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Old 10-18-2012, 03:38 PM   #1
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Default First recipe. Critique please.

Being the brewing noob I am, I've been doing kits (NB,AHS, etc) and recipes from my LHBS & this august collection of madmen & women, for the past 10 or so batches.
Basically so I can concentrate on my technique & consistancy. Yes, eventually I'm going to go AG, but not yet.

Now I've been *very* happy with the results of these brews, as has SWMBO.

So I tell myself, "Self, it's time for you to up your game a bit & build your own recipe from scratch"

This is what I've come up with for a 5 gallon batch. The idea is that it will become my house Pale Ale.

5 lbs Light Dry extract
1 lb Amber Dry extract
1/2 lb Crystal 20L (steeped at 152 for 30min.)
1/2 oz Summit at 60
1/2 oz Summit at 20
1/4 oz Cascade at 5
1/4 oz Cascade at flameout

1.053 SG 1.013 FG
8 SRM
37 IBU
5.3% ABV

according to my calculations.

I'm torn between Nottingham or Danstar BRY-97 for the yeast. I know they offer 2 very different profiles, but I like the descriptions of the resulting beer that they both provide.
I've only used US-05 as a dry yeast to date.

Comments, suggestions & opinons welcome.

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Old 10-18-2012, 07:36 PM   #2
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Nottingham is a great dry ale yeast. I have made some really tasty beer with it.
I would combine the last 2 hops additions and add at 5 minutes. one less step and wont make much difference.
overall sounds like a nice recipe. I would probably think of it as a pale ale maybe.

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Old 10-18-2012, 07:45 PM   #3
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What about wyeast 1272... it's their "house" ale strain for American brews.

YEAST STRAIN: 1272 | American Ale II™

Back to Yeast Strain List

With many of the best qualities that brewers look for when brewing American styles of beer, this strain’s performance is consistent and it makes great beer. This versatile strain is a very good choice for a “House” strain. Expect a soft, clean profile with hints of nut, and a slightly tart finish. Ferment at warmer temperatures to accentuate hop character with an increased fruitiness. Or, ferment cool for a clean, light citrus character. It attenuates well and is reliably flocculent, producing bright beer without filtration.

Origin:
Flocculation: Medium-High
Attenuation: 72-76%
Temperature Range: 60-72F, 15-22C
Alcohol Tolerance: 10% ABV
Styles:
American Amber Ale
American Brown Ale
American IPA
American Pale Ale
American Stout
Blonde Ale
Fruit Beer
Imperial IPA
Wood-Aged Beer


Then perhaps harvest the yeast and repitch into subsequent batches.

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Old 10-18-2012, 08:26 PM   #4
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I'd consider replacing the "amber" DME with more "light" and bumping up the crystal to 40 or 60L. In general, you're going to get better flavors from fresh grains than from a malt extract.

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Old 10-18-2012, 08:37 PM   #5
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Looks good to me as it is.

I would replace the amber DME with light, just so you don't have to maintain stocks of two types of DME.
You may find you need a bit more aroma hops, but I would start with what you have, and adjust for future brews if you want to.

As for the yeast, Nottingham should be good, but so would US 05. I cannot comment on BRY-97 because I've never tried it.

Good job.

-a.

P.S. Just let me know if you need help drinking the finished brew.

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Old 10-19-2012, 02:27 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ajf View Post

P.S. Just let me know if you need help drinking the finished brew.
I might just do that. My folks are on The Island :-)

Interesting points to consider from all. I like the idea of simplfying it (DME) but I want to have a bit of character.

Time to think some more.
Meanwhile, I do believe I'll have a beer.
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Old 10-19-2012, 02:21 PM   #7
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You can get plenty of character without using the darker extracts. That's where the specialty grains come in. If you use an "amber" extract, you're stuck with whatever the manufacturer considers a good base for an "amber beer." But if you use light extract, you've got a neutral base to work off of and you can tailor the beer to suit your tastes. If you let us know what sort of flavor profile you're going for, we can help you select some specialty malt(s) to get you close.

Also, remember that this will be an iterative process. Even for an experienced brewer, you very rarely hit one out of the park on your first attempt. So don't worry too much about coming up with the perfect recipe. Get one that's "good enough" and make some tweaks next time around.

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Old 10-19-2012, 04:55 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gr8shandini View Post
If you let us know what sort of flavor profile you're going for, we can help you select some specialty malt(s) to get you close.
I guess what I'm looking for is a good, general beer. One that I can serve to my BMC drinking friends without scaring them away, yet has enough character & interest to apeal to those that like some of the more esoteric brews.
It's not really about what *I* might like because, truly, I've met very few good (for whatever value of "good") beers that *I* haven't liked.
From DFH Palo Santo to Tröegs Perpetual.

Yeah. An easy plan.
Good point about the itterative process. I'd lost sight of that
I think I'll start with just ight DME & 60L. Same hops & the BRY-97 & see where it goes.
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Old 10-19-2012, 08:16 PM   #9
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I think 60L is a good all-around choice. It's what I typically use. Gives a fair amount of caramel / toffee without any of the more fruity flavors of the darker roasts. I like to use a little biscuit in my pale ales as well if you want to give that a shot.

Good luck and let me know how the BRY-97 works out. From the little I read about it, it looks like it's a more flocculant version of the Chico strain (S-05). That sounds like it's right up my alley.

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Old 10-19-2012, 08:50 PM   #10
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another vote to forego the amber DME and go with some crystal 60. maybe 1/2lb of that and 1/2lb of carapils (I find that a minimum 1lb of cara malt per 5 gallon batch does wonders for body an head retention). also, if you're steeping anyway, maybe add a little 2-row (2-3lbs) and get a partial mash going? not that difficult, and adds some nice fresh grain to the beer. not quite as simple as steeping, you'll have to fiddle with the temp a little, but you can mash in 30-45 min if you don't want to wait the hour. you can then do a late addition with the DME (15 min left in boil) to prevent caramelization an boost hop utilization.

either way, sounds like a good start. I'm on the 3rd or 4th iteration of my house pale ale, and it's dialed in to a point where I (and my friends) really like it. fun to have a "house" beer you're truly proud of

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