Reverse engineering: a recipe challenge!

Hello, experts!

We recently received someone else’s order by mistake. (We called NB to report it, and their systems had already sent the correct recipient a new shipment. Nice!) We now have a parcel of ingredients without a recipe. Does anyone know what the below adds up to…?

1# Briess Caramel 60l Malt (uncrushed)
1# Belgian Biscuit Malt (uncrushed)
1# Munton’s Plain Extra Light Spraymalt extract
2 x 1 oz. UK Kent Golding hops
2 x 1 oz. US Magnum hops

About us:

  • We’re not especially advanced brewers and have been using NB’s kits so far
  • We have two 6 gram packs of Munton’s dry yeast in the fridge ready for deployment
  • We prefer less hoppy beers, so wondering if whatever recipe we have here can be downshifted a bit in that regard

Thanks all for any advice you may have. --Mike

That is not a full recipe. It is a list of ingredients that the buyer needed for some other bigger recipe. With some of these ingredients, you could brew a good English bitter or mild, or a New Belgium Fat Tire clone, but you would need to add more extract or base malt to get up to full strength. You should be able to easily find recipes for those styles all over the place on the web or in recipe books, then customize as you see fit. None of these styles are terribly hoppy or bitter or strong, all easy to drink.

Go easy on the biscuit malt. It’s tasty but it can be overpowering. Use no more than like 4 ounces in 5 gallons of beer. The other ingredients are all more of a free-for-all and could be used in just about any style. But if you wanted to make one recipe with them, then see suggestions above.

I guess I’ll be the first to point out that those ingredients don’t add up to a full recipe. You’d need to add multiple pounds of basemalt to get to a reasonable grainbill for 5 gallons. And then, there’s a good chance you’d want to use only part of the Biscuit and Caramel malt.

EDIT: Okay, I guess I wasn’t first. It looks like Dave pushed his button before me. Follow his advice, its never failed me.

If it were me (I’m not all that experienced either but like to experiment) this is what I’d do with these ingredients. I’d play with some brewing software (I use Brewtoad) to target about 25-35 IBU’s total depending on the OG. I’d want to keep the BU:GU pretty balanced for this.

Pick up 3-4 lbs of dry malt extract. I’d stick with light/extra light or maybe golden. For a partial mash, I’d get 2-3 lbs of 2-row or Maris Otter and 2-3 lbs of light or extra light DME. For a little more depth, maybe get 0.25 - 0.5 lbs of some other Crystal or kilned malts (maybe a lighter or darker crystal, Special B &/or some brown malt, etc). I get ideas for combinations and amounts to use by looking at established recipes.

Steep the adjunct malts in 2.5-3.5 gallons of ~160F water for about 20-30 minutes or partial mash them with the base malt ~152-156F for 60 minutes.

Add all the DME after the steeping/mashing is done and begin the boil.

Bitter with 0.5-1 oz of the Magnum at 60 mins depending on IBUs I’m shooting for (0.5 should probably be enough for this).
Add 0.5-1 oz UK KG with 10-15 mins left in the boil.
Add 0.5-1 oz UK KG with 0-5 mins left in the boil.

Use both packs of the Muntons yeast and ferment in the low to mid 60’s (12g should be plenty)

Maybe dry hop with any of the UK KG left over for about 5 days before bottling.

Bottle after 3-4 weeks if the yeast tell me (FG readings consistent) and it’s pretty clear.

Wow - thanks everyone for the helpful comments! We will do some looking at Brewtoad and the other suggestions and keep you posted. I have a feeling this experience is going to lead to something fun AND make us better brewers!