slight sugar taste in bourban

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slight sugar taste in bourban

Postby Full_moon » Thu Apr 20, 2017 6:54 am

I get a slight sugary taste in my bourbon on most runs. I make a decent bourbon of 75% corn, 17% barley and 8% rye. I just tasted a sample of some than is about to come off the charred oak. It is perfect , Needs to age about another 2 weeks or so. used us 05 yeast and in fermenter 8 days.
So I poured a glass from the previous batch and taste a slight sweetness on initial sip. Something I have tasted in other batches.
What am I doing to cause this?
I mash in a bop, with elect. stirrer. corn at 190F for 90 minutes grains at 145F for 60 min. using high temp. enzyme on corn. (Pintoshines method) Most of the time I cover overnight and transfer to fermenter off the grain.
Ferment with bakers yeast usually at 80F 4-6 days. sometimes with US 05 at 68F. 2-3 strip runs and then a spirit run.
I have noticed this slight sweetness on initial sip in other all grain barley batches I have made also. (Jimbos all grain) mashed in my grainfather at 148f.
Where do you think it is occurring, in mash, ferment and why? Not that the slight sweetness is bad, just wish I could control it but at a loss of how to go about it.
thanks
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Re: slight sugar taste in bourban

Postby ShineonCrazyDiamond » Thu Apr 20, 2017 7:11 am

What's your usual fg?

I recently experimented with high fg's ranging from 1.02 to 1.04 (well, more of a stubborn I'm going to run it anyways, I don't care if you won't dry out, you sob barrel). I noticed that the higher the fg, the sweeter my bourbon. Even Had to change cuts to balance. Yes, less alcohol, but packed with different sweet flavors.

This was noticeable in the white dog.

Now, If you are saying only after the wood, then your char level can create lots of caramel sweetness.

Also, I find barley can turn from a grain flavor while fresh and white, to an awesome sweetness after oak and aging.

Safe to say I know how to make a sweet bourbon :lol: . Any of these are a direction for you to play around with :thumbup:
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Re: slight sugar taste in bourban

Postby HDNB » Thu Apr 20, 2017 7:28 am

I'd say you are doing everything right. It's nice to have a sweetness in white bourbon.

If you are looking to counteract it with bitterness (i think thats the opposite of sweetness) add some tails. it would improve on long term aging for complexity and may give you what you want when young.

i find corn distillates sweet, actually most distillates a bit sweet if they are done right (imho)

aging on oak is definitely going to sweeten it up. I had a 100% rye white that had a big flavour, a bit bitter on the finish. put some wood in it at 50% and it went really spicy. so much so, i filled a barrel with the pre-oaked stuff and stuffed some extra cubes in the barrel upped the proof to 62% and after just about 10 days it has turned really sweet. (new barrel)
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Re: slight sugar taste in bourban

Postby BoomTown » Thu Apr 20, 2017 8:34 am

I'd guess that cooking your corn at 190 for a period is what results in the sweetness you getting. If you think its a problem (I prefer that in a bourbon) you can still get good starch conversion at 170 - 180F, just hold it a little longer, to let the enzymes work. The taste will be a little dryer, and it will work out to have a 'thinner' mouth feel than the high temperature mashes, but it is good. Also, I used a about a 15 to 20% mix of hard grain (white winter wheat) to accent that sweetness for some of the bourbons, you might like that if you like sweeter bourbons.

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Re: slight sugar taste in bourban

Postby seamusm53 » Thu Apr 20, 2017 9:00 am

Corn mash/distillate (at least with my taste buds) is always slightly sweet. As a result I can always recognize the signature flavor of bourbon and most every liquor with a significant corn percentage of the grain bill. Of course ageing in toasted/charred wood does add sugars and other flavors. Outside of 'burping' I don't think sugar per se makes it from the boiler to the distillate (sugars have relatively too high a molecular weight/boiling point) so I presume the sweetness is due to other lighter weight volatile compounds - aldehydes and various alcohols.
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Re: slight sugar taste in bourban

