Over-attenuated beer
  • jlwjlw
    Posts: 16,449
    Help me understand what over-attenuated means and how I can prevent in the future. I will brew my wee heavy again and this time probably not to an 11% beer but something lower and I want to make sure with this beer or any in the future I avoid over-attenuation.

    Here is the recipe with notes:


    BeerSmith 2 Recipe Printout - http://www.beersmith.com
    Recipe: 12-12-12 Wee Heavy
    Brewer: The Bastardo
    Asst Brewer:
    Style: Strong Scotch Ale
    TYPE: All Grain
    Taste: (30.0)

    Recipe Specifications
    --------------------------
    Boil Size: 8.66 gal
    Post Boil Volume: 6.24 gal
    Batch Size (fermenter): 5.50 gal
    Bottling Volume: 5.50 gal
    Estimated OG: 1.115 SG
    Estimated Color: 13.0 SRM
    Estimated IBU: 16.9 IBUs
    Brewhouse Efficiency: 75.00 %
    Est Mash Efficiency: 81.8 %
    Boil Time: 120 Minutes

    Ingredients:
    ------------
    Amt Name Type # %/IBU
    22 lbs 2.4 oz Pale Malt, Maris Otter (3.0 SRM) Grain 1 98.9 %
    4.0 oz Roasted Barley (300.0 SRM) Grain 2 1.1 %
    1.00 oz Fuggles [4.50 %] - Boil 45.0 min Hop 3 10.0 IBUs
    0.75 oz Goldings, East Kent [5.00 %] - Boil 30.0 Hop 4 6.9 IBUs
    1.0 pkg Scottish Ale (Wyeast Labs #1728) [124.21 Yeast 5 -


    Mash Schedule: Single Infusion, Medium Body, Batch Sparge
    Total Grain Weight: 22 lbs 6.4 oz
    ----------------------------
    Name Description Step Temperat Step Time
    Mash In Add 29.00 qt of water at 163.3 F 152.0 F 60 min

    Sparge: Drain mash tun, Batch sparge with 1 steps (4.35gal) of 168.0 F water
    Notes:
    ------
    1 month primary FG: 1.026

    At the end of the mash pull 2 gallons of the first runnings and boil until it turns into syrup. Add back to the main boil with 10 or 15 min to go. This makes for a much longer brew day as the boil will take a long time to complete but the flavor profile will be worth the wait. To reduce the time boil the first runnings while the main boil is under way.

    Primary for 4 weeks and then transfer to secondary and age for 6 months in bulk storage. At this point you can bottle or keg. You can also oak or add whiskey for an additional flavor profile. Once bottled or kegged allow to age another 5 months before drinking.
  • ceanntceannt
    Posts: 51,493
    Attenuation is a style dependant thing ...
    Some beers, like a strong Belgian Ale are brewed for attenuation .... very low mash temps and low temp sparges.
    for styles that "should be" not as attenuated, and you want a lot of body and a bit of "chew"... mash higher to get more unfermentable sugars ... stop any enzyme activity with a mash out (or with higher sparge water temps). The yeast chosen can also make a difference ... and the temperature of fermentation can even play a part.
    Never attribute to malice, that which can adequately be explained by stupidity.
  • ceanntceannt
    Posts: 51,493
    The original gravity sometimes even can have an effect .... S-04... often considered a "low to medium" attenuating yeast can be a real beast with higher gravity beers.
    Never attribute to malice, that which can adequately be explained by stupidity.
  • ceanntceannt
    Posts: 51,493
    For the recipe above .... all else equal ... raising the mash temp to 158 or even 159 would give the body ... (and lower the potential alcohol)
    But after tasting it ... . I don't think I would change it that much .... heck with the style ... that's some good beer.
    if you brew again.... maybe kick the mash temp up to 156... and compromise ...
    Never attribute to malice, that which can adequately be explained by stupidity.
  • ceanntceannt
    Posts: 51,493
    Oh.... some folks will just add a bunch of crystal malts to boost body .... it will ... and will also make it painfully sweet ... don't even think about changing that grain bill ... the sweetness in a wee heavy comes from the kettle caramelzation ... and from the base malt ...
    Never attribute to malice, that which can adequately be explained by stupidity.
  • FuzzyFuzzy
    Posts: 47,385
    i have no experience with maltodextrin, but it's meant to boost the body and mouthfeel. you might try brewing as per usual and adding some in (1/2#?) during the boil.
    "Oh, you were serious? I was drunk."-C_B
  • jlwjlw
    Posts: 16,449
    ceannt said:

    For the recipe above .... all else equal ... raising the mash temp to 158 or even 159 would give the body ... (and lower the potential alcohol)
    But after tasting it ... . I don't think I would change it that much .... heck with the style ... that's some good beer.
    if you brew again.... maybe kick the mash temp up to 156... and compromise ...



    this makes sense. I like the idea of getting more body and a little less alcohol. this was part of the 12-12-12 thread on another board so I was trying to get it as close to 12% as possible. Next time I would rather it be in the 9 to 10% range. I think an adjustment in mash temp would get me there.
  • ceanntceannt
    Posts: 51,493
    jlw said:

    ceannt said:

    For the recipe above .... all else equal ... raising the mash temp to 158 or even 159 would give the body ... (and lower the potential alcohol)
    But after tasting it ... . I don't think I would change it that much .... heck with the style ... that's some good beer.
    if you brew again.... maybe kick the mash temp up to 156... and compromise ...



    this makes sense. I like the idea of getting more body and a little less alcohol. this was part of the 12-12-12 thread on another board so I was trying to get it as close to 12% as possible. Next time I would rather it be in the 9 to 10% range. I think an adjustment in mash temp would get me there.


    yeah... 9% or so.... adjust the mash temp.... ferment in your fancy new chamber at the low end of the yeast's temp. range... be spot on...

    In the mean time......... I'll drink all that oaked version you don't want!
    Never attribute to malice, that which can adequately be explained by stupidity.