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Trying to plan some brew days... advice?

I may have jumped the gun just a little here since I’m still fairly new to home brewing and I already decided to piece together some of my own recipes…

Last week I threw together an order for supplies from NB since they had a free extract kit deal. Now that I’m waiting on the order to arrive I’m starting to think that I probably should have asked questions first. And I’m trying to decide on exactly how I should plot out my brew days.

Right now I have a small stockpile of beer. My first brew, a Chocolate Milk Stout (kit), is virtually gone, I just have the couple bottles I set aside to see how they’d taste a few months after brewing. My second brew, Dry Irish Stout that I added kiln coffee steeping grain to, I have most of it left but it really could use some more aging. My third brew, Dry Irish Stout that I put a little shot of lactose to and some sugar, came out pretty nice and I have a case and a half left. Fourth brew, English Brown Ale (kit), is a week in the bottle now.

But now I’m jumping in with both feet. There are two extract kits coming with my order - Nut Brown Ale and Rebel Rye Porter (I didn’t get any yeast with either kit). I also ordered some grains, hops and yeast to do three 2.5 gallon BIAB batches… And that’s where I’m not sure if I’ve thought this out right comes into play.

I’ll take any thoughts and opinions on this all. I was thinking of doing the BIAB amber first, then use some slurry for the BIAB IPA. Also thought about doing the nut brown first and use the 1056 yeast, pitch the slurry in the IPA. Do the BIAB amber and use the 3787 yeast and pitch the slurry in the BIAB Trappist. Maybe I’ve lost my mind…

BIAB #1: Attempt to produce an American Amber Ale:
(notes: there was a local brewery that was producing this, but the recipe is impossible to find and the brewery now makes an APA using the same name. The original AA was a nutty/caramel flavor and used Kent Goldings and Fuggles. I took a stab at what I thought might work.)

Grain:
3# Marris Otter Pale
1# Caramel 40L
0.5# Caramel 80L

Late addition of 0.5# Dextrose

Hops:
0.5 oz East Kent Goldings at 45
0.5 oz UK Fuggles at 15

Yeast:
Leaning towards using Wyeast American Ale 1056

By the numbers:
OG: 1.059
FG: 1.015
IBU: 29.61
SRM: 17.63

BIAB #2: Begian Trappist style

Grain:
3# Marris Otter Pale
1.5# Caramel 80L

Late addition of:
1# Belgian Candy sugar Blonde
0.5# Belgian Candy sugar Dark
2.5# honey

Hops:
0.5 oz Northern Brewer at 40
0.5 oz Fuggles at 10

Yeast:
Wyeast Trappist High Gravity 3787

By the numbers:
OG: 1.114
FG: 1.027
IBU: 36.86
SRM: 37.38

BIAB #3: 120 minute IPA clone

Grain:
4# Briess 2-row
4# German Pilsner
0.25# Crisp Amber

Fermenting additions of 5.5# Dextrose (total)

Hops (continuous during boil):
0.75 Amarillo
0.75 Warrior
0.75 Simcoe

Hops (dry hop):
0.5 Amarillo
0.5 Warrior
0.5 Simcoe

Yeast:
Wyeast American Ale 1056 (might use slurry)
White Labs Super High Gravity 099

If you want it to be like a Belgian beer, get rid of the caramel 80. Don’t waste your money on Belgian candi sugar. Belgian brewers don’t use it and it’s a ripoff. Use table sugar and/or candi syrup. They syrup gives you real flavor where the candi sugar does not. If you want to keep honey flavor on your beer, don’t add it to the boil. Add it to the secondary. Between the sugar and honey, you have 4 lb. of sugar in there. That’s a lot and may give you a fuesl-ly beer. The ROT is to keep the sugars to 30% or less of your total fermentables. I’d replace the c80 with more malt (pils preferred) and drop the sugar a bit to keep it in line. For that OG, I’d recommend a yeast starter.

I knew I should have posted here first… live and learn I guess. :oops:

My idea for a Belgian was a shot in the dark. I really didn’t have anything to go by other than having heard that they brew for simplicity and use a lot of sugars and pitch tons of yeast. Picked using honey just because it’s simple and relatively inexpensive, not so much to add flavor (probably not the best idea I’ve had). I’d have to get some more stuff to try it but…

3# Marris Otter Pale
3# Pils
1# Dextrose
1.5# Honey

Any other things that look like I totally missed the bus on?

