Hi forum, I have been brewing for over two years, now and have a recurring issue…the beer tastes OK, but by far is always too sweet and malty. Almost like the yeast gave up halfway. I have contemplated throwing more yeast in a batch to see what the heck happens. I have always brewed from malt extract. Is that my problem? I have batch of Grandma’s Secret Recipe that is long past ready to bottle/keg (going on week 12), but upon smelling, just smells too damn sweet. Thought I would reach out to the experts before completely running another batch! Thanks for your insight!
Can you measure the gravity?
Which yeast was used for this one. Pitch dry yeast dry or rehydrate? Make a starter for liquid yeast?
English yeasts will often finish with a higher FG than American yeasts. The higher FG will also increase the sweet in the beer.
I used Wyeast 1084. It was the first time I tried a Smack pack to try to combat this issue. I have also tried a yeast starter in the past, but still too sweet for me.
I will measure when I get home and reply. Thanks for your interest!
Mash temp? To much crystal malt? Not finished fermenting? Post your process
The best response I can give you is that I followed the NB recipe for Grandmas Secret Stash to a “T”. It then sits in my basement at 65 degrees for 2 weeks until it is transferred to secondary. I do not allow any of the sludge to transfer into the secondary. Is this part of my issue? Do I need to leave more yeast in it to allow the fermentation process to continue after week 2?
Just thinking now. Won’t have a really good opinion, maybe, until you measure the SG. I would leave the beer in the primary to finish and use no secondary. Or rack to a secondary after you’re sure FG has been reached in the primary.
Makes sense. I will measure the SG and post when I get home tonight. Thanks again!
Hops are also there to balance the sweet to bitter ratio. So there is another approach to yer quest, fer yer next batch… There are many peeps and thoughts about bittering too! You may be able to dry hop ifn going into the secondary to mask some of the sweetness. Sneezles61
Just looked at the Grandma’s Secret Stash recipe. I’d never heard of it before. Oatmeal raisin cookie stout and you’re surprised it’s sweet?
That recipe with all the adjunts, combined with only 1 oz brewer’s gold hops and a low attenuating yeast like 1084, I would expect a pretty sweet stout.
Touché. Yes, that is the last recipe, but my experience is universal. Even the mosaic brewed before had the same characteristic. I would liken it to a Marzen style sweetness. I guess it’s that “home brew” flavor most people who enjoy good commercial craft beers don’t get. I am looking to overcome that or throw in the towel!
Lots of people brew great beers using extract but what you describe is the reason I went to all grain. I wanted more control of the process. It could be you’re just not getting that last couple of points of attenuation that you want to make the beers lighter and less malty. Maybe you could refine your process, dial in your water, etc. but when faced with doing those I decided to just go all grain as well. Now I can mash at different temps to adjust the fermentability of my wort as opposed to just accepting what the extract gives me.
Two years of beers too sweet and malty to enjoy? At least you’re persistent ! It could be the dreaded “extract twang”, another reason to consider going all grain.
Very interested in finding out what your current SG is…
Are you a member of a local homebrew club? If not, it may a great way to experience how others taste beer. I’ve learned that there are some people who can detect DME/LME “a mile away” - they can provide good feedback on the beer style, but don’t truly enjoy the extract based beer. Other people (same bottle of beer) will enjoy the beer.
If you’re interested in playing with extract recipes, replacing 10% of the DME/LME with sugar can often “dry out” the beer without changing the flavor profile “too much”. But it can take a couple of test batches to “dial in” the recipe to your taste.
I want to thank everyone for their posts! This was my first and am overwhelmed by the support! So… Here it is… The beer started out at 1.060 and is currently reading 1.026. Thoughts?
Can’t help much on that beer. But for future beers, first brew something that should finish dry, ipa, pale ale, sasion ect… Then REPLACE some of the extract (10-15%) with with table sugar and use a yeast with high attunation, wlp001, wlp 090 ect… (make a starter). Should help your beers finish more dry. Limit the crystal malts because most extract have crystal malt in it already. In hoppy beers you can add a little gypsum (only do if using distilled water or you have had your water tested).
1.026 is not terribly out of line. I looked around a bit and found another post re this product and their FG was 1.023…
Thanks all! So… 2 years into it, I guess I am ready to look into all grain brewing! What are some good resources to start to understand the equipment and techniques needed to begin? Suggestions welcome! Thanks again!
Take a look at http://hbd.org/cascade/dennybrew/ for starters. Then also read up on brew-in-a-bag and come back with questions. Hopefully you’ll figure out what fits for you.