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IPA malt bill help

I just brewed an IPA with the following malt bill:

Pale 2 row 82%
Vienna 14%
Crystal 15 4%

OG 1.065
IBU 75

I really like it and it tastes balanced with just enough malt and tad of sweetness to balance the hops.
I want to brew a similar recipe with IBUs of about 65 using Munich instead of Vienna and crystal 40 instead of 15. I don’t want it any sweeter and have never used munich.
My question is, any opinions on the percentages, ie should I use less munich (and/or crystal 40) than I did vienna or crystal 15?

Thanks

[quote=“Trapae”]should I use less munich (and/or crystal 40) than I did vienna or crystal 15?
[/quote]If you want it balanced like the first beer you brewed you’ll have to use less, especially the C-40 and likely the base malt too since you’re dropping the IBUs by 10.

I would brew the same recipe again with the same IBUs and only change one thing, like the Munich or the crystal malt and see what that does for you. Or you could lower the IBUs and lower the grain bill (same percentages) keeping the bitterness ratio (IBU/OG) the same.

I have a couple of suggestions for you. 1) Instead of using Munich and crystal malts, use one malt that’s somewhere in between, like Dark Munich or aromatic. 2) Try Weyermann’s Carahell malt. I use it at a rate of 8 to 12% in my pale ales and IPAs. I know that sounds like a lot, but in my experience, it just adds a really solid dose of malt richness without adding too much in the way of sweetness, and it doesn’t overpower the other ingredients. Incidentally, what’s your hop bill? You didn’t say anything about that.

Here is the full recipe. In the original, there was a columbus FWH addition and a Simcoe flameout addition that I omitted in this one, and the chinook is new (cause my wife wanted a little pine). Also, my FG was 1.010 instead of 1.014, so ABV was like 7.2%.

Batch Size: 5.50 gal Style: American IPA
Color: 7.1 SRM
Bitterness: 66.2 IBUs Boil Time: 60 min
Est OG: 1.064 (15.5° P)
Est FG: 1.014 SG (3.6°)
ABV: 6.5%

1 tbs Gypsum (Calcium Sulfate) (Mash 60 min)
12 lbs 8.0 oz Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM)
1 lbs 4.0 oz Munich Malt - 10L (10.0 SRM)
8.0 oz Caramel/Crystal Malt - 40L (40.0 SRM)
0.45 oz Magnum [14.0%] - Boil 60 min
0.5 oz Centennial [10.0%] - Boil 15 min
0.35 oz Columbus (Tomahawk) [14.0%] - Boil 15 min
0.35 oz Chinook [13.0%] - Boil 15 min
1.00 Whirlfloc Tablet (Boil 15 min)
0.5 oz Centennial [10.0%] - Boil 10 min
0.5 oz Columbus (Tomahawk) [14.0%] - Boil 10 min
0.5 oz Centennial [10.0%] - Boil 5 min
0.5 oz Columbus (Tomahawk) [14.0%] - Boil 5 min
0.5 oz Columbus (Tomahawk) [14.0%] - Boil 0 min
0.5 oz Centennial [10.0%] - Boil 0 min
0.5 oz Chinook [13.0%] - Boil 0 min
2 pkgs American Ale (Wyeast Labs #1056)
1.0 oz Columbus (Tomahawk) [14.0%] - Dry Hop 4 days
1.5 oz Centennial [10.0%] - Dry Hop 4 days
0.5 oz Chinook [13.0%] - Dry Hop 4 days

That recipe looks pretty solid to me. What exactly are you hoping to achieve by changing the recipe? What is it that you think the current recipe is lacking, or what other kind of flavor are you shooting for? I have to ask because with all those hops, subtle changes in the malt bill aren’t likely to make a very noticeable difference, and I’m wondering if the change you’re hoping to create might be more effectively brought about by a change of yeast instead of a change in malt. The whole flavor balance thing is often more profoundly affected by yeast strain, and the fermentation regimen as well, for that matter, than we realize. Often, the first thing we think about changing when we want to improve on a recipe is the grain bill, when the most likely candidate for change might very well be the yeast instead, or something about the way the beer is being fermented. IPAs can be extremely complex beers, and without tasting it myself, it’s pretty much impossible to say what it might need. I see you’re using the Wyeast American ale yeast, and there’s nothing wrong with that. But I’m wondering if maybe you should experiment with some other strain, like a British ale yeast, depending on what kind of flavor balance you’re shooting for. That’s about all I can say for now.

eh eh.

I LOVE British beers, but do not like their yeast in American hop forward beers. All the ones I have used impart a slight tang that works BEAUTIFULLY with British hops, but just gets in the way of American hops. While I do agree yeast can make a difference, I do not think WLP002/005/S-04/etc. are the answer. Maybe Pacman or East Coast Ale?

I think the Carahell idea is a great one. Vienna has more diastatic power than Munich, so I think your switch to Munich might make a difference in and of itself, but what about munich and 4% carahell?

eh eh.

I LOVE British beers, but do not like their yeast in American hop forward beers. All the ones I have used impart a slight tang that works BEAUTIFULLY with British hops, but just gets in the way of American hops. While I do agree yeast can make a difference, I do not think WLP002/005/S-04/etc. are the answer. Maybe Pacman or East Coast Ale?