“Trappist style” covers a really wide range. What you propose would work for one side of it. For the other side, this is one of my favorites…

#304 Rochefort 8

A ProMash Recipe Report

Recipe Specifics

Batch Size (Gal): 5.50 Wort Size (Gal): 5.50
Total Grain (Lbs): 16.58
Anticipated OG: 1.079 Plato: 19.08
Anticipated SRM: 28.4
Anticipated IBU: 28.1
Brewhouse Efficiency: 73 %
Wort Boil Time: 70 Minutes

Pre-Boil Amounts

Evaporation Rate: 1.50 Gallons Per Hour
Pre-Boil Wort Size: 7.25 Gal
Pre-Boil Gravity: 1.060 SG 14.71 Plato

Grain/Extract/Sugar

% Amount Name Origin Potential SRM

73.9 12.25 lbs. Pilsener Belgium 1.037 2
9.0 1.50 lbs. CaraMunich 80 France 1.034 80
6.0 1.00 lbs. Dark Candi Syrup 1.031 80
4.2 0.70 lbs. Cane Sugar 1.047 0
3.0 0.50 lbs. Flaked Corn (Maize) America 1.040 1
3.0 0.50 lbs. Special B Malt Belgian 1.030 114
0.8 0.13 lbs. Sinamar (BYO) Carafa extract 1.000 1000

Potential represented as SG per pound per gallon.

Hops

Amount Name Form Alpha IBU Boil Time

1.70 oz. Fuggle Pellet 4.00 21.3 60 min.
0.60 oz. Hallertauer Mittelfruh Pellet 4.00 5.8 30 min.
0.40 oz. Hallertauer Mittelfruh Pellet 4.00 1.0 5 min.

Extras

Amount Name Type Time

0.36 Oz Corriander Seed Spice 5 Min.(boil)
1.00 Tsp CaCO3 Other 0 Min.(mash)

Yeast

WYeast 1762 Belgian Abbey II

Mash Schedule

Mash Name: Rochefort mash

Total Grain Lbs: 14.88
Total Water Qts: 16.00 - Before Additional Infusions
Total Water Gal: 4.00 - Before Additional Infusions

Tun Thermal Mass: 0.13
Grain Temp: 63.00 F

                 Step   Rest   Start   Stop  Heat     Infuse   Infuse  Infuse

Step Name Time Time Temp Temp Type Temp Amount Ratio

alpha 0 60 148 148 Infuse 162 5.56 1.45

Those recipes (posted by the OP) have a TON of crystal malt and sugar. You may want to rethink those a bit. For the Amber, you’re as much or more crystal malt than I’d use in a 5 gallon batch. You’re at 33%. I wouldn’t go any more than 15% and would probably keep it to about 10%.

For the Trappist, you’re using 4lbs of sugar. That’s also a lot for only a 5 gallon batch, almost 50%! I’d cut that back as well.

[quote=“Denny”]“Trappist style” covers a really wide range. What you propose would work for one side of it. For the other side, this is one of my favorites…

#304 Rochefort 8

A ProMash Recipe Report

Recipe Specifics[/quote]

Now that sounds more like what I’m looking for. Anything specific I would need to do to brew it BIAB?

[quote=“dobe12”]Those recipes (posted by the OP) have a TON of crystal malt and sugar. You may want to rethink those a bit. For the Amber, you’re as much or more crystal malt than I’d use in a 5 gallon batch. You’re at 33%. I wouldn’t go any more than 15% and would probably keep it to about 10%.

For the Trappist, you’re using 4lbs of sugar. That’s also a lot for only a 5 gallon batch, almost 50%! I’d cut that back as well.[/quote]

The original recipe for the amber said it included a “generous” amount of caramel malt, so I took a guess at it. Not knowing what else to do, I added enough sugar to bring the estimated ABV to the number the original was.

I’ve come across a few references to limit the use of caramel/crystal malt but I haven’t seen anything yet that really explains why you should limit it. Can anyone give me any insight on this?

My idea for a Trappist is being ditched. I’ll go with Denny’s recipe.

[quote=“lil_Blue_Ford”][quote=“Denny”]“Trappist style” covers a really wide range. What you propose would work for one side of it. For the other side, this is one of my favorites…

#304 Rochefort 8

A ProMash Recipe Report

Recipe Specifics[/quote]

Now that sounds more like what I’m looking for. Anything specific I would need to do to brew it BIAB?[/quote]

I don’t think so, but I only did BIAB a couple times before deciding it wasn’t for me. Take note of a couple things…it uses dark candi syrup, not sugar. The syrup is crucial to the flavor. I use D180 from candisyrup.com. I also use Sinamar, a coloring agent made from carafa malt. If you can’t get it, use about 3 oz. of Carafa special instead. If you have any questions, PM me!

