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Extract brew lacking body

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elollerenshaw

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Fairly new to extract brewing, but tried this recipe shown below which turned out thin, watery & a tasting a little 'cidery' . Head retention was definitely lacking.!

Looking for any advice on why it went wrong.
Is it possible that too much hop "flavour" oils (or those which are extracted between 10 & 30 minute boil time) was the cause?

3 kg LME
200 g DME
500 g dextrose
200 g malto-dextrin
250 g crystal grain (steeped)

20g centennial for 30 min
40g amarillo for 20 min
40g amarillo for 10 min

2 x 11g nottingham yeast
primary ferment @ 18C for ~17 days
 

hoppy2B

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Adding hops should actually increase head retention.
Maybe up the temp on your steeped grain a bit and or crack it a little finer. What temp did you do it at?
 

bum

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Volume might be a helpful bit of info.
 

slash22000

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FYI, batch size is important for us to figure anything out. I mean if you added those ingredients to 5000 litres of water, it would make a decidedly different brew to 5 litres of water. I'm assuming the standard 23 litres here.

I'm also assuming that's a box of Brew Enhancer 2? 500g is a lot of dextrose and will significant thin your beer out. You've got about 13% of your fermentables as dextrose. That's way too much if you want a solid chewy body on your beer. If that's what you want, 0% dextrose is the way to go. I made a very similar similar beer to this one recently and I used ~150g of dextrose to give it a bit of a drier finish, keeping it <5% of the total fermentables. I'm drinking it right now, and have no complaints about the body and it's a nice bitter beer.

The "cidery" taste is probably acetaldehyde. You say primary fermentation for 17 days, how are you drinking it now? Bottled? Kegged?

How did you add the hops? Was this a full volume boil? Partial boil?

Why two packets of Nottingham? That's definitely overkill for an average gravity ale.

Also, for the sake of reference, hop oils actually aid in head retention.
 

manticle

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hoppy2B said:
Adding hops should actually increase head retention.
Maybe up the temp on your steeped grain a bit and or crack it a little finer. What temp did you do it at?
Hop oils can aid head retention but what are you talking about with the rest?

How does fine crush or steeping grain in really hot water aid body or head retention?

OP: Reduce the dex, add carapils (or use in place of maltodex) and control your fermentation temperature. Let the beer rest on the yeast at ferment temps for a couple of days once ferment has ceased to help absorb flavours like acetaldehyde (sometimes described as green apple skin).

Carbonate a touch lower and see if any of this helps.

Also, as bum suggests, give us your volume as well as your serving method (bottle/keg) and how long it has been conditioned after packaging.

Lacto infection can strip malt and hop flavour and make a beer seem one dimensional and lifeless but beer will also be sour (think sour cream). Other infections can strip a beers vitals down to thin and lifeless too.
 

carniebrew

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The volume is certainly key here, at 23 litres this recipe should be anything BUT watery. Even with half a kg of dextrose it should have finished around 1014. Can you add your ferment volume and final gravity?

22gm of yeast sounds like a significant overpitch too, again depending on volume...out of interest did you re-hydrate it before pitching?
 

elollerenshaw

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Total Volume - 23L
Bottled & left at 18C in temp controlled fridge for 2 wks, followed by further 10wks under house.
Sorry didn't measure FG (not best practice I realise).

Did not re-hydrate before pitching.

Steeping temp was 67 +/- 5C, so temp control not great. Although ferment temp control was excellant.
Partial boil 6-7 Litres.
Hop pellets boiled in bags.

Thanks for the advice, so clearly it's not the hop oils.

There was very little bittering hop (in hindsight), could this have contributed?

I used 2 yeast packets based on various articles & sources that emphasise having sufficient yeast at pitch.
What are the effects of over-pitching? Perhaps what I am tasting?

In terms of infection, maybe, but I would have thought there would some other tell-tale signs?
It's definitely not sour.
 

hoppy2B

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manticle said:
How does fine crush or steeping grain in really hot water aid body or head retention?
The finer the crush the greater the surface area the more longer chain molecules can be released into the wort as the grain swells ever larger as the temp is increased. The longer chain molecules giving body to the finished product.
I've seen you stating in your posts that higher mash out temps will increased head retention Manticle. I realize he is only using a small amount of crystal and not conducting a full mash but I thought he might be able to extract a bit of body out of it.
 

bum

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Mash only works based on surface area? What's sparging for?
 

hoppy2B

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Larger particles are more difficult to move through smaller spaces, in this case the grain matter.
 

beerdrinkingbob

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Carnie, he didn't over pitch mate because he used a danstar product, which recommends based on cell count or greed! 1 gram per litre.
 

slash22000

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I've had this discussion in the past, beerdrinkingbob. The conclusion was that Danstar is full of shit and you should be fine to pitch their yeast at the normal dry rate.
 

hoppy2B

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Try the Danstar Windsor Ale yeast next time, its less attenuative so should leave more body.
 

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