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Old 08-08-2010, 01:58 AM   #1
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Default How much carared in my IIPA??

I've been making an Imperial IPA for quite some time now, as it is the beer I prefer the most. My recipe is a work in progress and has been evolving with every batch. I'm thinking I'd like to try one with some carared in it, both for the color and the sweetness... although not too much sweetness! I've been striving to create something that's fairly light while still bringing on the hop! I've been shooting for color similar to the LongTrail Traditional IPA with bitterness closer to a Racer 5 or Dogfish Head 90 min. I"ve mostly been cascade heavy, but tried various hop combinations. Now i"m rambling about my favorite beer... let me get to the point. Here's my current recipe. I want to add some carared to it, more for color than for flavor. A little sweetness from it is ok, but I don't really want to notice it too much. What should I do?

14# German Pils
1# Amber
1 oz. Nugget all of boil.
1.5 oz. Cascade 20 min
2 oz. cascade 10 min.
2 oz. cascade 1 min.
2 oz. cascade dry hop

7 Gal boil for 5 gal batch. (fairly new to AG and this is what's worked. Am I crazy?)

OG: 1.076
FG: 1.018
IBU: 73
ABV: 7.8%
BU:GU .96

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Old 08-08-2010, 02:32 AM   #3
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I suppose it's open for a change, although I wonder for what? I had originally considered 2-row, but was convinced that the pilsner would give me similar gravity content with less color/body, which is pretty much what I was looking for. I realize that adding the carared is contrary to this goal, but that's where I'm at...

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Old 08-08-2010, 02:37 AM   #4
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I suppose it's open for a change, although I wonder for what? I had originally considered 2-row, but was convinced that the pilsner would give me similar gravity content with less color/body, which is pretty much what I was looking for. I realize that adding the carared is contrary to this goal, but that's where I'm at...
Well, that's why I asked. I wasn't sure what you're going for. Cara-anything and pilsner malt is a weird mix for an American IIPA. What are you looking for? A drier, thinner beer but with a hint of residual sweetness and no malt backbone? Or a solid malt backbone to hold up all the hops of an IIPA? I guess it would be easier for me to help out if I knew what you were trying to accomplish.

To me, a great IIPA has very little crystal malt flavor, and finishes at a pretty low FG. I like American two-row, along with some simple sugar (like corn sugar) to give a "light" background to the beer without any cloying sweetness. You can accomplish that with pilsner malt, I"m sure- I just never really thought about it.
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Old 08-08-2010, 03:06 AM   #5
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I"m definitely looking for a drier, thinner, "light" feeling IIPA with a hint of sweetness but not too much malt flavor behind the bitterness. I like a big hop head with clean bitterness at the finish. (Not really a "taster" and don't know specifically what those words mean, but they seem to work and describe what I like!!) I'm using amber in my current recipe because I didn't like the caramel flavor of the crystal 20, 40, and 60 that I have tried.

The only reason I chose pilsner vs 2-row is that I read it will provide equal gravity points with less color, which is what I wanted. Now that I'm looking into a red I obviously want a little more color, but I want to keep things "light."

I've avoided adding things like corn sugar for extra gravity points because I kind of feel like that's "cheating." Not that it really matters, but some part of me wants my beers to be water, hops, grains, and yeast.

So what do you say? I've been into the pilsner cause it works. It's not a true "american IIPA" but it gets the point across. Now that I want to add a little red (color more than sweetness, although a little sweetness may be worth a shot) So what should I change?

Should I be using something other than the pilsner? What and why?

I'd really like to avoid the sugar route (although I'm sure there are many good arguments for using it) Just doesn't seem right...

Thanks!!

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Old 08-08-2010, 02:26 PM   #6
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I"m definitely looking for a drier, thinner, "light" feeling IIPA with a hint of sweetness but not too much malt flavor behind the bitterness. I like a big hop head with clean bitterness at the finish. (Not really a "taster" and don't know specifically what those words mean, but they seem to work and describe what I like!!) I'm using amber in my current recipe because I didn't like the caramel flavor of the crystal 20, 40, and 60 that I have tried.

The only reason I chose pilsner vs 2-row is that I read it will provide equal gravity points with less color, which is what I wanted. Now that I'm looking into a red I obviously want a little more color, but I want to keep things "light."

I've avoided adding things like corn sugar for extra gravity points because I kind of feel like that's "cheating." Not that it really matters, but some part of me wants my beers to be water, hops, grains, and yeast.

So what do you say? I've been into the pilsner cause it works. It's not a true "american IIPA" but it gets the point across. Now that I want to add a little red (color more than sweetness, although a little sweetness may be worth a shot) So what should I change?

Should I be using something other than the pilsner? What and why?

I'd really like to avoid the sugar route (although I'm sure there are many good arguments for using it) Just doesn't seem right...

Thanks!!
I know what you mean about the sugar! I was anti-sugar for quite a long time. However, I learned that for the lightest beers with a high ABV, sugar is the way to do it. Not because it's "cheating", but because it helps lighten the body of the beer and letting it get a bit drier because the sugar is more fermentable. It's a standard ingredient in IIPAs and tripels. An all-malt beer has more body, and finishes at a higher FG than a beer with sugar.

If you don't want to use sugar, I'd recommend mashing at a very low temperature. I mean like 147-149 for 90 minutes. That will give you a more fermentable wort, and it will finish lower. Also, use a well attenuating American ale yeast.

Use the pilsner malt if you like it- no reason not to. I still like plain old American 2-row, but that's me. My DFH clone has 13 pounds of two-row, and 6 ounces of amber malt. It's super light, like an SRM of 5, but I like that! If you want a darker color, without the sweetness of crystal, why not use something like .5 ounce of carafa III?
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