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My Next Brew

I should be brewing this weekend and this will be brew #7 for me and I am open for suggestions. I’m not following any recipe I am just modifying the one I did in my “Guess that Beer” post. …here’s the skinny.

Batch size 5.5 Gal (shooting for a full 5 gal in keg)
OG 1.060 (my eff is improving but for now it’s dialed in at 65% )
60 min boil
mash in at 152 for 60 min
Sparging with my trusty new watering can w/165-170F water.

12lb 2 row (unless my local place gets pale malt back in stock by friday)
2lb Caramel 60
(all pellet hops)
1oz Millenium 60 min (Maybe first wort?)
1oz Centennial 30 min
2oz Crystal 0 min (I’ve yet to dry hop)
Whirlfloc Tab 15 min
wyeast nutrient 10 min

1 pack Safale 05 (I am trying out dry yeast. Nottingham in a haus pale I am drinking now - yum, 04 in an English bitter that I am kegging this weekend.)

Part of me says to dump it on the 04 cake from the bitter but I also said that with the cake from the Nott/haus pale but then my newbyness nervousness took over and I just harvested it instead.

I am more than likely hanging tight with the hops. I only added an oz of crystal from the one I did before. Not sure if this would be a hop you would “dry hop” with but leaving off and oz at flameout and using it to dry hop instead might be interesting.

Right now I am so wanting a good, in-depth read on all the different styles of grains and what they add to the flavor/aroma/character of the beer. And while I have a lot to learn in all areas I feel I am shooting from the hip more in this category than any other. If you have any thoughts on what to add to the grain bill and why that would be great.

14% caramel 60 is quite a bit - I would not say too much as long as you really like caramel 60 (which I do, but usually limit my crystal malts to %10 total)

I would not see a huge issue dumping on to the yeast cake - I do this a lot myself. But you may want to remove about half of it first (or else you will almost certainly be overpitching.) I would usually remove 1/2 to 2/3 depnding on the beers.

Don’t see the 30 min hop addition doing much for you. What do you want out of it? You would get way more flavor from under 20 min.

Or better yet, if you want a nice bitter/ flavor combo, I would go for a first wort addition. Much better use of hops. Maybe FWH half that centenial, and save the rest.

Noticed you mentioned FWH for the Millenium. You still need your basic big bittering charge at 60. The FWH replaces some or all of your flavor addition. Plus it adds some bitterness of its own.

Ok so maybe FWH the millenium, 60 min on the centennial, keep crystal the same.

I also just saw something about a pils balancing the caramel. So thinking add 1lb of castle pilsner and taking out 1lb of 2row. I have to say I am not sure what this would do (grain) but not ordering until right before I shut it down for the evening so hoping for more response.

Edit: just checked the site and listed as Pilsen not Pilsner. Typo or real difference?

[quote=“SkyHigh”]Ok so maybe FWH the millenium, 60 min on the centennial, keep crystal the same.

I also just saw something about a pils balancing the caramel. So thinking add 1lb of castle pilsner and taking out 1lb of 2row. I have to say I am not sure what this would do (grain) but not ordering until right before I shut it down for the evening so hoping for more response.

Edit: just checked the site and listed as Pilsen not Pilsner. Typo or real difference?[/quote]
I agree with BMS’s comments about too much C60 and the 30 minute hop addition. Regarding use of the pilsner malt, just use less C60 if you’re worried 2 lbs will result in an unbalanced beer. :wink: Personally I only exceed 4-5% crystal/caramel malts if I’m doing an amber. I suggest starting with a lower percentage and adding more next time if you don’t think it was enough.

On a complete personal preference note, I don’t get why everyone loves crystal hops. I did a single hop during the summer and hated it.

I just really liked the hop flavor/aroma from a previous beer I made and recreating it to a degree. I hope to get some reading material before I go on vacation to help give me a better grip on both hops and grains. I have a buddy that is giving me a stack of I think BYO magazines from the 90’s. I am curious what hop/grain/yeast varieties were popular at that time.

I would tend to agree somewhat here. If you are just starting out, and don’t know what you love yet, this is more C60 than you need. I would reduce to %10 max (maybe less), and even then would likely split that 10% with another crystal (but you don’t have to).

Give me more info about the alpha content of the hops you are using. I like Centennial a lot and would tend to use it in some degree for flavor or aroma - 60 min will really only get bitterness out of it.

