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dshaggy 03-12-2010 04:03 AM

First Non-Kit Batch
I've done two batches from extract kits, and I wanted to try one with my own recipe. I was hoping some of you could take a look at my plans and give some advice. I'm getting the ingredients from midwestsupplies.com

6 lb Briess Gold LME
1 lb Honey Malt Specialty Grain
1 lb Clover Honey
2 oz. Hallertau Hops

I'll steep the honey grain in 3 gallons of 150 degree water for 20 minutes. Then bring to a boil and add malt extract, bring back to a boil and add 1 oz. of hops. After 30 min, add another oz. of hops and end boil. After wort is cooled below 80, I'll strain, add water to make 5 gallons, and pitch yeast. I was going to use Rogue Pacman, as it seems a lot of people like that type.

Should I use some dry malt extract?
Do I need more hops?
This is going to be kind of an experiment/learning experience, but I was hoping if anyone sees something really wrong with this please let me know.


Ooompa Loompa 03-12-2010 05:41 AM

I LOVE honey malt, I have used it in all kinds of recipes, and the flavor and sweetness it adds is awesome. That being said 1 lb of it is most likely going to be way overpowering. At absolute max I would use 8 oz, and even then it will be a lot. (I have a batch bottle conditioning right now that used 6 oz and it got me exactly what I was looking for, but I think if most here tried my beer they would say it was too much). I'm guessing based upon the honey malt and the actual honey that you are going for a honey flavored beer?? I can't claim to be an expert on honey in beers, but with my limited experience with it I think the 1 lb you are adding will do nothing but dry your beer out and leave almost no residual flavor, and in addition to that it will take a lot longer to ferment out.

I'm not an expert at making recipes.........there are many here with TONS more experience then me, but my suggestion would be ditch the honey, cut the honey malt down to 8 oz max, and add 8 oz or so of lower lovibond crystal(anywhere from 10 to 40), and some cara pils for some body. Maybe move your 30 min addition of hops to 5 min instead.......although it works where it is. Never tried Pacman yeast, so I can't say anything about that.

As an FYI I recently threw together (made it up while I was in the LHBS) of 6.5 lb light LME, 6 oz honey malt, 6 oz crystal 10, 8 oz cara pils. I used whatever hops I had left over in the freezer and sounded good which ended up being 1 oz Hallertau at 60 min and .75 oz Willamette at 5 min. I fermented with US-05 at around 64 for 2 weeks then bottled. It has been bottled for 2 weeks now so not quite all the way ready, but it has a nice sweet, (noticably)fruity, honey like flavor to it.

dshaggy 03-12-2010 05:54 AM


Thanks for the reply, it was exactly what I was looking for. What is lower lovibond crystal? And what is cara pils?


Token 03-12-2010 12:43 PM

When do you plan to add the honey? I made a honey beer and was adivised to add it at flame-out. I think that was a good idea. I think it lessened the drying out effect and kept some of the honey sweetness. It also was awesome to hear the constant air lock activity that ended up sounding like a cat purring due to all of those sugars from the honey.

You could have some DME on hand just in case you don't hit your intended OG.

Enjoy your first recipe!

Ooompa Loompa 03-13-2010 04:36 AM


Originally Posted by dshaggy (Post 1939539)

Thanks for the reply, it was exactly what I was looking for. What is lower lovibond crystal? And what is cara pils?


The Lovibond degree is a unit used to measure the color
of malted barley and beer. Darker grains have a higher Lovibond measure,
and contribute more color to brewed beer. Darker crystal malts (such
as 60L, 80L, 120L, etc.) will provide more sweet flavor and more color
than similar amounts of lighter (20L, 40L) crystal malt.

Cara-Pils adds body and foam retention, without influencing color or flavor. I would doubly reccomend this if you do decide to keep the honey, as honey will leave very little body.

dshaggy 03-21-2010 05:17 PM

Thanks for the help. I got my ingredients yesterday in the mail. I plan to add some honey after I end the boil, for some sweet flavor and hopefully not dryness. Two questions:

1. There were three bags of grain in my order: 1 lb. honey malt, 1 lb. Cara 20L (Castle), and 1 lb. Carapils (Briess). The honey malt is clearly marked, but the writing wore off the other two, one of which has a somewhat orange color. Any idea which is the carapils and which is the cara 20L?

2. Is it going to be ok if I use these specialty grains, in addition to 6 lb. of LME without any DME? I'm not going to use ALL the grain, probably 8 oz. of each.

dshaggy 04-02-2010 06:44 AM

I brewed this batch up today, seemed to go pretty well. I still don't know which grain is which, but I just put about 8 oz. of each in my grain bag and steeped them. I added my hops at 20 min and 5 min, since I don't really want a lot of bitterness in this beer. I put in the 8 oz. of honey at the end of the boil. My OG was 1.051, so the beer hopefully will have a FG of about 1.012 making it 5.1 % ABV.

Token 04-02-2010 10:46 AM

Sounds like an adventure with the markings rubbed off the bags!

Thanks for the update. Keep us posted!

dshaggy 04-14-2010 05:52 AM

I had a taste of it the other day (taking a hydrometer reading). It's really good, but not quite as heavy as the last few beers I made. I was surprised how long it took to ferment. I think the honey addition at the end of the boil probably caused that. I plan on bottling within the next few days. I think I'm gonna start doing 5.5 gallon batches instead of 5. My turkey baster couldn't reach the beer in my 6.5 gal carboy. Is that the reason I see so many recipes for 5.5 gallon batches?

Token 04-14-2010 12:36 PM

No, but it is the reason most people use a wine thief. ;)

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