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General Category => All Grain Brewing => Topic started by: gmac on July 03, 2011, 06:20:53 PM

Title: Unbalanced pale ale
Post by: gmac on July 03, 2011, 06:20:53 PM
I made a very plain pale ale using only 1 oz of Cascade FWH.  The rest of the grain bill is 8 lbs 2-row, 1 lb vienna.  That's it.  I think the beer is a bit unbalanced.  It's OK but it has too much body and if I do it again I'll leave out the vienna and add 1 lb of corn or maybe even plain sugar to make it lighter in body.  My question is, would dry hopping this now do anything to improve it?  I know it won't add bitterness nor will it lighten the body but I was wondering if you thought it would add any complexity that would make this more drinkable.  Like I said, it's not terrible but it's not what I was shooting for.  Right now I can see myself blending this with something else in the glass until I get it used up.  I won't throw it out.

More radically, could I boil 1/2 an ounce of hops in a quart of water and add that to lighten it slightly and add more bitterness?  Probably not the best remedy.  I'd prefer to just try the dry hops if you think it's worth the effort.  Can you dry hop cold, carbonated beer?  I've never done it before.
Title: Re: Unbalanced pale ale
Post by: tschmidlin on July 03, 2011, 07:37:20 PM
Yes, you can dry hop that beer.  Be prepared for some CO2 to break out when you add the hops, and it won't pick up the aroma as quickly at that temp.  But it will work.  You can always warm it up for a week after you add it too.

I generally advise people against boiling hops in plain water.  if the dry hopping doesn't get you where you want to be, I would brew a very light bodied, bitter beer and blend the two.
Title: Re: Unbalanced pale ale
Post by: The Professor on July 04, 2011, 02:31:34 AM
... if the dry hopping doesn't get you where you want to be, I would brew a very light bodied, bitter beer and blend the two.

Good advice from Tom.  I've done that very thing a couple of  times, and it works like a charm (and you wind up with a nice big batch 'o beer to boot).
Title: Re: Unbalanced pale ale
Post by: gmac on July 04, 2011, 03:00:26 AM
Do they float or do I need some sort of bag to put the dry hops in?  I'm gonna use 1 oz of whole Cascade and see what happens. 
Title: Re: Unbalanced pale ale
Post by: oscarvan on July 04, 2011, 02:23:59 PM
Do they float or do I need some sort of bag to put the dry hops in?  I'm gonna use 1 oz of whole Cascade and see what happens. 

They float, will eventually soak up and occupy the top 2 inches of the vessel. A few piece will sink. Some people put them in a bag, and then add a big stainless washer or bolt (sanitized) to weigh it down. If you plan on re-using the yeast the latter would be a good idea, also makes racking less messy. I've done both.
Title: Re: Unbalanced pale ale
Post by: gmac on July 04, 2011, 02:31:39 PM
Thanks Oscar.  I'll add them this morning.  I just don't have any sort of hop bag.  They are going right into the keg which is why I wanted to know about the floating or if they are going to block the outlet tube. 
Title: Re: Unbalanced pale ale
Post by: oscarvan on July 04, 2011, 02:42:52 PM
Thanks Oscar.  I'll add them this morning.  I just don't have any sort of hop bag.  They are going right into the keg which is why I wanted to know about the floating or if they are going to block the outlet tube.  

Whoa....stop press.. in the keg. That's different. Yes, they can block the tube. Does the wife have an old nylon?
Title: Re: Unbalanced pale ale
Post by: gmac on July 04, 2011, 03:06:17 PM
Maybe.  I'll ask her.  I guess worst case is to hop in the keg and then rack into another keg.  I'm gonna need more kegs...
Title: Re: Unbalanced pale ale
Post by: tubercle on July 04, 2011, 08:03:31 PM
panty hose, cheese cloth, pillow case...you have something.
Title: Re: Unbalanced pale ale
Post by: Wheat_Brewer on July 04, 2011, 10:32:17 PM
.50 cents at the brew store for a hop bag can also did the trick ;)  I think the addition of some hops will get you in the ball park of where you want to be since the hop aroma can often times be enough to trick our brains into thinking we're drinking something much more hoppy than we are...or at a minimum it's a great aroma!
Title: Re: Unbalanced pale ale
Post by: gmac on July 04, 2011, 10:34:26 PM
.50 cents at the brew store for a hop bag can also did the trick ;)  I think the addition of some hops will get you in the ball park of where you want to be since the hop aroma can often times be enough to trick our brains into thinking we're drinking something much more hoppy than we are...or at a minimum it's a great aroma!
.50 cents plus $20 in gas and 4 hours to get to the not quite local HBS.  But, I get what you're saying.
Mrs. Mac says she has some pantyhose I can have although I think she is worried I'm going to rob the gas station or something.  Plus she says she's not drinking beer that tastes like feet.  She's very fussy that way.
Title: Re: Unbalanced pale ale
Post by: thomasbarnes on July 05, 2011, 04:54:53 AM
Some people put them in a bag, and then add a big stainless washer or bolt (sanitized) to weigh it down.

