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Old 07-07-2012, 11:08 AM   #1
Ambrozyne
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Default question about special grains steep quantities

Hi guys,
I'm preparing for my 2nd batch of extract brew. (My first batch of 6 gal./23 litres, I simply made up of a can of coopers lager, 1 kg of brewing sugars, 1.1 lbs of extra light dme and saaz hop pellets and is just past it's first week in primary.) For my second batch I'd like to steep some specialty grains to improve on the body and taste. This is something I picked up here on the forums and would like to try.

Could someone give me an idea of how much specialty grains, and maybe which kind, to use with these ingredients:
I'm planning again on a batch of 6 gallons(23 litres):
-a can of coopers real ale;
-1.1 lbs of medium spray dme;
-maybe 1 lb. or a bit more? of brewenhancer(maltodex/dex mix)
-an x amount of steeped grains, I was thinking of light crystal malt? Is it called C-15?
-besides the specialty grains I'd like to use some hops for aroma and flavor.
(Is that necessary with the coopers real ale?) I do like a little bitterness.

Any ideas on the amount of crystal malt to use in this recipe of 6 Gal./23 litres? Any ideas on the hops or on the recipe in general? I haven't got any experience with hops though I threw in 30 grams of saaz pellets in my first brew. Haven't tasted it yet though.... Still in primary.

Thanks!
Ambrozyne

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Old 07-07-2012, 12:54 PM   #2
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Probably 1/2lb (.25kg) of crystal malt, but no more than 1lb (.5kg). The extracts are made with a portion of crystal malt already, so you could overdo it on crystal. I should mention that we usually recommend using light extracts as your base and using specialty grains for color and depth of flavor. Also, I would replace the brewenhancer with extract. Which basically means you could use two cans of extract, plus your crystal malt.

If the real ale extract is pre-hopped then that will be the source of most of your bitterness. So if you want to add hops, add an ounce (30g) at 5-10 minutes left in the boil. This will add a little additional bitterness, but will also contribute a brighter hop flavor and aroma.

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Old 07-07-2012, 02:06 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reply Captain!
I think I'll exchange the brewenhancer and medium dme for a lighter lme as you suggest. For a 6 gal batch in which I'll also use .25 kgs of crystal malt, do you reckon I'll need 2 full cans of 1.7 kgs. each of lme or would the can of real ale + an extra kilo of light lme suffice? Storing an unused half can of lme sounds like a waste. I guess it doesn't keep well after opening.

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Old 07-07-2012, 02:21 PM   #4
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It appears the op is growing into some recipe creation. In other words coming to the realization he/she wants to enhance a coopers can. In time I would tend to think the coopers can will become a forgotten thing of the past as he/she furthers brewing experience. A much better, personal brew can be obtained with base light extracts, creative hop additions, and custom specialty grain bills. I would do some reading on classic styles and their basic statistics like range of og, ibu, and srm. Then I would familiarize myself with a calculator such as on tastybrew, beersmith, or the like. Beersmith is good in a way for beginners as it describes each ingredient and how to use it in depth and how it will impact gravity, color, and bitterness. There are many versions of crystal and varying darknesses so using the correct amount of the correct crystal is key.

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Old 07-07-2012, 02:30 PM   #5
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Sorry, starting to get a little confused with making a recipe in prose while converting kgs to lbs in my head :confused

Also keep in mind that since you're using all light extract, most of your color will come from the crystal malt so you may want to use a darker grade of crystal. This will also give you a "darker," more caramel-like flavor. The darkest crystal malts even have raisin and cola like flavors.

Here is what I propose:

3.4 kg pre-hopped light lme (approx; use 2 cans @ 1.5-1.75kg ea)
0.25-0.5 kg crystal malt 10L-120L
30 g hops @ 5 minutes.

I have no idea what varieties of hops are available to you in Japan.

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Old 07-07-2012, 02:40 PM   #6
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+1 to Brtisbuck's endorsement of Beersmith and reading a lot! I consider Designing Great Beers by Ray Daniels to be my bible. Helped me understand the ingredients and how to create well-balanced recipes. Beersmith (or other brewing software) will help both with its descriptions of the ingredients and with doing calculations. So for example, you can see instantly how adding 0.25kg of crystal 40L will change the color, ABV and OG (which affects the bitterness balance). There are many brewing software packages available, including a number of smartphone apps. Personally I prefer Beersmith. It's for Windows and Mac and offers a free trial.

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Old 07-07-2012, 03:57 PM   #7
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I'll definitely take a look at that beersmith software. And try to read up on brewing technique. (just ordered Papazian's book on amazon.co.jp)
But hold your horses guys, maybe I'm moving too fast as I just have my first ever brew in primary...

I had also thought of opting for a darker crystal to offset all the light malts for my second brew. One more thing concerning crystal malt: what does 10L-120L mean?

I can get my hands on Cascade, Hallertau, Galena, Golding leaf hops here. Maybe a couple more. Any suggestions what to use? You don't leave the leaf hops in the fermenter, right? Take them out of the boiler before cooling the wort? If you use pellets, do you just leave them in primary until racking? I guess so as it is impossible to get the stuff out once it's in.
Thanks again!

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Old 07-07-2012, 04:03 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ambrozyne View Post
One more thing concerning crystal malt: what does 10L-120L mean?
The L stands for Lovibond, which is a scale to measure color, with higher numbers indicating darker (which adds more flavor). For example, 10L will be light in color and flavor, while 120L will be pretty dark and contribute a strong flavor.

I'd say try something lighter (like under 40L) for this one, but experiment with the others in future batches.
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Old 07-07-2012, 05:07 PM   #9
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Galena is less popular for late hop additions. For this application, cascade, halertau and goldings would all be appropriate, giving somewhat American, German and English flavors respectively. I do keep my hops in the fermenter, though many do prefer to leave them in the kettle. It's up to you.

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Old 07-08-2012, 12:14 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ambrozyne View Post

I can get my hands on Cascade, Hallertau, Galena, Golding leaf hops here. Maybe a couple more. Any suggestions what to use? You don't leave the leaf hops in the fermenter, right? Take them out of the boiler before cooling the wort? If you use pellets, do you just leave them in primary until racking? I guess so as it is impossible to get the stuff out once it's in.
Thanks again!
Hops are typically used in the boil first. The longer they are boiled in the wort the more bitterness they contribute and the less flavor/aroma. Later hop additions contribute flavor and aroma and less bitterness. If you use them in the primary they will just contribute aroma - typically how American IPA's are hopped, this is called dry hopping. Goldings are typical hops of English style brew, Hallertau of German styles and are good for light american lagers and pilsners. C hops (Cascade, crystal, citra, chinook....) typically contribute a citrus like note the the brew. When you have an IPA that tastes like it has grapefruit notes in it, its the c hops.

If you choose to dry hop wait till after vigorous fermentation has slowed. If you are doing say a 3 week primary add them at the start of the 3rd week for 7 days. Leaf or pellet, I just throw them in. I will say that the leafs like to soak up wort though. The hops are no more difficult to remove then say the yeast cake.
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