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Watered down taste

So I just took a gravity reading of the vienna lager I brewed about 10 days ago. As I always do, I use the opportunity to sample the beer and see how it tastes. It had a good malty flavor but it tasted rather watered down. Almost like it was a good beer but someone added water to it.

I hit my target gravities dead on (OG 1.051, FG 1.012). The only thing i did differently this time was I miscalculated my sparge water amount but I always heat up more than I need. So I just topped off what was in the kettle with sparge water to get my proper pre-boil volume.

I can’t think of any reason why this would cause any issues but naturally its the first thing I thought of when I tasted it…“what did I do differently”. It still has a good flavor but the body is severely lacking. Anyone thoughts?

Wasn’t that the oops beer with low AA calculation used for the hops? My experience with beers that are not bitter enough is they taste watered down like you say. Hopefully others confirm. If so, I would look at some hop extracts and dose it.

The same thing happened to me on my last Vienna lager. It scored upper 30s in competition and tasted fantastic, but a little watery, and both myself and the judges noticed the same thing. On mine I attributed this to my extremely high efficiency. My efficiency on that particular batch was 94%. If memory serves, the original gravity was WAY too high, so I added several quarts of water to the fermenter to bring it back down into the 1.050s. So there really might be a disadvantage to high efficiency, that was my conclusion. FG=1.011.

However, if you did not experience high efficiency, then perhaps I cannot make the same conclusion, and might even need to modify my own conclusion. Maybe we really need to mash hotter, and perhaps add some Carapils to get the body up to where we expect!?!? I am usually not an advocate for Carapils, but I wonder if there are some real advantages. Caravienne and Caramunich might be appropriate as well.

My batch was mashed at an average of 154 F for the sacc rest, however it was also double decocted so I think I had it in the 140s for a while as well. Maybe I really should have skipped the lower rest altogether and stuck with a single rest at 156 F or something like that.

And maybe all this is just an American expectation of body in the beers. Maybe we’re all wrong and the Europeans and Mexicans know best. Maybe these beers are supposed to have a somewhat watery body, and Americans just don’t like it that way!? Or maybe we’ve all been brainwashed by Negra Modelo into thinking that Vienna lagers are supposed to be thick and caramelly when they’re really not.

In future, I think I’ll mash higher at 156 F, single infusion, for a shorter time (30-35 minutes), consider adding a few percent Cara-something, and other than that keep the recipe all the same, and see where it ends up.

I used a big pitch of Wyeast 2206 in mine by the way. Fantastic yeast that I would not change, it’s really the best. Except maybe for W-34/70, I might try that sometime. But for guaranteed awesome results, there’s really nothing better than 2206 IMHO.

What’s the details for your recipe, matt?

My first thought was too low of a mash temp…

http://byo.com/stories/issue/item/89-add-body-to-your-beer

You can’t trust a gravity reading sample to be a good indication of how a beer is going to turn out. Once cold, carbonated, and properly conditioned, it will taste different (read: BETTER). Worry not.

I have also found that near-flat gravity-reading samples do not have the body I am looking for. I was in fact EXTREMELY worried about a brown porter we brewed, which once carbonation was added, turned out to be one of the best we have made.

I would think this would be even more true on a lager, especially a Vienna (and if this one is anything like the one you sent me, I would echo the above: WORRY THE EFF NOT!)

worry after it is carbed, carbonation does wonder to beers

[quote=“dmtaylo2”]The same thing happened to me on my last Vienna lager. It scored upper 30s in competition and tasted fantastic, but a little watery, and both myself and the judges noticed the same thing. On mine I attributed this to my extremely high efficiency. My efficiency on that particular batch was 94%. If memory serves, the original gravity was WAY too high, so I added several quarts of water to the fermenter to bring it back down into the 1.050s. So there really might be a disadvantage to high efficiency, that was my conclusion. FG=1.011.

However, if you did not experience high efficiency, then perhaps I cannot make the same conclusion, and might even need to modify my own conclusion. Maybe we really need to mash hotter, and perhaps add some Carapils to get the body up to where we expect!?!? I am usually not an advocate for Carapils, but I wonder if there are some real advantages. Caravienne and Caramunich might be appropriate as well.

My batch was mashed at an average of 154 F for the sacc rest, however it was also double decocted so I think I had it in the 140s for a while as well. Maybe I really should have skipped the lower rest altogether and stuck with a single rest at 156 F or something like that.