[quote=“dobe12”]Those recipes (posted by the OP) have a TON of crystal malt and sugar. You may want to rethink those a bit. For the Amber, you’re as much or more crystal malt than I’d use in a 5 gallon batch. You’re at 33%. I wouldn’t go any more than 15% and would probably keep it to about 10%.

For the Trappist, you’re using 4lbs of sugar. That’s also a lot for only a 5 gallon batch, almost 50%! I’d cut that back as well.[/quote]

[quote=“lil_Blue_Ford”]The original recipe for the amber said it included a “generous” amount of caramel malt, so I took a guess at it. Not knowing what else to do, I added enough sugar to bring the estimated ABV to the number the original was.

I’ve come across a few references to limit the use of caramel/crystal malt but I haven’t seen anything yet that really explains why you should limit it. Can anyone give me any insight on this?

My idea for a Trappist is being ditched. I’ll go with Denny’s recipe.[/quote]

Caramel/crystal malts are generally less fermentable than other malts. Too much of them can raise the FG and increase the sweetness of the beer. Fortunately, your use of sugar kind of counterbalances that. Sugar will thin the body and make the beer more fermentable without adding any flavor. Although I’m an advocate of the “there are no rules about crystal malt” camp, I also believe that using it as 50% of your fermentables as you’ve done can be a not so good thing. You may want to look at some other recipes to get an idea of what others are doing. An excellent resource is http://wiki.homebrewersassociation.org/BeerRecipes . Many of my recipes are archived there and there are a lot of award winners from lots of people.

[quote=“Denny”]
I don’t think so, but I only did BIAB a couple times before deciding it wasn’t for me. Take note of a couple things…it uses dark candi syrup, not sugar. The syrup is crucial to the flavor. I use D180 from candisyrup.com. I also use Sinamar, a coloring agent made from carafa malt. If you can’t get it, use about 3 oz. of Carafa special instead. If you have any questions, PM me![/quote]

Thank you for the information! I’ll have to pick up a few different things to brew it, but I’m ok with that. I might be able to pick up the candy syrup local, my LHBS doesn’t carry much but I’m pretty sure they have a big selection of the syrups there.

[quote=“Denny”]
Caramel/crystal malts are generally less fermentable than other malts. Too much of them can raise the FG and increase the sweetness of the beer. Fortunately, your use of sugar kind of counterbalances that. Sugar will thin the body and make the beer more fermentable without adding any flavor. Although I’m an advocate of the “there are no rules about crystal malt” camp, I also believe that using it as 50% of your fermentables as you’ve done can be a not so good thing. You may want to look at some other recipes to get an idea of what others are doing. An excellent resource is http://wiki.homebrewersassociation.org/BeerRecipes . Many of my recipes are archived there and there are a lot of award winners from lots of people.[/quote]

Makes sense. I’ll play with it a little more and do a little homework. Not final but…

3# Marris Otter Pale
1# Caramel 40L
.75# Crisp Amber
.25# Dextrose

That puts me on target for color and on target for ABV and about 20% for the caramel/crystal.

[quote=“lil_Blue_Ford”]Makes sense. I’ll play with it a little more and do a little homework. Not final but…

3# Marris Otter Pale
1# Caramel 40L
.75# Crisp Amber
.25# Dextrose

That puts me on target for color and on target for ABV and about 20% for the caramel/crystal.[/quote]

For an example of an amber ale recipe, search the site for my Waldo Lake amber. NB also sells it as a kit.

Did some homework on the Trappist style and I think I’m getting somewhere with a recipe. I found one that looked good (although it was in liters and kilograms) and got it converted to US measurements and trimmed down to my half-batch size. Thus…

5.3# pils
0.5# Caramel 120L
0.6# Special B
0.6# Flaked Wheat
0.3# Debittered Black

0.5# Cane Sugar
0.5# Candi sugar, dark

0.6 oz Goldings at 60
0.5 oz Hallertau at 10

0.17 oz Corriander at 5

OG: 1.095
IBU: 29.9

[quote=“lil_Blue_Ford”]Did some homework on the Trappist style and I think I’m getting somewhere with a recipe. I found one that looked good (although it was in liters and kilograms) and got it converted to US measurements and trimmed down to my half-batch size. Thus…

5.3# pils
0.5# Caramel 120L
0.6# Special B
0.6# Flaked Wheat
0.3# Debittered Black

0.5# Cane Sugar
0.5# Candi sugar, dark

0.6 oz Goldings at 60
0.5 oz Hallertau at 10

0.17 oz Corriander at 5

OG: 1.095
IBU: 29.9[/quote]

Again, skip the candi sugar. It’s a ripoff and Belgian brewers don’t use it. It will add no more flavor than the table sugar. I’d either go with 1 lb. of table sugar or, for more flavor, 1 lb. of dark candi syrup. The rest of the recipe is looking good. Good on ya for doing some research! If you really want to get into the style, get the book “Brew Like a Monk” by Stan Hieronymous. One of the best brewing books out there.

