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prAna
01/09/06 12:54 PM  
adding something to my secondary
Has anyone added anything to their Belgian beers in the secondary to give them a little more flavor. I think I messed up my specialty grains because my beer didn't quite come out as dark or flavorful as I was hoping for. It's still tasty, but lacking some complexity. Definitely going with a dark candi sugar instead of white candi sugar next time also, but I was hoping to "fix" this one in the secondary.

Thoughts?

SteveG
01/09/06 01:23 PM  
Re: adding something to my secondary
It depends, how old is this beer? If its just in the secondary I guess only a week or two? If so it may well not need fixing, it may be that it is simply too young to express whatever final complexity it will have. If you can either manage to keep it in a carboy for a month - or keg it - I would sit on the stuff and see what happens. You may be surprised what a little patience can yield!

But in case you patience yeilds nothing, then there are two things I think I would consider doing in your shoes. I'd either add oak cubes if that would work with the desired flavor of the final beer, or maybe try some fruit product. Dried cherries can be neat. But as far as malt products, I'd have to say no.

prAna
01/09/06 02:01 PM  
Re: adding something to my secondary
Thanks! It is only a week old and I just transferred to my secondary last night. I will hold off, but it was on my mind so I thought I would ask. Something like dried cherries does seem interesting, but I may want to split the batch and experiment with smaller amounts.

hmmmm....dried cherries for a month and then some oak & Brett and let it sit for 6 months....

SteveG
01/09/06 02:08 PM  
Re: adding something to my secondary
Ah, right, I should have mentioned interesting finish strains like Brett! Always an option. I have personally been very curious about WhiteLabs Claussenii. I think your though on spliting is wise too, a batch that turns out a dud can be used as a risk free experimental beer.

Eric K
01/09/06 03:51 PM  
Re: adding something to my secondary
I've found that my young "green" beer tastes rather distant from the end product. A well conditioned, carbonated beer tastes surprisingly different. I agree with Steve, sit on it for a couple of months then decide if you missed your mark.

I should note however that adding additional fermentables or spices to your secondary does increase complexity. Try adding some brown sugar to the secondary if your searching for a sweet, caramel, raisin flavor (pitch with a fresh yeast starter if the beers already been condition for more than a month in the secondary). Oak chips will also sweeten the beer, but with vanilla undertones. Rack your brew onto some freshly thawed frozen cherry's (pits and all) for a month or more for a fantastic cherry-almond flavor and aroma. The list is almost endless.

Good Luck!

 
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