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Old 04-06-2006, 06:31 PM   #1
drengel
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Default a different sort of pale ale-critique

I'm looking to brew a very well-balanced pale ale, where the hops meet the malts perfectly, and that doesn't use any C hops. I'm bored of APA's that all taste like 2-row with cascade and centennial in them. what do you guys think of this...

Mini-Mash (which I've never done, only AG and extract, so help maybe needed here)

.5 lb. crystal 20L
.25 lb. crystal 40
1 lb. biscuit malt
1 lb. cara-pils
2 lb. munich

3 lb. extra light DME

Northern Brewer: .25 oz. at 60, 30, 15, and dry
Simcoe: .25 oz. at 60, 30, 15, and dry
Willamette: .25 oz. at 15, 5 and .5 oz. dry

cali ale yeast


so what do you think...the hops and ratio between munich-specialty malts is what i'm concerned the most about.

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Old 04-06-2006, 06:35 PM   #2
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I would drop the biscuit malt back alot, no more then 1/2 a pound, probably just a 1/4 pund. It has a strong flavor.

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Old 04-06-2006, 06:37 PM   #3
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LOL...I was just thinking that same thing. For a more malty flavor, biscuit works, as well as some aromatic or some victory, but no more than 1/2 lb. A little will go a long way.

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Old 04-06-2006, 06:40 PM   #4
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cool, i've never used biscuit malt in anything before, always wanted to, but never have. so maybe a 1/2 lb. of it. i thought about both aromatic and victory, but they seem to dark, plus i want to keep it fairly simple, if i don't i'll go overboard on the malt end.

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Old 04-06-2006, 06:40 PM   #5
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A couple quick thoughts popped in my head (which may not even help):
- Sounds like you are interested in a Pale Ale, i.e. British. They tend to be less hoppy and more balanced.
- I think your grist may be a bit complex, but in any case I would add some two-row. The Munich will self-convert but not have extra diastatic power, I'm not sure the Biscuit will fully convert itself, and I'm positive the carapils will not. 1lb of biscuit may be quite a bit of bicuity flavor based on my recollection of it.
- Don't remember the BU:GU ratio for British PA's from Daniels DGB, but I will try to remember to look at it tonight unless someone beats me to it.

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Old 04-06-2006, 06:48 PM   #6
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will a lb. of 2-row supply the necesary enzymes?

BTW i'm doing a mini-mash because i'm pissed at my ML-tun but i definitely want to use the biscuit, which i know has no diastatic enzymes. and like i said, i've never done one, don't know the typical ratios. but i will drop the biscuit to a 1/2 lb.

and yes i am in interseted in british pale ales. As i went around tasting pales at a fest last weekend it occured to me that too many taste the same (2-row , crystal and the three C's) and none are very well balanced. One caught my attention, and it tastes almost like a fat tire but not as malty or sweet, with nice fruity and woodsy hop flavors (but not overtly citrusy like all the others), combined with a good bready malt background. the balance of the beer was impeccable. Absolutely the most intersting (and best) pale ale i've had in a long time. So i'm basing this recipe on that beer, knowing for sure that they use N. Brewer and simcoe, as well as other hops i can't remember.

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gone: too damn many


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Old 04-06-2006, 06:57 PM   #7
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Don't have the diastatic power of 2-row in my head, and I'm scurryin' to a meeting, but if you google 2-row diastatic power you're sure to find out how many adjuncts a lb of 2-row would convert.

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Old 04-06-2006, 06:58 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drengel
cool, i've never used biscuit malt in anything before, always wanted to, but never have. so maybe a 1/2 lb. of it. i thought about both aromatic and victory, but they seem to dark, plus i want to keep it fairly simple, if i don't i'll go overboard on the malt end.
a 1/2lb. - 3/4lb. of victory will really increase the malt flavor. It will darken considerably, but if you use the lightest crystal youll be alright.

i wouldnt do both aromatic AND victory.

have you considered using different yeast?
i dont use cali ale save for porters, i opt for east coast ale, or an english yeast.
you could try an irish ale for a different pa flavor too. Something with a bit more balls then boring ass cali ale...
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Old 04-06-2006, 07:03 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bjorn Borg

have you considered using different yeast?
i dont use cali ale save for porters, i opt for east coast ale, or an english yeast.
you could try an irish ale for a different pa flavor too. Something with a bit more balls then boring ass cali ale...
i was just thinking the same thing, english ale maybe, never used east coast ale, it's probably worth a shot.

I'm going to stick just to a 1/2 lb. of biscuit on this one, no victory or aromatic...maybe next time.
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Old 04-06-2006, 07:04 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Baron von BeeGee
Don't remember the BU:GU ratio for British PA's from Daniels DGB, but I will try to remember to look at it tonight unless someone beats me to it.
He doesn't seem to really seperate EPAs, APAs, and Bitters consistently.

For commercial PAs and Bitters, he gives a BU:GU average of .80.

He says that four commercial PAs had an average of .89 BU:GU, which contradicts the style guidelines, which would indicate BU:GU of .45 to .71.

6 NHC 2nd-round PAs averaged .91 BU:GU.

(No apparant distinction between EPA and APA)

So the data is all over the map.

In addition to the various comments on the grain bill, I would also recommend using a British yeast strain for a more balanced PA. The IPA that I'm almost done drinking was about 1.065, 50 IBUs, and wyeast 1098 British Ale. It was excellent and very balanced.

(Yes, I have the book at my office. Good Lord, I'm a geek.)
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