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Old 02-11-2013, 01:26 AM   #1
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Default IPA Recipe - Too much crystal?

I've been tweaking a Bass IPA clone recipe and have come up with this:

HOME BREW RECIPE:
Title: English IPA/ESB
Author: Thunder Chicken

Brew Method: Partial Mash
Style Name: Extra Special/Strong Bitter (ESB)
Boil Time: 60 min
Batch Size: 2.5 gallons (fermentor volume)
Boil Size: 1.5 gallons
Efficiency: 70% (brew house)

STATS:
Original Gravity: 1.060
Final Gravity: 1.017
ABV (standard): 5.72%
IBU (tinseth): 36.09
SRM (morey): 9.69

FERMENTABLES:
0.5 lb - United Kingdom - Crystal 50L (12.5%)
0.5 lb - United Kingdom - Pale 2-Row (12.5%)
3 lb - Dry Malt Extract - Light (75%)

HOPS:
0.5 oz - Fuggles for 45 min, Type: Pellet, Use: Boil (AA 4.8, IBU: 10.61)
0.5 oz - Kent Goldings for 45 min, Type: Pellet, Use: Boil (AA 5.8, IBU: 12.82)
0.5 oz - Fuggles for 15 min, Type: Pellet, Use: Boil (AA 4.8, IBU: 5.73)
0.5 oz - Kent Goldings for 15 min, Type: Pellet, Use: Boil (AA 5.8, IBU: 6.93)

MASH STEPS:
1) Infusion, Temp: 153 F, Time: 30 min, Amount: 6 qt

I've read in several places that lots of Crystal is bad, but no one quantifies how much is "lots" or why in particular it is bad. My understanding is that it is what contributes a lot of the color and head-forming proteins.

So how much Crystal is too much and what problems does it cause?

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Reason: Scaled recipe to 2.5 gal
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Old 02-11-2013, 01:28 AM   #2
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I wouldn't go over about 10% for an English IPA. It makes the beer too sweet, and cloyingly so in large amounts. I tend to use more like 5-7% when I want too use crystal, but some like more.

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Old 02-11-2013, 01:38 AM   #3
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I personally don't like to put in much more than 5% myself. I think much over that starts to dominate the flavor pretty quickly. Just my opinion

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Old 02-11-2013, 01:38 AM   #4
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OK then, I probably want to scale that back a bit as I'm not looking to make malt soda. So that would tend to push it into more a brown ale sort of beer?

What does 2-row do for the beer with regard to flavor, body, etc.?

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Old 02-13-2013, 11:53 PM   #5
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Does using a higher attenuation yeast like Nottingham help knock down the crystal sweetness, or is there a flavor element to crystal that is independent of the sugar in the malt?

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Old 02-14-2013, 02:56 PM   #6
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Crystal malts add unfermentable sugars (dextrins) which contribute to body and residual sweetness. A higher AA yeast will dry out the beer, but it still won't be able to ferment the dextrins from crystal.

Also, 2-row is a base malt and needs to be mashed. So you don't want to steep it unless you want a starchy/cloudy beer.

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Old 02-14-2013, 03:15 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The-Baron-of-Charnwood View Post
Crystal malts add unfermentable sugars (dextrins) which contribute to body and residual sweetness. A higher AA yeast will dry out the beer, but it still won't be able to ferment the dextrins from crystal.
OK - good to know.

Quote:
Originally Posted by The-Baron-of-Charnwood View Post
Also, 2-row is a base malt and needs to be mashed. So you don't want to steep it unless you want a starchy/cloudy beer.
Could you explain this in a little more detail? What exactly is different between mashing and steeping (other than the water amounts)? What happens in mashing that does not happen in steeping?

For that matter, why does this recipe have 2-row at all? If it is a base malt, what is the point of having a little of it and a lot of DME? Texture?
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Old 02-14-2013, 03:48 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thunder_Chicken View Post
Could you explain this in a little more detail? What exactly is different between mashing and steeping (other than the water amounts)? What happens in mashing that does not happen in steeping?
Mashing is putting the grain into water and holding it at a certain temperature for a certain length of time. The temperature window is fairly tight, and well below boiling. Steeping is more like making tea. Mashing allows the diastatic enzymes in the pale male to activate and convert the starches in the grain to fermentable sugars. The reason that certain specialty malts can be steeped is because those sugars are already converted by the maltster or they simply have no sugar left to speak of (i.e. roasted).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thunder_Chicken View Post
For that matter, why does this recipe have 2-row at all? If it is a base malt, what is the point of having a little of it and a lot of DME? Texture?
It probably shouldn't have 2-row if it's a straight extract batch. You definitely don't want to just steep it.
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Old 02-14-2013, 03:53 PM   #9
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I used 12.9% C-40 in my Fashionably Late PA (hop-bursted) and it's fantastic. Of course, my mashing technique yields a highly fermentable wort and the beer comes out very dry. Still, I rarely have issues with cloying taste.

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Old 02-14-2013, 04:05 PM   #10
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Well, I already pulled the trigger on this batch and steeped all the grains including the two-row. So from what you are telling me steeping probably extracted starches from the two-row but probably didn't do such a hot job of converting them to sugars?

It may not be fatal in this batch since most of the sugar comes from DME and crystal. My OG was on target, slightly high actually. So I may wind up with a sweetish, malty, starchy beer. Oh well, beer happens. This is my first non-kit recipe and I'm learning a lot.

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