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Old 11-22-2007, 06:17 PM   #1
Zymurgrafi
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Default House pale ale tweaking assistance

I need some opinions/advice on tweaking my house pale ale. I have brewed it only 3 times. The 1 st two batches were great! The 3rd (1st time as an AG) is lacking a bit. It is still quite nice but not as nice as the others.

Originally I brewed this as a partial mash. It was perhaps the first brew I ever did where it was pretty much perfectly what I wanted. I went AG not long after but had some bad luck so I rebrewed this as a completely extract version. It too was really great. The problem with the AG is that it was a bit less sweet and a little thin compared to the others. I suppose that could merely be mash temp but I wondered if it might also need some ingredient tweaks to acheive the same result.

Here is the original PM recipe

Bitter Ol' Woodchuck APA

3.75 # British 2 row
3 # Extra light DME
.50 # Carared

.80 oz. Centennial 60 min
.10 oz. tettnang* 30 min
.50 Amarillo 15 min.
.10 tettnang* 15 min.
.50 Amarillo 1 min.
.20 Centennial 0 min.

.50 oz Cascade Dry hop (added to clearing tank, 2 weeks)

US-05 dry yeast

*I later changed this to EKG in the extract version and the AG and like that aspect. It was sort of the spirit of the recipe and its namesake. Use what youv'e got on hand.

Mash @ 155 for 60 minutes. It was a partial boil.

Here is the AG version

8.5 # British 2 row
.50 # Carared

(minor changes in hop schedule to reflect different AA%)

.75 oz. Centennial 60 minutes (actually I did screw that up and i put hem in at 90)
.10 EKG @ 30 Min
.50 Amarillo @ 15 min
.10 EKG @ 15 min
.50 Amarillo @ 1 min
.25 Centennial @ 0 min.

.50 Cascade dry hop (added 10 days into ferment in the primary for 2 more weeks)
Same yeast

Okay, I realize now looking at my notes there was quite a difference. Apparently for the original PM I aimed for 155° F but actual was mashed @ 156° F with a 5 degree drop in temp over the course of the hour. I have heard though that with fully modified malts a 60 minute mash is not really necessary so perhaps the time it remained at 156° F it brought out all the dextrins anyway?

For the AG I mashed @ 153° F (with only a couple of degrees drop)

So I suppose that accounts for the thinness maybe. The sweetness though?

I am curious if perhaps some of the body and sweetness came from the DME and I therefore need to adjust my grain bill. More of the crystal maybe like .75 #?

Any help would be appreciated. I really want to be able to recreate this beer again and again as it was just perfect to my taste (and my wife as well). I know I could just do it PM or extract again, but I really enjoy AG (and it is for now more economical) plus I think this should surely be possible to do. I mean AG is supposed to allow more control and you should be able to do anything that you can do extract and then some yes?


Thanks folks. It is about time to brew some more of this one as I fear the keg blowin' very soon...

Maybe today



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Old 11-22-2007, 06:27 PM   #2
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Extracts do tend to have relatively high levels of unfermentables. The lower mash temperature will reduce body, but I agree the sweeter results is a bit of a puzzle. You might try 156F again and maybe 4 oz. of dextrine malt for body.

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Old 11-22-2007, 09:18 PM   #3
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So you do not think adding more crystal will give it a more sweet balance?

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