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Old 01-31-2011, 02:56 AM   #1
neb_brewer
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Default First recipe of my own: Thoughts?

I've got one AG recipe under my belt. I still plan to do 2 kits from NB to dial in my system a little bit more before I move to my own recipe. This beer will be for my dad. He likes lagers and we both loved the extract NB pilsner kit we brewed a year ago. The goal was to have a very simple lager using German malt and American hops that can eventually become our "house" lager. I know pretty much nothing about hops and which ones would work best for this recipe. I basically looked at Palmer's overview of the varieties in his book and decided on these 3. I'm going to be saving up to buy Designing Great Beers to help with this in the future.

FYI: I used Qbrew to create this.

Germerican Pilsner

Batch 5.00 gal

All Grain

Recipe Characteristics:
Recipe Gravity 1.053 OG
Estimated FG 1.013 FG
Recipe Bitterness 31 IBU
Alcohol by Volume 5.1%
Recipe Color 3° SRM
Alcohol by Weight 4.0%


Ingredients:
Quantity Grain Type Use
9.50 lb German pilsener Grain Mashed
0.50 lb CaraPils Grain Mashed

Quantity Hop Type Time
0.75 oz Centennial Pellet 60 minutes
0.25 oz Ultra Pellet 30 minutes
0.50 oz Liberty Pellet 15 minutes


Mash - 152 for 60 minutes
Mashout - 170 for 10 minutes

Misc Notes
Yeast: Wyeast 2035

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Old 01-31-2011, 03:30 AM   #2
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I would FWH the centennial, and move the 30 mintue addition to a 5 or flameout and bump it to a full oz of centennial, cascade, citra, or simcoe. I would also add some more color/flavor. Just me though. recipe looks fine, pitch alot of yeast and maintain proper ferm temps and she'll be excellent.

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Old 01-31-2011, 03:34 AM   #3
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Go with it. I'm sure if you've come this far you put enough time into the recipe already. Don't listen to anyone else. You'll get beer out of it. I've got my money on it being great. Only after you've drank some and thought about what you might change, come back and ask for a critique.

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Old 01-31-2011, 03:41 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by itsme6582
Go with it. I'm sure if you've come this far you put enough time into the recipe already. Don't listen to anyone else. You'll get beer out of it and I've got my money on it being great. When it's done come back and tell what you did and what you think of it. After you think about what you would change, then come back and ask for a critique.
Ditto. As long as you hit your numbers and all the mechanical/logistical aspects work out, it will be a good beer. I scrunched my noise up at the hop selection at first...but then reread the name if the recipe and your angle. Ive fell into the rut of "omg, lager, noble hops/related/saaz/blagh blagh"

How perfect for your house brew to be your unique brew. Again, let us know how it comes out.
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Old 01-31-2011, 03:28 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JNye View Post
I would FWH the centennial, and move the 30 mintue addition to a 5 or flameout and bump it to a full oz of centennial, cascade, citra, or simcoe. I would also add some more color/flavor. Just me though. recipe looks fine, pitch alot of yeast and maintain proper ferm temps and she'll be excellent.
How would these changes affect the end result? Just asking because I'm trying to learn that type of thing.

I should add that this beer will be mostly drank by my dad (who has embraced craft brew through my influence) and some of my uncles (who have not). So that's the reason I didn't go with an ounce each of the hops. I thought this amount would make it more drinkable to those folks. Maybe I should rename it to "Germerican Lager" since it doesn't quite have the hop level that a pilsner should.
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Old 01-31-2011, 10:42 PM   #6
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30 minute hop additions are generally regarded as a waste of hops of sorts. Its too late to get full utilization(for bittering), yet too early to get any aroma or flavor. Of course I have went with this my whole homebrewing career, its not my personal experience, just a general consensues amoung most brewers that I have always rolled with. 20 minutes is usually when you want to start adding hops for flavor and on down from there.
I changed the ultra to centennial becasue I have experience with centennial and it is wonderful. Plus buying .25 oz of a hop is wierd to me. You could use ultra just lower the time addition and up the amount to keep the IBUs where you want them.

FWH(first wort hop) is an interesting technique that you might want to read about. Supposidly you get the full bittering of 60 minutes but also nice flavor. I have not made my mind up if it works or not, but since it does the same amount of bittering as 60, its not costing anything except maybe smoother hop flavor. I'm cool with that.

The reason I would prefer to add a specialty grain is because a Pilsner is kinda boring to me. If I want that I can buy it cheap enough. Its also a nice canvas of sorts. You can add 10-20% of a grain and have a specialty grain SMaSH of sorts. I like to do this. I'll make a beer with 2-row and like 20% victory, vienna, biscuit, aromatic, one of the crystals, melanoidin...if you do this be sure to check the recommended %, cause a grain like crystal 120 or honey malt might be too much @ 20%. But you can do it anyway you like, the joy of homebrewing.

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Old 02-01-2011, 03:18 PM   #7
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Great info thanks!

Adjusted hop schedule:

0.75 oz Centennial Pellet 60 minutes
0.50 oz Liberty Pellet 15 minutes
0.50 oz Ultra Pellet 5 minutes

I'm going to stick with these 3 varieties. I love hops but like I mentioned above the target drinkers for this beer are much more used to a low hop level.

What about mash temp? I don't know how one decides on the proper temp. Is it a preference thing?

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Old 02-01-2011, 05:37 PM   #8
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sounds good. are you using brew software. What are your IBUs now? I know you said it was 30 IBUs before, IMO that is not a low hop level to lite pilsner drinkers. For that crowd I usually target under 25, usually 20s. 30-40 is usually where i like my Pale Ales and BMC drinkers usually don't go nuts for it. I do dry hop heavily those though.

Mash temp. Normally I target 154* as a general rule. Lower mash temps leave the wort more fermentable, ie drier beer. Higher temps produce the opposite, higher final gravity, more sweetness/maltiness, body. For a pilsner drier seems more appropriate and I would go for 152* for 60-90 minutes. Boil for 90 minutes for sure. (Drives off DMS).

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Old 02-01-2011, 06:01 PM   #9
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IBUs are at 31. I'm just using Qbrew on my Mac. I can't afford to pay for software right now. Also, I emailed beersmith and they said they are working on a Mac native version that should be out in the next couple months so I'd like to wait for that. Its ok if its hoppier than lite beer drinkings are used to. I'll be drinking it too and I want some hops in there.

152 is what I was planning. Thanks for all your help! I can't wait to brew this one. Although, I'm going to do 2 more kits to dial my system in before jumping to my own recipe.

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Old 02-01-2011, 07:37 PM   #10
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I've never brewed a lager and don't really care for pilsners so I'll just second the people who are saying it's your house brew...drink it, tweak it, brew it again w/ minor changes! But in response to your software, you could give Brewtarget a try (free, open source, runs on all platforms including Macs). http://brewtarget.sourceforge.net/

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