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Old 06-19-2013, 05:29 AM   #1
stef57
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Default Critique me!

Hey guys

I'm an absolute newbie at brewing.... I have done a few kits but quickly getting bored of that. Don't have the gear yet for full-mash so I want to give extract brewing a try.

Here's a recipe I quickly put together with stuff I have on hand

1.5kg Dark DME
.5 kg Light DME
1 kg Honey

1lb Caramel/Crystal 120L
1lb Caramel/Crystal 40L

1.5 oz Cascade @ 60
1 oz Cascade @ 30
1 oz Cascade @ 5
1 oz Cascade @ 0

American Ale 1056

All looks good to my inexperienced eyes but I'd like some real life feedback.... Shooting for a Honey-Brown but with a bit more Hop character than normal.

I am really lost when it comes to Hops... is Cascade a decent choice or is there something better out there?
Also, should I add more Hops later for aroma or do I have enough in there already?

Thanks for any and all feedback!

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Old 06-19-2013, 05:35 AM   #2
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I don't have any brew calculators on hand at the moment, but off-hand, it seems like you need more malt extract than what you have listed. Also, that seems like a lot of hops to me for a honey brown, I feel like the cascade is going to dominate there. I get that youre going for more hop character, but it seems like overkill to me. Someone else correct me if I'm wrong here.

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Old 06-19-2013, 06:01 AM   #3
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So I have been working on creating my own recipes as well and enjoy getting the feedback. I am going to take a shot here but please take this advise for what it is worth as I am in the same boat as you...

From what I have learned I believe that is too much crystal malt, most extract recipes keep it under a pound or less of crystal malt more than that and you get a sweet, finished beer maybe do 4-6 oz of each in this case.

The honey seems okay but you may need more DME and for a brown try a combination of light DME and amber DME.

Cascade seems like a popular hop, I just used it in an IPA and it smells great at this point (still bottle conditioning) but I do not see a lot of people using Cascade as a bittering hop. I think a popular choice for the bittering hops would be magnum, warrior, chinook... Add an ounce at 60 min and then use cascade as your flavor and aroma hop. I see lots of different schedules for adding flavor and aroma hops but a popular boil time schedule seems to be 15, 10, 5, 0 or 20, 10, 0. Best advise here is play around with some different hops and see what you like.

I would be hesitant to go with all one hop on a brew until I knew what flavors they provide and I was sure I liked that flavor. I have been browsing through the recipe database and checking on different hop combos and addition times, also go to craft breweries website and check out there beers many times they give you the hops used and you can try the beer and get an idea of what you like.

Hope this helps some and if any of this info is wrong someone please correct it.

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Old 06-19-2013, 06:25 AM   #4
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Thanks guys


The reason I went with dark is because supplies are sparse around here and if I want amber DME I'd have to get it shipped here...
I'll definitely look into the Crystal!! Don't want to end up with a finish that's too sweet so thanks for that.
I do believe I saw some Chinook at my local shop. I can pick up a couple oz of that

So how much more DME u figure? Another kg?

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Old 06-19-2013, 06:37 AM   #5
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I don't think you need more dme. You have 6.6 lbs of fermentables not including the crystal. I would add in 4 oz of chocolate malt and dial back the crystal to a half pound of each. Can you get some noble hops? Goldings, saaz, or hallertau would add a more floral note to pair with the cascade. Also I would add the honey after the primary fermentation has taken place since it is such a simple sugar.

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Old 06-19-2013, 06:49 AM   #6
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@Kaconga

Not sure about Noble but I think They have Hallertau.
Do you mean to replace the Chinook? Or replace some of the Cascade?
Ie: 1 Oz chinook @60
1 oz Hallertau @ 20
1 oz cascade @ 10
.5 oz Hallertau@ 0?

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Old 06-19-2013, 07:13 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stef57 View Post
@Kaconga

Not sure about Noble but I think They have Hallertau.
Do you mean to replace the Chinook? Or replace some of the Cascade?
Ie: 1 Oz chinook @60
1 oz Hallertau @ 20
1 oz cascade @ 10
.5 oz Hallertau@ 0?
I would make the 20 min addition cascade and mix the last two additions between hallertau and cascade. Cascade can be very grapefruity if by itself. When paired with hallertau in my experience it makes it seem more citrusy and floral than specifically grapefruit. I love chinook for bittering!

so my hop schedule would be:

1 oz chinook @60
1 oz cascade @20
.5 oz cascade @ 5
.5 oz hallertau @ 5
.5 oz cascade @ 0
.5 oz hallertau @ 0

feel free to change or rearrange as you see fit though since it is your beer.
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Old 06-19-2013, 07:33 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kaconga View Post
I don't think you need more dme. You have 6.6 lbs of fermentables not including the crystal. I would add in 4 oz of chocolate malt and dial back the crystal to a half pound of each. Can you get some noble hops? Goldings, saaz, or hallertau would add a more floral note to pair with the cascade. Also I would add the honey after the primary fermentation has taken place since it is such a simple sugar.
+1

IMO using more than one type of crystal malt is kind of pointless as well. Crystal is used to 1) add residual sweetness for balance, 2) adjust color, & 3) provide varying intensities of caramel, burnt sugar, and toffee flavors. The darker the roast the more intense the flavors.

Using the recipe you mention of 120L and 40L, I'd sub them both for 75L or 90L, whichever is more readily available.
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Old 06-19-2013, 07:48 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by splattsmier View Post
+1

IMO using more than one type of crystal malt is kind of pointless as well. Crystal is used to 1) add residual sweetness for balance, 2) adjust color, & 3) provide varying intensities of caramel, burnt sugar, and toffee flavors. The darker the roast the more intense the flavors.

Using the recipe you mention of 120L and 40L, I'd sub them both for 75L or 90L, whichever is more readily available.
I disagree with this. Crystal malts taste pretty distinct to me and a beer with equal parts 40 and 120 would be more complex than just 80 or something. A good example would be to chew the grains of each and see if they taste the same. I am willing to bet they won't simply because the 120 will add a stonefruit/burnt character you couldn't get from the 75 or 90.
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Old 06-19-2013, 08:01 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by kaconga View Post

I disagree with this. Crystal malts taste pretty distinct to me and a beer with equal parts 40 and 120 would be more complex than just 80 or something. A good example would be to chew the grains of each and see if they taste the same. I am willing to bet they won't simply because the 120 will add a stonefruit/burnt character you couldn't get from the 75 or 90.
Perhaps I should clarify. The OP is a newbie. Keeping things simple is nearly always the most fabvorable approach. That said, I can agree that it would add a slight more complexity, but a similar effect could be achieved by using other specialty grains (ie chocolate as mentioned before). Using multiple crystals malt variations, once again IMO, usually doesn't contribute anything significant to the brew and a "balance" can be achieved by shooting somewhere in the middle.

Tasting the grains is a good way to go if possible to better understand the flavors imparted, and if you feel the need to use both - by all mean, sir.
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