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Old 12-20-2009, 12:55 PM   #11
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Mashing is not really that complicated. It's like steeping except you use a lower temp (150-155) and then must thoroughly rinse the grains to get all the converted sugar out. You could get a grain bag, heat water in your brew pot to 160 or so then put your grain in the grain bag and toss it in the pot for an hour or so. It would be best to rinse the bed with 170-175 water, but it's not required, you just won't get as much sugar.

I also prefer 3-4 weeks in the primary, but no more than 4 weeks and 2 weeks of bottle conditioning.

Using Carapils, crystal 10, and/or maize and brewing this beer yourself will make it different than Bud from the start.

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Old 12-20-2009, 02:36 PM   #12
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Man...with all of this advice I am definitely going to try the partial mash route. I am thinking about 1/2 lb Carapils, 1/2 lb crystal 10 and some flaked corn. Not sure how much flaked corn to use though so any recommendation would be appreciated.

Two final questions: 1. How much water per lbs of grain is used in the initial partial mash (I recall hearing about 1 gal per pounds) and how much water should I use for sparging/rinsing?

If this turns out well I am definitley going to try a few brews w/o prepackaged kits for a change.

Thanks...

Mick

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Old 12-20-2009, 03:08 PM   #13
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We're throwing around mashing and steeping terms interchangeably here. Keep in mind that you're only mashing if you're using grains that will convert to fermentable sugars, and if you have a base grain with diastastic power to convert them.

In short, you steep crystal grains. That's not mashing. If you want to use some corn, you will need to add a pound of base grains like 2-row or 6-row to convert the corn. That's not a bad idea, but I think we're overcomplicating a recipe that came with some older extract and may not be that great.

If it were me, the most I'd do to that Brewer's Best kit is to steep some crystal 10L (maybe half a pound) at 150-160 degrees. Otherwise, I'd leave that recipe alone.

There are some nice cream ale recipes around that you can find if you'd like a different one. I think the best commercial cream ale I've had is Genessee Cream Ale.

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Old 12-20-2009, 03:12 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by msa8967 View Post
Man...with all of this advice I am definitely going to try the partial mash route. I am thinking about 1/2 lb Carapils, 1/2 lb crystal 10 and some flaked corn. Not sure how much flaked corn to use though so any recommendation would be appreciated.

Two final questions: 1. How much water per lbs of grain is used in the initial partial mash (I recall hearing about 1 gal per pounds) and how much water should I use for sparging/rinsing?

If this turns out well I am definitley going to try a few brews w/o prepackaged kits for a change.

Thanks...

Mick
If you want to do this, you can use 1/2 pound carapils, 1/2 pound crystal 10L, 1 pound flaked corn, and 2 pounds pale malt.

You will want to put that loosely into a grainbag. And then mash it at 150-155 for an hour in 6 quarts of water. You may want the water at 165 before you add the grains since the grains will reduce the temperature. Stir well to make sure all of the grains are wetted thoroughly and check the temperature to make sure it's in the range of 150-155. When you're done with the mash, you can lift the grain bag out, and pour 170 degree water over it to "rinse" the sugars out. You can use up to 3 gallons of water to "rinse" (sparge) with.
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Old 12-20-2009, 11:31 PM   #15
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If you want to do this, you can use 1/2 pound carapils, 1/2 pound crystal 10L, 1 pound flaked corn, and 2 pounds pale malt.

You will want to put that loosely into a grainbag. And then mash it at 150-155 for an hour in 6 quarts of water. You may want the water at 165 before you add the grains since the grains will reduce the temperature. Stir well to make sure all of the grains are wetted thoroughly and check the temperature to make sure it's in the range of 150-155. When you're done with the mash, you can lift the grain bag out, and pour 170 degree water over it to "rinse" the sugars out. You can use up to 3 gallons of water to "rinse" (sparge) with.
I was able to find the the carapils, crystal 10, flaked corn and the pale malt today by hitting several different liqour stores that carry some brewing supplies. [There is no LHBS within 90 miles of where I live.] The carapils and crystal 10 came in 1 lbs packages and I wanted to know if I should use the entire contents or save 1/2 for soemthing else (although I would need to ask what that something else might be to benefit from these.) I have a brewing bucket where I can do up to 6 gallon batches and I would like to know if I should expand this recipe to 6 gal or stick with 5 gal? Will the addition of this partial mash change the OG significantly?

The kit came with Vangard hops for bittering and aroma. I tried to find more of these hops in case I could raise this to 6 gal but none of the liqour stores carry this type. I will try to see if there is a substitute mentioned online. For the partial mash I was thinking of splitting the grains between two large bags just to make sure that there is enough room to adjust for grain swelling.

Yooper- I was able to find a six-pack of Genesse Cream Ale today (evidently it is not easy to find here in Iowa) and think this is a beer I enjoy much more than most macrobrew ales/lagers including Bud, PBR and Coors. Thanks for the recommendation.
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Old 12-21-2009, 01:44 AM   #16
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mick, did you get those grains crushed? if not, you'll need to put them in a bag and run them over with a rolling pin or something to get them crushed. you might be able to scale up to 6 gallons depending on how much malt you end up mashing... 2# of pale, 0.5# of crystal, 1# flaked corn, and 0.25# of carapils could add like 2-3% ABV if my math is correct (i personally wouldn't use much more of any of those, the flavor may be too much from the crystal/corn and i don't ever see carapils used in amounts more than .25-.5 lbs.) so, if you want to maintain a similar SG to what the recipe probably was designed for, 6 gallons should be fine.

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Old 12-21-2009, 01:55 AM   #17
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Yep..the grains were crushed. Sounds good to take your advice on using only up to 0.5 lbs of carapils. It is easy to get carried away with wanting to try to adjust this kit. I don't have any experience using the Vangard hops that came with this free kit and I don't know how old the hops might be. Do you know of a good hop to try to use for American Cream Ales..?

Thanks Again,

Mick

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Old 12-21-2009, 02:00 AM   #18
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vangard is a domestic hallertau replacement. Most cream ales (and american lagers) will either use an old domestic variety like cluster or noble varieties or similar.

I use hallertau.

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Old 12-21-2009, 02:49 AM   #19
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I am new to brewing and just made my first batch which was BB American Cream Ale. It doesn't taste anything like Bud or Miller. It taste more like Fat Tire to me. It seems to be a very light beer but I like it. Being new to this hobby, I made it per the directions and I think it came out ok.
BTW, I live in CR so if you want to try a bottle, let me know.

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Old 12-21-2009, 05:04 AM   #20
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even though the grain bill is similar to an american lager, the use of ale yeast here is what separates it and gives it more character, depending on what temp you ferment it at. it can be fermented low and have less ale esters and seem more like a lager. regardless, it makes a very drinkable and tasty beer. +1 to using hallertau on this recipe if you need more hops, you can use them with the vanguard, no problem. i've been really happy with hallertau in my cream ale.

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