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Old 10-13-2010, 01:12 AM   #1
tycobb48
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Default New apple beer recipe - comments needed

Hello everyone! This is my first post, so please bear with me...

A friend recently requested that I create a beer with apple juice instead of water. Full mash and hop additions and apple juice instead of H2O. I set about trying to come up with a recipe before I looked around for examples on the internet etc...here's what I came up with.

Grain Bill

Abbey - 3.25lbs - 9.0 Plato 18L
Carabelge - 3.10lbs - 8.1 Plato 13L
Crystal 40 - 1.31lbs - 7.88 Plato 40L
Chocolate Rye - 1.73 lbs - 7.88 Plato - 66.2L
Wheat - 1.75lbs - 9.0 Plato - 2L
Honey malt - 1.23lbs - Potential 1.030 - 18L
Biscuit - .62lbs - 9 Plato - 25L

Some of these I have added for flavor and some specific properties, ie. head retention etc...the usual reasons.

Hop Additions

Cascade 1oz at 30 minutes
Cascade 1oz at 5 minutes
Cascade 1oz dry

All of the above are whole hops. I was going for more of aroma/taste angle than bitterness.

Yeast

* WLP515 Antwerp Ale Yeast
Clean, almost lager like Belgian type ale yeast. Good for Belgian type pales ales and amber ales, or with blends to combine with other Belgian type yeast strains. Biscuity, ale like aroma present. Hop flavors and bitterness are accentuated. Slight sulfur will be produced during fermentation, which can give the yeast a lager like flavor profile.
Attenuation: 73-80%
Flocculation: Medium
Optimum Fermentation Temperature: 67-70°F
(19-21°C)
Alcohol Tolerance: Medium

The reviews for this describe a biscuity flavor profile, creamy mouth feel, and the ability to tackle high starting gravities.

Thought process...

I wanted a beer style that would cooperate with my idea of full bodied beer with a lower hop presence. I felt that the answer lay somewhere between Northern and Southern English Browns - Northern for its maltiness and Southern for its hop profile. Being an apple beer, I thought that going with more of a 'holiday' style would be appropriate (especially seeing its fall). I did stray from the milds a bit using a Belgian ale yeast, but I felt it fit with the flavor profile.

I plan on a wort after boil quantity of 2.5 gallons (H20). After chilling, I would I would add the 3 gallons of apple juice (no preservatives, no added sugars), then pitch yeast starter.

My calculated SG after boil, BEFORE apple juice, is 1.055 - still a touch high for milds. I know that adding appro. 24 pounds of 1.030 apple juice is going throw the whole thing out of whack - residual sweetness could be ridiculous. Does anyone have any thoughts, especially as far as the hops? - I haven't added anything else because I've rambled too long already!

Thanks!

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Old 10-13-2010, 07:29 PM   #2
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Looks like a malt soup to me. I'd cut all the malts except the Crystal and add some base malt for the remainder of your gravity points. I'd also scale the hops way back.

You're basically making Graff: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f81/graf...-cider-117117/

The apple juice will ferment almost completely out, so I wouldn't worry about residual sweetness from there. I'd mash at like 158, because that juice will make it dry.

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Old 10-16-2010, 06:56 PM   #3
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Thanks for the response.

I hear what yo are saying, and that was my initial direction. Then I thought that was what everyone would do. I know about 90% of this is specialty malts, and normally, depending on situation kept below 30 %. I was trying to go crazy with it a bit. Anybody else try something like this?

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Old 10-17-2010, 12:56 PM   #4
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"That was what everyone would do" because it's common knowledge that using 90% specialty malts is full of fail. Yes, you will have conducted an intellectually stimulating experiment, at least for you. Practically speaking, however, you'll have five gallons worth of undrinkable dreck, which is a waste. Foresight tells you this is a bad idea. Listen to your foresight. If you refuse to listen to your foresight, listen to Nateo and listen to me.

There's thinking outside the box - which is laudable - and there's thinking outside the box and ignoring both your own experience and the advice you get - which is unforgivably dumb.

Cheers!

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Old 10-17-2010, 03:46 PM   #5
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If you are assuming the juice will provide the majority of fermentable sugars then it's not bad to use a lot of specialty malts. However, I do think you are using too much specialty malt in comparison to the base malt or juice. If you want the juice to come through as more of the flavor component, less malt is definitely the way to go -- especially the specialty malts. If you are trying to keep the malt as the most important piece, lower the specialty malt and add more base malt.

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Old 10-17-2010, 04:20 PM   #6
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As a fan of Belgian ales and various types of speciality malt, I'm not sure that the use "more" different is going to produce something as nice as you think it will. You could scale this recipe way back and try 2 or 3 gallons to see how it turns out, but this seems like an awful lot of work for something that could be Franken-graff, a monster only the mad scientist who created it,could love.

I think that the "Belgian Abbey" malt is just another brand for biscuit malt. Carabelge is another take on CaraVienne. Carabelge is good, I've worked with it in my dubbel, but depending on what kind of quality you're looking for this could end up being really sweet, and take a long ass time to condition.

I would suggest swap out all of the Belgian Abbey for a base 2-row malt, or maybe even Maris Otter, ditch the Chocolate Rye. Honey malt is good, as is biscuit malt, but I do think you need a bit more base malt in there.

For yeast, I would almost suggest something like the WLP 001 or WLP 002, clean fermenting American ale yeasts.

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Old 10-22-2010, 10:09 PM   #7
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Thanks everybody - I know that I'd be better off with 70% 2 row etc. and that's probably the way I'll go, especially after the responses. Has anyone ever tasted anything this malty before? Or even graff?

As far as the apple juice fermenting dry, my thought was that with all the malt and juice the yeast would peter out due to alcohol levels before that dryness occurred.

Thanks again for the responses!

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Old 10-22-2010, 11:03 PM   #8
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Do yourself a favor and completely scrap this recipe and make some graff.

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Old 10-27-2010, 11:46 AM   #9
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Maybe you could throw some wine yeast in your primary after about a week. I did this to a pale ale one time because i was worried it wasnt fermenting after a few days. It turned out to be great beer. You could call it barley-apple wine.

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