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Old 01-15-2010, 10:19 PM   #1
Yoda
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Default Help modifying a Mr Beer recipe

Apologies in advance for a long post and thanks in advance to all who reply.

So a bit of background first - I got a Mr Beer kit and read through that wonderful thread about what to fix/change (thanks to everyone who has helped in that thread!!). I got 1lb of Light DME (actually it's a 22oz bag more on that later) to replace the Booster.

I am about ready to brew my first batch, but I don't think I want to go with the simple West Coast Pale Ale (WCPA) that comes with it. I have heard it comes out kind of like a Bud Light type beer and that just doesn't interest me.

SO - I am taking another fairly simple recipe and trying to make it (or close to it) with what I have. Except instead of using only Light DME I was thinking of using Light DME + the WCPA Extract that came with Mr Beer.

Here is the 5g recipe, I will obviously be using only 40% of everything listed to make a 2g batch in Mr Beer.

American Classic Cream Ale - Light, Crisp and Refreshing. This Golden Ale is the Perfect Lawnmower Beer! Approximately 4.5 % ABV.

5 lb Light LME
1lb Corn Sugar

Steeping Grains :
6 oz – Crystal 10
6 oz – 2 Row Pale

Hops: 1 oz – Mt. Rainer (Bittering)

Question 1) Considering I am substituting roughly half of the Light DME with the WCPA Extract (which is hopped) does anyone think that will cause problems? Since it's a pretty light beer anyway and we're mixing with Light DME I don't anticipate any problems, but want to make sure. Any advice on whether I should use 1lb or just use all 22oz that I've got? (Does DME store well if I open it and have 6oz left?)

Put simply, do you see this recipe becoming a decent lightish ale with more flavor/body than the plain ole WCPA?

Question 2) If I want a little more flavor/body would it make sense to go with Crystal 20 instead, or should I stick with the lightest possible due to the beer style.

Question 3) I had already bought Nottingham yeast (recipe calls for American Ale yeast). Is using the Nottingham fine?

Question 4) I know I should steep the Crystal and should mash the 2-row...can I mash them both in the same bag all at once or would that be too long for the Crystal?

I am happy to listen to any other advice or recipe tweaking, just looking for my first beer to be a decent one!

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Old 01-16-2010, 12:12 AM   #2
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1) DME, if kept dry will store almost indefinitely. If you add more, you'll bump up the ABV. It's up to you.

2) Crystal 20 will give more flavor/body and color. As for style, that's up to you -it's YOUR BEER after all.

3) Nottingham should be good. If you are going to buy more grain/LME/hops anyway, a pack of packet of dry US-05 yeast (my go-to American Yeast) would add about $3 to your total.

4) Mash all grains at the same time. This is what all-grain brewers do every day.

One of the hard parts of homebrewing is making these choices. No matter what, it will be some of the best beer you've ever had.

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Old 01-16-2010, 12:28 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barely View Post
1) DME, if kept dry will store almost indefinitely. If you add more, you'll bump up the ABV. It's up to you.

2) Crystal 20 will give more flavor/body and color. As for style, that's up to you -it's YOUR BEER after all.

3) Nottingham should be good. If you are going to buy more grain/LME/hops anyway, a pack of packet of dry US-05 yeast (my go-to American Yeast) would add about $3 to your total.

4) Mash all grains at the same time. This is what all-grain brewers do every day.

One of the hard parts of homebrewing is making these choices. No matter what, it will be some of the best beer you've ever had.
Sweet thanks. You are right...as i've read frequently on this forum "Worst case scenario is you end up with beer!" haha. I guess my only real worry was that I don't know what exactly is in this WCPA extract kit (but I don't want it to go to waste). I know it is hopped, but i'm sure it's *very* lightly hopped. Veering off the beaten path on my very first brew is a little daunting, but that's what it's all about right?

I found http://www.tastybrew.com/calculators/recipe.html and played around a bit (great tool). I think the extra DME might be a little overkill, the 1lb will still get me a 4.9% ABV which seems about right for this type of beer.

The Crystal 20 will give it a color of 5ish on the SRM scale and i'm curious how that will turn out, probably go with that.

Will hit up the LHBS in the morning, tomorrow is brew day!
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Old 01-16-2010, 08:13 PM   #4
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Success! I think...



I went with Crystal 20 and things mostly went smoothly. I did end up trying to Hydrate the yeast in 120 degree water (woops!). Who would've thunk boiled water could stay so warm after so long! haha. So yea I tossed that batch and then cooled the water with an ice bath - redid the yeast, that should work nicely.

3 hours in now and I am seeing some tiny bubbles rising from down low. Good sign!

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