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Old 10-20-2009, 06:53 PM   #1
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Default HELP! 1st time recipe formulation

Holiday Ale - I think i have the spices where I want them (but feel free to critique on that), but I need help with fermentables/grain/hops. I would like to shoot for 5-5.5% abv, with a medium body.

I brew extract, full volume boils, and bottle.

Here's what I have:

1 lb Weyermann Caramunich II, steeped at 155F for 30 minutes
7 lb Briess Sparkling Amber DME

1oz Kent Goldings @ 60 min)

1 tsp irish moss @ 15min

1 tsp ground cinnamon @ 10min
1 tsp fresh ground ginger @ 10min
0.5 oz bitter orange peel @10min
0.5 tsp ground allspice @ 10min

Wyeast 1272 American Ale II

I have one beer (barely, I just brewed it sunday!) under my belt, so I'm guessing wildly on pretty much everything. My questions are:

Will 7lbs DME get me 5-5.5% abv?

I've never used Caramunich II before - what will this get me exactly?

Spice amounts ok? What about time? Should I add at 10 minute or at flameout?

Hops? I don't want any real powerful aroma hops to this beer, so I just added for bittering. Using Kent Goldings was a dart throw.

Wyeast 1272 any good?

Thanks for your help!

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Old 10-20-2009, 09:24 PM   #2
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I'd guess 7 lb of DME would get you >~ 6% abv. You need to use a recipe calculator!
Spices are fine, depending on the intensity you're looking for. Bitterness is going to be pretty low for this heavy a beer (maybe <~ 20 IBU). I realize you want the spices to come through, but this would be pretty sweet. Caramunich is a medium crystal malt - it will add nice malty notes. Wyeast 1272 is fine - with this much going on, you're not going to have a flavor profile that's influenced too much by your yeast strain, unless you pick a less neutral one that gives more esters or phenolics.

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Old 10-20-2009, 11:44 PM   #3
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Good tip on Hops-

What do you think about 1oz Amarillo at 60min and 1oz at 15min? Or doing that with Cascade? Calculator gives it a 42 IBU when using Amarillo

The Beer Recipator gives me an OG of 1.066, so if I brought that down to 1.020 (does that seem reasonable? I'll be making a starter with 1272) that should give me close to 6% abv.

One other question - what about head retention? I'd like this thing to have a long-lasting head.

Thanks!

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Old 10-21-2009, 12:11 AM   #4
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This is going to be quite similar to a pumpkin ale. My pumpkin ale was 1.065 and it went down to 1.012. I would not expect as good of attenuation with extract but still I would use .016 as my FG for recipe formulation.

Hops completely depends on what you are trying to accomplish. If you want a good bitterness with nice hop flavor and presence then your Amarillo bill is appropriate. If you are going for a spiced ale/ pumpkin ale flavor then you really do not want hops interfering with the spice and your first EKG bill is much better. If you look at pumpkin/ spiced ale recipes you will see IBUs ranging from 10ish up to 25 or so. Higher than that and people start saying they wish they had gone lower.

Besides, you want and need a sweet backing to the spice on this beer. Those spices without sugar taste hollow without sugar filling in the taste.

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Old 10-21-2009, 12:43 AM   #5
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great info!

i really don't want a pumpkin ale, i'm looking for something similar to Sam Adams Old Fezziwig. except something that i can drink more than one of without it being overpowering, flavor-wise.

thanks!

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Old 10-21-2009, 01:31 PM   #6
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A suggestion for the spices:

You don't want to add the spices before or during the ferment. CO2 devolution during the ferment will scrub out all the lovely flavor and aroma; all those little bubbles, carrying away the chemicals that make your senses scream, "pumpkin pie"...

I recommend adding the spices as tea, just before bottling. Before you start racking the fermented beer to your bottling bucket, brew up a strong tea using your spices as written above. Taste the melange (no, not that melange, Muad'dib). If the spices are balanced and blended sufficiently, excellent. If not, tweak the proportions.

Once you've got the spice tea tasting and smelling exactly as you like it, begin racking like your brewing texts tell you for bottle-conditioning. After the racking is finished (or nearly so), start adding the spice tea a little at a time. After each addition, draw a small sample using your sanitized wine thief or turkey baster and taste. When you get the flavor "just right", add slightly more tea; when you've gone just a bit over the top, stop.

Now bottle.

Why did I tell you to go over the top? Because you're about to carbonate the beer with CO2. When the bottle is opened, the foam will carry away some of the spice flavors and aromas. You need to compensate for that. Plus time in the bottle will attenuate the spices, depending on how long you can wait to crack 'em open!

Good luck!

Bob

The spice must flow....

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Old 10-21-2009, 01:39 PM   #7
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I think i would go with a half tsp of ginger, it's strong and i'm not really fond of it anyway. But that's just me, some people may love it.

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Old 10-21-2009, 01:46 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NQ3X View Post
Taste the melange (no, not that melange, Muad'dib).
Dune rules.
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Old 10-21-2009, 02:35 PM   #9
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I would add your spices at 10 min left in the boil. I did a Christmas ale with similar spices and a year later the spices are very pronounced.

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Old 10-21-2009, 02:42 PM   #10
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Very interesting - I'll definately keep that in mind.

Make a tea using, what, one quart? Will the orange peel come thru if I'm not adding it anywhere and just steeping it in the tea? I'm definately going to let this sit in a secondary, so maybe add the orange peel to the secondary? add all spices to the secondary?

crawford - did you use fresh ground or store-bought ground ginger?

thanks!

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