Postby still_stirrin » Thu Apr 20, 2017 10:53 am

HDNB wrote:...i find corn distillates sweet, actually most distillates a bit sweet if they are done right (imho)...aging on oak is definitely going to sweeten it up...I had a 100% rye white that had a big flavour...
Totally agree with this...corn tastes sweet and with the vanilla and caramel flavors added in oak...yumm. And rye will indeed add a "sharp sourdough" flavor to the spirit (intensity dependent on percentage of rye in the grain bill). It can be "peppery" or "slightly bitter" tasting.

seamusm53 wrote:...Corn mash/distillate (at least with my taste buds) is always slightly sweet. As a result I can always recognize the signature flavor of bourbon and most every liquor with a significant corn percentage of the grain bill. Of course ageing in toasted/charred wood does add sugars and other flavors...
+1. Yet more corroboration of noticeable character in bourbon recipes. I like the addition of oats to a bourbon as well, because it "softens the sharp edges" otherwise noted in the flavor, especially if you use rye malt in your grain bill. All the flavors fit well together...
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Re: slight sugar taste in bourban

Postby Full_moon » Thu Apr 20, 2017 12:22 pm

Thanks so much for your advice, I truly appreciate it. I guess I am on par for what I am making and I have a much deeper insight now.
The addition of oats to my recipe sound like its something to try. What percentage would work well.
I must admit, when asked for OG and FG, after many batches I know I will get an OG of around 1.060 and a a complete fermentation from just knowing if I do this amount of grain at this temperature in this much water a certain amount of time and when opening the fermenter after the airlock stops if it looks right, smells right and tastes right it is done. sure not saying this is the way to do it, heck no, but it has been so repeatable for me that I have become a little complacent.
Im sure Popcorn Sutton would not know what a hydrometer looked like.
I do have a new toy I have used on my last brewday, a Blue moon clone. Its called the TILT hydrometer. It floates in the wort and gives you a hydrometer and temperature reading, bluetoothed to a tablet or phone. You can see the day to day progress. Really cool, so now My complacent attitude is solved.

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Last edited by Full_moon on Thu Apr 20, 2017 12:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: slight sugar taste in bourban

Postby nerdybrewer » Thu Apr 20, 2017 12:31 pm

Full_moon wrote:Thanks so much for your advice, I truly appreciate it. I guess I am on par for what I am making and I have a much deeper insight now.
The addition of oats to my recipe sound like its something to try. What percentage would work well.
I must admit, when asked for OG and FG, after many batches I know I will get an OG of around 1.060 and a a complete fermentation from just knowing if I do this amount of grain at this temperature in this much water a certain amount of time and when opening the fermenter after the airlock stops if it looks right, smells right and tastes right it is done. sure not saying this is the way to do it, heck no, but it has been so repeatable for me that I have become a little complacent.
Im sure Popcorn Sutton would not know what a hydrometer looked like.
I do have a new toy I have used on my last brewday, a Blue moon clone. Its called the TILT hydrometer. It floates in the wort and gives you a hydrometer and temperature reading, bluetoothed to a tablet or phone. Really cool, so now My complacent attitude is solved.

Shine on


Sounds like a gadget I'd enjoy - where did you get it?
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Re: slight sugar taste in bourban

Postby Full_moon » Thu Apr 20, 2017 12:39 pm

https://tilthydrometer.com/?gclid=Cj0KE ... Amx58P8HAQ

$120.00 plus ship. You need, android 4.4 or better or Iphone or Ipad, forget what version but its all on their website.
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Re: slight sugar taste in bourban

Postby der wo » Fri Apr 21, 2017 5:49 am

Full_moon wrote:Its called the TILT hydrometer. It floates in the wort and gives you a hydrometer and temperature reading, bluetoothed to a tablet or phone.

My hydrometer also floates in the wort. And because the bucket is transparent I can see the measurement when I want. And the temperature correction? Well, at least at the end of the fermentation the temp of the wash is the same like the temp of the place where it stands. And generally, what will you do, when the FG turns out bad? You cannot do anything. So why not simply wait and only measure directly before stripping? A 120$ electronic bluetooth hydrometer is wasted money.

