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Old 06-08-2009, 10:17 PM   #1
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Default All right, here's the ingredients I have...suggestions requested

Okay, folks, here's the scenario:

I've been brewing with extract for some time now, particularly enjoying buying a kit of a clone of some brew I like. I like the kits from Austin Homebrew Supply where I get to put a bag o' grain into the warm water for a bit. Makes me feel less like a poser, and I think the final result is better.

Anyhoo, back to our story. Being fairly community-minded, I wanted to support my new local homebrew supply and went shopping. I'd like to make a mild, smooth-drinking brew suitable for some friends who are coming up in a few weeks. Nothing too hoppy or weird. I took with me a couple of recipes for milder English ales, thinking to get some ideas and pointers from the proprietor. I was just shooting to put the "kit" together with some help.

That's when my plan took a bad turn. The proprietor wasn't there, but his wife was. She knew nothing of brewing and admitted it up front. Conferring with my recipes and noting that they didn't really have many of the specific ingredients listed, I just kind of...uh...randomly bought some stuff.

Here's what I got:

grain...1lb Maris otter, 1lb caramel something, 4oz smoked malt
hops...1 oz fuggle, 2 oz Wilamette
3lbs light DME
1lb dark DME
1lb Amber DME

Ringwood Ale Wyeast smackpack.




Being the adventurous sort, I figured I'd come up with something when I got home. I used an IBU calculator for the first time, playing around with some numbers, 'cause I don't want anything too hoppy, and that's when I discovered the handy multi-colored chart plotting IBU vs OG. About then, I realized I had no idea how much DME to 5gal would make how much OG and then I got overwhelmed.

So, I thought I'd turn to you nice folks for help. My intuition tells me that just about any way I combine the above, I'll get a nice brew after a while that El Hubbo and I can enjoy. I just thought a few kind souls would like to weigh in.

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Old 06-08-2009, 10:25 PM   #2
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I'd toss the smoked malt and cut the crystal down some depending on what lovibond it is. Besides that, it's going to end up being a dark English something

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Old 06-08-2009, 10:31 PM   #3
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5 lbs of DME in 5 gallons will make a 1.045 beer. (same as 1 lb in 1 gallon).

You are aware that the Maris Otter is a base grain, and needs to be mashed - you can't really get anything good out of it by simply steeping. So I'd do a mini-mash with your grains, using the bag method - deathbrewer's partial mash technique. If you get 60-65% mash efficiency (common with that method) the grains will add another 9-10 points to your OG.

As far as the caramel goes, 1 lb could be a lot but we need to know the lovibond rating of it - there's a big difference between caramel 20 and caramel 120. Style wise, given the hops it looks like you could be close to a Northern English Brown Ale (depending on the caramel) but I'm not sure about the smoked malt being part of that style.

Try http://beercalculus.hopville.com/ for a free online formulator. You can plug your ingredients into it and then play with the hops additions and times to come up with the IBUs you're shooting for. It will estimate your color and gravity based on the ingredients you give it.

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Old 06-08-2009, 10:32 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by c.n.budz View Post
I'd toss the smoked malt and cut the crystal down some depending on what lovibond it is. Besides that, it's going to end up being a dark English something
Awesome! I like dark English somethings.

No smoked malt? Why not? What'll that do?
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Old 06-08-2009, 10:38 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bedlam View Post
No smoked malt? Why not? What'll that do?
Partly personal taste, but that's just me... Also without much else in the specialty grains the smoked malt could be very overpowering. If you had some chocolate and black patent malts you could use the smoked malt and make a nice smoked porter...

Either way, if you decide to use the smoked malt you probably don't want to use all 4oz of it.
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Old 06-08-2009, 10:51 PM   #6
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i'd ditch the smoked malt personally. unless you have had many smoked beers and particularly like them. depending on the type of 'smoke' that was used (peat vs. beachwood vs. whatever else) that malt could be the most prominent characteristic of the beer, even at low dosages.

Otherwise looks ok. caramelss could be less, could be more, it's all preference.

All I'm suggesting is that the smoked malt should be added only if you know you want a smokey beer.

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Old 06-08-2009, 11:12 PM   #7
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AH, clarification: The caramel-something is, more specifically, Weyermann Caramunich.

Oh, and that brew calculator is AWESOME! Bookmarked! Thank you so much.

I'm going with death's kitchen partial mash technique and I'm gonna leave out the smoky stuff. You guys have been so much help. I'll get this done here in a few days. Wanted to brew today, but looks like storms will be rolling through soon.

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Old 06-08-2009, 11:59 PM   #8
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Good luck!

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Old 06-09-2009, 12:11 AM   #9
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One of my first recipes was this English Brown:

3.3 LBS Amber LME
2 LBS Amber DME
8 oz Crystal 60L (crushed)

1.25 oz Williamette 4.1 % AAU (60 minutes)
1/2 oz Williamette (5 minutes)


So..............mash the MO and the caramunich (skip the crystal 60L) at 155 degrees, then sparge those grains and use the DME to give you:

1 pound MO
1 pound caramunich

1 pound amber DME
1 pound dark DME
3 pounds light DME

Hops as above

That would be about 1.054, with 19 IBU and a nice medium brown color. If you're doing a 3 gallon boil, you can increase the willamette hops to 2 ounces for bittering, and use the fuggles for the flavor additions.

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Old 06-09-2009, 02:03 AM   #10
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Ifishsum: thanks for the calculator. That looks awesome!

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