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I have recently brewed a nice rye ale. It turned out very nicely, however, compared to all the other beers I've brewed, it has a really syrupy texture and thickness to it. It quite dry but it isn't strong, ABV is 5.5%. The main malts were pale, rye and some wheat.

So I was wondering - what are general influences on the thickness of a beer? Is it just the malts (I'd guess the wheat malt is at least somehow responsible for parts of the syrupiness)?

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Using today's highly modified malts, mash temp makes a lot less difference than it used it. I'd say it's the rye. I have made many, many rye beers and as the % of rye rises, the beer gets a thicker, more intense mouthfeeel.

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  • thanks for the good answer - i'm accepting it as the "correct" answer, since i also guess it's the rye. I've read this article that confirms what you've wrote. – dru87 Oct 23 '16 at 9:12
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Generally the temperature of the mash can give a thicker consistency to the beer as you move from 63-68 degC for you mash temperature the high you go the more dominant alpha-amylase will be. This cleaves off unfermentable tri-saccharides (three unit sugars) which give a full mouth feel, where as beta amylase which is most active ~63-64 degC cleaves single glucose molecules off the starch chains, giving highly fermentable wort and thinner bodied beer.

Also sometimes diacetyl can lend a buttery/butterscotch like syrupy feel to the beer.

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  • nice answer, thanks! i forgot to mention in my question, that the beer is actually quite dry, so there arent that many "unfermentable tri-saccharides" I'd assume... – dru87 Oct 17 '16 at 5:50
  • while technically correct, in the real world it just doesn't matter that much – Denny Conn Oct 20 '16 at 21:25

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