If cloying sweetness is the tell tail of HSA/CSA I must be doing OK because I haven’t experienced either.
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It's hard to put a direct finger on it, thats why I said broad brush. Could cloying be lack of attenuation, oxidation, to much cara malts, etc etc, sure it can.
Professional literature broadly states to make sure to keep under 12%. But who knows what that actually means. Because I know a few where those lines can be blurred. I think some folks here have the right idea a tool in a tool chest. I don't personally use a lot of these malts but my old school APA type beers usually have a decent amount (6-8%, ALA SNPA, and the like).