Thin Watery Beer

Post #1 made 6 years ago
I'm hoping someone can help me identify the cause of my current problem, I've recently made 2 batches of a Bass clone (recipe from G Wheeler's book, and BIABacus posted here)

My 1st attempt fermented out tasting a little thin and watery; I decided that this could be due to not getting the same evaporation rate as the BIABacus default and being left with a few litres more at the end of boil than I'd expected. It was decent beer but not what I was expecting after my earlier Maxi-BIAB attempts which never had this problem.

I then brewed the same recipe again but lowered the evaporation rate to match what i'd seen in my first attempt. This time I hit my OG and EOB volume, happy days... Or so I thought.

This has just finished fermenting and from my initial taste from the trial jar it has the same problem.. There's no body to the beer, it's almost like you can taste the water in the beer.. If that makes any sense.

I used 2 different thermometers to check my mash temperature (66) and lost about 2 degrees over the 90 minutes.

As I said, I had mixed results with Maxi-BIAB but never had this particular problem. There are a few differences:
  • I moved house so the water is different
  • I'm now doing a full volume mash with no dilution
  • Both batches have used S-04 yeast and have fermented at around 18 degrees, I used to ferment at closer to 20-22 degrees.
I'm loathe to make another batch of beer until I have an idea what could be causing this issue.

Any help, advice or recommendations would be appreciated.

Last edited by brewdave on 23 Apr 2014, 21:02, edited 1 time in total.

Post #2 made 6 years ago
Hmm, something that leaps out to me is that you have roughly 23L VIP. Are you sure the 23L isn't supposed to be EOBV-A/VAW?

I don't have the book, so I cannot tell if this is a high integrity recipe.
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Post #3 made 6 years ago
Hi Rick,

Thanks for the reply, the book has quantities for 19, 23 and 25l, and as PP and Yeasty mentioned in the posts below the one linked above, these values should be considered EOBV-A.

I believe the recipes in this book are considered to be of decent integrity, I have brewed this beer before from this recipe using the Maxi-BIAB method and not had this issue so presumed (maybe incorrectly!) that the recipe would be sound.


Post #4 made 6 years ago
Hi Dave,

GW's recipes are good and scale well. Those that I have brewed all turned out great.

I'm not sure if Maxi would have any bearing on this apart from the thicker mash and possible lower efficiency due to initial higher wort gravity, not being a maxi biaber I can only guess.

That leaves your water,thermometers, your fermentation temperature and yeast choice.

Water: Assuming your in the UK have a go at getting a water report for you new and old address. If you haven't moved far you are probably on the same supply but you can never be certain.

Thermometers: Could be the problem, who it to say they aren't both wrong. There has been a heap of discussion on here about this subject I would suggest getting a decent digital with a few normal glass ones as backup. I us a Comark DT400 and find it very good.

Fermenting temp: Another possible reason, I'd up it to 20c which I use for most of my Ales, S04 is pretty clean but it will give you some esters at 20c

Yeast: S04 is fine and is a well respected Ale yeast, I can't see it being a problem.


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Post #5 made 6 years ago
Hi Yeasty,

Mash temperature was going to be my first thing to check, i've ordered a digital thermometer, it will be interesting to see if it reads very different to my other 2.

The Welsh Water site suggests that my water has changed from this:

to this:

The only part of that I understand are the words Soft to Slightly Hard :) so I don't know if it's relevant, or how to correct it if it is..

Thanks for the pointers, it all helps!
Last edited by brewdave on 24 Apr 2014, 21:34, edited 1 time in total.
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