To the original question:
I also think a high FG leads to a sweeter taste. Good or bad it's up to you. And generally corn gives an illusion of sweetness you don't have with barley, wheat or rye. Did you use only the high temp alpha amylase or also glucoamylase? If you want to reduce the sugar taste either use glucoamylase or add the malt at a lower temp, rest much longer, stir it often and insulate everything well.
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Re: slight sugar taste in bourban

Postby cuginosgrizzo » Fri Apr 21, 2017 7:38 am

der wo wrote: So why not simply wait and only measure directly before stripping? A 120$ electronic bluetooth hydrometer is wasted money.


Please let me disagree, sir. :mrgreen:

I find that it has great value to measure the SG of the worth without opening the bucket. I find it has greater value to monitor it from my own cell, even when I am at work. And I can see when it is done even it I am away from home, so I can come back an run it (or bottle it if it is beer). And I can keep and historical detailed track record of all my ferments.

I am one that can monitor the temperature of all the rooms in the hous and set the heating elements in each room from the cell, wherever I am. Or I can drive my TV, Home Cinema, Sourround Ampli, burglar alarm or A/C from said cell phone from anywhere. Maybe these are not vital features but they are cool and worth what I spent for them!

My car has tire pressure sensors, burnout light sensors...are those wasted money also, since you can measure it yourself or check the lights?

c'mon der wo, get a life :wink:
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Re: slight sugar taste in bourban

Postby piperdave » Fri Apr 21, 2017 7:53 am

cuginosgrizzo wrote:I find it has greater value to monitor it from my own cell, even when I am at work. And I can see when it is done even it I am away from home, so I can come back an run it (or bottle it if it is beer).



Not knocking the product or the value you get from it. Just to mention that it is bluetooth so unless you're work office is at home I doubt that you are getting any readings from it away from your house.
Last edited by piperdave on Fri Apr 21, 2017 8:50 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: slight sugar taste in bourban

Postby der wo » Fri Apr 21, 2017 8:39 am

cuginosgrizzo wrote:
der wo wrote: So why not simply wait and only measure directly before stripping? A 120$ electronic bluetooth hydrometer is wasted money.


Please let me disagree, sir. :mrgreen: Hmmm, an Italian for dinner, yummy! :mrgreen:

I find that it has great value to measure the SG of the worth without opening the bucket. I don't have to open it too. But why measure during the fermentation? Wait until it stops fermenting. Then you will have to run it regardless what the FG is. I find it has greater value to monitor it from my own cell, even when I am at work. And I can see when it is done even it I am away from home, so I can come back an run it (or bottle it if it is beer). So you will book an earlier flight, when the ferment is done? Or try to arrive home from work one hour earlier? And I can keep and historical detailed track record of all my ferments. Why do you want records except the OG and the FG?

I am one that can monitor the temperature of all the rooms in the hous and set the heating elements in each room from the cell, wherever I am. Or I can drive my TV, Home Cinema, Sourround Ampli, burglar alarm or A/C from said cell phone from anywhere. Maybe these are not vital features but they are cool and worth what I spent for them!

My car has tire pressure sensors, burnout light sensors...are those wasted money also, since you can measure it yourself or check the lights? Not all sensors and automation is wasted money. Here if any an airlock sensor would be more useful.

c'mon der wo, get a life :wink:
Ok, everyone gets a different life. Take my post as arguments against, but of course everyone is allowed to see it otherwise.

That was yummy... :mrgreen:

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Re: slight sugar taste in bourban

Postby Full_moon » Fri Apr 21, 2017 9:54 am

Not knocking the product or the value you get from it. Just to mention that it is bluetooth so unless you're work office is at home I doubt that you are getting any readings from it away from your house. quote

The Tilt talks to you phone/tablet via Bluetooth, the tablet/phone talks to the app/cloud and you can see the readings hour by hour,day by day, in a nice,well done graph.
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Re: slight sugar taste in bourban

Postby piperdave » Fri Apr 21, 2017 11:24 am

At some point the tablet/phone has to be in bluetooth range. If the phone/tablet is in your pocket and you are 20 miles from home what does the bluetooth do?

From the TILT Website:
***********************************************************
Hello fellow brewers! Here's how I (Noah) post my specific gravity and temperature reading from the Brewometer to my Google Sheets.

