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I was watching Don Osborn on You Tube the other day and saw him do a SMASH brew. I like this idea for doing my first all grain, but want to see what recipes you guys would reccomend? I like all types of beer, but tend to drink darker brews. Just looking for a simple good recipe. Thanks

NB’s Patersbier is almost a smash. And it’s damn good too! It’s basically Pilsner malt, a noble hop and Wyeast 3787. They use 2 hops in the recipe, but no reason you couldn’t just go with one.

Only issue I can see is if your water is too alkaline, the pH of your mash might be too high if you go with a standard pale base malt.

That said, keeping it simple is a good goal. I made a somewhat simple IPA recently with 6-row, C-60, and the big 3 American hops (Cascade, Centennial, and Columbus). I thought it might taste “simple,” but it’s really good and dynamic. It was pretty a eye-opening brewing experience, actually. I’d be curious to know what it would taste like with just Columbus, but I don’t think I’d do straight pale malt. That would probably require that I acidify my water, and I’d rather just use malts to do that.

I haven’t even started to look into water pH yet. What would I need to do to adjust for that? I currently just run my city water through a carbon filter for the chlorine. Also, what happens when pH is off?

My water’s alkalinity is low enough for me to get down to around 8 SRM without making adjustments, and so far I haven’t been inspired to go any lighter than that, so I can’t really speak to acidifying. On the other hand, my water is also very soft, so I do have to raise the pH for darker beers (dark browns and beyond).

Some people say it’s not worth worrying about pH when you first switch to all grain, but I have been paying attention to it from the get go…

If you’re curious, just get a hold of your water report (my water supplier posts it on their site) and see what’s what. There are lots of good resources around the 'net that can help you make sense of everything and learn how to optimize pH, balance, etc. Otherwise, take the plunge with the SMASH and, if anything seems off (I think astringency is a common issue arising from high pH), consider looking into it.

A pils is a great candidate for a SMASH brew. 10 lb of German pilsner malt and 4-5 oz of Saaz hops and you’ve a pils. I won a couple awards this spring with that very combination.

BTW, my well water alkalinity is low, pH is fine and it tastes good. I don’t give my water one millisecond of thought when it comes to brewing. Perhaps I’m fortunate.

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