufacturer’s expected percentage range. I realized after the fact that this yeast gets low attenuation compared to others so I figured that was why these brews were overly sweet.

I then brewed the Dead Ringer Ale extract kit. I did a partial boil, used the recommended S-05 dry yeast, and kept in primary for 3 weeks before bottling. Although, temperature control during fermentation was an issue this time so I had some off flavors in addition to it being overly sweet. It had to sit in the bottles for over 2 months before I(or anyone else) considered it drinkable. Attenuation was within the yeast manufacturer’s expected range.

I recently tried the Dead Ringer extract kit a second time. My methods were the same except that I had great temp control(stayed at 63F for all 3 weeks in primary). It’s been in the bottle 3 weeks now and tastes much better than my last try, only it is overly sweet again! OG was 1.067 FG 1.018 for an attenuation of 72%.

Does anyone have any ideas as to where this sweetness is coming from? It is not just me, others have tasted and said the same thing.

I recently got a burner and 10 gallon brew pot to start doing full boils. Could this help any? With my past brews I thought I was pretty good about stirring in the extract before returning my pot to the heat each time but I did notice a little bit of caramelized extract at the bottom of the pot.

Does anyone have any tips for me? I don’t want to end up with another 5 gallons of overly sweet beer!

That FG seems high for that yeast. I ferment around 68 and my pales go around .010 in three to four weeks . You may have to let it go longer at 63. Just a guess though

Sub some of your dme/lme for table sugar. Table sugar is 100% fermentable dme/lme is not, this will help lower your final gravity. I would keep the sugar 10%or less of your fermentables.

What kind of impact would temperature fluctuation during fermentation have? I just checked an IPA that has been in primary for 3 weeks and it is currently at 75% attenuation using S-05. This is the only brew that I have gotten a decent attenuation on and I just realized that all my prior brews had temperature fluctuations, but all within the safe temp range. I use a plastic tub filled with water and during the summer the temp would fluctuate each day between 62 and 69. Would fluctuations like this, even though they are within the safe temp, cause poor attenuation? I was able to keep my IPA steady between 62 and 64 for 3 weeks. This is the only difference I can think of. I tasted the IPA and it definitely doesn’t have the sweetness of my other batches.

I suspect your problems may be a combination of wort aeration and yeast pitch rate if fermentation temperatures are stable for the first three to five days. How do you aerate your wort? Do you rehydrate dry yeast before pitching?
Pitching one pack of US-05 for the Dead Ringer, without rehydrating, would be an under pitch. Pitching yeast dry can kill up to half the cells from osmotic pressure damaging the cell wall structure.

Fermenting US-05, below 65°F, will produce a peach flavor which is noticeable in some beers.

My Dead Ringer was ready for drinking after four weeks of bottle conditioning. Conditioning temperature was 68°F, FG 1.011, using WY 1056, pitching approximately 310 billion cells from a batch of rinsed yeast.

[quote=“flars”]I suspect your problems may be a combination of wort aeration and yeast pitch rate if fermentation temperatures are stable for the first three to five days. How do you aerate your wort? Do you rehydrate dry yeast before pitching?
Pitching one pack of US-05 for the Dead Ringer, without rehydrating, would be an under pitch. Pitching yeast dry can kill up to half the cells from osmotic pressure damaging the cell wall structure.

Fermenting US-05, below 65°F, will produce a peach flavor which is noticeable in some beers.

My Dead Ringer was ready for drinking after four weeks of bottle conditioning. Conditioning temperature was 68°F, FG 1.011, using WY 1056, pitching approximately 310 billion cells from a batch of rinsed yeast.[/quote]

You don’t need to aerate with dry yeast ( but it won’t hurt )

A big temp swing from warm to cool toward the end of fermentation can cause the yeast to start to drop out early. Normally you want the temp to go up as fermentation goes on. For example pitch at 64, ferment at 66 for 3-4 days then raise to 68-70 for the rest. The raise at the end helps the yeast stay active and finish off as much sugar as possible.

[quote=“gdtechvw”][quote=“flars”]I suspect your problems may be a combination of wort aeration and yeast pitch rate if fermentation temperatures are stable for the first three to five days. How do you aerate your wort? Do you rehydrate dry yeast before pitching?
Pitching one pack of US-05 for the Dead Ringer, without rehydrating, would be an under pitch. Pitching yeast dry can kill up to half the cells from osmotic pressure damaging the cell wall structure.

Fermenting US-05, below 65°F, will produce a peach flavor which is noticeable in some beers.

My Dead Ringer was ready for drinking after four weeks of bottle conditioning. Conditioning temperature was 68°F, FG 1.011, using WY 1056, pitching approximately 310 billion cells from a batch of rinsed yeast.[/quote]

You don’t need to aerate with dry yeast ( but it won’t hurt )[/quote]
It is possible to get away with not aerating a wort for a low OG beer. Near and over 1.060 the yeast needs to be pitched into an oxygenated wort.

It doesn’t have to be complicated. If you don’t want to worry about the yeast count. Save out half your slurry for your next batch and it should be plenty yeast for your next batch. What I do is take the saved slurry from the fridge a couple days before brew day leave it on the counter, next day add a little starter wort to get it going. Brew your IPA chill to 65 deg and pitch the active starter. It starts fermenting quickly and after a couple of days it will rise to 68. Don’t bother it for three weeks,done. You can open it after two weeks to dry hop. I make my IPA about .070 OG and that’s plenty yeast.

Back to Shopping at NorthernBrewer.com