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Old 07-17-2009, 01:43 AM   #1
Nugent
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Default Balancing Crystal 120 flavour in keg?

A buddy and I made a best bitter based on Jamil's Brewing Classic Styles recipe about a month ago. We didn't use the exact malt bill that he suggested, though. While I'm about to keg it, my friend has his on tap already and I've found it a bit one-dimensional.

It seems that the 'baked raisin' flavour of the Crystal 120L is really dominant and that the bitterness seems a bit too low. I am planning on keg-hopping it to bring a bit more balance, but am looking for suggestions.

I know that there presumably isn't much that I can do to tone things down in terms of the speciality grain dominance, but thought that I'd ask.

Thoughts?

Cheers, HBT'ers.

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Old 07-17-2009, 06:03 AM   #2
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If you can transfer under counter pressure throw the hops in a bag and wait for it, then transfer off the hops to the actual serving keg.

As a first guest I would use the same hop variety I used for flavor and aroma aditions.

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Old 07-17-2009, 05:45 PM   #3
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What percentage of C120 did you use? I've used up to 16% in a mild and it was raisiny while it was young, but the raisin flavor faded completely after a few weeks of being bottled.

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Old 07-17-2009, 05:49 PM   #4
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Yeah, 120 tends to really calm down after a month in the keg. I'd give it some time yet. You could also make a hop tea and infuse that to the keg, or you could brew another batch and blend. I'd just wait for a month and see how it goes.

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Old 07-17-2009, 08:43 PM   #5
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You could steep 1-2 ounces of a dark malt to provide contrasting flavors. Chocolate, black patent and roasted barley are used in small quantities in Milds for that purpose.

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Old 07-17-2009, 08:49 PM   #6
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If it were me I'd just brew another batch using a lighter malt bill, and mix the two together.

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Old 07-18-2009, 01:18 AM   #7
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Thanks for all of the advice.

Much appreciated as always.

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Old 07-23-2009, 03:10 AM   #8
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Update:

Added 3/4 oz. of whole Goldings in hop bag to keg. Much more well-rounded IMO. Crystal still comes through quite a bit, but it's much better. More like a brown ale than a bitter, though.

One thing to ask the forum. Do you think that the choice of yeast (Wyeast 1056) or, perhaps, high-ish fermentation temperature - low 70s F - could have been a significant contributor? I don't normally use 1056 for English ales, but it was what I had on hand.

Thanks again as always.

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Old 07-23-2009, 04:19 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nugent View Post
Update:One thing to ask the forum. Do you think that the choice of yeast (Wyeast 1056) or, perhaps, high-ish fermentation temperature - low 70s F - could have been a significant contributor? I don't normally use 1056 for English ales, but it was what I had on hand.
Yes. An English yeast with a lot more character would have given it a different ester profile and would have changed the dynamic of the raisiny flavors you tasted.
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Old 07-25-2009, 02:25 PM   #10
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I try to keep my 120 additions to .25 lbs per 5 gal. I like the subtle nuances it provides at this level.

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