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Old 02-03-2013, 08:41 PM   #1
MagicSmoker
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Default Please critique my extract ESB recipe

This will be my 4th batch of beer, so I'm pretty much a rank amateur and could certainly use any good pointers from those with more experience than me (ie - most everyone here, I'm guessing, except the guys that got a Mr. Beer for Christmas - I got you people beat like a rented mule). My very first beer was a house recipe for an ESB from my LHBS and I found it to be a bit too malt-forward with just 35 IBU, but it also suffered a process defect (wet cardboard said one person in my homebrewing club, which I am given to understand comes from aerating the beer at the wrong time).

Anyway, here's the plan, starting with the specialty grains:

1# Victory 28L
0.5# Caramel 60L

Steep specialty grains for 30 minutes in 1.5 gal. spring water at 150-155F.
Sparge with 1.5 gal. 155F spring water plus however much more is needed to bring total volume up to 4.5 gal (I'm using a 7 gal turkey fryer pot for a BK).

Bring to a rolling boil then begin 60 minute timer and add the bittering hops:

1 oz. Challenger 6.7% AA
0.5 oz. Magnum 13.5% AA

After 50 minutes elapsed add the malt extract:

6# Briess Golden Light DME

At flameout, add the aroma/flavor hops:

1 oz. East Kent Goldings 5.8% AA
0.5 oz. Magnum 13.5% AA

Add cold spring water to bring total volume up to 6 gal. then cool to 68F and pitch the yeast:

1 Wyeast 1968

Estimated O.G. is 1.051
Estimated F.G. is 1.013
Estimated ABV is 5%
Estimated SRM is 10.3
Estimated IBU is 47.8


I really like the spicy, black pepper notes in some of Cigar City's beers (they are local to me, btw, and their tasting room is fantastic), so that's why I chose Magnum and Challenger for bittering.

I was honestly just going to leave out the East Kent Goldings, but relented when it appeared that might be sacrilegious for an ESB. My compromise was to also toss in the other half of the 1 oz. Magnum package at flameout, too.

There was absolutely no biscuity notes in my first ESB, so that's why I went with 1# of Victory 28L. And for color and a bit of mouthfeel, 0.5# of Caramel 60L.

Is my reasoning sound, or did I just totally make up a bunch of cockamamie that belongs in a BeerAdvocate thread? I dunno... that's where the rest of you come in.



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Old 02-04-2013, 04:00 AM   #2
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It sounds fine to me. Sounds tasty.

Google "First Wort Hops" while you are at it. I do that on my bitter and really enjoy the results.

...and read a few of the threads at the bottom of the page.

Don't aerate your wort late in the process. Bottling time is usually where we make mistakes.

I just had it happen to a batch. It's still drinkable for my pallet. Apparently I dont notice it much. Others did.



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Old 02-04-2013, 02:49 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reply, Dynachrome!

It's good to hear I'm not too far off the mark with my recipe. I've heard of "first wort hopping" but haven't quite wrapped my head around it yet.

Speaking of making mistakes during bottling, and inadvertent aeration, while bottling my 3rd batch yesterday I noticed some hairline cracks in the crook of the auto-siphon tube that was letting in a fine stream of bubbles! I wonder how long that's been going on?!? I wrapped the tube with some electrical tape and put a stop to that, but clearly I need to go get another auto-siphon today!

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Old 02-05-2013, 03:01 AM   #4
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1# of Victory will certainly give you some color and mouthfeel. C-60 will give you some sweetness, especially in tandem with WY1968, and it sounds as though that was not something you were wild about. You could try a more attenuative English yeast (that would be all the others, visit http://www.wyeastlab.com/hb_yeaststrain.cfm or http://www.whitelabs.com/beer/homebrew_strains.html to find one that sounds good) and/or you could cut the C-60 back a little and sub with torrified wheat. The peppery character won't come through if you boil the hops for 60 minutes, and Magnum is pretty clean anyway. Try using 1oz Magnum at 60, and 1oz each of EKG and Challenger at flameout. Adding another ounce of EKG as a dry-hop would be nice too, although not essential.

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Old 02-06-2013, 11:33 AM   #5
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Interesting rearrangement of the hops schedule, kingwood-kid... I plugged your variation into Brewmate (Beersmith is still a bit much for me) and it said the IBU's were too high relative to the GU's, so I adjusted the boil time for the Magnum down to 40 minutes.

Another tweak I am contemplating is to replace one more pound of the malt extract with a pound or so of another specialty grain to give everything a little more character. Perhaps a Munich or Aromatic malt?

Oh, and I probably should have said that it was more a lack of hops flavor/aroma rather than too much maltiness in my first ESB. I'm having a tough time articulating the faults I found more precisely so I guess I will need to do more research on the matter (ie - brew and drink more, of course).

Also, the more I think about it, that wet cardboard flavor is really more like cheap green tea - a slightly astringent flavorless kind of flavor, if that makes any sense. I wonder if that might be from steeping the specialty grains at too high a temperature (158-167F), which resulted from me attempting to keep the temperature constant in my turkey fryer brew kettle?

Thanks again for the comments and criticisms - HBT has been an invaluable resource in general, along with the two excellent LHBS in my area (Southern Brewing and Booth's Brewing).

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Old 02-06-2013, 01:28 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MagicSmoker View Post
...
Another tweak I am contemplating is to replace one more pound of the malt extract with a pound or so of another specialty grain to give everything a little more character. Perhaps a Munich or Aromatic malt?....
Ut-oh... I just found out that Munich and Aromatic malts need to be mashed... I was planning on getting to that point one day, but don't know if I am ready for it. Is this basically just steeping, except for a longer period using a lot less water per unit weight of grain and holding the temperature steady? Do I also need to add some base malt to do this? I guess I am talking about a single infusion mini mash here, right?
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Old 02-07-2013, 01:28 AM   #7
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Taking the thread sideways a bit. You mentioned high mash temps. Going too high will bring out the tanins and in my experience, give it "red" qualities. Like Killian's for instance.



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