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Old 03-09-2007, 04:36 AM   #1
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Default Designing First Beer

I am designing my first beer. I have had some ggod luck in random experimentation but am wanting to compete. I am starting by designing an american pale ale and i am trying to figure out my grain bill for an AG American Pale ale. I already know my hops are going to be cascade and amarillo. I am looking to do about 72% american 2-row but I am unsure on my speciality grains I was thinking about using crystal 20 and a small amount of honey malt. what are your suggestions and why?

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Old 03-09-2007, 06:19 AM   #2
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I like to use various crystal malts and some aromatic in my pale ale. This is what I came up with for the initial recipe and after some experimentation I realized that I have to go back to the original. Different colored crystal malts will give you different flavors thus adding some depth to the malt charcter of the beer.

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Old 03-09-2007, 11:52 AM   #3
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You could use a modest amount of Vienna for some character, as well. Get a copy of Ray Daniel's Designing Great Beers, it's invaluable, I think, in this process.

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Old 03-09-2007, 06:31 PM   #4
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My first suggestion is to go to your LHBS, hopefully you have one nearby, and sample some of the specialty malts. You can easily do this by taking about a dozen kernels or so and chewing them. You might take a pen and paper and take a few notes for reference. I would suggest you make a point of tasting Munich 20 and Caramel 20 (crystal) to compare the flavor difference between kilned malt and roasted malt at the same color. Then you should taste caramel 40, 60 , 80 and say 120. Note the differences in flavor. If you are still up to it, you can taste Honey malt and any others you are interested in. Once you have done this, you will be better prepared to decide which flavors you want in you pale ale. With your base malt at 72%, you have 28% of your malt bill you can dedicate to specialty malts. Since specialty malts are generally used at from 1-15%, you have room for several if you wish.

That's my suggestion. Good luck and have fun tasting.

Dr Malt

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Old 03-09-2007, 06:39 PM   #5
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Excellent advice in this thread!

Here is the recipe for the best APA I've made.

You can see it agrees with Kai's advice: it has three different types of crystal malts plus Munich (similar to aromatic--gives a toasty, malty character.)

Don't get me wrong: you can make a perfectly nice APA with a more ordinary grainbill, like maybe 93% base malt and 7% crystal 40 or something like that. But that other strategy will give you a very rich and complex malt background behind the hops.

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Old 03-09-2007, 06:52 PM   #6
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Also along with the higher amount of caramel notes, don't forget to boost your bitterness a few IBU's to compensate. I too like a combination of a few crystal malts namely 10 and 30 in mine. Errr excuse me not 30, but 60.

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Old 03-12-2007, 06:06 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Malt
My first suggestion is to go to your LHBS, hopefully you have one nearby, and sample some of the specialty malts. You can easily do this by taking about a dozen kernels or so and chewing them. You might take a pen and paper and take a few notes for reference. I would suggest you make a point of tasting Munich 20 and Caramel 20 (crystal) to compare the flavor difference between kilned malt and roasted malt at the same color. Then you should taste caramel 40, 60 , 80 and say 120. Note the differences in flavor. If you are still up to it, you can taste Honey malt and any others you are interested in. Once you have done this, you will be better prepared to decide which flavors you want in you pale ale. With your base malt at 72%, you have 28% of your malt bill you can dedicate to specialty malts. Since specialty malts are generally used at from 1-15%, you have room for several if you wish.

That's my suggestion. Good luck and have fun tasting.

Dr Malt
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Old 03-12-2007, 06:46 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lost Brews
350 Miles away

Doh!, well at any rate....buy a lb. of each of a bunch of types. It'll keep uncrushed for a good amount of time and a little will go a long way. If you think about it, for 10 or 15 bucks you can get a really nice spread and aside from having them to taste they'll be at your disposal.
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