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Old 12-12-2012, 12:57 AM   #1
ryno1ryno
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Default Critique My Sweet Brown Ale's

Please critique these two recipe's.

My very 1st steep of grain is in a Mr. Beer, fermenting in my tiled closet at 75 degrees.



My 2nd try is in a 5 gallon bucket, in a temp controlled fridge fermenting at 68 degrees.

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Old 12-12-2012, 01:11 AM   #2
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Any suggestions for improvement?

The second recipe I might change again and use more Pilsen LME. and if the sugar didn't kill the first batch, I may add table sugar as well to increase the ABV.

I also would like to start adding additional specialty grains to start tweaking the flavor a bit. Suggestions on additional specialty grains and taste profiles that would go good with this?

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Old 12-12-2012, 02:26 AM   #3
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Too much crystal malt, in both. The first has amber liquid malt extract, which contains crystal malt, and then over a pound of crystal malt. The second recipe has two pounds of crystal malt. That's WAY too much. 75 degrees is too warm for most ale yeast strains. The first recipe looks cloyingly sweet, as in "my teeth hurt" sweet. It's underhopped.

The second recipe, even with too much crystal, is preferable as the amount of hops is more reasonable and the fermentation temperature is better.

I would choose a beer style first, like Northern English brown ale, to make and then choose ingredients accordingly. Neither one of those recipes are "brown ale" as known.

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Old 12-13-2012, 01:54 AM   #4
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Okay... perhaps I miss-named it. What would you name it?

I bottled #1 tonight. I was expecting a sweet taste... but instead, it was a watery, high alcohol taste. Of course it still needs secondary time with primer for 2 more weeks.

Any reason why it didnt taste sweet? Or does it just need more time?

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Old 12-13-2012, 03:14 PM   #5
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The recipe I started with was Briess' Final Course recipe.

But rather than get all of the varying specialty grains I stuck with one of them.

Of course, that could be my potential problem... I need more specialty flavoring so to speak.

I see these issues:

1) I added table sugar to boost the alcohol... but this could be a reason for the strong moonshine-esqu taste
2) The recipe uses more than enough malt as it is... didnt need the sugar
3) It fermented at a higher than desired temp (75-79 f)
4) Its not carbonated yet and isnt ready (watery taste)
5) I used a vile of yeast for 5 gallons in a 2.5 gallon Mr Beer (I fillled it to 2.5 gallons)

The hop ratio was simply a divison of the recipe.

Now with the 5 gallon recipe in the OP, I used 1.5 oz of hops, 1/4 morw than called for.

The differrences in the 2nd batch, other than being double the volume...

1) Used Pilsner LME vs Amber
2) Increased the hops a 1/4 ounce
3) Did not add sugar
4) Fermented (still in bucket) at 68 f

Last night I made another batch in the Mr. Beer keg, so now I have 7 gallons total fermenting.

1) used 3.3 lbs of Pilsner LME
2) used 1.5 lbs of steeped Caramel/Crystal 60L left over from the freezer
3) it was hopped with 1 oz of Kent Goldings (decided to just use it all)
4) 8 oz sugar, cane
5) poured in on the yeast cake in the Mr Beer barrel (I actually dumped half the yeast cake first)
6) began fermenting at 68 for the next 2 weeks.

One of these days my wife is gonna tell me to cut it out... probably about the time I start converting the entire garage into a brewery.

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Old 12-13-2012, 03:53 PM   #6
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All in all.... I am done with these ingredients.

If none of these turn out sweet, then I suppose I will have to go back to the drawing board.

Next I plan to do a lager with a San Fransico yeast... hoping it tastes similar to a Carlsberg.

If I want to try amber/caramel recipe again, I think I am gonna take my results from above and maybe begin to add varying levels of specialty malts.

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Old 12-13-2012, 04:03 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ryno1ryno View Post
But rather than get all of the varying specialty grains I stuck with one of them.
Of course, that could be my potential problem... I need more specialty flavoring so to speak.


