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Old 10-30-2009, 08:21 PM   #1
jjones17
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Default First recipe using specialty grains (extract)

Hello, I am a relatively new brewer who started on extract kits. This will be my fourth brew, and I was wnodering if anyone could offer some feedback on this recipe. To me, it looks on paper like a lot of ingredients. But, I am going for a complex dark stoutish beer, with some decent hoppyness to it. I will be doing a 60 min boil for hot break, and steeping my specialties.

1 Coopers Stout Hopped Extract Kit (not adding to my boil until the last minute to avoid ruining the existing aroma hops in the kit)
1 kilo Dark DME
454g Demerera Sugar
270g Crystal malts (80L)
270g honey
270g molasses
270g chocolate malts
100G Black patent
5G Instant coffee at 1 minute boil
.250G instant oats into boil

Hops (I only have these kind available to me at the moment)
15G Green bullet at 60 min
10G Green Bullet at 30 min
10G Northern Brewer at 30 min
15G Green Bullet at 15 Min
10G Green Bullet dry hop to secondary

Anyway, I hope its clear what I am going for. I am just looking to see if I may be making any fatal errors here to avoid wasting all my ingredients and dumping the brew. Of course, just trying it will be fun too. But its always interesting to ask.

My yeast is just coopers ale yeast in the gold packet, but I have the option of using a local microbrewerys ale yeast that they culture on premisis also. They brew a porter, an IPA, and a barleywine with the same yeast.

Thanks,
Jeremy

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Old 11-01-2009, 04:37 PM   #2
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First and most important, I would use the local yeast from the microbrewery. It will be fresher and more viable.

Second, I'm curious as to why you are adding so many sugars. You should be able to get enough with your DME. If not, add more DME so you have more of a malt flavor. With the honey, may I suggest you add that at the end of your boil to preserve the aroma.

I don't see any fatal errors here. Post your results -- I'm intrigued by your recipe.

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Old 11-02-2009, 02:57 AM   #3
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Thanks, hercher. I will try that Yeast from the brewery. When I used it on my last brew, the yeast cake was all bubbly and all wild looking.

About the sugar, to be honest, the only reason I have such an array of sugars was because I am looking for a stout with some oomph... so I just figured I would try this to see how it tastes. Do you find that more DME would do the same?

Thanks for the tip about the honey, I can throw it in after my boil is over then.

I hope to report in about a month that I have a drinkable brew!

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Old 11-02-2009, 03:05 AM   #4
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is that 0.25 grams of instant oats? or is it supposed to be 250 grams?

In the first case, not sure what the point of so little is. In the second case, you're only going to end up with the oats absorbing quite a bit of your wort. Other than that, they'll probably just add some haze. To use oats effectively in a brew, you need to mash them.

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Old 11-02-2009, 09:10 AM   #5
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Yeah, I would probably use more DME, at least in place of the demerara sugar. The molasses and honey will add their own distinctive characteristics.

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Old 11-02-2009, 04:03 PM   #6
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Thanks, JLem. After reading your comments I went back to try to find data to support using instant oats without mashing.... and found none.

It turns out I was confusing the fact that 'instant' oats already have their starches gelatinized, with 'not needing to be mashed'. I understand my error now, though. You know, this just makes me want to do a partial mash and skip the Coopers Kit. Reality is, I do not know enough about partial mash nor have the equipment to do PM. Perhaps I should try mashing the oats to just simply lean how to mash, for this brew. Thanks again.

@hercher, from the sounds of your comment demerera may not give me any desirable character at all. Am I interpreting this correctly?

On second note: I have not started my brew yet, on account that yesterday the grocery store near my house had organic apple juice (just fresh pressed apples) on sale! I grabbed 4L and started some xmas hard cider.

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Old 11-02-2009, 04:48 PM   #7
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for a good intro to partial mashing, check out this thread - http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/easy...ng-pics-75231/

You can adjust it to suit your needs/equipment. I mash 3.5 lbs of grain. I don't use a bag, but instead strain the mash through a mesh colander. To sparge, I either pour the sparge water over the top of the grains in the colander or, more likely, dump the drained grains back in to the pot and cover with sparge water, let it sit for 10 minutes and then restrain. I usually then repeat once more, letting it sit for only a minute or so. Works out great as far as I can tell.

It was actually an oatmeal stout that got me to try PMing

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Old 11-02-2009, 05:30 PM   #8
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@Jlem, haha thank for the link, I am laughing because that was the thread I was looking at while you posted your reply Very very encouraging, kudos to Deathbrewer.

I have actually gone and emailed myself at work a list of things I will buy on my next lunch break (6 gallon pot, colander, etc). The only issue I might find is locating a good grain bag. All of the "LHBS" stores I have visited do not carry these bags... actually most of them have no clue on what a mash even is, since they mainly do on premise beerkit brewing. Finding hops around here is a huge undertaking as well, though I seem to have secured a good supply of Green Bullet and cascades are in stock at a place 30 mins away. I will likely brew next weekend, since I should have all my new equip for the PM.

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Old 11-02-2009, 06:37 PM   #9
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Be careful about getting too big a pot - I once bought a 5 gallon pot that I could not bring to a boil because my stovetop did not have enough heating power. I use a 3-gallon pot for all my brews.

I've heard that a paint strainer bag works in lieu of a grain bag. Personally, I don't even use one - just dump the grain into the mash water.

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Old 11-03-2009, 09:59 AM   #10
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Quote:
@hercher, from the sounds of your comment demerera may not give me any desirable character at all. Am I interpreting this correctly?
Demerara sugar can give you some distinctive characteristics. It is simply an unrefined sugar that -- if you are getting the British kind -- will have molasses added to it. My suggestion for replacing that with more DME was based upon the fact that you are already adding molasses, which will give you the same rum-like characteristics as demerara, and on my own personal bias.

I prefer to add more malt rather than other sugars, and derive the complexity from using different malts. You've got a lot of non-malt products in this beer, with the sugar, honey, molasses and coffee. I would be concerned that you are going to overwhelm the malt a little bit.

Also, I just noticed that you are adding instant coffee for a 1 minute boil. May I suggest that instant you steep for 5 minutes a 1/2 lb of high quality, freshly ground coffee beans? You don't need a bag, imho -- just throw 'em in, they'll sink to the bottom. My thought process is simple: do you drink instant coffee? If you like that flavor, then fine. Otherwise, use a coffee you would drink. It is always better to use a quality ingredient.

I'm anxious to hear how this beer turns out.
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Primary: Amber Ale. :(
Seconary: Don't use one, generally
Kegged: Stein beer
Planned: Saison, pale ale, brown ale

"For a quart of ale is a dish for a king." - Shakespeare

Last edited by hercher; 11-03-2009 at 10:04 AM.
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