Back to Shopping at NorthernBrewer.com

Irish Ale too sweet

Brewed this Smithwick’s Irish Ale clone 10/22. I had an interruption I had to deal with during the mash and ended up mashing for about 2 hours, final temp was about 146. Kept ferm temp around 61 for 4 days then allowed to go to 68-70. Kegged it 10 days ago.

It’s still young and it’s good but tastes kind of sweet to me. Has a nice toffee background at first and when cold but as it warms it becomes rather cloying for me… Could that be the c120? It’s less than 7% of the grain bill…

Style: Irish Red Ale
TYPE: All Grain
Taste: (30.0)

Recipe Specifications

Boil Size: 6.98 gal
Post Boil Volume: 5.98 gal
Batch Size (fermenter): 5.50 gal
OG: 1.064 SG
Estimated Color: 17.8 SRM
Estimated IBU: 21.5 IBUs
Brewhouse Efficiency: 80.00 %
Est Mash Efficiency: 83.6 %
Boil Time: 60 Minutes

Ingredients:

Amt Name Type # %/IBU
10 lbs Briess 2 Row (1.8 SRM) Grain 1 89.3 %
12.0 oz Caramel/Crystal Malt -120L (120.0 SRM) Grain 2 6.7 %
2.4 oz Chocolate Malt (350.0 SRM) Grain 3 1.3 %
2.4 oz Roasted Barley (300.0 SRM) Grain 4 1.3 %
2.4 oz Special Roast (50.0 SRM) Grain 5 1.3 %
1.40 oz Fuggles Pellet Type 90 [4.50 %] - Boil 6 Hop 6 21.5 IBUs
0.28 tsp Irish Moss (Boil 10.0 mins) Fining 7 -
300ml slurry Irish Ale 1084

10/22 - 152 5.4 30 mins into mash, mashed for almost 2 hours temp at end 146
sparged to 7+ gals boiled to 5.8 gals hot
pitched at 61
10/25 has been kept 61ish K starting to fall a little
10/26 63-64, removed from swamp cooler for D rest
11/17 - kegged, 1.014.

I’m stumped Danny. Looks like a really good grain bill. First came to mind was mash temp a little too high, maybe thermom off, causing a little sweeter mash. But knowing you, you probably already checked that out. You could have created a little more sugars for that long, but they would have fermed out in the end. Like I say, I’m stumped. Hope somebody else has more insight.

Baffling. Maybe you just aren’t fond of that much crystal 120. Is it well carbonated? A little higher carbonation might help dry up the mouthfeel just a little bit. Otherwise, dang… looks like a good recipe.

Checked the thermapen Old Guy. Seems to be fine.

Yea Dave I’m thinking that’s it. May reduce the amount of 120 next time and mash a little lower but I don’t want to dry it out too much.

edit: It’s pretty well carbonated. I quick forced it the way I’ve been doing most of my kegs lately. 30psi through the liquid post, shake for a minute or so, leave at 30psi overnight then vent, switch to the gas post and drop to 9-10psi. It’s got good head, good retention, great lacing…

Going to a local pub in a couple days to have a Smithwick’s on tap just in the interest of comparison. :smiley:

Thanks for your feedback guys.

Could the yeast have not attenuated properly?

I have had two batches now with WY1084 where I got stuck fermentations. Most recently just about 3 months ago. In fact, the only two cases that I can think of where I got poor attentuation where those two.

FG looks perfectly in line for that OG, and seems to have the right level of IBUs to balance it. I’m guessing you are right and it is just the flavor of the C120 that is giving you the perception of sweetness. I’ve experienced things like that before; I’ve got a wine I make that gets backsweetened with honey, but not very much. The flavor of the honey seems to give the wine a greater perception of sweetness than it actually has.

Yes Danny, I’m thinking that it might be the 12 oz. of C120. I like to use 120, but almost never more than 4 oz.
If the sweetness persists, perhaps you could dryhop it? Maybe not exactly to style, but a C-hop in an Irish Red is really kind of special.

