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inhousebrew 10-26-2012 02:01 PM

Session Beer Brewing Tips
 
So I'm just jumping on board the session beer bandwagon and was wondering if anyone has any tips/advice on technique, recipe formation or anything else that helps make a super tasty low gravity beer. Assume cold side process is sound, lets focus on planning and brew day.

Calichusetts 10-26-2012 02:21 PM

Decoctions or long boils (2 hours) to balance out your beer if you like it hoppy. Super malty grains like Munich are a must IMO.

Yooper 10-26-2012 02:23 PM

Balance is tricky with session beers. In my case, I've been working on a session IPA for years. It's hard because reducing the malt means reducing the malt backbone, which is a must to support all the hops.

I've found that using "maltier" malts, adding a little aromatic malt to the grainbill, and still mashing at a mid-range temperature to get full attenuation is the key for me.

Effingbeer 10-26-2012 02:50 PM

Yooper,

How much aromatic malt do you typically use for a 5 gallon batch? I also am looking for a good malty hop bomb that doesn't get a person drunk after more than a couple. I recently bought a pound of aromatic to try out. I would rather over-do it a little than under-do( ?) it the first time.

Yooper 10-26-2012 03:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Effingbeer (Post 4534224)
Yooper,

How much aromatic malt do you typically use for a 5 gallon batch? I also am looking for a good malty hop bomb that doesn't get a person drunk after more than a couple. I recently bought a pound of aromatic to try out. I would rather over-do it a little than under-do( ?) it the first time.

Not much- about .25 pound in an 8 pound grainbill. You could go up to .5 pound if you want it "intensely malty".

kingwood-kid 10-26-2012 03:46 PM

I had started to type something out before realizing someone smarter than me had already done so better than I would: http://www.themadfermentationist.com/2012/01/vienna-malt-session-ipa-recipe.html

The part about residual extract (as opposed to FG) is very important. A 1.100 wort that finishes at 1.022 has about as much sugar in solution after fermentation as the 1.038 beer in that link had before fermentation.

eulipion2 10-26-2012 05:40 PM

I definitely agree with the darker/maltier base malts. Munich as part of the grist helps keep the malt backbone. I would add to mash a little higher than you would for a "normal" strength beer. This will help keep you from going too dry, losing malt flavor and body. Also, to keep hoppy beers from becoming too bitter, use smaller bittering additions (or use FWH) and more late additions. If going for a particular style, aim for the low end of the style, or maybe just under what the guidelines say.

I did a session APA, basically using the Ordinary Bitter stats and using American malts and hops, mashed at 156-158. I got OG 1.032, FG 1.014, and IBU about 27-29. I used Columbus hops, and I thought the bitterness was a just a little too much, but it's otherwise really good. Next time I'll use less bittering hops, or maybe a smoother hop.

Session saison at OG 1.032, FG 1.002, IBU about 18, 4% ABV, using Styrian Golding and Strisselspalt was perfect!


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