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Too Sweet, Now What?

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Hefty

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I've brewed a German Pilsner for an upcoming party:

BeerSmith 2 Recipe Printout
Recipe: Deutsch Pils
Style: German Pilsner (Pils)
TYPE: All Grain

Recipe Specifications
--------------------------
Batch Size (fermenter): 46.00 l
Estimated OG: 1.047 SG
Estimated Color: 7.1 EBC
Estimated IBU: 29.0 IBUs


Ingredients:
------------
Amt Name Type # %/IBU
9.50 kg Pilsner (2 Row) Ger (3.9 EBC) Grain 1 95.0 %
63.00 g Saaz [6.00 %] - Boil 60.0 min Hop 3 22.5 IBUs
30.05 g Saaz [6.00 %] - Boil 20.0 min Hop 4 6.5 IBUs
1.00 Items Whirlfloc Tablet (Boil 15.0 mins) Fining 5 -
0.50 kg Cara-Pils/Dextrine (3.9 EBC) Grain 2 5.0 %
1.0 pkg Urquell Lager (Wyeast Labs #2001) [124.2 Yeast 6 -

I thought I'd missed my strike temp so I added about 2L of boiling water and then later discovered that I was now quite over temp. This resulted in a very full bodied 1.055 OG.
I fermented half as a lager with the urquell yeast (stepped up) and the other half will be a "summer ale" I suppose, with some s-04.
The issue is, after 3 weeks in the fermenter, the FG is 1008 but it is still very sweet (I even carbed it in a small bottle with a carbonator cap to check).
should/could I:

-dry hop to see if this will balance the sweetness?
-dilute and add some malt boiled hops to maintain IBU level?
-a bit of both?
-something else?

I still have 4 weeks to lager it while I ferment the ale half so any advice would be awesome and would give me the chance to still be abler to use this at the party.

Cheers!
Jono.
 

mckenry

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I've brewed a German Pilsner for an upcoming party:

BeerSmith 2 Recipe Printout
Recipe: Deutsch Pils
Style: German Pilsner (Pils)
TYPE: All Grain

Recipe Specifications
--------------------------
Batch Size (fermenter): 46.00 l
Estimated OG: 1.047 SG
Estimated Color: 7.1 EBC
Estimated IBU: 29.0 IBUs


Ingredients:
------------
Amt Name Type # %/IBU
9.50 kg Pilsner (2 Row) Ger (3.9 EBC) Grain 1 95.0 %
63.00 g Saaz [6.00 %] - Boil 60.0 min Hop 3 22.5 IBUs
30.05 g Saaz [6.00 %] - Boil 20.0 min Hop 4 6.5 IBUs
1.00 Items Whirlfloc Tablet (Boil 15.0 mins) Fining 5 -
0.50 kg Cara-Pils/Dextrine (3.9 EBC) Grain 2 5.0 %
1.0 pkg Urquell Lager (Wyeast Labs #2001) [124.2 Yeast 6 -

I thought I'd missed my strike temp so I added about 2L of boiling water and then later discovered that I was now quite over temp. This resulted in a very full bodied 1.055 OG.
I fermented half as a lager with the urquell yeast (stepped up) and the other half will be a "summer ale" I suppose, with some s-04.
The issue is, after 3 weeks in the fermenter, the FG is 1008 but it is still very sweet (I even carbed it in a small bottle with a carbonator cap to check).
should/could I:

-dry hop to see if this will balance the sweetness?
-dilute and add some malt boiled hops to maintain IBU level?
-a bit of both?
-something else?

I still have 4 weeks to lager it while I ferment the ale half so any advice would be awesome and would give me the chance to still be abler to use this at the party.

Cheers!
Jono.
Hey Jono,
'Fixing' beers is always tough. Even tougher when its a lager. I find it difficult to understand how it can be sweet after starting from 1.055 and FG is 1.008
Are you sure its sweet and not something else? Hops for example?
Anyway - if youre sure its sweet I would boil 3L of that wort with some other noble (in case its the saaz that tastes sweet to you) probably Perle to add another 10 IBU. German Pils can have IBU up to 40 or 50 mark.
 

Dave70

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Are you sure it's just not really malty? Then you may get away with more hop additions.
But yeah, as mentioned, fixing a delicate beer like a pilsner without throwing something else out of whack is going to be tough.

If it were me, I'd carb the shit out of it for starters.
Or maby serve it as an Apritif if worse come to worse..
 

mckenry

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Are you sure it's just not really malty? Then you may get away with more hop additions.
But yeah, as mentioned, fixing a delicate beer like a pilsner without throwing something else out of whack is going to be tough.

If it were me, I'd carb the shit out of it for starters.
Or maby serve it as an Apritif if worse come to worse..
I was thinking malty too at first, but at 1.008 and all pils malt, I doubted it.
 

black_labb

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have you started lagering it yet?
 

beerdrinkingbob

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Not sure if this is your issue so take it with a grain of salt....

