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Old 01-25-2013, 11:17 PM   #1
dieden187
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Default Basic first batch, 2.5 gal AG

The thread title kinda sums it up, I'm looking for a good, basic recipe for my first beer. I would love to do a Scottish, but have no way of controlling ferm temp. (My apartment sits dead on 70.5°) I LOVE Belgians, so maybe a Saison or a Dubbel (but more like New Belgium's than Chimay). I'm not your traditional newbie, since I have been volunteering at a local brewery in Birmingham since they opened a year and a half ago. So I don't feel I have to stick with the dummy proof recipes. Any help is GREATLY appreciated.

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Old 01-26-2013, 12:14 AM   #2
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Do you have a tub that will hold some water and your fermenter? A place to freeze some water in a container? That's all it takes for temperature controlled fermentation.

What kind of beer do you like? I'd probably suggest you start with a beer that is less than 1.060 for and OG but otherwise you can make lots of different recipes.

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Old 01-26-2013, 12:18 AM   #3
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There's a very good saison recipe here that should ferment well at your ambient temperature. Just scale it back and you should have yourself a winner.

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Old 01-26-2013, 02:23 PM   #4
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I do believe I will try that saison recipe... Looks simple enough. I'm assuming my extra 2 degrees during fermenting wont hurt too much...

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Old 01-26-2013, 04:21 PM   #5
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Nah, 70F is right about in the middle of the temp range for Wyeast French Saison 3711 so it should turn out really well.

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Old 01-26-2013, 06:05 PM   #6
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Ambient temp in my house is just below 70 and my first three batches were sloppy messes of banana and pear esters. Consider that fermentation will add 7 degrees or so to your actual fermentation temp.

Added a $5 swamp cooler from Walmart to my fourth batch and dropped bottles of ice in it every 12 hours for the first 4 days and I've had clean beers since.

I wouldn't trust ambient temp unless it was below 65. Just my two cents.

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Old 01-27-2013, 12:02 AM   #7
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Ok, I'm going to do the recipe linked above, but use WYeast 3724 Belgian Saison instead and either omit the pepper or do white pepper instead of black pepper, adding 1/4 zested orange. I won't worry about Ferm temps unless it gets above 78° (the Belgian strain at the brewery I volunteer at weekly lets ferm temps on their saison rise to 79 or 80 on open fermentation.) my second batch will be exactly to the original recipe (including ferm temp), and my third will be the Brewery's patented saison yeast strain with a recipe matching the first recipe I brewed. Seeing as how I have brewed numerous 13 bbL batches, this isn't so much about learning to brew so much as it is about learning how the variables (which I can't play with at the brewery) affect flavor. I'm only doing 2.5 gal batches, so after giving grolsch bottles (my only bottling size) to others to critique and taste, I don't think 3 batches will burn me out on saison. Let me know if you would change another variable for learning purposes.

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Old 02-07-2013, 05:33 PM   #8
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Ok, so my first batch is in primary as of five minutes ago. Two noticeable issues, don't know how major they are...

1. I overshot the predicted OG listed in the recipe linked above big time! 1.078 instead of 1.062. (Well, same recipe except using WYeast 3724)

2. I didn't let the wort sit long enough after whirlpool and there's ALOT of trub in there...

I guess I am definitely going to have to rack to secondary, and just deal with the higher ABV

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