I actually considered dry hopping it if it doesn’t mellow out in a couple weeks Jim.

I’ve altered the recipe a bit for next time. Reduced the 120 to 8 oz and deleted the chocolate malt because I’m starting to suspect that as well after having another one yesterday. Plus in researching the style a bit more I found a couple sources, beersmith for one, saying that chocolate malt has no place in the style and could give it too much caramel flavor.

I’m thinking of dry hopping this beer but considering English hops…fuggles or EKGs. I’m just not sure how much it will improve the beer since DH usually imparts aroma. Is it a waste of time and hops to try and tone down the sweetness with a DH?

I think it will help. IMHO dry hoping gives as much if not more hop flavor than aroma. But I wouldn’t dry hop with fuggles I did that once on a bitter and did not like the results.

I think it will help. IMHO dry hoping gives as much if not more hop flavor than aroma. But I wouldn’t dry hop with fuggles I did that once on a bitter and did not like the results.[/quote]
what was the result that you didn’t like? I’m just looking for a little more bitterness to try and balance it out…I guess it’ll give a dank, earthy aroma from the fuggles too huh?

I have a bunch of hops on hand but didn’t really want to go centennial or cascade. Not really looking for a highly aromatic citrus/floral thing…

I have Willamette, EKG, palisade, liberty, Chinook, lots of german hops and bittering hops like magnum…

It gave it a kinda of weird earthy flavor and aroma that I didn’t like, it’s hard to describe. Willamette or EKG are prob your best bet.

Williamette and Fuggles are pretty much the same thing. If you don’t like one, you won’t like the other. Personally I like both, though I’ve never tried either for dry hopping. EKG makes a good try hop. It is floral, but not over the top.

Have you thought about adding something else for a bit of bitterness? Toasted cacao nibs or dark roasted coffee (if it is not overdone) might work.

Hadn’t thought of that RC. I DH’d with 1/2 oz each of Willamette and EKG last night. That was all I had of each. We’ll see how it works in a few days.

Glad I decided to DH it. 24 hours later, pulled a pint. The beer had been crystal clear, now it’s a bit cloudy which I’d expect after introducing pellet hops yesterday but it already tastes better! Couple days it should be great…then my boys come for the holidays and it’ll be gone all too quickly!

Glad to hear it worked out.

Williamette and Fuggles are pretty much the same thing. If you don’t like one, you won’t like the other. Personally I like both, though I’ve never tried either for dry hopping. EKG makes a good try hop. It is floral, but not over the top.

Have you thought about adding something else for a bit of bitterness? Toasted cacao nibs or dark roasted coffee (if it is not overdone) might work.[/quote]

Isn’t williamatte less earthy? I’ve heard there the same hop just U.S grown or European grown, but that doesn’t mean they will taste anything alike. I haven’t used willamette enough to really know it, but I’ve used fuggles enough. I don’t dislike fuggles just didn’t like it for dry hopping.

Williamette and Fuggles are pretty much the same thing. If you don’t like one, you won’t like the other. Personally I like both, though I’ve never tried either for dry hopping. EKG makes a good try hop. It is floral, but not over the top.

Have you thought about adding something else for a bit of bitterness? Toasted cacao nibs or dark roasted coffee (if it is not overdone) might work.[/quote]

Isn’t williamatte less earthy? I’ve heard there the same hop just U.S grown or European grown, but that doesn’t mean they will taste anything alike. I haven’t used willamette enough to really know it, but I’ve used fuggles enough. I don’t dislike fuggles just didn’t like it for dry hopping.[/quote]
To me they seem close enough that I use them interchangeably. And yes, I’ve read that they ARE the same hop (as is Styrian Golden). The difference in Terroir supposable gives them a slightly different character - the same way EKG and BC Goldens aren’t quite the same - but are close enough that only someone with a refined palate will be able to tell them apart.

Back to Shopping at NorthernBrewer.com