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IIPA too sweet

So i bottled my IIPA two weeks ago. I tried a bottle of it yesterday and it was almost completely flat but what really bothered me was how terribly sweet it was. Like undrinkably sweet. When I tasted it before bottling I do remember it being sweet but I guess I hoped with some carbonation it might not be so bad but this is just bad.

I really don’t want to dump this whole batch so I was wondering if there was anything I could do to save it. OG was 1.090 and FG was 1.025 so it’s dialing in at 8.6% ABV. I was thinking of opening the bottles, pouring them slowly into a bucket and let whatever CO2 is in there degass for a few hours, then maybe add a little sugar and rehydrate and pitch a pack of US-05.

anyone think this would work or would this be too much of a risk of oxidation?

I think oxidation would be major risk. Even if you could pour the beer smoothly there would be to much surface area of the flow from each bottle to absorb oxygen. Give it a month to fully bottle condition and then evaluate the flavor. If it still seems undrinkable, and there is a possible remedy, the risks would not be much different than they are now.

I personnally would let it condition and see how it turns out rather than take drastic measures at this point. (though I have poured out a batch and rebottled for other reasons with mixed results.)

Your priming solution could be one of the factors adding to the cloying sweetness. Once it ferments out, the problem could be slightly improved.

CO2 will balance the perception of the sweetness fairly well and will have a major effect when tasting.

1.025 FG is certainly not dry, but it is also not unheard of for a bigger, bitter beer.

Were your sample bottles cold when you tasted them?

Yeah, I had them in the fridge for over 24 hours before trying.

So that would not be a factor. But I still think propper conditioning will improve your situation quite a bit.

what yeast was in the beer at bottling time? I’ve had yeast poop out after two weeks in primary to the point they will not carb up a bottle, and seeing its a strong beer I think that’s what’s going on. but just a guess. I would get some high grav yeast and add a # of what ever to re ferment it ,then bottle.

I agree with the advice above about letting them condition longer. Give them at least another month. How long have they been bottle conditioning? Since you report that your sample was not carbonated, you may be getting extra sweetness from residual priming sugar.

If the beer is still too sweet after conditioning time, see what lessons you can take away from this experience. For example:

  • I believe you used a hefty dose of caramel malt and some honey malt. Since extract has caramel malt in it already, it’s particularly important to not overdo caramel malts in an extract batch. Even in all-grain recipes, I rarely exceed 5% caramel malts.
  • Your apparent attenuation was pretty low (~70%). With 1028 you should have finished around 1.018 or 1.019 in my experience (78%). Try brewing this again after you switch to all-grain. You have much more control over the fermentability of your wort when brewing AG. Also, how did you aerate your wort before pitching? No doubt such a big beer would benefit from a pure O2 injection.

For me, this is a hard style to nail. The only really good one I’ve ever had is Pliny, and a Pliny clone we made one time. Typically, even from good breweries, the IIPA is either too boozy or too sweet.

Let it sit 2 mores weeks at least. I had a large IPA just like this once and had the same issue, took 2-4 more weeks to carb. In the end though, I had a very sweet carb IPA. I never dump anything, so I sucked it up and only drank it in-between other beers :slight_smile:

If the beer is still flat, then no doubt it will be sweet. The priming sugar is still in there. Be patient and let it sit for another couple of weeks before sampling another one. Big beers take longer to condition, and the cooler fall/winter temps also make for longer conditioning times.

To get them to carb up, turn each bottle over and swirl to re-suspend yeast once a day and keep them somewhere in the 75-80F range.

With a FG that high, you might consider this a barley-wine of sorts. Let it carb; watch for overcarbed bottle bombs just in case the beer wasn’t done fermenting. You can always accept it as is, age it like barley-wine and let the hops fade. Or if you really want it to be a double IPA, brew another batch with a much more fermentable recipe (eliminate crystal malts and the like) bottle that, and blend them in the glass. I’ve done a similar blending with an APA that was too cloying and blended with another batch specifically designed to complement the first and fix the problem. I blended these in two kegs and ended up with 10 gallons of nice pale ale instead of 5 gallons I wasn’t happy with.

