From the HBD Archive
From: Mike Fertsch <hplabs!uiucdcs!adc1.RAY.COM!FERTSCH>
Subject: Comments on Sweet, Yeasty Beer
Date: 1989-05-02 17:37:00 GMT

Gordon Hester <gh0t+@andrew.cmu.edu> describes his first batch of homebrew
in yesterday's digest. He descirbes his month-old brew as "sweet" and
"yeasty", and asks for advice.

The sweetness in Gordon's beer might be due several causes - 1) the yeast used
might not attentuate well, leaving a high residual sweetness and a high
final specific gravity. A different brand of yeast might give a drier
(less sweet) product.

A second cause might be the age of the beer. All natural beers mature and
change in the bottle. Specifically, yeasts continue to slowly eat sugars
for months after bottling. Older beers are drier than 'fresh' beers. Wait
another month, and see what happens. But don't wait too long!

A third cause might be the extract used. Different extracts have different
percentages of fermentable and unfermentable sugars. Those brands with
lots of fermentables will taste sweeter when finished. If you really
dislike the sweetness, consider changing extracts.

The 'yeastyness' in Gordon's brew is probably just what he thinks - yeast
in the beer. Some yeasts settle out of the beer better than others; good
ones make a nice hard film on the bottom of the carboy or bottle. Was the
beer yeasty at bottling? If it was, perhaps waiting longer prior to
bottling would allow more yeast to settle out into the fermenter. I chill
my carboy for a few days prior to bottling - almost all the yeast drops
out, and very little goes into the bottle.

Mike Fertsch

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