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Old 11-13-2008, 03:29 AM   #1
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Default Critique This Recipe - "Late Night Leftover Light"

Got the itch to brew something tonight, so took a little inventory of what I have on hand to work with. Just going for a quick extract batch really.

Here's what I got:

Fermentables:
* About 1.5 oz Uncracked Pale Malt scavenged from some malt bags I've been hanging on to.
* 3# 6oz Pale LME
* 1# Extra Light DME
* 1/2# Corn Sugar
* 12 oz Honey

I put that all together in the software, and I come up at 1.040 for 5 gallons, with 4 SRM - probably not much hope for anything other than a light beer, but considering the beers I already have and what my family and friends will drink a light beer should be just the thing.

Now I got a really good hop collection going on in the freezer, but I'm thinking for a small "light" beer like this, going easy on the hops is whats required. I'm thinking 1 oz of 4.0% Liberty at 60 minutes, and thats it. No flavor hops, no aroma hops, just trying to hit say 12 IBU with a low AA hop so the hops are soft and present but won't taste hoppy if I try this beer on a typical BMC drinker.

Here's the game plan: Heating the oven to 350F, toss the Pale onto a cookie sheet and take it out when I start to smell some toastiness. Going to steep the toasted grain in 2.5 gallons of water while its heating, and strain it out once it gets to say 170F.

Once its boiling, take it off the heat and add the 3# 6oz of Pale LME and Corn Sugar, stir and then return to the heat. Add 1 oz Liberty 4.0%AA and boil for 50 minutes, at ten minutes, turn down the heat and add 1 pound of DME, stir till its disolved and boil the remaining 10 minutes. Take off the heat, and chill in the sink with ice bath till the temp comes down to about 150F. At this time, I will add the 12oz of honey and stir, leaving it in the ice bath till I don't see it chilling anymore, experience tells me that with my sink I can get it down to like 120 in a few minutes.

Then I will pour the partly chilled wort into my fermenter which I will already have filled with 2 gallons of cold water. I will top the fermenter off with cold water to 5.3 gallons and measure the gravity expecting to hit 1.040.

Provided the temperature is down near the 70s or possibly 60s, I will go ahead and pitch a vial of White Labs Czech Budejovice Lager (WLP802). I am not making a starter, but this is the only Lager Yeast I have on hand right now and my only other option is to rack an Ale I'm making and harvest some US-05. Screw it, I want a Lager and in a small beer like this I think one vial will be plenty, if nothing else I will be able to consider this beer a starter for the next lager I decide to make.

Then I will seal the fermenter up and put it in the fridge at 50F for the next three weeks.

So what do you think ?

I'm optimistic that Its going to turn out pretty good, I like light beer too and at 4.1% ABV I should have something that I can drink more than a few of, and crossing my fingers I might just have something thats a little better than typical light beer from the store.

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Old 11-13-2008, 11:06 AM   #2
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One of the more interesting "Leftovers Beer"s I've seen on HBT recently.

ProMash is telling me you're looking at OG 1045, SRM 3.6, IBU 15. I think you'll be pretty successful in getting a dry beer (thanks to the honey and sugar) with hints of toasted malt.

My concern is in your ferment. One WL vial is nowhere NEAR enough yeast. You'd be lucky to properly ferment two gallons of lager with that, much less five. Were I you, I'd go get a couple packets of S-23 or W34/70 - well, 18 grams, at least. Yeah, it ain't Czech Lager yeast, but it's lager yeast and it'll be enough to actually ferment it.

Cheers,

Bob

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Old 11-13-2008, 01:45 PM   #3
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Thanks Bob.

Yeah I was concerned I wasn't going to have enough yeast as well, but the home brew store ain't open at midnight and its already pitched. Next time I go there, I'm going to get a few extra envelopes of S-23 just to keep on stock. For last night, I was just trying to make do with what I've got.

