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Old 11-08-2007, 09:09 PM   #1
hoffmeister
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Default Brewing this weekend...

Hey all, I'm brewing this weekend and I wanted to get some feedback on my recipe before I go ahead with it. Here it is-it's a pale ale

3.3 # Northwestern Gold LME
3.0 # Munton's Plain Light DME
.5 # 40L Crystal Malt-cracked
1.5 oz. Challenger Hops-6.3%, 60 minutes
1.0 oz. Challenger Hops-5.0%, 10 minutes
1.0 oz. Willamette Hops-4.2%, 2 minutes
Danstar Nottingham Yeast

I'm anticipating OG 1.052, FG 1.013. I've figured different IBUs and SRM, depending on which calculator I'm using. I'd appreciate any thoughts, feedback, alterations, etc. Thanks!

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Old 11-08-2007, 10:05 PM   #2
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A-town!! that's my home town!! are you a blackhawk, tomcat, or warrior? i graduated from west in 97.

oh yeah, this is about beer. . .

your recipe looks good to me. it'll be a pale! do you have any specific questions, i read apprehension in your post. what's the IBU your getting with your formulas? if you really want to hit those numbers, then don't forget that unless you know your hops are from this years harvest (very unlikely) they're a year old now, and so the AA%'s have decreased. beersmith has % decreases for 6 months, and it says 40% for willamette, and 25% for challenger, so for a 10% AA hop losing 25% every 6 months,you'd be at 5.625% AA, a little less than half lost!! the willamette will be even worse! also, you might already know this, but your hop utilization will change dramatically depending on when you add the LME and DME. you'll utilize less if you have all the sugar in there for the whole boil. these two things together could affect your anticipated IBUs by more than 60%!

post more about your procedure and setup if you have any other specific q's.

I'm really looking forward to a Sweetness Stout when i'm home for Turkey Day!

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Old 11-09-2007, 01:31 AM   #3
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Sorry to disappoint, but I've been in Aurora for only three and half years. I did grow up in Warrenville though.

On to the beer. There is some apprehension because the last few batches I've done have really turned out...well, not so great. So much so that I was contemplating whether or not I should continue brewing. Thankfully, some other brewers on this site talked some sense into me, and here I am.

From Tastybrew.com, I'm getting 52 IBUs-that's out of a range of 30 to 65, so it's a bit above the middle range. According to Beertools.com, however, I'm getting 39.9 IBUs, out of a range of 30 to 50, which places it right in the middle. The IBUs are one of my biggest concerns because my last batches have turned out considerably under-hopped. In all of the reading that I've done over the years, I have never heard anyone mention the decrease in AA content over time, let alone give actual figures for the decrease. Nor have I ever heard about the malt sugar content affecting utilization, so thank you for letting me know!

Concerning procedures, I start with the grains in a muslin bag in cool (75*) water, then turn on the heat. When the water gets to 155*, I let the grains steep for thirty minutes. After thirty minutes, I turn the heat back on until it reaches 165*, pull the grains and wait for the water to boil. At boil, I turn the heat off and add LME then DME in that order. When they're both thoroughly mixed, I turn the heat back on and when the water reaches a boil, I add the bittering hops. I let the wort boil for an hour, adding hops at the aforementioned times. Given this procedure, should I increase my bittering hops to 2 oz instead of 2.5? Should I increase the aroma hops as well? Also, since you mentioned the amount of sugar affecting utilization, would it make sense to hold off on adding the DME until later in the boil? I've never heard of doing that, but would the shorter boiling time for the DME affect the finished product at all?

Whew! Sorry about being so long winded. Thank you very much, SenorWander! I think I'm going to have to do some tweaking with my recipe, but I have a few days yet. Thanks again!

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Old 11-09-2007, 06:34 AM   #4
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oh, i'm not disappointed, after all, i left the place!

those IBU numbers you're getting are quite a swing, but i'm not familiar with either of those web sites. The best recommendation i can make is to buy brewing software like beersmith or promash. i prefer beersmith because it's updated more frequently and i think it's a sleeker ap, but the folks who use promash seem to like it just fine. they only cost $20, they both offer free trials, and it's money very well spent. for instance, beersmith has a hops age calculator. for example, it says that your 6.3%AA challengers, 12 months old, stored in a ziplock bag in the freezer will now have 5.13%AA

im not sure how they arrive at this number, because it lists challenger as losing 25% AA in 6 months, but all there other calculators are spot on, so i trust it. download the software, plug in your recipe and see what it says. you get a 21 day free trial. and i have absolutely no affiliation with the software, btw.

as for hop utilization as a function of wort density, Charlie Papazian has a chart in his book "the complete joy of homebrewing", on page 258. a similar chart is available in John Palmers online book, "How to Brew", HERE. Many extract and partial mash brewers add the bulk of their extracts with 15 min left in the boil. this allows you to use less hops do to the utilization, and it also gives you a lighter colored beer. this practice is called late addition. a search for "late addition", search titles only, extract brewing yielded these results.

i've noticed that there are quite a few guys here that are in the western burbs, naperville, st. charles, aurora, etc. you folks should get together. i just taught my dad how to brew and i'm sure he'd love to get together and share tips and beer.

keep posting those questions.

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Old 11-09-2007, 06:55 PM   #5
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Thanks again for the tips. I've been wanting to get some "legit" brewing software, as opposed to the free sites I've been using. I feel like it would be more accurate. Also, I apparently need to read more, because after I read your first post I went and checked Papazian's book-sure enough, there was the chart you later mentioned. I guess I never read that far because it was in "advanced/all grain" section of the book.

I had never heard of adding the extract at the end, but after some searching, like you suggested, it turned up everywhere. I don't know why a lot of authors don't mention this technique, but I'm going to take your advice and give it a try. After reading up on it, it makes a lot of sense and explains some of my past results. I'll post again with my results after I brew this batch.

Thanks again, and BTW, I the Roundhouse is great! I've only been a few times, but I really like their beer.

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Old 11-09-2007, 07:07 PM   #6
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I just did my 2nd batch last tuesday (going along great by the way) and did late addition to get more utilization out of the 1oz of hops I had, we'll see how it turns out!

Also I live in Dundee (just north of Elgin) if you all want to get together for brewing someday.

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