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Old 07-23-2012, 01:47 PM   #1
TarVolon
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Default How much crystal?

I posted this Friday in the Beginner Forum because I thought it was a beginner question, but it got no responses over the weekend, so I thought maybe I'd put it in the wrong place. I do have a couple questions about the attempted recipe as a whole, but the main question relates to the limit of crystal malts. The Wiki says 20% is the max, but I see a lot of people saying 15%. And I'm having trouble squaring this with the specs on which I'm basing the attempt. Anyways, here's the whole issue:

I've always liked Sam Adams Mighty Oak Ale, and I thought maybe if I made some, I could have some in the fall instead of waiting for spring. Sadly, I haven't seen any clone attempts on the Internets, and I've never come up with a clone recipe myself. I thought I'd give it a shot based on these specs from their website:

Flavor: Smooth and malty with distinct oak character (incl vanilla and caramel flavors)
Color: rich amber (SRM 25)
OG: 14.0 Plato
ABV: 5.7%
Calories: 189
Malts: 2-row blend and Caramel-60
IBUs: 15
Hops: EKG and Fuggles
Yeast: Sam Adams ale yeast

The trickiest elements for me are the amount of caramel 60 and the hop schedule. Mostly the amount of caramel 60. They say that the only malts used are 2-row blend and caramel 60, imparting a sweet, slightly roasty flavor and a rich amber color. But that they still get SRM 25. Unless I misunderstand, adding enough crystal 60 to get an SRM of 25 is a really bad idea.

So my main question is: if adding enough C-60 to meet the site specs is a bad plan, how much should I add? I was thinking 15-20% of the grist should put me safely in the copper/red/amber range, although not nearly at 25. Thoughts on that?

My secondary question is the hop schedule. Because this is a spring beer and I didn't decide to make it until mid-summer, I don't exactly have something on hand to taste-test. So I have to go on guesses. I figure with only 15 IBUs, it's probably not a big deal, but should I go with three additions? They are supposed to contribute some earthiness.

So here's my first pass at it. Advice very, very welcome:

7 lb 8 oz 2-row (US?)
1 lb 12 oz Caramel-60
.25 oz Fuggles (60)
.25 oz EKG (60)
.25 oz Fuggles (20)
.25 oz EKG (20)
.5 oz Fuggles (0)
.5 oz EGK (0)
Wyeast 1056
.5 oz medium American oak chips for last week of primary

According to BeerCalculus (with 82% efficiency), this puts me dead on 14.0 Plato, 5.7% ABV, 188 calories, 15.0 IBU, and. . . 13 SRM. So it seemed a good first pass. But it's also 19% crystal-60. Advice greatly appreciated.

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Old 07-23-2012, 01:54 PM   #2
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I try to cut myself off around 10% crystal usage so 19% is a bit high by my standards. You could use a real small amount of something like Carafa III, Roasted Barley, Midnight Wheat to bump that color up. Try a few ounces even though it's not in the recipe.

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Old 07-23-2012, 01:59 PM   #3
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..but what exactly is "2-row blend"? Never had the beer, don't know much about the style, but for me 19% of any caramel is waaay too much. I would sub some of the Am 2-row with some dark Munich. And why not use East Coast Ale yeast? That's supposed to be S.A.'s. Oh, since you asked, I would bitter with just one of those hops, not both. Perhaps they are using a kettle carmelization like a Scottish Ale? Anyway that's my .02

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Old 07-23-2012, 02:15 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by logdrum View Post
..but what exactly is "2-row blend"? Never had the beer, don't know much about the style, but for me 19% of any caramel is waaay too much. I would sub some of the Am 2-row with some dark Munich. And why not use East Coast Ale yeast? That's supposed to be S.A.'s. Oh, since you asked, I would bitter with just one of those hops, not both. Perhaps they are using a kettle carmelization like a Scottish Ale? Anyway that's my .02
I don't know what 2-row blend is. I'm assuming they use a couple different 2-row malts and they want to keep exactly what they use a secret.

Not using East Coast Ale yeast because Wyeast doesn't make an equivalent, and my LHBS only has Wyeast products.

