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First recipe, any professional input?

Hello guys,

Going to try out making a beer from scratch and not from a kit. I plan on still using malt extract, but steeping some grains as well. This is what I have come up with:

5 Gallons

5# Munich Malt Extract

1/2# Belgian Biscuit Malt
1/2# Belgian Caramunich Malt
1# Breiss Victory Malt

1oz Willamette Hop Pellets - 60 minute
1oz Styrian Celeja Hop Pellets - 15 minutes

Wyeast 3522 Belgian Ardennes or Wyeast 1272 American Ale II

I’m looking for an Amber Ale with heavy bread/biscuit notes, good body, with a clean, crisp, fruity finish. Would this recipe produce such a thing? Or am I way off?

Any suggestions on things to add/remove are very welcome, thanks in advance!

A few problems I see. I believe both the Victory and Belgian Biscuit malts need to be mashed and are non-enzymatic, meaning they need enzymes from another grain in the mash (some base malt) to convert them.

For the yeast, unless you want some funky Belgian flavors in your Amber ale stick with a more neutral American yeast like 1052 or 1272 like you suggested. Although the descriptions of 3522 and 1272 sound somewhat similar, those yeast are dramatically different.

I’m not an extract brewer but have absorbed a lot of info from this forum. If you want a “clean, crisp” finish, you probably ought to get the bulk of your fermentables from light DME rather than the Munich, then add a couple lbs Munich to the Biscuit or Victory (no need to use both) and do a mini-mash along with the crystal (if you can steep, you can mash). Keep the mash temp in the 146-148 range to encourage a fermentable wort. You might also want to sub a lb of sugar for some of the extract.

WY1272 will add a little peachy/apricoty fruit to the beer if you ferment it at 68F (beer temp, not ambient).

Thanks for all the input, I’m learning so much on this form it’s awesome. I’ll revise and post a new recipe this evening.

i think the victory and biscuit both produce the same flavor.

So correct me if I’m wrong, but it would work better if I mashed some Munich malt with some victory, then added some light base malt extract instead of the Munich extract? I think I’ll sick with the American ale II yeast, any thoughts on my hopping plans?

That sounds better. When I used extract, I’d almost always extra light pilsen DME. Steep crystal and roasted malts to add color and flavor. Certain malts need to be mashed (like Munich and Victory). Some of the malts that need to be mashed have enough enzymes to convert themselves only. Some can convert themselves and have enough enzymes to also convert other grains as well. And last, some have little to no enzymes to convert themselves so they need other malts (with high enzymatic power) to help convert starch to sugar. You should read up on it to get an idea of which malts need to be treated which way. This will help you formulate recipes better from the start.

Anyway, some Munich with Victory sounds good. I also like your original idea of adding some caramunich as well. I’d do maybe a pound or two of Munich, 1/2lb of Victory and maybe 1/4lb of caramunich. Mash those together somewhere around 150F (give or take 5 degrees) for an hour. Then start your boil and add the needed DME.

P.S. I’d go with the 1272 yeast. I really like that yeast. Sounds good for what you’re trying to do.

As for the hops, just my opinion, but I’d use a small dose of a cleaner higher alpha hop for the bittering hop. Maybe Magnum or Nugget. Williamette is more of a later boil addition, IMO. So maybe use the Williamette during the last 10-15min of the boil.

Feel like I’m pulling your entire recipe apart… so really do what you’d like. These are just my suggestions. I brewed an American Amber Ale a few months ago that came out well. It was well received at an event that I donated the keg to.

6lbs 2-Row (you’d use DME here instead)
2lbs Munich
12oz C60 (but I like your idea of caramunich and may sub that here)
4oz Victory

1/2oz Calypso 60min
1oz Cascade 1min

1272 yeast

Everyone on this website is amazing. I am 100% addicted to brewing and being part of such a helpful community is awesome. So thank you all for that.

Here is my revised recipe:

5# Light Pilsen DME
1.5# Munich Malt
1/2# Belgian Caramunich Malt
1/2# Breiss Victory Malt

1oz German Magnum Hop Pellets - 60
.5oz Willamette Hop Pellets - 10
.5oz Styrian Celeja Hop Pellets - 15

Wyeast 1272 American Ale II

Thank you once again for all the input! What do you think?

Looks pretty solid to me. Now for the mini mash…

Looks good except one thing. That 1oz of Magnum for 60min is going to give you a lot of IBUs. May want to cut that back to 1/2oz or so for an Amber Ale. But by all means, if you’re looking for a little more bitterness… go for it!


[quote=“himynameismark”]Mini-mash?[/quote]You will need to mash the Munich along with the Victory and when you are doing only a portion of the total fermentables in the mash, it’s called a “mini-mash”. It’s like steeping, but you’ll use less water, maybe 2 qt/lb of grain, put the milled grain in a bag, then keep the temp around ~150F for 30-60 minutes. Heat the rest of the water on the side to 170F, then just as you do with steeping grains, pull the grain bag up and pour the hot water through the grain bag to rinse out some additional sugar, and then bring to a boil and start the recipe as usual.

got it. I’ll let you know how it turns out!

Yes and no, some 20L+ specialty malts can be steeped as they have seen full modification during malting, but some such as Briess victory(25L)or Belgian aromatic (26L) must be mashed whereas biscuit(23L) is fully converted and can be steeped . This is one of many references across the web to guide your choices.
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