Author Topic: Holiday Ale Tweaks  (Read 1517 times)

Offline RobertE

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Holiday Ale Tweaks
« on: December 22, 2016, 11:10:59 PM »
Hi,
I'm new to brewing. I just finished a 5 gallon batch of holiday ale that called for honey, molasses and golden syrup in the recipe. The beer turned out a bit high on the alcohol side and lacked body or sweetness. Do you think I should try cutting out the honey and syrup next time? I'm thinking of increasing the light DME to 6 lbs. and the crystal malt to 1 lb. I used a yeast starter as well so I'm also thinking that supercharged the beer's alcohol content with all the sugars. Next time I will try to achieve the recommended OG of 1.058. I was a little high at 1.067.
4.0 lbs. (1.8 kg) Muntons Light dried malt extract
1.0 lb. (0.45 kg) Crisp Maris Otter malt
0.75 lb. (0.34 kg) Scotmalt crystal malt (40 °L)
0.25 lb. (0.11 kg) Crisp chocolate malt
1.5 lbs. (0.68 kg) clover honey
½ can Lyle’s Golden Syrup
¼ cup Blackstrap molasses
6.1 AAU Goldings hops (60 mins) (1 oz./28 g of 6.1% alpha acids)
1.0 oz. (28 g) Fuggles hops (5 mins)
White Labs WLP002 (English Ale) yeast 
Spices: 4 cinnamon sticks, 1 nutmeg seed, 1 vanilla bean, 7 allspice berries, 1.5 tsp. whole cloves, 8 coriander seeds, 2 nectarine peels

Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Holiday Ale Tweaks
« Reply #1 on: December 26, 2016, 01:13:28 PM »
Sorry no one has replied yet. I'm curious if you mashed the grains or just steeped them. Maris otter malt would need to be mashed. Anyway, the short answer is if you want it sweeter and not so high in alcohol, you need less simple sugars.

Offline BrewBama

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Holiday Ale Tweaks
« Reply #2 on: December 26, 2016, 02:10:58 PM »
I am no expert. I have read 1tsp Calcium Chloride will round, smooth and sweeten a beer. ...but the honey, molasses, and syrup are all going to dry out the finished beer. IMHO try a recipe will less "sugars" and a yeast with less attenuation. As I understand sweetness is accomplished by reducing the bitterness of the beer, adding some crystal malt and a significant dose of lactose powder for sweetness, and using restrained carbonation.

http://www.rebelbrewer.com/shop/brewing-ingredients/additives-finings-flavorings-etc/water-chemistry-and-minerals/calcium-chloride-2oz

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« Last Edit: December 26, 2016, 02:21:50 PM by BrewBama »
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Offline bboy9000

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Re: Holiday Ale Tweaks
« Reply #3 on: December 28, 2016, 09:46:21 PM »
I think you answered your own question.  Cut out the simple sugars and replace with DME.  As Jim said, MO needs to be mashed so either do a mini-mash or get MO extract.
Brian
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Offline JJeffers09

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Re: Holiday Ale Tweaks
« Reply #4 on: December 29, 2016, 04:33:20 AM »
steeping should be left to crystal and roasted grains only.  If you buy more DME you will get a higher FG however you will get more alcohol as well. So I think if you like the gravity/abv you are at and what body and sweetness crystal/caramel/munichs are the place to start.  Aromatic/biscuit/victory will give you a straight up malt character without the sweetness, but you only need to use 1oz/gal.
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Offline bboy9000

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Holiday Ale Tweaks
« Reply #5 on: December 29, 2016, 06:08:25 AM »
Yes good advice.  Steeping is for specialty malts.  I never get a straight up malt character from Victory.  I hate that malt more than black patent. Aromatic and biscuit taste good to me in small amounts.
Brian
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Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Holiday Ale Tweaks
« Reply #6 on: December 29, 2016, 06:55:49 AM »
Frankly, while I know it's fun starting off to go crazy on recipes, I'd suggest you think about simplifying that recipe. For each ingredient ask yourself what you expect to get. Keep in mind that no matter what you do, at least half of the flavoring will come from fermentation. Then keep in mind that the best beers have like 3 or 4 flavors... those with 10 flavors end up with just one flavor. Brown

Offline BrewBama

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Re: Holiday Ale Tweaks
« Reply #7 on: December 29, 2016, 12:13:27 PM »
Frankly, while I know it's fun starting off to go crazy on recipes, I'd suggest you think about simplifying that recipe. For each ingredient ask yourself what you expect to get. Keep in mind that no matter what you do, at least half of the flavoring will come from fermentation. Then keep in mind that the best beers have like 3 or 4 flavors... those with 10 flavors end up with just one flavor. Brown

+1.


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Offline bboy9000

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Re: Holiday Ale Tweaks
« Reply #8 on: December 29, 2016, 03:20:48 PM »
Frankly, while I know it's fun starting off to go crazy on recipes, I'd suggest you think about simplifying that recipe.

those with 10 flavors end up with just one flavor. Brown
True.  I remember my maple bacon Porter.  A salty brown beer.  After that I read Drew Beechum's "Brewing on the Ones" article and greatly improved my beer.
Brian
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Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Holiday Ale Tweaks
« Reply #9 on: December 29, 2016, 06:54:34 PM »
Brewing on the ones helped me more than probably any other recipe speech. Except, I think hoosierbrew (?), who helped me build my stout recipe. Plus other tide bits of help along the way, like the suggestion to try CaraHell.

It also helps to sample too many goat scrotum type beers... while novelties, beers with obscure ingredients almost never trip my trigger.

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Holiday Ale Tweaks
« Reply #10 on: December 29, 2016, 06:56:24 PM »
Brewing on the ones helped me more than probably any other recipe speech. Except, I think hoosierbrew (?), who helped me build my stout recipe. 


Yeah, Drew had a good one with that speech.  And glad the stout came out good for ya. I like it.
Jon H.