So, I just designed my first recipe, which I will use to brew my first all grain beer, pending NB Forum Approval (if I don’t get it, I’ll go with Caribou Slobber all grain). I really like brown ales with some character and body to 'em, but I also want to keep this one fairly simple. Please let me know if I’m looking at either a boring, thin, or overly contrasty beer (where contrasty would mean American chocolate and Belgian biscuit don’t go well together, the yeast or hops aren’t a good fit with the malt, each other, etc.). Most importantly, if you think anything below is way off and I should go with a pre-fab recipe to get started, please say so .
My thinking is that this will turn out a well-balanced, fairly strong brown ale, with a character slightly reminiscent of chocolate covered graham crackers . I figure ABV will be around 6% max. Regarding the OG efficiency columns, I plan to batch sparge a la Denny’s guide, and figure 75% is optimistic my first time out, but included 85% as that’s what Palmer’s table
uses. OK, here goes:
Malts - 85% | 75%
9 lbs American 2-row pale base - 31 ppg/56 pts | 28 ppg/51 pts
1 lb American chocolate - 29 ppg/5 pts | 21 ppg/4 pts
1 lb Belgian biscuit - 30 ppg/6 pts | 26 ppg/5 pts
1 oz German Perle, 60 minutes
1 oz Centennial, 15 minutes
5 gallons boiled - 1.067 | 1.060
6 gallons mashed - 1.052 | 1.050
6.5 gallons mashed - 1.048 | 1.046
7 gallons mashed - 1.045 | 1.043
One last question I have is regarding water profile. I have a pretty good idea of some slight alterations I’d need to make to optimize water pH (5.3 - 5.5) and mineral balance (basically, alkalinity needs to come up some for a beer this dark, and my sulfates need to come up to balance out chloride). Is it crazy to take this on my first time? Outside of what range does mash pH become ruinous, as opposed to just suboptimal?
Many thanks in advance! I’ve been having way too much fun learning about all of this stuff and am very curious to know if I’m operating in the ball park or helplessly lost in the woods.