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Old 05-18-2011, 12:11 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by bernerbrau View Post
I like a pronounced hop character, but I don't want my APAs to taste like IPAs. As written, the IBUs fall at the high end of the BJCP specification.
I think youd like beer to have a great hoppy flavor and aroma, but if I were you I would probably push an ounce of hops to the 60 minute mark and get rid of a few ounces towards the end of the boil. I don't have much experience with decoction, but I would pass on that as well. Like IrregularPulse said, a House Brew should be cheap and simple, you will be brewing it quite often (if it is good that is!).

I would start without the decoction and hopburst, then you have a 'baseline' to compare to if you want to see what these techniques actually bring to the table. Thats how I plan on getting into more advanced techniques, hone a good recipe and make minor changes one batch at a time.
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Old 05-18-2011, 12:48 AM   #12
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I don't understand why hop bursting can't be a baseline...

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Old 05-18-2011, 12:51 AM   #13
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I don't understand why hop bursting can't be a baseline...
Sure it can! I'd do it.

Your updated recipe looks good. I don't usually step mash, unless I'm doing a beer that needs a protein rest (rare), so I can't advise on that. I generally go with single infusion mash schedules for IPAs and APAs.
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Old 05-18-2011, 12:51 AM   #14
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Thoughts off the cuff:

I concur that if you're going to tweak, tweak. What you're describing is wholesale deconstruction of the entire recipe (and presumably process). Reduce the variables.

I concur that decoction isn't really appropriate here. If you're looking for greater malt character, don't worry - the Biscuit will suffice.

The 104F rest is pointless with well-modified malts. If you're going to step go with Fix's 50/60/70C schedule; Google it.

I strongly suggest you read Noonan's New Brewing Lager Beer book. He not only takes you through decoction step by step, he tells you where it's appropriate to use it and - most importantly - why. Pay special attention to the ingredients; that has a huge bearing on why and when to decoct.

If you cut down on the flaked barley - and I'd cut it entirely - you don't need to worry about clarity.

I can't speak to hop-bursting because I don't do it. Sounds intriguing, though!

Good luck!

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Old 05-18-2011, 01:26 AM   #15
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I haven't done hop bursting. Let me know how it turns out.

+1 to dropping the flaked barley. Why is it there?

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Old 05-18-2011, 04:32 PM   #16
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I guess I don't really understand the Hop Burst. I was under the assumption that it required 3-4 times the amount of hops to achieve the same IBUs as standard hop addition batches. I use more hops than that brewing traditional Pale Ales. I don't understand where your bitterness is going to come from and I am sure that it is me.

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Old 05-18-2011, 05:07 PM   #17
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Re: Flaked barley. I put it in my old house APA the second time I brewed it, and I liked the head retention that it got me. But that beer never did clear up (though I really didn't give it enough time to). Perhaps carapils or carafoam be a better option?

Re: don't rewrite, just tweak. This is a fair suggestion. However, my current "house pale" is really not at all what I'm looking for in an always-available session beer. I've brewed the old APA twice, keeping the hop schedule the same, one with Vienna and WLP060, and the other with Maris Otter, flaked barley, and WLP001. They were close enough to one another for me to know I want something else. I've also done an AAA with Amarillo, and in my opinion Amarillo leaves my beers lacking something in the hop department, since it's more of a subtle C-hop than some others. Plus I just love writing new recipes.

Sure, if I had the discipline, I'd probably start with a baseline of 2-row, cascade and centennial, distilled water with a gram each of gypsum and calcium chloride, a single infusion at 149, WLP001 or US-05, and ferment out at 62F. Then I could brew several batches, each time altering just one thing: the hops, the water, the base malt, add a specialty malt, change the yeast, the mash, the fermenting temperature, and so on. I could then keep a detailed journal with tasting notes so that I would know exactly how each change effects the beer.

Re: Step mash. I based my decoction on the 40/60/70 schedule (http://www.howtobrew.com/section3/chapter16-2.html), except combining the two conversion rests and adding a thin decoction mashout. Palmer recommends a short 104F rest for improving enzymatic activity (http://www.howtobrew.com/section3/chapter14-3.html).

Re: Decoction. Again, I realize a decoction is probably not necessary for a beer like this and I will probably drop it from the "official" recipe. However, decoction tends to be less of a recipe-specific thing for me and more part of my baseline process. I also tend to prefer decoctions to multiple infusions if I'm step mashing, because it gives me better control over how much water I end up using. Also, I always pull a thin decoction for the mash-out, because the recirculation improves my clarity and efficiency, I have more water for sparging, and boiling the wort guarantees a halt to enzymatic activity.

In short, it's a process I'm familiar with. Granted, I don't have the thick decoctions quite down to a science yet as I always seem to undershoot my temps, but that's why I prefer to decoct whenever I can, so I can improve my technique and be ready for when a recipe actually calls for it.

Re: Hop burst. I've been hop bursting for over a year now and I do like the results it gets me.

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Old 05-18-2011, 05:13 PM   #18
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Quote:
Overall it's a good beer and a hit with friends, but I find it lacking something.
I think everyone should make beer that they enjoy and that there are different ways to achieve similar results. But when you say you find it lacking something, I think I might have an idea what it is. I don't see where you would get the bitterness typically found in traditional pale ales. But again, to each his own and if you like it, you win!

All I make is Pale Ales.
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Old 05-18-2011, 05:23 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bernerbrau View Post
I always seem to undershoot my temps, but that's why I prefer to decoct whenever I can, so I can improve my technique and be ready for when a recipe actually calls for it.
I picked up a technique from one of Kai’s decoction videos that has really helped. I pull the grain the calculator calls for, then I add 20% of the volume in water. That way you don’t have to boil the enzymatic rich liquid, and you still have enough decoction volume to hit your rest temp.

Do you hold your recoction at a Sacch rest to convert or just keep going? A few weeks ago I did a similar triple decoction for a pils (101, 148, 162, 170) not as bad as I expected, but still a 9 hour brew day.
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Old 05-18-2011, 05:34 PM   #20
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Personally, I think that doing a decoction for a beer like this is a waste of time. I don't have a problem spending a dollar more on grain for a loss of efficiency. Why waste that time when you could use it brewing another batch?

I use mostly late hops for my beers as well and like the results.

Eric

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