I like the dark Munich idea though. I've never used it before, but it sounds like it might solve a lot of problems. Because I've never used it before though, I'm stabbing in the dark a little bit as to how much I should do with dark Munich and how much with crystal. How does this sound:

6 lb 14 oz US 2-row (73%)
1 lb 8 oz Munich 30L (16%)
1 lb 0 oz Crystal 60L (11%)

1.057 OG, 13 SRM (I'm still assuming I should disbelieve their report of 25 SRM. IIRC, it's a reddish copper, which sounds more like 25 EBC than 25 SRM, unless I grossly misunderstand)
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Old 07-23-2012, 02:20 PM   #5
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the amount of caramel you would need to achieve 25 srm is to much. there has to be another darker malt. possibly special roast, special b or victory

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Old 07-23-2012, 02:23 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TarVolon View Post
I don't know what 2-row blend is. I'm assuming they use a couple different 2-row malts and they want to keep exactly what they use a secret.

Not using East Coast Ale yeast because Wyeast doesn't make an equivalent, and my LHBS only has Wyeast products.

I like the dark Munich idea though. I've never used it before, but it sounds like it might solve a lot of problems. Because I've never used it before though, I'm stabbing in the dark a little bit as to how much I should do with dark Munich and how much with crystal. How does this sound:

6 lb 14 oz US 2-row (73%)
1 lb 8 oz Munich 30L (16%)
1 lb 0 oz Crystal 60L (11%)

1.057 OG, 13 SRM (I'm still assuming I should disbelieve their report of 25 SRM. IIRC, it's a reddish copper, which sounds more like 25 EBC than 25 SRM, unless I grossly misunderstand)

Sorry, I totally misunderstood when you said "dark Munich." I just assumed it was the darkest Munich they made, but after googling, it looks more like it's 10L. Let me amend that second attempt then. . .

4 lb 8 oz US 2-row (46%)
4 lb 0 oz Dark Munich (9L) (41%)
1 lb 4 oz crystal-60 (13%)

How does that sound? Obviously I'm kinda making this up as I go along, but this does seem like a good way of getting a good deep amber without 75 pounds of crystal. Although SA doesn't report using Munich anymore than they report using black patent or carafa or whatever
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Old 07-23-2012, 02:24 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glynn View Post
the amount of caramel you would need to achieve 25 srm is to much. there has to be another darker malt. possibly special roast, special b or victory
Hence my frustration with SA. They say they use 2-row and crystal-60. But then they say SRM 25. Google image "Mighty Oak Ale." I know it's tricky to tell on a computer screen, but no way that's actually SRM 25, is there?
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Old 07-23-2012, 02:31 PM   #8
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I've used 1lb of Crystal 40 and Crystal 120 to get to 17 SRM. You might want to add some Cholocate Malt to it. Incidentally, 25 SRM is much darker than an amber ale. Ambers are 10-17 SRM.

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Old 07-23-2012, 02:33 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by logdrum
Perhaps they are using a kettle carmelization like a Scottish Ale? Anyway that's my .02
This was my first thought after reading the OP. Some brewers extend the boil to carmelize sugars in the wort rssulting in a slighy darker beer. Dont ask me how to show that in BeerCalculus. You may just have to jump in with both feet and brew. I'd consider matching SRM pretty zealous in most clones, but it may be an important part of the flavor profile here. Be prepared to rebrew this; most clone attempts need tweaking (just search this site and read a few "clone attempt" threads!)
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Old 07-23-2012, 02:34 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ludomonster View Post
I've used 1lb of Crystal 40 and Crystal 120 to get to 17 SRM. You might want to add some Cholocate Malt to it. Incidentally, 25 SRM is much darker than an amber ale. Ambers are 10-17 SRM.
Yeah, that's kinda what I thought. I've just been treating it as SRM 13, because that's the same as EBC 25, and that's the only thing that makes remotely close to sense as to why they'd report SRM 25 on their site.

When you say 1lb of crystal 40 and 120, does that mean a pound combined? I assume it does, because a pound each would be getting crazy with the crystal. I think.
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