I’ve tasted the beer in the bottling bucket after bottling a batch, even the small amount of priming sugar throws off the balance and makes the beer taste much sweeter. Being that your beer is still pretty flat i’d say not all of the priming sugars have been fermented and also when it does carbonate the actual carbonation will help. I think this is a time when the best thing to do is nothing. But FWIW I had a beer stall out recently at 60% attenuation. After waiting 3 weeks, I pitched a pack of Us05 and with a week I hit 78%

what was the recipe?

I have a plastic water bottle that I put some in to keep an eye on the carbonation. it’s inflated a couple times (I squeeze out the CO2 as it gets full) but it was sitting in my kitchen which was much warmer. So there is definitely yeast still at work. I’ve since brought the beer into the living room (don’t think the wife is too happy about that) and I’m not even going to touch them for at least another two weeks probably more. I’m thinking about buying an electric blanket and sticking it in there but don’t know if that would be too warm.

recipe was something like this:
12oz C40
8oz of Honey malt
8# Light DME
1# of sugar
1oz Nugget (60 min)
2oz Cascade/Mosaic (15 min)
2oz Cascade/Mosaic (0 min)
2oz/1oz Mosaic/Cascade dryhop
WY1028 yeast

[quote=“mattnaik”] I’m thinking about buying an electric blanket and sticking it in there but don’t know if that would be too warm.[/quote]A heating pad works well - you can stack the bottles in a cooler and then put the pad in on the lowest setting and it’ll be plenty warm.

OK so IMHO, the good news is that you have good hydro readings and you’re still conditioning. this should allay some of the sweetness…but I do think you’re running the risk of bottle bombs, so I’d get them out of the living room pronto.

I’ve never gotten great results with sugar, and I think 1lb is pushing it ratio-wise…nothing to do but wait.

I personally don’t buy into the warm conditioning method. Sure, it will carb the beer faster; however, that’s only part of what a new homebrew needs. It also needs time for the flavors to meld. This is why homebrew continues to improve for a few months after bottling–and why the last bottle is normally the best one. In my experience, this holds true whether bottle conditioning or kegging. I have generally not found speed carbing to be worthwhile in either format. If homebrew won’t really be ready to drink (i.e., the flavor won’t yet be what it was meant to be), why speed carb?

Although it might be very difficult, IMO the best thing you can do is to put it in a dark place at room temp and don’t expect to drink it for another month. Just let nature do its thing. If you do opt to apply heat to your packaged beer, just be careful. I recommend listening to what Dr. Charles Bamforth
http://thebrewingnetwork.com/shows/Brew-Strong/search/Bamforth
, has to say about the effects of temp and time on shelf life.

Also - that 1/2 pound of honey malt will lend a definite sweetness that will linger. As an example, I brewed a wheat beer on Sep 2 using 6 oz of honey malt. The beer finished at 1.007, but is among the sweetest tasting beers I’ve made. Honey malt is potent stuff. Although quite dry, this beer tasted too sweet when it was freshly carbed (force carbed in a keg). It took about an extra month to round out. Now it tastes perfect. :wink:

[quote=“baileyjoe”]OK so IMHO, the good news is that you have good hydro readings and you’re still conditioning. this should allay some of the sweetness…but I do think you’re running the risk of bottle bombs, so I’d get them out of the living room pronto.

I’ve never gotten great results with sugar, and I think 1lb is pushing it ratio-wise…nothing to do but wait.[/quote]

What poor results have you had using sugar and why do you think 1 lb in a 1.090 beer is pushing it ratio-wise ?

I love to use sugar in my ipa’s and I have never had issue using some. IMHO the op may have had better results using an extra 1/2 - 1 lb.

Why do you think I’m risking bottle bombs? Fermentation was complete when I bottled and I only put just over 1/2 cup of sucrose in there.

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