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Old 02-16-2010, 01:32 AM   #1
tpeterseufl
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Default Chinook/Amarillo pale ale critique

I'm looking for someone to critique my first pale ale recipe.

It's a 3 gallon batch.

5 lbs 2-row
.5 lbs Munich
.5 lbs Crystal 60L
.3 lbs CaraPils

.3 oz Chinook (60 minutes)
.2 oz Chinook (30 minutes)
.2 oz Amarillo (30 minutes)
.3 oz Amarillo (5 minutes)

Estimated OG: 1.057
Estimated FG: 1.014
IBU: 43
Yeast: Nottingham

What do you think?

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Old 02-16-2010, 03:16 AM   #2
rickfrothingham
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I like the malt bill a lot; its a very standard, tried and true recipe there. My only question is if you are shooting for more of an English or American style? The Chinook and Amarillo are already putting you very much in the American direction, the only exception is the use of that Nottingham yeast. With a beer of this low-gravity, it'll ferment pretty clean and won't leave much of that english ester flavor anyway, so its definitely an American PA at this point, the question is how 'american' do you want it to be?

This is just me, but the only change i'd make would be to to add more amarillo on the late/dry hops, perhaps something like this
.25 Amarillo @ 30 minutes
.25 Amarillo @ 15 minutes
.25 Amarillo @ 5 minutes
.5 Amarillo dry hopped

If you decide you want this to be more of an American Pale Ale, dry hopping is really a key part of that, so maybe think about adding some? You'll definitely get some of that good hop flavor/aroma from your 5 minute addition, but aspects of hop aroma are boiled off almost immediately and can only come from dry hopping (according to this month's Brew your Own magazine)

Ray Daniels writes a great book "Designing great beers" that examines the recipes of all of the beers of each style that made it to the 2nd round of the National Homebrewing Championship, thus painting a pretty good picture of how to best design a recipe for that style. Dry hopping was common on English Pale ales but nearly ubiquitous on American Pale Ales.

Anyway, your recipe looks great and that late/dry hop schedule is the only thing i'd change, but thats me. I just really really love amarillo

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Old 02-16-2010, 03:07 PM   #3
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I think you are a little low on flavor hop additions. This looks like what I would do for a pilsner (w/ noble hops instead). I'd add an addition at 15 min., maybe 0.3-0.5 oz. You might want to bump up the 5 min. addition too. I typically use a 1 oz addition at the end of the boil for a 5 gal batch.

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Old 02-16-2010, 04:45 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rickfrothingham View Post
I like the malt bill a lot; its a very standard, tried and true recipe there. My only question is if you are shooting for more of an English or American style? The Chinook and Amarillo are already putting you very much in the American direction, the only exception is the use of that Nottingham yeast. With a beer of this low-gravity, it'll ferment pretty clean and won't leave much of that english ester flavor anyway, so its definitely an American PA at this point, the question is how 'american' do you want it to be?

This is just me, but the only change i'd make would be to to add more amarillo on the late/dry hops, perhaps something like this
.25 Amarillo @ 30 minutes
.25 Amarillo @ 15 minutes
.25 Amarillo @ 5 minutes
.5 Amarillo dry hopped

If you decide you want this to be more of an American Pale Ale, dry hopping is really a key part of that, so maybe think about adding some? You'll definitely get some of that good hop flavor/aroma from your 5 minute addition, but aspects of hop aroma are boiled off almost immediately and can only come from dry hopping (according to this month's Brew your Own magazine)

Ray Daniels writes a great book "Designing great beers" that examines the recipes of all of the beers of each style that made it to the 2nd round of the National Homebrewing Championship, thus painting a pretty good picture of how to best design a recipe for that style. Dry hopping was common on English Pale ales but nearly ubiquitous on American Pale Ales.

Anyway, your recipe looks great and that late/dry hop schedule is the only thing i'd change, but thats me. I just really really love amarillo
I agree with nearly everything you said. I would recommend an american ale yeast, given your malt and hop selection (s-04, WLP001, WLP051). I think dry hopping is essential as well, but I like to go a little bigger. I dry hop with 2oz of amarillo for 5 days. It is definitely too hoppy for about a week after kegging, but then the hop aroma mellows and it is perfect. I would rather start high and let it mellow than start too low.

Just my opinion.

Eric
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Old 02-17-2010, 12:47 AM   #5
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Thanks for the suggestions. My last few brews have been a little thin, finishing really low. I was hoping to have a little more body, so I'm going to mash a little higher (~155) and try notty. Am I on the right track? And I will definitely increase the late additions. I had been kicking that around already, and now I'm decided.

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Old 02-17-2010, 06:58 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EricCSU View Post
I agree with nearly everything you said. I would recommend an american ale yeast, given your malt and hop selection (s-04, WLP001, WLP051). I think dry hopping is essential as well, but I like to go a little bigger. I dry hop with 2oz of amarillo for 5 days. It is definitely too hoppy for about a week after kegging, but then the hop aroma mellows and it is perfect. I would rather start high and let it mellow than start too low.

Just my opinion.

Eric
Yeah i definitely agree Eric -

Any time i do an american pale ale i use american/cali ale (WLP001, Wyeast 1056, Safale S-05 are all the same) except one time when i got my hands on some pacman and used it for a fairly big american pale (1.060 OG) with good results.

I also always use at least an ounce and half of dry hops in american pale's, usually cascade or amarillo or a mix of the two. I've found using more hops for less time gives me a better flavor quality (less grassy), especially with cascade. For example, if you compare dry hopping with 2 oz of cascade for 5 days or 1 oz of cascade of 10 days, in my experience the amount of dry hop flavor/aroma is about the same, but that the longer dry hop schedules tend towards more grassy character, which i try to avoid. Perhaps the compounds that cause the grassiness take longer to leach out? Regardless, that is all purely anecdotal evidence, so use it or don't, your call

I'd use 2 ounces for dry like Eric said as well, the only reason i said half an ounce dry before was that i was already advocating almost a doubling of your total hop amount and didn't want to totally throw your recipe out. When it comes to late and dry hopping, I've found it really goes a long way towards turning a fairly standard pale ale/IPA into one with real character. The advantage you have as a homebrewer over the big guys is that profitability and bottom line costs are not part of your hobby, so you can spring for that extra few ounces of hops used 'inefficiently' for late or dry-hopping. In my opinion, it's always worth it.
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