Marbles work well, too.
Title: Re: Unbalanced pale ale
Post by: oscarvan on July 05, 2011, 09:21:44 AM
.50 cents at the brew store for a hop bag can also did the trick ;)  I think the addition of some hops will get you in the ball park of where you want to be since the hop aroma can often times be enough to trick our brains into thinking we're drinking something much more hoppy than we are...or at a minimum it's a great aroma!
.50 cents plus $20 in gas and 4 hours to get to the not quite local HBS.  But, I get what you're saying.
Mrs. Mac says she has some pantyhose I can have although I think she is worried I'm going to rob the gas station or something.  Plus she says she's not drinking beer that tastes like feet.  She's very fussy that way.

Tell her you have boiled it.
Title: Re: Unbalanced pale ale
Post by: Jimmy K on July 05, 2011, 12:38:56 PM
You could go to the grocery store and get a stainless steel tea ball or some have empty tea bags. Neither of those taste like feet.
Title: Re: Unbalanced pale ale
Post by: richardt on July 05, 2011, 02:46:27 PM
I made a very plain pale ale using only 1 oz of Cascade FWH.  The rest of the grain bill is 8 lbs 2-row, 1 lb vienna.  That's it.  I think the beer is a bit unbalanced.  It's OK but it has too much body and if I do it again I'll leave out the vienna and add 1 lb of corn or maybe even plain sugar to make it lighter in body. 

Grain bill doesn't look too bad.  What was your mash temp?  Should be around 148-150 F if you want it thinner bodied, and drier (less sweet).
Title: Re: Unbalanced pale ale
Post by: gigatropolis on July 05, 2011, 03:16:36 PM
I made a very plain pale ale using only 1 oz of Cascade FWH.  The rest of the grain bill is 8 lbs 2-row, 1 lb vienna. 

More radically, could I boil 1/2 an ounce of hops in a quart of water and add that to lighten it slightly and add more bitterness?  Probably not the best remedy.  I'd prefer to just try the dry hops if you think it's worth the effort.  Can you dry hop cold, carbonated beer?  I've never done it before.

   I think that 1 oz of FWH will a go a long way and no need to add anymore hops for bittering. When reading about FWH, it sounds like it should add less bitterness to the wort than just boiling for 60 minutes, but I found it seems to add more bitterness than just boiling. For instance, recently made a beer with 1.5 oz of cascade at FWH and it tasted for more bitter than expected, so ended up recalculating the late hop additions by adding less or moving them closer to end of boil so not to raise the IBUs anymore.
  Sounds like a nice summer beer and the dry hopping should bring it up to the next level, so enjoy.
Title: Re: Unbalanced pale ale
Post by: denny on July 05, 2011, 03:34:15 PM
Some people put them in a bag, and then add a big stainless washer or bolt (sanitized) to weigh it down.

Marbles work well, too.

Weighing down the hop bag is completely unnecessary.  I'm surprised so many people think they need to do it.
Title: Re: Unbalanced pale ale
Post by: gmac on July 05, 2011, 04:11:39 PM
  Sounds like a nice summer beer and the dry hopping should bring it up to the next level, so enjoy.
That's what I was shooting for.  I may have mentioned but I didn't use Vienna, I used light Munich.  I think that may have been my mistake.  Probably leaving it out would have been fine, it's just a touch too malty.  Dry hops are going in today.
Thanks for all the advice everyone.
Title: Re: Unbalanced pale ale
Post by: gmac on July 13, 2011, 03:57:44 AM
Well, it's better with the dry hops though not great.  I'm mixing it 50/50 with california common that I have on tap and using it up that way. 
Title: Re: Unbalanced pale ale
Post by: oscarvan on July 13, 2011, 08:39:24 PM
Well, it's better with the dry hops though not great.  I'm mixing it 50/50 with california common that I have on tap and using it up that way. 