And maybe all this is just an American expectation of body in the beers. Maybe we’re all wrong and the Europeans and Mexicans know best. Maybe these beers are supposed to have a somewhat watery body, and Americans just don’t like it that way!? Or maybe we’ve all been brainwashed by Negra Modelo into thinking that Vienna lagers are supposed to be thick and caramelly when they’re really not.

In future, I think I’ll mash higher at 156 F, single infusion, for a shorter time (30-35 minutes), consider adding a few percent Cara-something, and other than that keep the recipe all the same, and see where it ends up.

I used a big pitch of Wyeast 2206 in mine by the way. Fantastic yeast that I would not change, it’s really the best. Except maybe for W-34/70, I might try that sometime. But for guaranteed awesome results, there’s really nothing better than 2206 IMHO.

What’s the details for your recipe, matt?[/quote]

taking a high gravity wort and adding water because you got “extremly high efficiency” ios not going to make a beer watery

[quote=“dmtaylo2”]The same thing happened to me on my last Vienna lager. It scored upper 30s in competition and tasted fantastic, but a little watery, and both myself and the judges noticed the same thing. On mine I attributed this to my extremely high efficiency. My efficiency on that particular batch was 94%. If memory serves, the original gravity was WAY too high, so I added several quarts of water to the fermenter to bring it back down into the 1.050s. So there really might be a disadvantage to high efficiency, that was my conclusion. FG=1.011.

However, if you did not experience high efficiency, then perhaps I cannot make the same conclusion, and might even need to modify my own conclusion. Maybe we really need to mash hotter, and perhaps add some Carapils to get the body up to where we expect!?!? I am usually not an advocate for Carapils, but I wonder if there are some real advantages. Caravienne and Caramunich might be appropriate as well.

My batch was mashed at an average of 154 F for the sacc rest, however it was also double decocted so I think I had it in the 140s for a while as well. Maybe I really should have skipped the lower rest altogether and stuck with a single rest at 156 F or something like that.

And maybe all this is just an American expectation of body in the beers. Maybe we’re all wrong and the Europeans and Mexicans know best. Maybe these beers are supposed to have a somewhat watery body, and Americans just don’t like it that way!? Or maybe we’ve all been brainwashed by Negra Modelo into thinking that Vienna lagers are supposed to be thick and caramelly when they’re really not.

In future, I think I’ll mash higher at 156 F, single infusion, for a shorter time (30-35 minutes), consider adding a few percent Cara-something, and other than that keep the recipe all the same, and see where it ends up.

I used a big pitch of Wyeast 2206 in mine by the way. Fantastic yeast that I would not change, it’s really the best. Except maybe for W-34/70, I might try that sometime. But for guaranteed awesome results, there’s really nothing better than 2206 IMHO.

What’s the details for your recipe, matt?[/quote]

taking a high gravity wort and adding water because you got “extremly high efficiency” ios not going to make a beer watery

It might affect the flavor if you use high alkalinity tap water to top off.

When I was pushing the lower limits of mash pH to experiment with the affect on hops flavor and aroma I had a beer turn out very thin and watery. If I recall the kettle pH was about 5.2 and it ended up around 4.4 in the glass, fermented with 1272.

Thanks for the replies guys. I wasn’t too worried about it I know it will turn out tasty. This was the beer that i miscalculated the AA of the hops so bitterness is under what I planned but still not terrible.

Recipe I used was:

5 lbs Vienna Malt (3.5 SRM)
2 lbs 8.0 oz Pilsner (2 Row) Ger (2.0 SRM)
1 lbs 8.0 oz Munich Malt (9.0 SRM)
8.0 oz Acid Malt (3.0 SRM)
3.2 oz Carafa II (412.0 SRM)
1.20 oz Hallertauer [2.40 %] - Boil 60.0 min Hop 6 9.8 IBUs
0.50 oz Hallertauer [2.40 %] - Boil 15.0 min Hop 7 2.0 IBUs

Repitched a bunch of 34/70 I collected from a German Pilsner I made last month.

Why are you all of a sudden using bad water especially in a lager.

Just giving an example. I see many posts about topping off but with no regard to water treatment. Never had to top off (normally I have too much wort) but if I did I would use distilled or acidify it. Maybe others do this but just never post the info… Not really an issue with this beer tho.

When you tasted the sample did you really swish it around your mouth about to mimmick carbonation. (am I the only who does that? :smiley: )

Joining the “worry the eff not” camp on this one. IBUs a little low but not way off.

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