I think the Carahell idea is a great one. Vienna has more diastatic power than Munich, so I think your switch to Munich might make a difference in and of itself, but what about munich and 4% carahell?[/quote]
I guess you could use Munich and Carahell malts together, but I tend to be a bit of a minimalist with my malt bills. If I’m going for a particular kind of flavor in a beer, I prefer to just use one in the same general color range, because I don’t really think that more malts leads to better flavor in general. There are exceptions to that rule, of course. There are kilned malts that fall into the same color range as some caramel malts, and they don’t have the same kind of flavor. And using more than one dark grain, like chocolate malt, roasted barley, and black malt, to create a complex dark malt flavor in a stout, can definitely work. What I mean is that I don’t see the point of using two malts that are too similar in the same beer, like victory and biscuit, or melanoidin and dark Munich, or whatever. I also don’t see much point in drowning a beer in 9 or 10 different varieties of hops. I rarely use more than 3 in one beer, even in an IPA. If you would have looked at my recipes 10 years ago, you would see that I used to go a bit overboard with my malt bills, with at least 5 grains in pretty much every beer I made. But as time has gone by, I’ve learned that my beers definitely taste better with simpler grain bills, consisting of usually no more than 3 grains, including any adjuncts. The exception to that general practice is with my dark beers, as I touched on before. I will still brew stouts with 7 or 8 different grains, I just try to avoid going much under 85% or so on the base malt. As far as your point on British yeast in American-style beers, I guess I have to admit that I haven’t actually experimented much with that idea. I’ve been experimenting on paper for a very long time with the idea of an IPA/ESB fusion, with a combination of American and British ingredients, but I’ve never really put it to the test on brewing day, and I’ll admit the idea is somewhat daunting from a design perspective. It’s one of those fantasy beer ideas that I’ve never really seen done in the commercial beer world, at least not done very well. The closest thing I’ve seen on the market is Rogue’s Brutal Bitter, and I do think that’s a pretty good beer. It just doesn’t have as much British character as the theoretical beer I have in mind. Okay, I’ve gone on enough about this :blah:

Thanks for the opinions. What I was trying to change is threefold:

  1. Little less citrus hop flavor
  2. Little more pine hop flavor
  3. Just wanted to try munich malt because I have never brewed with it and I see it in many IPA recipes.

I really like the original brew, but fun to change things up.

[quote=“Trapae”]Thanks for the opinions. What I was trying to change is threefold:

  1. Little less citrus hop flavor
  2. Little more pine hop flavor
  3. Just wanted to try munich malt because I have never brewed with it and I see it in many IPA recipes.

I really like the original brew, but fun to change things up.[/quote]
To get what you want, replace half the Centennial with Simco (or replace all of it if you want to go highly pine - adjust amounts to get the IBUs you want), and make a strait-up substitution of Munich for the Vienna. The difference in enzyme content between the two malts will make zero difference in this beer, but you will get richer malt undertones from the Munich.

Munich is a great malt, I use more of it than anything else except for pilsner, pale and wheat malts. If you really want to know how it works, brew a Munich Dunkel like I did this past weekend: 99% light Munich malt, 1% Carafa Special III. Blew me away the first time I brewed that recipe.

[quote=“rebuiltcellars”][quote=“Trapae”]Thanks for the opinions. What I was trying to change is threefold:

  1. Little less citrus hop flavor
  2. Little more pine hop flavor
  3. Just wanted to try munich malt because I have never brewed with it and I see it in many IPA recipes.

I really like the original brew, but fun to change things up.[/quote]
To get what you want, replace half the Centennial with Simco (or replace all of it if you want to go highly pine - adjust amounts to get the IBUs you want), [/quote]

See I’ve had Simcoe-heavy beers that are extremely citrusy (orange) (Pliny and clones). I may say go toward more CTZ or even Chinook (late hops) if you want more pine.

[quote=“rebuiltcellars”] strait-up substitution of Munich for the Vienna. The difference in enzyme content between the two malts will make zero difference in this beer, but you will get richer malt undertones from the Munich.
[/quote]

This is a great suggestion. Munich this time, Victory next time, then Melanoidin (all are similar, but slightly different).

@ Delusion - I had the same thoughts when I brewed my twin IPAs, one with s-04 and one with s-05, then another with 002. Wanted a ‘maltier’ beer without the caramelly/chewy malt, so I tried a British yeast. I basically found that it floc’d a little less than neutral American ale yeasts and that it left this slight tang in the beer.

The OP could also try mashing a bit higher, say 152-4*? It sounds like it attenuated a little more than you wanted last time, leaving you with a higher ABV and a crisper beer. Maybe try a slightly less fermentable wort?

TLDR - it seems like you are pretty happy with this beer, but just want to experiment to make it better. It also sounds like the hop profile is of more importance (particularly to The Captain, for whom it is MOST important that you brew good beer, aka ‘beer she likes’!) at this point. I would mess with the hops on the next batch, see how you like the malt with them, THEN mess with the malt, one variable at a time.

[quote=“Trapae”]Thanks for the opinions. What I was trying to change is threefold:

  1. Little less citrus hop flavor
  2. Little more pine hop flavor
  3. Just wanted to try munich malt because I have never brewed with it and I see it in many IPA recipes.

I really like the original brew, but fun to change things up.[/quote]

If you really want to shake things up with your hops, I’d strongly recommend trying some of the new generation New Zealand or Australian hops, or even some of the newer German ones. They have different fruit characteristics than American hops, and they can have some subtle pine notes, too. New Zealand Pacific Hallertau or Pacific Gem are excellent finishing hops in my experience. As far as the Munich malt is concerned, I’d say you could definitely push up the quantity quite a bit on that, like around 20 or 25%, just to see what happens. I don’t think that would be overdoing it, considering the amount of hops in the recipe.

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