High Percentage of Crystal Malt

I’m brewing a Rogue St. Red Ale Clone (Zymurgy’s 2003 version) hopefully tomorrow that comes in with 30% crystal malts.
It’s an even split of english 1lb c-15L, 1lb c-40L, and 1lb c-75L. The rest of the grain bill is 1lb munich and 6lb 2-Row.

The OG I’m shooting for is 1.051 and ibu’s going in will be 44. I’m not using the pac-man beast yeast, instead using a big starter of 1056, so I plan on lowering the mash temp from 155F to 150F to increase the amount of fermentables.

Should I still worry about the beer being too sweet even with that amount of ibu’s and lowered mash temp? The recipe has been printed twice, once in Zymurgy and one in BYO, so I figured it can’t be too far off.

Has anyone brewed this recipe or one close before?

Wow! 30% is a lot of crystal. I usually say that about 20%. I think you’re on the right path with mashing lower. That said, if it’s been printed a few times from a reputable source and you like the beer that is being cloned you’ll probably be good. Probably. Mash low, lot’s of yeast, and great aeration to make sure you don’t finish any higher than you need to.

Their website says 13Plato as OG and it has a abv of 5.1%, so I’m thinking it only has to drop to 1.013-1.014 range, which shouldn’t be a problem (fingers crossed).

Let us know how this turns out. I’ve never used nearly this much crystal, I’m curious how it works out.

No way in hell that beer will finish at 1.014 with 30% crystal malt, even if you mash low. Try this: reduce the crystal a little to 25%, AND mash very low at 148 F for 75-90 minutes. Then you might be okay.

If you use Pacman, you should be fine. 30% crystal is not unusual for Rogue. I use that much in a couple of my beers and I’ve never noticed a problem with attenuation, given proper mash temp, and yeast selection and pitching rate.

So Pacman just eats pretty much anything?

Yep…and at low temps!

Thanks for the replies.
I don’t have Pacman yeast and I’ve already mixed my grains up. So I’ll mash low, 148F, for 90 minutes and see what happens.
Hopefully this 1L starter of super fresh wyeast 1056 does a rock star job.

Funny though, the original 2003 recipe has all that crystal, 155F mash, and dry yeast!

I’ve honestly never heard of using crystal over 20% like this. It was one of those unwritten but widely espoused rules that sounded legit so I never questioned it. I’ll have to give this a try sometime just to test the dogma.

Would be an interesting experiment. Maybe worth a small batch

Brew has been in primary for 7 days and krausen dropped after 5.

I mashed at 148F for 90 minutes, gave it a very fresh 1.5L starter of wyeast 1056, and fermented between 68-70F (actual wort/beer temp).

Just pulled a hydrometer sample and it read 1.012, so 76% attenuation from 1.054.

And of course I tasted the sample.

Didn’t taste all that well, but didn’t expect a 7 day old room temp sample full of yeast to, but the body seemed to be spot on for a warm flat sample.

I do think however if I had mashed higher and fermented slightly lower, I would not have gotten to that FG.

OK I found this thread again just as I was getting ready to mash in on a small batch of ESB, so I went downstairs and crushed some more crystal and now the recipe has 25% crystal. Will report back on the results. This grist is 6lb Warminster pale ale malt, 1lb British crystal 40L and 1lb British crystal 80L.