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Old 01-26-2010, 12:37 AM   #1
Joeywhat
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Default Recipe Tweak - More Extract or Grain?

I just finished up a version of this centennial blonde. It came out pretty good, but I'd like for just a tade more 'flavor'.

First, from the extract recipe posted I deviated a bit and used plain light extract instead of extra light, and also upped the bittering hops to a full ounce. I'd like to keep both those changes as I'm happy with the end result. I do want it to be a little less watery, though.

It's hard to explain, but I don't necessarily want a heavier body, but I also don't want a really complex flavor profile either. I also don't want to crank up the ABV very much.

What should I add to give this a more pronounced flavor? Just more extract? Maybe some crystal in addition to the carapils? However I don't want too much sweetness. I'm not too familiar with many other specialty grains so I don't know which would make sense to add.

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Old 01-26-2010, 02:01 AM   #2
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Crystal will add color and body to your beer, as well as some unfermentables. If you aren't looking for sweetness, I probably wouldn't go there. Certainly you could balance it out with more hops, but then you are moving to greater complexity, which you say you don't want.

I think a better option would be to steep some Munich or Vienna malt for about 1/2 hour at 155. This will give you more fermentable sugars, but won't jack up the alcohol too much. It will darken your beer, but only slightly. I think that would likely hit the additional flavor you are looking for.

Just adding more extract will just make your beer stronger. Not necessarily a bad thing, but not what you say you want.

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Old 01-27-2010, 02:01 AM   #3
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Do you think 0.5 lb of Vienna malt wouldn't darken it too much, but still contribute enough flavor?

Right now it's a hazy straw color, I'd like to keep it near there, no darker then say a light honey color.

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Old 01-27-2010, 02:42 AM   #4
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0.5lb of Vienna malt will only add less than 2L to your brew, which accounts for less than 1 SRM. It will increase the maltiness and make it less watery.

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Old 01-29-2010, 10:11 PM   #5
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OK, so my LHBS didn't have any vienna (just cara-vienna, which I take to be a type of crystal) so I grabbed Munich malt instead.

Now, I've heard that you're supposed to mash this, and that if you don't there will be a lot of starch in the beer and that may effect OG and FG and might effect clarity of the finished beer and blah blah blah...do I REALLY need to mash this?

It should be noted that I've got the munich and carapils mixed right now so I can't mash one and steep the other (if it even matters).

From what I've read mashing really isn't too different from steeping anyways...should I just use a little less water (I'm thinking 1 gallon?) and keep the temp right between 150-155*F for one hour? Is that basically mashing?

Thanks everyone for the help.

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Old 01-29-2010, 10:18 PM   #6
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Munich nor vienna has enough enzymes to convert the starch into fermentable sugars. You'll still get the flavor and coloring from it by steeping, just not the alcohol bump.

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