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Old 03-22-2011, 05:02 AM   #1
PaulTheGhost
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Default 1st AG: Formulating my Own Recipe

So I developed a recipe for a German Amber based off of Ohiobrewtus's Klaiberhaus Sticke Altbier. Not much is changed except for a little bit of grain and the addition of aroma hops and dry hopping (idc if it's to the style, I'm doing what I think will please me).
Here's the Beer Smith printout:


Quote:
BeerSmith Recipe Printout
Recipe: Trying an Altbier
Brewer: Paul The Ghost
Style: Altbier
TYPE: All Grain

Recipe Specifications
--------------------------
Batch Size: 5.50 gal
Boil Size: 6.00 gal
Estimated OG: 1.050 SG
Estimated Color: 20.3 SRM
Estimated IBU: 36.5 IBU
Brewhouse Efficiency: 50.00 %
Boil Time: 60 Minutes

Ingredients:
------------
Amount Item Type % or IBU
0.25 lb Rice Hulls (0.0 SRM) Adjunct 1.60 %
7.00 lb Pilsner (2 Row) Bel (2.0 SRM) Grain 44.80 %
4.00 lb Munich Malt (9.0 SRM) Grain 25.60 %
2.00 lb Vienna Malt (3.5 SRM) Grain 12.80 %
1.00 lb Biscuit Malt (23.0 SRM) Grain 6.40 %
1.00 lb Caramunich Malt (56.0 SRM) Grain 6.40 %
0.25 lb Special B Malt (180.0 SRM) Grain 1.60 %
0.13 lb Carafa III (525.0 SRM) Grain 0.80 %
1.00 oz Hallertauer [4.80 %] (Dry Hop 3 days) Hops -
1.00 oz Magnum [14.00 %] (30 min) Hops 33.6 IBU
1.00 oz Hallertauer [4.80 %] (5 min) Hops 3.0 IBU
0.30 tsp Irish Moss (Boil 10.0 min) Misc
1 Pkgs Dusseldorf Alt Yeast (White Labs #WLP036) Yeast-Ale


Mash Schedule: Single Infusion, Medium Body, No Mash Out
Total Grain Weight: 15.63 lb
----------------------------
Single Infusion, Medium Body, No Mash Out
Step Time Name Description Step Temp
60 min Mash In Add 19.53 qt of water at 170.1 F 154.0 F
Equipment:
7.5gal boil kettle
10 gallon igloo mlt
outdoor burner
batch sparge

So here are my questions:

I set my brewhouse efficiency at 50% because John Palmer's How to Brew suggested doing so for my first all grain batch (just to be safe). Is this smart? Will it be terrible if my OG is higher than it should be in case my efficiency turned out to be 65?

Do I have enough base malt to balance the specialty malts I'm using?

Is there a minimum number of days to dry hop to introduce any noticeable character? (I've read that a min. 7 is recommended)

Is my boil volume too low for a 60 min boil to hit 5.5? Should I add more water?

Beer Smith recommends that I strike at 170. This seems a bit high, even for a cooler MLT. Comments?

Alright, I think that's it. I really appreciate everyone on this board for sharing their knowledge with us newbies.

Thanks, guys!!!
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Old 03-22-2011, 10:42 AM   #2
Teromous
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If you use more grain to make up for poor efficiency, you'll be using more water so you can check to make sure your gravity is high enough and if it isn't, you can boil off until it is. It doesn't necessarily mean your OG will be higher unless you let it be. Personally I wouldn't use a number as low as 50%...maybe 70-75%. Also, in beer smith make sure you click the "Adjust Temp for Equipment" at the bottom in the Mash Profile box. Beer smith gives me 174.9˚F and I'll tell you what...it's pretty accurate. I usually try to go a little higher because it's easier for me to keep the lid open for a few min. to drop the temp than it is to keep adding hot water to get the right temp. Despite what you read, I want to urge you not to stress the temps if you don't hit it right on the head.

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Old 03-22-2011, 11:46 AM   #3
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Quote:
I set my brewhouse efficiency at 50% because John Palmer's How to Brew suggested doing so for my first all grain batch (just to be safe). Is this smart? Will it be terrible if my OG is higher than it should be in case my efficiency turned out to be 65?
Of course it will be terrible if your OG is higher than it should be. Your beer will have more alcohol in it. You could get drunk if you drink too much of this.

Now to be serious, if your efficiency is higher than predicted, you will have more alcohol but probably not overwhelmingly so. Quit your worrying. RDWHAHB
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Old 03-22-2011, 12:19 PM   #4
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I think that a first efficiency of 65% is more in line with reality IME. You could always adjust your OG by adding water if it is too high or boiling longer if it is too low.

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Old 03-22-2011, 01:07 PM   #5
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+1 on 65% efficency...and if you overshoot that use the dilution tool in beersmith post boil. You can dilute the wort to a more approrpriate OG if need be (assuming you have space in your primary).

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Old 03-22-2011, 07:16 PM   #6
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Thanks for the help, guys.
I'm just gonna stop thinking and just start doing it.
Go with the flow, it's not like I'm trying to win a competition or anything.

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Old 03-22-2011, 07:21 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RM-MN View Post
Now to be serious, if your efficiency is higher than predicted, you will have more alcohol but probably not overwhelmingly so. Quit your worrying. RDWHAHB
Completely agree...

I'd use 65% for your efficiency too...

Your base to specialties should be fine.
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