My OG ended up right at 1.038, just short of where I was hoping to be, I think I added a bit too much ice in bringing the temps down. Went ahead and pitched the east though, and put it away in the fridge. Its not bubbling yet, but I could see this morning that it was starting to cloud up near the bottom so I think its just a matter of time before it gets going, its clean and cool and I won't be opening it so I'm not to worried about it getting infected if it lags a bit while its starting up.

I might drop a bit more yeast in there when I get home from work today anyway, since I'm going to run by the brew store and pick up some more ingredients. In the past if I've made a batch that size I've done really well with a single vial with a starter or just one pack of S-23.

Going to stock up on some dry lager yeast today anyway, and this evening or maybe tomorrow morning I'll decide if I want to pitch some more or just let it lag a couple of days.

Judging by how I see the yeast clouding up at the bottom of the fermenter already I think they're off to a good start. If they don't take off good by tomorrow I'll pitch some more.

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Old 11-13-2008, 04:03 PM   #4
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Certainly can't hurt. Hope you don't get too estery from the low cell count.

But hell, it's gonna be beer! What's to worry, right?



Bob

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Old 11-13-2008, 09:15 PM   #5
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well I got home and just decided to toss an envelope of w34/70 in there just to be safe

I think it was already on its way, but didn't feel like taking the chance over saving $2 worth of yeast

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Old 11-14-2008, 02:47 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mutilated1 View Post
well I got home and just decided to toss an envelope of w34/70 in there just to be safe

I think it was already on its way, but didn't feel like taking the chance over saving $2 worth of yeast
probably should have waited and saved the yeast because 5 hours after I pitched that envelope it was bubbling nicely. Its bubbling along full speed now.
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Old 12-30-2008, 05:52 PM   #7
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Going to take this beer out of the Fridge tonight and let it warm up to mid 60s or so in the garage over the next couple of days, then New Years day I will keg another beer so I have an empty secondary to work with and rack this recipe to a secondary and lager it for a while.

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Old 01-22-2009, 04:40 AM   #8
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Just finished kegging this beer a few minutes ago. I can't believe how dry and crisp it turned out. Going to try and get this one carbonated a little more than usual so that its carbonated more like a beer from the store. I think its going to be really good, I might make it again and try either an ounce of little higher AA% hops or else a little more of the liberty. One ounce turned out just about exactly the way I had hoped it would, but now that I've had a chance to taste it, I'm thinking a little bit more hoppiness would taste really good - I know this would be going against a light lager style beer, but I get the feeling that just a bit of late addition hops would be great just so it doesn't seem too much like bland store beer.

Also, the honey turned out really good too. I was worried about that part because I've had some problems with honey in the past. When I was tasting the beer, I was thinking "Hmmm whats that taste, its not a bad taste but its not something I recognized" and then I remembered that I used honey to make this beer.

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Old 01-22-2009, 11:21 AM   #9
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Cool! I'm glad you're satisfied with the result enough to want to tweak it.

Good job!

Bob

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Old 01-22-2009, 04:53 PM   #10
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I'm going to try this one again this weekend. I've got a bit yeast cake from the last batch, and three empty fermenters. I will split the yeast into three and use 1/3 for an All Grain Lager that I really like, and make this beer again twice with the other 2/3s of the yeast.

I'm going with the exact same recipe as before with only a couple of minor changes.

First change, I realized my fermenter I was brewing in was 5 UK gallons not 5 US gallons, so I ended up with about a gallon leftover that wouldn't fit in my keg. When I try again I will keep that in mind and use less water. That should help with the problem I had coming up short on the OG.

Second Change, I'm going to do slightly different hops. In one batch I'm going to use 1 oz of Sterling at 50 minutes, and in the other batch I'm going to use 1.25 oz Liberty at 50 minutes and .25 oz Liberty between 5-10 minutes before the end of the boil.

I was thinking Sazz might taste interesting, but I'll have to try that another time because I don't want to go and buying extra ingredients in keeping with the "use the leftovers" theme that I started with. I suppose I'm going to have to buy honey, LME, and DME anyway but thats ok.

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