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Old 01-24-2013, 02:57 AM   #1
branCHEs
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So I just made the switch to all grain 2 weeks ago. My goal is to brew a minimum of 2 batches a month. I'm doing my 3rd batch of the month on Sunday and I want to start my single hop experiment. One of my batches each month is going to be a single hop pale ale or ipa. I brew 5 gal batches. Here are my questions:

1) What will give me a better learning experience in terms of understanding what each strain of hop has to offer, Pale Ales or IPAs?
2) What is a good grain and mash base recipe that I can use every time? I want the same wort for each batch and ll I want to change is the hops so I understand what each hop has to offer.
3) What is a good schedule for boiling? I want to learn about hop bitter, hop flavor, and hop aroma. I was thinking 1 oz at 60 min, 1 oz at 15, 1 oz at flame out, 1 oz dry hop 7 days before keg/bottle - not sure if this counts as a pale ale or an IPA.
4) any suggestions on what hops I should check out?
5) lastly what is a good yeast to use? One that will let the the hops be the forward taste of the beer?

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Old 01-24-2013, 03:27 AM   #2
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1) What will give me a better learning experience in terms of understanding what each strain of hop has to offer, Pale Ales or IPAs?
I would do a light bodied IPA
2) What is a good grain and mash base recipe that I can use every time? I want the same wort for each batch and ll I want to change is the hops so I understand what each hop has to offer.
SMaSH brews are great for this but can be kind of boring. I'm doing a nugget hop testing this week with 85% 2-row, 10% munich and 5% C-20. 12 pounds should be about right. Hoping that lets the hops through but gives some malt backbone.
3) What is a good schedule for boiling? I want to learn about hop bitter, hop flavor, and hop aroma. I was thinking 1 oz at 60 min, 1 oz at 15, 1 oz at flame out, 1 oz dry hop 7 days before keg/bottle - not sure if this counts as a pale ale or an IPA.
That could work. The amount of IBUs to gravity will determine whether or not it's an IPA. I like 60, 15, 10, 5, 0 and then a dryhop addition. Gives you everything.
4) any suggestions on what hops I should check out?
Pick hops that are good for beer you like. Like IPAs/EPAs? Use westcoast hops. Like English Ales? Use english hops. New Zealand and Australian hops are also fun to use for stuff like this because they tend to be a bit more out there.
5) lastly what is a good yeast to use? One that will let the the hops be the forward taste of the beer?
US-05 because it's cheap, clean and easy. Could also go liquid with any american ale variety.

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Old 01-24-2013, 03:35 AM   #3
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Quote:
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That could work. The amount of IBUs to gravity will determine whether or not it's an IPA. I like 60, 15, 10, 5, 0 and then a dryhop addition. Gives you everything.
What do each of these time increments represent in terms of what I will get of of the hops? Also, how much hops for each time increment?
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Old 01-24-2013, 03:40 AM   #4
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Bittering charges go at 60. 15 will drive off a lot of aromatics but will give you flavor. 10 will give you a blend of flavor and some aromatics. 5 will be a mostly aroma addition and 0 will be all aroma. Dryhopping is aroma maybe with a little flavor? All combined you'll get a bunch of everything.

At least, that is kind of how I always thought about hop additions but I'd be open to any more experienced IPA brewers to chime in.
I'd do at minimum at least a half an ounce at each with a full ounce at dryhopping. If not more!

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Old 01-24-2013, 03:53 AM   #5
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For something like this I don't think a particular style is as important as repeatability of the wort, as you said. I'd just go with a very simple, 1.5 gallon base recipe for an APA, maybe something like this:

Size: 1.5 gallons
OG: 1.051
FG: 1.011
ABV: 5.3%
IBU: Varies (30-45 for APAs)

Grain:
2 lbs -- Brewer's 2-Row
1 lb -- Toasted Malt (just roast 2-row in a 350F oven for 10-15 minutes)

Mash Schedule; Single Infusion, Medium Body
Mash-In: 152F ST (1.25 qts/lb) for 60 min
Mash-Out: 168F ST (2 qts/lb) for 10 min
Sparge @ 168F

Hops:
Varies

Yeast:
1 pkg -- Safale American US-05; rehydrated per instructions (Ferments pretty clean and crisp, also cheap compared to liquid)

With this recipe you could just purchase a single 50lb bag of 2-row and make your own toasted malt (being sure to roast it exactly the same each time). That should get 16 or so brews out of a single bag making your learning experience relatively cheap. I'm not sure you would want more than 1 gallon of beer at a time (assuming you lose 1/4-1/2 gallon to trub, so about 10-12 12oz bottles) while learning about different hops, but you could scale it up to 5 gallons all the same.

You may also want to check out adding hops to the mash, as is discussed here. I've done it on a couple of brews and it does add a nice hop aroma and flavor without the bitterness masking it in lighter beers.

As far as hop choice I'd check out this handy chart I found and go with the flavors you like the most: http://www.brewerssupplygroup.com/Fi...pVarieties.pdf. It has most of the hops on there and I've used it on every brew I've planned out.

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Old 01-24-2013, 04:12 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zzARzz

purchase a single 50lb bag of 2-row
What is the proper way to store grain? ie: temp, container, etc

Sounds Ike a good idea
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Old 01-24-2013, 02:06 PM   #7
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Since I tarted this tread late Sunday night, I figured I'd see if anyone else had any more suggestions considering its early Monday morning now...

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Old 01-24-2013, 02:15 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by branCHEs View Post
What is the proper way to store grain? ie: temp, container, etc

Sounds Ike a good idea
Just keep it cool, dry and air tight in a dark place. With a vacuum sealer I've heard it will last up to 12 months, but you could also use zip lock bags, squeeze the air out of them and, for either method, store them in a sealed container like a good Rubbermaid bin to keep rodents and insects from being drawn to the grain.
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