No reason you can’t blend the hops a little. Use 2 varieties at FWH, can bitter with one or more. If you are going 2oz at flameout, why not use more than one? Just MO.

If you are looking to isolate single hops for experimentation, great. But for now, why not focus on getting some solid beers under your belt first. Keep it simple and straight forward.

Not sure that pils will have much effect. If you want to balance the C60, just don’t use as much.

Well the one I am modifying had 4lb of crystal 120 Yikes right?? So probably the overall flavor was not the best but the hop bill seemed awesome.

Millenium Hops Description: A daughter of Nugget and Columbus, bred for a boosted Alpha %

What I have now is showing 15.2% The centennial is at 8.4% The crystal is not listed on the package but you probably don’t need that info.

I saw recipes early on that said to do the high-alpha first then mid-alpha halfway and low-alpha at flameout. I also see recipes on Beersmith2 that have 30 min additions with mid to low alpha hops.

I’ve made the purchase and as far as the grain bill is concerned what I have is 12lb of Briess pale ale malt L.3.5(they got the shipment in) and 2 lbs of the caramel 60. I have my recipe showing 1.5lb of the 60 but the only sell it in 1lb increments so will just store the other 1/2lb.

The hop additions I am all ears and open for advice. I have 1oz of the mill 1oz of the cen an 2oz of the crystal. I purchased a second carboy today and I am ready to give dry hopping a go with this one. That is if the crystal is something you would use that for.

I guess a question would be if I FWH the millenium then what would be a good point to add the centenial. Also could I just dry hop the whole 2 oz of crystal. My own personal preference is going to be flavor over aroma say 80/20.

Drinking a Goose Island IPA - I think I like there Honker Ale better.

If the Millenium is bread for high alpha, use it as such - 60 min.

FWH either the Centennial, the Crystal, or both. I have no experience with Crystal so I can’t comment on aroma or flavor. Might not need a full ounce there.

Aroma can be either as well or a blend. If I have multiple hops I tend to blend in most cases.

What exactly are you trying to make? With all those hops I’m getting a pretty high bitterness (close to 70 IBUs) and a very hop dominant beer.

Just my suggestion:

1/4-1/2 oz Centennial FWH
1/2 oz Millenium 60 min
1/4-1/2 oz Cen 0
1/4-1/2 oz Crystal 0

1/2 oz of whatever if you want to dry hop.

[quote=“Brew Meister Smith”]

What exactly are you trying to make? With all those hops I’m getting a pretty high bitterness (close to 70 IBUs) and a very hop dominant beer…[/quote]

That’s the thing this is not following any real recipe. I did something like this on my, I think it was my 2nd attempt at brewing. I just picked a high mid and low alpha hop and some grain. I think I had a small addition of brown sugar as well. I totally loved the hop flavor and aroma of this combo so now I am just modifying it grain wise and hoping to dial in more of the hop character. I love IPA’s but sometimes the hop bills on those recipes are just insane.

I’ll play with the numbers when I get home. Right now it’s looking like a cold brew night instead of afternoon.

I need a good book/read with main emphasis on all grain brewing. I almost bought “Designing Great Beers” but seems all the recipes are extract base and then some kind of convert to grain chart in the back. To me that just seems totally backwards.

[quote=“SkyHigh”]
I need a good book/read with main emphasis on all grain brewing. I almost bought “Designing Great Beers” but seems all the recipes are extract base and then some kind of convert to grain chart in the back. To me that just seems totally backwards.[/quote]
If you want a good recipe book, I don’t think it gets any better than Brewing Classic Styles
http://www.amazon.com/Brewing-Classic-Styles-Winning-Recipes/dp/0937381926/ref=tmm_pap_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1385233587&sr=8-1
. Tried and true recipes by a guy who has the hardware to prove he knows how to brew great beer. You can brew them “as is” or to get an idea that you can use as a starting point for a given style.

On the topic of hops, if you want a beer that has a solid hop aroma (such as APA or IPA), dry hopping is mandatory IMO. I get a lot more aroma from dry hopping than I do from late additions. I like to use a minimum of 2oz for a five gallon batch. For an IPA, I sometimes go as high as 4 oz.

Does it give a good explanation/description of characteristics for the different types of grains?

[quote=“SkyHigh”]

Does it give a good explanation/description of characteristics for the different types of grains?[/quote]

Never mind, see this is another extract based recipe book. I am sure it is a great book but not what I am looking for exactly. I want something AG and then if you wanted to you can see how to convert it to extract. Not the other way around.

