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Brewing chinookie IPA and nut brown, wanna add something

Good afternoon,
I am brewing the northern brewer 5 gallon chinookie IPA and nut brown ale. I wanted to add something to each of the batches to help kick it up a notch. I am kinda new to brewing but was thinking that I could add an extra lb or so of dme to each batch, using lighter for the chinookie and a darker for the nut brown. Any other recommendations for some better brewers then myself? I really want to slightly increase the gravity, but am also happy to darken both up a bit… Bit oatmeal stout and porter fan… Any suggestions are much appreciated…
Thank you
Craig.

Any reason you aren’t just brewing a kit that is closer to the style you prefer instead of modifying an existing kit? For your first few brews I suggest trying to follow a recipe relatively closely just so you can get the feel for brewing and all its little nuances.

+1. The recipe as-is will get you drunk just fine. Brew a bigger recipe next time such as an RIS or Imperial Porter…

This will be my 7th and 8th 5 gallon batch plus numerous 2 gallons via mr.beer. (not bragging :slight_smile: I am not an experienced brewer, but think I can handle an extract kit without too many bumps and bruises… I read online where user reviews where lots of people were adding light brown sugar to their nut brown ale, I was afraid that the suagr might cause some off favors. Just wanting to do a little personalization, I am sure it’s good without but I like to tinker.

Adding brown sugar to your beer will result is a dryer (less sweet) finished product due to the fact that the sugar is 100% fermentable, if you are using it in place of other (less fermentable) ingredients. If you are using it in addition to an already existing recipe (which it sounds like you are suggesting) it will bump up your ABV and impart a molasses type flavor to your beer. If all you’re looking for is a bump in ABV, I would use regular table sugar as it shouldn’t impart any additional noticable flavors.

I didn’t mean to suggest you were inexperienced, its just that the recipes are designed very well, with each ingredient and amount in there for a very specific reason.

If you want to tweak a recipe, my suggestion would be to think about EXACTLY what you want in it that’s not in it. If its simply more alcohol, then yes, sugar is a great way to get that short of bumping each ingredient by a percentage. As mentioned, it will likely make it a dryer, maybe slightly thinner beer. Another way is to add some more base malt. Keep in mind that the BU:GU ratio becomes important here as well. That is a beer with an IBU of 50 and a OG of 1.060 has a BU:GU of 50/60 or 0.83. If you want to bump the OG up to 1.070, it would do you well to adjust the bitterness to keep that 0.83 consistent. So you would need (70*0.83) or 58.1 IBU’s.

Shorter answer, add the sugar, but not more than a pound, or it will get cidery.

Thanks for your time. I’ll play with the calculations and try to balance the beers. I don’t want to thin then out so will look at base malts first. I have read that doing a 5 gallon boil helps improve the flavor but that hop amounts need to be adjusted, is there a specific formula for that?
Thanks
Craig

the basic idea of that has to do with hop utilization - ie if you are boiling a thicker, concentrated wort, hop oils are not as soluble as if it were a thinner/full volume wort.

You can find tons of information on this on the interwebs, including a BYO study that found that Nationally-ranked BJCP’s couldn’t perceive a difference in hop aroma between full volume, extract with specialty, and partial mashed beers.

I honestly wouldn’t worry about it, but as with most things homebrewing, there is debate.

[quote=“Pietro”]the basic idea of that has to do with hop utilization - ie if you are boiling a thicker, concentrated wort, hop oils are not as soluble as if it were a thinner/full volume wort.

You can find tons of information on this on the interwebs, including a BYO study that found that Nationally-ranked BJCP’s couldn’t perceive a difference in hop aroma between full volume, extract with specialty, and partial mashed beers[/quote]

For aroma additions maybe but there is a somewhat significant difference in IBU for bittering additions. This is of course a mathematical difference in the Tinseth calulcation and I haven’t exactly had 2 beers side by side to compare the two but Beersmith takes my IIPA from a 78 to a 97 just going from 3 gallons to 5 gallons pre-boil volume.

edit: the study actually measured hop aroma and hop flavor.

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