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Old 01-18-2009, 02:48 AM   #1
Section143BrewCo
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Default My first recipe - Red Ale

Have made 5 batches using ingredient kits and am looking to start to make my own recipes. I really liked the RedAle from the kit so I'm going to start and try to make something similar. Here is what I have come up with by combining ideas from the kit and also from an example in the Brew book..

Hopped Light Extract (lme) - 3.3 lbs
Amber Malt Extract (dme) - 4 lb

Crystal Malt - 8 oz.
Melanoidin Malt - 8 oz.
Toasted Malt - 4 oz.

Northern Brewer Hops (1 oz - full boil)
Santiam Hops (1/2 oz - finishing, last 15 minutes)


Please let me know of any changes you would make to this.

I have read that "Beer Smith" is good to get in order to create recipes, calculate the details of your own recipes, etc. Is this the software to get?

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Old 01-18-2009, 02:52 AM   #2
BrewinJack
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I use pro-mash... the free trail works until you save more then 5 recipes, and its dead useful for all grain...

the prehopped LME... you should probably use unhopped and just kick up you bittering a bit

Cheers

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Old 01-18-2009, 11:12 AM   #3
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+1 to dropping the hopped LME in favor of unhopped.

I also suggest dropping the Amber DME in favor of Light/Pale. Most brewers use Light/Pale extract exclusively, and get color and flavor from specialty grains. It gives you more control over the finished beer. Pale/Light extracts are generally made from pale or Pilsner malt only; darker extracts have specialty grains added by the manufacturer, and you'll never know how much of what was added.

Think of brewing like cooking. Extract is a chicken breast, specialty grains the other stuff.

If you use Pale/Pilsner extract, it's a plain ol' chicken breast. You can add anything to that breast and go dozens of different directions - Caribbean jerk, Tandoori spices, lemongrass and ginger, wine and mushrooms, ham and Swiss cheese, or just salt and pepper.

Darker extracts are like buying those pre-marinaded chicken breasts in the grocery - it's tough to turn a Teriyaki-marinaded chicken into Chicken Marsala.

You dig?

Now, as to software. I use ProMash, and love it to pieces. But I've been using it for the better part of a decade. You might say I'm a little biased.

Any of the software will get the job done. They're each different, like different hiking boots - all of them will hit the trail, but only one feels best on your foot. Download the free trials of all the software you can find and twitch to see how they fit. Then pay. Simple.

I used QBrew for a while. It's totally free, though not as powerful as ProMash or BeerTools. For the extract brewer, it's plenty.

Conversely, there are lots of free online calculators, like:

BeerTools has a free calculator.

The Recipator is used by many brewers.

TastyBrew is another excellent free calculator.

Cheers!

Bob

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Old 01-18-2009, 01:47 PM   #4
Section143BrewCo
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Thanks guys for your insight.

I am new to using a "hop schedule" compared to just throwing an oz of them in at time of boil. Can you suggest something to increase the bitterness instead of using the hopped extract. I would imagine this would be a change in the type, amount and timing of the hops used. Maybe a combination of all three. I am anxious to hear about how manipulating the hops can change the outcome.

Completely understand the thoughts on using the light dme vs. amber dme. I will go with light lme and light dme. Looks like my color will come from the melanoidin and crystal malt. What do you think of using these two in combination? Ive used each by themselves and really liked what they brought to the respective beers so I thought combining would just be more of a good thing and something different.

In my 4 or 5 brews so far i have brought the water to a boil, then steeped the grains off heat for 30 minutes before continuing. I have also read that putting the grains in at the very beginning and steeping them until the initial boil is a good technique. Any thoughts on each method?

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Old 01-19-2009, 01:05 AM   #5
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Either method of steeping will work, though in comparison to the current trend neither is optimal. The hotter the steep liquor, the more tannins and other objectionable flavor precursors are leached into the liquor. The current trend is to mix the cracked grains and a measured amount of hot water to achieve a temperature of between 150 and 160F (targeting 155F), and use a standard meat thermometer to monitor and maintain the 'mash'. It sounds a lot harder than it really is. If you're uncomfortable with that procedure, I recommend using the 'put it in cold water and turn on the heat' method rather than adding them to already-boiling liquor.

Melanoidin can be powerful stuff; use in moderation. I wouldn't exceed a half-pound in five gallons, ever. Better to use a mix of crystal malts, or even a small amount of Chocolate Malt or Roasted Barley to achieve a nice red color. You're brewing Amber, so you should use different Crystal malts. 8 oz of 40-60L and 4 oz of 120L or Special B will, in conjunction with your Melanoidon, give a nicely rounded Crystal-malt note to your beer so crucial to American Amber Ale.

Hops schedule is something you just have to hammer into your head. Software helps, but really it's looking at other recipes, reading books and learning.

Bob

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