I started to give reasons for this but it don’t matter, it’s just the way I roll. AG from day one.

[quote=“SkyHigh”][quote=“SkyHigh”]

Does it give a good explanation/description of characteristics for the different types of grains?[/quote]

Never mind, see this is another extract based recipe book. I am sure it is a great book but not what I am looking for exactly. I want something AG and then if you wanted to you can see how to convert it to extract. Not the other way around.

I started to give reasons for this but it don’t matter, it’s just the way I roll. AG from day one.[/quote]

Every recipe in it has all grain also. I’m willing to bet that every recipe in it was originally all grain and just converted to extract but either way it has the all grain recipe. It is a very good book and has a recipe for every style. I highly recommend it.

[quote=“SkyHigh”][quote=“kcbeersnob”]
If you want a good recipe book, I don’t think it gets any better than Brewing Classic Styles
http://www.amazon.com/Brewing-Classic-Styles-Winning-Recipes/dp/0937381926/ref=tmm_pap_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1385233587&sr=8-1
. Tried and true recipes by a guy who has the hardware to prove he knows how to brew great beer. You can brew them “as is” or to get an idea that you can use as a starting point for a given style.

[/quote]

Does it give a good explanation/description of characteristics for the different types of grains?[/quote]

No one book is going to give you every answer you want. But most have some very significant knowledge to pass along. Ray Daniels’ - Deigning Great beers was one of my favorites. But even this is limited in number of styles and a tad out of date. Brewing Classic Styles was a very good compliment because it gives very good basic representations of almost all styles. It is up to the reader to insert their own knowledge base to create something new.

I was never one to go nuts over other peoples recipes, but after many years of brewing, it is always good to have some sort of a game plan going in. Or else you could end up with something ok which could have been way better.

[quote=“SkyHigh”][quote=“SkyHigh”]

Does it give a good explanation/description of characteristics for the different types of grains?[/quote]

Never mind, see this is another extract based recipe book. I am sure it is a great book but not what I am looking for exactly. I want something AG and then if you wanted to you can see how to convert it to extract. Not the other way around.

I started to give reasons for this but it don’t matter, it’s just the way I roll. AG from day one.[/quote]
I have never seen a comprehensive resource for grain descriptions. You have to put that together from various resources and from personal experience. Check out the an article called “Nanomashing,” in the May/June 2013 issue of Zymurgy. The author shares an experiment she conducted to identify approximately how various specialty grains behave in wort. You could certainly conduct this same experiment yourself. Just note that what we taste in wort will change after fermentation. The best way to identify how specific ingredients influence a beer is to re-brew the same recipe, but swap out the experimental ingredient.

Designing Great Beers probably has the best description of grains I’ve seen in print, but it’s far from comprehensive.

As the others have said, BCS recipes are AG and extract. No doubt the original recipes were AG, then converted to extract for the book since that’s what most beginning brewers start with. The only difference between his AG and extract recipes is the base malt.

[quote=“kcbeersnob”]
I have never seen a comprehensive resource for grain descriptions. You have to put that together from various resources and from personal experience. Check out the an article called “Nanomashing,” in the May/June 2013 issue of Zymurgy. The author shares an experiment she conducted to identify approximately how various specialty grains behave in wort. You could certainly conduct this same experiment yourself. Just note that what we taste in wort will change after fermentation. The best way to identify how specific ingredients influence a beer is to re-brew the same recipe, but swap out the experimental ingredient.

Designing Great Beers probably has the best description of grains I’ve seen in print, but it’s far from comprehensive.

As the others have said, BCS recipes are AG and extract. No doubt the original recipes were AG, then converted to extract for the book since that’s what most beginning brewers start with. The only difference between his AG and extract recipes is the base malt.[/quote]

I made the purchase and have read everything up to the recipes. I am happy with my purchase, thank you for the advice.

Also I see we drifted but to update I am not brewing tonight as the wind is gusting at 20mph and that is no fun. Tomorrow looks bright and sunny w/light winds in the forecast.

But I do see again in this book about the 30 min hop addition being the most popular for the mid alpha hops so still doing some studying, reading and designing tonight…and drinking.

7 day old English Bitter - Needs to set obviously but very promising
21 day old Haus Pale Ale - Everyone loves it and already almost out
a Honker’s Ale from Goose Island Beer Co
I guess I also need to finish off the last of the White IPA from NB. Have to say I am loosing interest in this brewery.

:cheers:

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