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Old 08-15-2011, 10:46 PM   #1
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Default Brewer's Best American Pale Ale - Tweaks?

I am looking to get back in to brewing (after a 13 year hiatus), and I picked up my Brewer's Best brew kit, and it came with an extract kit. I chose the American Pale Ale, because I am a fan of pale ales.

I have looked over the recipe about 100 times since brew day can't come fast enough. I have a few questions about the instructions that came packaged.

First, there is 6.6lb of Light LME, 1lb Crystal 20L, 2oz Cascade pellets (bittering), 1.5oz Willamette pellets (aroma), and 1 packet of Danstar Nottingham Ale yeast.

This kit suggests steeping the 1.0lb of Crystal 20L in only 2.5gal of water for 20 minutes. If I am able to do a full batch boil, how much water do I steep/boil with? Does this affect the timing for the steeping of the grains?

Next, it suggests that I add 3.3lb of the extract before the boil, then the other 3.3lb at the 40min mark. Does this change at all with altered boils?

Third, we add in the bittering hops at the outset of the boil and the aroma hops at the 5 minute mark. Would you suggest any other hop additions anywhere to hop it up a bit, but still remain balanced? What about further dry hopping?

Finally, when adding the yeast, the directions say to sprinkle the yeast on to the top without preparing a starter. Should I make a starter with 100mL of warm water 15 min before pitching or get a different liquid yeast? What would you suggest?

Also, all I have is the two pails, one for fermenting, and a second for bottling. Would a recipe like this necessitate racking to a secondary pail or carboy prior to bottling?

I know, I know. Tons of questions. I am trying to get back and ready to brew again, so please help a fellow brewer (though an acolyte) out!

Thanks!

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Old 08-15-2011, 11:14 PM   #2
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In my opinion:

Steeping is steeping. If you're doing a full batch boil, steep the grains for 20 minutes in 5 gallons of water.

Likewise, add the malt extract according to their schedule. Full batch boil won't make a bit of difference.

Hop utilization WILL be affected by the full batch boil. Consider reducing the amount of bittering hops slightly. I wouldn't change the aroma hops.

I've never had a problem with sprinkling dry yeast on top of the wort, but others swear by a starter (some say a starter is just a way to contaminate your dry yeast). If you want to be certain that the yeast is OK, at least proof it in a little water that's been boiled and cooled. Nottingham ale yeast works fine.

You can get perfectly reasonable beer using a single stage fermentation in a bucket with a tight lid and an airlock. I was taught to rack to secondary in a glass carboy, but a single stage fermentation is perfectly acceptable.

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Old 08-15-2011, 11:28 PM   #3
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+1 to everything Cullen said

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Old 08-16-2011, 01:47 AM   #4
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Thanks so much for the advice. You have allayed my fears and I think I will keep the hops as is for this batch -- we like them hoppy here!

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Old 08-16-2011, 04:46 PM   #5
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Cullen hit it.

I did the BB APA as my very first brew. It turned out pretty good. Keeping the same hop schedele even with a full boil should be good. Just leave it in the primary for 3 weeks, no need to rack it to a secondary. Bottle and enjoy.

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Old 08-17-2011, 01:22 AM   #6
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Brewed this and kegged 3 batches ago, I ditched the yeast it came with and used US-05. Also dry hopped with 2 oz of Amarillo right in the primary. Bitter at first, but mellowed out after a week in the cold keg, it was good!

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Old 08-17-2011, 01:25 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hough77
Brewed this and kegged 3 batches ago, I ditched the yeast it came with and used US-05. Also dry hopped with 2 oz of Amarillo right in the primary. Bitter at first, but mellowed out after a week in the cold keg, it was good!
Forgot I used 2 oz of pacifica hops also to dry hop.
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Old 08-17-2011, 01:46 PM   #8
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So you used the 2oz of hops for bittering, 1.5oz hops for aroma, and another 4oz for dry hopping? I may be just gettng back in to brewiing, but isn't that a lot of hops for 5 gallons?

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Old 08-17-2011, 01:57 PM   #9
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Yes, I thought it was a lot, but it wasn't, the dry hop aroma will be the first thing to disapate over time.if you like hoppy pale ales, its not over doing it.

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Old 08-19-2011, 04:59 PM   #10
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I stopped in my local homebrew shop (Adventures in Homebrewing www.homebrewing.org has both storefronts less than 20 min from my house), and picked up a few necessities as well as 1oz of HopUnion Cascade hops to dry hop in this batch.

Since I am using the Ale Pail and don't have a secondary fermenter (I plan on keeping it primary for three weeks), I am giong to hop in a cheesecloth bag. I will be sanitizing the bag, and I have heard of people either putting marbles in a bag to weigh it down or ping pong balls to keep it afloat. What are your thoughts? I had planned on not doing either, just letting it float loose so I don't have to worry about loose hops when I transfer to the bottling bucket.

Either way, I am brewing tomorrow with my brother (08/20), so it will be fun!

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