New to Homebrew
I'm new to home brew and just finished my second extract batch kit from Northern brewer. They were 1-gallon kits and I thought it would help me get a feel for the brewing process before stepping up to 5-gallon batches. I'm ready and thought I'd try a Sierra Nevada-like pale ale. There is a recipe in How To Brew I thought I'd try.
It calls for:
6.6 lbs Pale Ale extract-half added at flameout
0.5 lb Crystal 60
0.5 oz Northern Brewer for 60 mins
0.5 oz Cascade for 30 mins
1.0 oz Cascade for 15 mins
WLP001 Ale yeast
It seems a little light in the hops area. Does anyone have any suggestions or recommendations for hop substitutes/additions?
Northern brewer is a high alpha bittering hop which should give your pale ale plenty of bitterness. I think it may be a bit lacking in aroma though so if you have them, add another ounce of Cascade for dry hopping. Your choice. I suspect it would be pretty decent brewed as shown too.
I was in the exact same boat as you when I first started. I found that the "American Pale Ale" from Brewers Best tasted almostly exactly like the Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. Hell, I even my neighbors do a taste test between my batch and Sierra Nevada and they could not guess which was which.
The color was a bit different, but tasted almost identical. Check out the ingredients below- I left mine in the secondary for 2 weeks and it turned out great!
You can call your local brew shop to get the ingredients or ingredient kit. I know you can find these all over the internet if you dont have one close by.
All the best,
Thanks for the help!
Thank you both for your very helpful replies. Millhouse, your reply leads me to another question I have been pondering. I've read a lot about the pros and cons of racking to a secondary after a few days in the primary. Many say it is not necessary and can potentially lead to oxidation of the beer while others say it helps to get it off the trub and can clarify it. My thoughts were to just do single stage fermentation for my first few 5-gallon batches and racking to a secondary down the road.
I think that overtime you will develop your own brew style, that is the fun of it. :)
I have found that having a secondary truly helps the flavor and clarity of the beer in the end. It also helps you control the flavor and abv a bit better-
I usually let me brew sit in my primary 6.5 gallon carboy for one week. Then transfer to secondary and let sit for 2 weeks. Sure, its an extra step of cleaning and sterilizing and risk of oxidation but its actually fairly simple. When I am racking I just try to not make a splash and if you makes you feel any better...
My first batch my goal was to have the most alcohol content I could. :rockin:
I knew little to nothing about home brewing, I thought that me shaking the beer once I transferred it to my secondary would help reactivate the yeast and eat more sugar to create more alcohol. Little did I know that I was oxidizing the beer. Let me just say that the first batch of beer was one of the best I have ever made and it was the exact one that I recommended to you. This also help teach my that you can make a beer more bitter but not shaking, but kind of swirling the secondary carboy to reactivate the yeast and eat sugar. The more the yeast works the less sweet the beer is. Having a secondary you can control this without getting trub back in your beer.
I have since developed a technique to avoid splashing and when I am transferring the beer I just let it run along the side of the carboy or bucket. It works fine.
I do know that transferring to a secondary helps reactivate dormant yeast (without shaking, lol) It helps clean up the beer and finish the fermentation. You develop more of a yeasty taste with only using a primary too I have found out.
I would try both and see what you come up with. Let me know your results as I am excited to hear!
All the best-
Thanks again for the excellent advice!
I'm going to stick with primary fermentation only for now as I have just one 6.5 gallon carboy. I will definitely purchase a 5 gallon secondary soon. It just makes sense that racking to a secondary can only help to improve the clarity and flavor of the beer. It'll be very interesting to see how my brews compare when I do start transferring to a secondary.
In the meantime, I'll bottle my 1-gallon Blonde tonight! The waiting is the hardest part.
I leave my beer in primary till it hits FG. Then give it another 3-7 days to clean up by products,if any. It's usually clear or slightly misty at this point. And when racking,use a auto syphon if your fermenter doesn't have a spigot,& a piece of tubing that runs from the fermenter down around the bottom of secondary or the bottling bucket. Faster & easier way to rack the beer from one vessel to another. Surer way not to get oxidation.
And yeast autolysis & off flavors from sitting on the yeast too long are a boogieman from the past. Especially on our scale.
And you can swirl it in primary to get some yeast back in suspension without stiring up trub. Trub settles first,yeast settles on top of that. If you have a clear fermenter or wash yeast you can see the darker trub layer on the bottom with yeast on the top layer.
Thanks again for the info. In How To Brew, Palmer talks of leaving beers in one fermentation vessel for up to 3-4 weeks with no problems. Sounds like the less one screws with the brew the better. I do have an auto siphon and plan to use that when bottling. And good to know about yeast autolysis and off flavors from other compounds.
I rack to secondary mainly to free up the primary for another batch!!
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