The Brewometer iOS and Android app lets you post your data to the cloud. You will need two things to constantly send data to the cloud:
1. A personal google/gmail account (we do not manage cloud data).
2. A dedicated smartphone or tablet to leave plugged in/charging near your fermenter.

***********************************************************

Just sayin'.

EDIT:This is straying from the original topic. Sorry.
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Re: slight sugar taste in bourban

Postby RedwoodHillBilly » Fri Apr 21, 2017 9:22 pm

piperdave wrote:At some point the tablet/phone has to be in bluetooth range. If the phone/tablet is in your pocket and you are 20 miles from home what does the bluetooth do?

From the TILT Website:
***********************************************************
Hello fellow brewers! Here's how I (Noah) post my specific gravity and temperature reading from the Brewometer to my Google Sheets.

The Brewometer iOS and Android app lets you post your data to the cloud. You will need two things to constantly send data to the cloud:
1. A personal google/gmail account (we do not manage cloud data).
2. A dedicated smartphone or tablet to leave plugged in/charging near your fermenter.

***********************************************************

Just sayin'.

EDIT:This is straying from the original topic. Sorry.
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Re: slight sugar taste in bourban

Postby johnnyv » Wed Apr 26, 2017 3:49 pm

der wo wrote:
Full_moon wrote:Its called the TILT hydrometer. It floates in the wort and gives you a hydrometer and temperature reading, bluetoothed to a tablet or phone.

My hydrometer also floates in the wort. And because the bucket is transparent I can see the measurement when I want. And the temperature correction? Well, at least at the end of the fermentation the temp of the wash is the same like the temp of the place where it stands. And generally, what will you do, when the FG turns out bad? You cannot do anything. So why not simply wait and only measure directly before stripping? A 120$ electronic bluetooth hydrometer is wasted money.

To the original question:
I also think a high FG leads to a sweeter taste. Good or bad it's up to you. And generally corn gives an illusion of sweetness you don't have with barley, wheat or rye. Did you use only the high temp alpha amylase or also glucoamylase? If you want to reduce the sugar taste either use glucoamylase or add the malt at a lower temp, rest much longer, stir it often and insulate everything well.


Do you not get CO2 bubbles adhering to the hydrometer and giving a lower SG than actual? With fast active ferments notice I get the SG decreasing if I wait too long, got to stir to dislodge the bubbles and take the reading as soon as it stops bobbing.
You can get an aquarium thermometer with an adjustable suction cup for very cheap the can be stuck to the inner wall with the scale showing from the outside if you want to do temperature correction.
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Re: slight sugar taste in bourban

Postby mulligan » Wed Apr 26, 2017 4:52 pm

I'd be tempted to nuke (microwave) anything that tastes too sweet.
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Re: slight sugar taste in bourban

Postby der wo » Thu Apr 27, 2017 9:25 am

johnnyv wrote:
der wo wrote:
Full_moon wrote:Its called the TILT hydrometer. It floates in the wort and gives you a hydrometer and temperature reading, bluetoothed to a tablet or phone.

My hydrometer also floates in the wort. And because the bucket is transparent I can see the measurement when I want. And the temperature correction? Well, at least at the end of the fermentation the temp of the wash is the same like the temp of the place where it stands. And generally, what will you do, when the FG turns out bad? You cannot do anything. So why not simply wait and only measure directly before stripping? A 120$ electronic bluetooth hydrometer is wasted money.

To the original question:
I also think a high FG leads to a sweeter taste. Good or bad it's up to you. And generally corn gives an illusion of sweetness you don't have with barley, wheat or rye. Did you use only the high temp alpha amylase or also glucoamylase? If you want to reduce the sugar taste either use glucoamylase or add the malt at a lower temp, rest much longer, stir it often and insulate everything well.


Do you not get CO2 bubbles adhering to the hydrometer and giving a lower SG than actual? With fast active ferments notice I get the SG decreasing if I wait too long, got to stir to dislodge the bubbles and take the reading as soon as it stops bobbing.
You can get an aquarium thermometer with an adjustable suction cup for very cheap the can be stuck to the inner wall with the scale showing from the outside if you want to do temperature correction.

The SG measurement is only interesting at the beginning and at the end of the fermentation. During the very active stage perhaps the CO² would influence the measurement.
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