I brewed lots of batches for a while there that were to sweet. After tasting a beer that I had been told had a lot of diacetyl in it and mine tasted similar, just stronger, i narrowed it down to bad yeast handling or infection. Started hydrating yeast and extra care with sanitation and no issues again touch wood.
 

manticle

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I'd put my finger on diacetyl too.

Is it full on the mouth and kind of like sweet, toffee butter or buttered popcorn?

I've got a bo pils conditioning at the moment that was laden with it. Been resting it at ale temps and tasting regularly and it's dissipating. Just needs patience and active yeast.

If you eliminate diacetyl as a possibility (and hydrometer failure/error), I reckon I'd leave it as 1008 should be enough.

Worst comes to worst try a small amount with some extra bittering hops to see what proportion you need to add before doing the whole lot.
 

Hefty

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Thanks guys!
Yeah, I'd wondered about diacetyl having not done many lagers before and usually leaving my ales for a few days extra to eliminate that sort of thing. I'm doing a diacetyl rest now and I'll try again in a day or so. It didn't strike me as buttered popcorn but maybe toffee. It is definitely really malty. It was partly intentional: I'm after something to go with Indian food at this party so I was trying to emulate the loosely "German Pilsner" style of the likes of Singha or Chang with some malt sweetness but with enough hop to balance. I guess I overdid it a little :rolleyes:
I'll report back when I start to head for lager temps after the diacetyl rest.

Cheers,
Jono.
 

Tony M

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It is my understanding that if the ferment is finished, then it's too late for a diacetyl rest. If I'm wrong then I eagerly await enlightening.
 

manticle

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To reabsorb diacetyl, you need active yeast. You can reinvigorate the yeast you have or you can add fresh, active yeast (eg krausening). Time and yeast is enough to reduce/remove diacetyl. It can need more than a few days though.

It's just that once FG is hit, yeast starts to drop out so is less likely to absorb diacetyl so better to get a rest in before that happens. You're not stuck with it if it appears after that though - unless it comes from pedio infection.
 

Hefty

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reinvigorate, as in add more wort/nutrients, or as in gently stir/rouse?
I've still got the other half of the batch unfermented in a cube so I could add a litre or two to get things happening, if that's what you mean.
 

Nick JD

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Add blackcurrent cordial and invite round the girls.
 

Hefty

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As the high school students I teach would say "TROLLOLOL".
But seriously, I don't have active yeast to pitch but would adding some more wort at rest temperature work?

Cheers!
Jono.
 

manticle

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reinvigorate, as in add more wort/nutrients, or as in gently stir/rouse?
I've still got the other half of the batch unfermented in a cube so I could add a litre or two to get things happening, if that's what you mean.


While active starter would probably be best/quickest, you might have luck with more wort.

However first I'd be inclined just to do a gentle swirl and leave it at ale temps for as long as it takes. See if it's reduced at all - even if it's still there but reduced then you are on the right track and just need to wait. If this works but you get impatient, buy a bit more yeast and get an active starter going with that extra wort.

However it's only a guess from the other side of the internet that it is diacetyl - might be something else entirely.
 

Dave70

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As the high school students I teach would say "TROLLOLOL".
But seriously, I don't have active yeast to pitch but would adding some more wort at rest temperature work?

Cheers!
Jono.
If you're going that route, I'd be more inclined to go with LDME, maltose syrup of just plain sugar.

Accept also, as we all have at some stage, sometimes you just have to bite the bullet and admit you're trying to un-scramble an egg.

Like a certain milk crate of Belgian dark ale that sits in a dusty corner of my garage. Mocking me..
 

Hefty

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If you're going that route, I'd be more inclined to go with LDME, maltose syrup of just plain sugar.

Accept also, as we all have at some stage, sometimes you just have to bite the bullet and admit you're trying to un-scramble an egg.

Like a certain milk crate of Belgian dark ale that sits in a dusty corner of my garage. Mocking me..
Yeah, fair enuff. I'll see if there's any discernible difference from my attempted rest and rousing and if so I know I'm on the right track. If not, I'll stick with the "Summer Ale" from the other half of the batch.

Cheers!
Jono.
 

Markbeer

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McKenry do you mean boil some of the 'summer ale' wort and add to the pils batch?

Or boil some of the finished pils with hops and add that back?

Hey Jono,
'Fixing' beers is always tough. Even tougher when its a lager. I find it difficult to understand how it can be sweet after starting from 1.055 and FG is 1.008
Are you sure its sweet and not something else? Hops for example?
Anyway - if youre sure its sweet I would boil 3L of that wort with some other noble (in case its the saaz that tastes sweet to you) probably Perle to add another 10 IBU. German Pils can have IBU up to 40 or 50 mark.
 

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