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zjhoss 01-23-2013 02:50 AM

new brewer wanting to tweak recipe
I am new to brewing, as well as to this forum, so I apologize if I have posted in the wrong section. I am opening my first (hopefully successful) batch tomorrow... the anticipation is killing me! I have a few slight concerns, which I won't even bother mentioning...

What's killing me even more however, is my eagerness to tackle batch #2!!

Due to my inexperience, and wanting to simply get the process down (you gotta have your fundamentals!) I have begun my brewing journey by using Brewers Best ingredient kits. I started with IPA, and have already picked up my second.

What I would LIKE to do is to sub the hops in my new American Pale Ale kit, with Citra only. (without getting too technical for my ability)

the AA% of the Citra I bought are as follows: pellets-13.9% and whole-15.6%

My recipe calls for 2 oz Cascade bittering at boil for and 1.5 Willamette aroma at the end. That's it.

I am afraid of over-hopping and would like any advice as to how to approach this correctly.

I currently have 5 oz of Citra pellets and 1 oz of citra whole (would like to try dry hopping)

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you

TrubDog 01-23-2013 05:11 AM

Yikes - settle down!

Go look up SMASH. Get to know the various grains and hops. Understand what characteristics they bring to the party.

When I try a recipe I brew it as posted first, then I play with it so I understand what my modifications do to the taste, body and overall mouthfeel. How do you know what you're doing until you taste the original recipe? Go look up some of the recipe threads and check out how they evolve as folks brew it, then brew it again with changes.

Most of all, have fun and enjoy the hobby!

edb 01-23-2013 06:20 AM

Generally I would suggest brewing a couple more kits before you start moving into coming up with your own recipe. But with that said I do love Citra :) So what amounts to sub really depend on a couple factors. The starting gravity of your IPA / amount of extract and or grains, the hop schedule and alpha acid percentage of your kit hops and how much your going to use for a boil volume (based on the kit instructions).

So IPAs generally have a decent range in starting gravity this will effect how much IBUs you'll want to get out of your hops. Your on the right track with knowing the alpha acid percentages of your existing and substitution hops. There are a number of brewing apps for ios / droid and web sites that allow you to create recipes. Key in the existing information for the base kit and hops then start working the numbers with your Citra.

I would follow the kit recipe to the T and sub out the hops based on what your seeing in the brewing software, try to hit close to the same IBUs, Citra is a high alpha acid hop so I think you're probably going to only use about 1 - 1.5 oz bittering and probably 2 oz at the end of the boil. I suggest late additions of 10, 5 and flame out at .5 oz each. When you dry hop put your leaf hops in a hop bag.

basilchef 01-23-2013 06:53 AM

First off i applaud your enthusiasm. Secondly, I'm going to recommend doing the kit as is. Third, i would be lying if i told you the citra wouldn't make it way better. With that said (if it were me), i would add 1 oz cascade @ 60 (bittering hops dont attribute much flavor-wise). Then start adding your citra @ 20, 15, 10, and 5. Save the last citra and 1 oz of cascade for dry hopping. Dry hop 10 days before you cold crash/ bottle. Wait two weeks. cheers

whiskeyjack 01-23-2013 11:53 AM

Do you have brewing software ? Brewmate or Beersmith are great! I ran my typical pale ale with full citra hops what looked best to me (may not be what every one goes for) is hop bursting. Since Citra has high AA you don't need alot at the 60 minute and can get all IBU"s from the last 15-20 minutes.

10.5 lb 2 row
.8 lb crystal 60
1 oz Citra 15 minutes
1.5 oz Citra 5
1.5 oz Citra 1
dry hop the whole comes out around 43 ibus

zjhoss 01-23-2013 11:43 PM

Thank you all for the feedback, yes I am certainly a bit ambitious, I'm VERY eager to learn and take off. I do need to be patient and cover my bases first though.

That being said, I opened my first bottle from my first batch tonight...
I was happy to have achieved a good level of carbonation, but that's about where my streak of good fortune ended. :(:confused:

I think it is safe to say, I'll hold onto my Citra hops for a little while longer...

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