I see these issues:

1) I added table sugar to boost the alcohol... but this could be a reason for the strong moonshine-esqu taste
2) The recipe uses more than enough malt as it is... didnt need the sugar
3) It fermented at a higher than desired temp (75-79 f)
4) Its not carbonated yet and isnt ready (watery taste)
5) I used a vile of yeast for 5 gallons in a 2.5 gallon Mr Beer (I fillled it to 2.5 gallons)
That first recipe should be very sweet. So maybe it will have more sweetness after it conditions, but I don't know.

As to the first questions:
1. Yes, definitely. IN addition, table sugar increases the "dry"ness of the beer- in other words, the opposite of sweet. Sugar boosts ABV, but also fully ferments out (unlike malt) and leaves a thinner drier beer as a result.
2. True
3. That's WAY higher than desired- 10 degrees higher. That will often cause some weird flavors, especially when using simple sugars.
4. That's true.
5. A vial of yeast for 2.5 gallons is appropriate.

As to the first comment you made about not having the right specialty grains, so just used one, I definitely understand what you mean. But there is a reason to not do that. As a cooking analogy (back to spaghetti sauce for me!), say you're making tomato sauce and it calls for some oregano, salt, basil, and onion. But you don't have oregano, onion, or basil. So you use just salt in place of all the other seasonings. Well, that wouldn't be very good. Because salt and onion are not the same thing.

The same is true of specialty grains. They do different things, even though they are all grains. Crystal malt is like "salt"- very good in the appropriate amount in the appropriate recipe. But overuse is like oversalting- unexpected (and probably undesired) flavors will result.
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Old 12-13-2012, 04:04 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ryno1ryno View Post
Next I plan to do a lager with a San Fransico yeast... hoping it tastes similar to a Carlsberg.
You can follow a clone recipe for Carlsberg, but with San Francisco yeast, it won't have the same "clean" or "crisp" taste that a true lager yeast will give.
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Old 12-13-2012, 05:43 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yooper View Post
That first recipe should be very sweet. So maybe it will have more sweetness after it conditions, but I don't know.

As to the first questions:
1. Yes, definitely. IN addition, table sugar increases the "dry"ness of the beer- in other words, the opposite of sweet. Sugar boosts ABV, but also fully ferments out (unlike malt) and leaves a thinner drier beer as a result.
2. True
3. That's WAY higher than desired- 10 degrees higher. That will often cause some weird flavors, especially when using simple sugars.
4. That's true.
5. A vial of yeast for 2.5 gallons is appropriate.

As to the first comment you made about not having the right specialty grains, so just used one, I definitely understand what you mean. But there is a reason to not do that. As a cooking analogy (back to spaghetti sauce for me!), say you're making tomato sauce and it calls for some oregano, salt, basil, and onion. But you don't have oregano, onion, or basil. So you use just salt in place of all the other seasonings. Well, that wouldn't be very good. Because salt and onion are not the same thing.

The same is true of specialty grains. They do different things, even though they are all grains. Crystal malt is like "salt"- very good in the appropriate amount in the appropriate recipe. But overuse is like oversalting- unexpected (and probably undesired) flavors will result.
Thanks for taking the time to reply. I appreciate that.

After tasting I will update the taste from my perspective. I am curious about the fermenting temp diff taste diffrence... I am sure that there will be a difference.

I think the next go around, I will add more of the specialty grains.
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Old 12-13-2012, 05:46 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yooper View Post
You can follow a clone recipe for Carlsberg, but with San Francisco yeast, it won't have the same "clean" or "crisp" taste that a true lager yeast will give.
Yeah... I bought the yeast when I didnt have a way to lager. I expect it to be different.

What also want to do is buy the danish lager yeast and then lager it at lower temps and taste the difference.

I can't think of a more rewarding hobby than brewing alcohol.
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