[quote=“Denny”]
Again, skip the candi sugar. It’s a ripoff and Belgian brewers don’t use it. It will add no more flavor than the table sugar. I’d either go with 1 lb. of table sugar or, for more flavor, 1 lb. of dark candi syrup. The rest of the recipe is looking good. Good on ya for doing some research! If you really want to get into the style, get the book “Brew Like a Monk” by Stan Hieronymous. One of the best brewing books out there.[/quote]

:oops:

I don’t have the book, but the recipe is partially from that book. I’m sure it’ll find it’s way into my library at some point though.

Got my order from NB yesterday, but UPS apparently managed to smash some of it, lost two pounds of grain, a jug of syrup and a packet of hops. Called NB this morning and they’re sending out replacements plus a pint glass. As it is, I managed to come up with enough to get my BIAB amber going (after doing some research there too). Got it mashing right now.

3# Maris Otter
.75# Pilsner
.5 Caramel 60L
.5 Caramel 80L
.25 Amber

.25 sugar

.5 oz East Kent Goldings @45
.5 oz UK Fuggles @15

OG: 1.060
IBU: 30.85

[quote=“lil_Blue_Ford”] :oops:

I don’t have the book, but the recipe is partially from that book. I’m sure it’ll find it’s way into my library at some point though.

Got my order from NB yesterday, but UPS apparently managed to smash some of it, lost two pounds of grain, a jug of syrup and a packet of hops. Called NB this morning and they’re sending out replacements plus a pint glass. As it is, I managed to come up with enough to get my BIAB amber going (after doing some research there too). Got it mashing right now.

3# Maris Otter
.75# Pilsner
.5 Caramel 60L
.5 Caramel 80L
.25 Amber

.25 sugar

.5 oz East Kent Goldings @45
.5 oz UK Fuggles @15

OG: 1.060
IBU: 30.85[/quote]

Good on ya again! Keep brewing and keep asking questions!

[quote=“Denny”]
Good on ya again! Keep brewing and keep asking questions![/quote]

I’m learning, that’s for sure. Thanks a ton for getting me pointed in the right direction.

Managed to hit a 75% efficiency on this batch so far.

So I’m leaning towards doing my IPA clone next… but I’m a little curious…

The recipe calls for dry hopping and adding extra sugar to the brew during the first several days of fermentation… dry hopping is pretty self-explanitory but the sugar leaves me wondering…

Do I make up a simple syrup to add the sugar or do I just dump dry sugar in the bucket?

I presume it should be stirred either way…

That’s wired never heard of adding sugar after you pitch yeast. Why not add to the boil?

I presume you ment “weird” :lol:

The reason you have to add it after you pitch the yeast is because the recipe calls for 5.5# of sugar to be added in a 2.5 gallon batch. Not only is that a ton of sugar, but yeast have a tendency to eat the less complex sugars first over the sugars you get from the grain.

In other words, if I added all that sugar to the boil, the yeast will pig out on that and be too tired to convert the sugars from the grain. So the idea is to get them working on the more complex sugars and then just keep feeding them for a period of time so they keep doing their thing.

I see, interesting, then I would boil into sugar solution cool then pitch

My only concern with that idea is that I may end up with 4 gallons at the end of things since I’m supposed to add around half a pound per day of sugar. (See, this is where it gets complicated, lol). My calculations were for a 2.5 gallon batch, the more water I add, the more diluted the final product. My concern over just pouring sugar in is that it may have a tendency to settle to the bottom with the trub and not fully dissolve like it’s supposed to. But adding a cup or two of water a day for 10 days or so is a little crazy too.

[quote=“lil_Blue_Ford”]So I’m leaning towards doing my IPA clone next… but I’m a little curious…

The recipe calls for dry hopping and adding extra sugar to the brew during the first several days of fermentation… dry hopping is pretty self-explanitory but the sugar leaves me wondering…

Do I make up a simple syrup to add the sugar or do I just dump dry sugar in the bucket?

I presume it should be stirred either way…[/quote]

You could do it either way. I just add it to the kettle and get it over with! I have never found an advantage to adding it to the fermenter, although theoretically there could be. I prefer reality to theory, though! :wink:

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