Ah, the beer palette...... In my case four taps, four very different beers. You can mix and match and stretch one that's running low, or hide a minor imperfection like yours. There are no rules...... it's a medium for expression, another level of creativity.....know what I mean?  ;) Hic......

OK, I had a few beers. But, here's my excuse. WARNING: THREAD DRIFT.

We have an upstairs and a downstairs heat pump. The upstairs air handler is in the unfinished attic. It is right now, 160º up there. For a few years now I have been listening to the electric motor that drives the squirrel fan in the air handler.....it's been getting louder, and louder.....it got to the point where I knew.... it was time.

But, I was hoping to stretch it to fall, it being 160º up there...... No such luck. Last friday it went WHEEEEEE WDRHHHHHHH WHOAEEEEEEEEE....... as in serious bearing failure.

So, I shut her down, pulled the motor, gave it to my wife to drop off at the motor repair place......and went to Amsterdam..... ;D

Anyway, I came back and the news was bad. Bearings shot.....spindle shot. Parts not available. New motor......$180. OK, go ahead. Today it came in, and I spent an hour up there sweating my balls off getting it in.....finding out it was turning the wrong way, pulling it, reversing the mount, putting it in again and finally........success. It's cooling down up there..... We may not have to sleep on the air mattress in the family room tonight...... 8)

So, my reward was a "session".   ;D ;D ;D
Title: Re: Unbalanced pale ale
Post by: gmac on July 13, 2011, 10:02:58 PM
Can you do a saison in 160 heat or is that too much?

My AC crapped out yesterday, 82 degrees in my house which is almost unbearable for a fat Canadian boy like me.
Title: Re: Unbalanced pale ale
Post by: oscarvan on July 13, 2011, 11:01:47 PM
Can you do a saison in 160 heat or is that too much?

My AC crapped out yesterday, 82 degrees in my house which is almost unbearable for a fat Canadian boy like me.

Sure, but it would ferment in 23 minutes. I mean, be ready to keg that.

What's wrong with the airco.... Don't know about repair rates up in the great white north, but down here the DIY vs professional is about 1:4.......

Some things I cannot do.... like charging refrigerant. But changing fan motors, mother boards etc is not hard.

There's a little red blinking LED somewhere in your system.....either on the thermostat, or inside the compressor on the mother board......count the flashes..it's an error code then...read the instructions (GASP).......
Title: Re: Unbalanced pale ale
Post by: gmac on July 14, 2011, 03:18:38 AM
Compressor is shot.  Changed out capacitors etc with no success, windings are good so it's probably the piston in the compressor.  Looking at about $1000 for a new compressor so now the debate is to replace the compressor on an out of warranty AC or replace for 2.5X the cost. 
Title: Re: Unbalanced pale ale
Post by: oscarvan on July 14, 2011, 01:51:48 PM
Compressor is shot.  Changed out capacitors etc with no success, windings are good so it's probably the piston in the compressor.  Looking at about $1000 for a new compressor so now the debate is to replace the compressor on an out of warranty AC or replace for 2.5X the cost. 

Tough choice.....
Title: Re: Unbalanced pale ale
Post by: tomsawyer on July 18, 2011, 09:05:59 PM
[Weighing down the hop bag is completely unnecessary.  I'm surprised so many people think they need to do it.

+1 My dry hop bags always sink after a few days anyway.

I bought a dozen boxes of womens sock foot pantyhose , they were about 50 cents for two pair at a dollar store.  They work even better than a hop sock, finer so nothing comes out but flavor.  And new, so no foot smell unless pedio rears its ugly head.
Title: Re: Unbalanced pale ale
Post by: Will's Swill on July 19, 2011, 11:27:00 PM
Do they sink even when using whole hops?
Title: Re: Unbalanced pale ale
Post by: gmac on July 20, 2011, 12:35:33 AM
Well, they haven't sunk yet and my air conditioner is still broken. 
Title: Re: Unbalanced pale ale
Post by: Will's Swill on July 20, 2011, 12:37:28 AM
Dude, major suckage.
Title: Re: Unbalanced pale ale
Post by: bluesman on July 20, 2011, 01:59:44 AM
Dry hops are a nice way to add a little more balance to the beer. I use a muslin bag to contain the hops.

Another suggestion is to try getting some hop extract which will also help balance the beer.

One more idea is to increase the CO2 volume a slight bit to give a perception of lighter body which will also help to balance the beer.