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Old 12-02-2010, 04:23 AM   #1
JGROSS
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Default New and want to go bold, what you think?

I'm working on my second batch right now, playing around on Beer Smith and have a lot of fun with it. I'm trying to put together a beer that is super bold and strong.

My friends and I are all really into the high end of the IBU's and the HIGH end of the ABV. Pliny, Ruination, Arrogant Bastard, etc. I'm looking to brew something that is similar to Arrogant Bastard.

Since this is my second batch and I freely admit that I know very little about brewing beer (which I am working on). Just looking at what I have below, any ideas on how it would turn out? Ideas? Advice?

Thanks


7.00 lb Amber Dry Extract (12.5 SRM) Dry Extract 70.00 %
2.00 lb Caramel/Crystal Malt - 40L (40.0 SRM) Grain 20.00 %
2.00 oz Centennial [10.00 %] (60 min) Hops 28.3 IBU
2.00 oz Chinook [13.00 %] (60 min) Hops 36.8 IBU
1.00 oz Centennial [10.00 %] (30 min) Hops 10.9 IBU
1.00 oz Cascade [5.50 %] (5 min) Hops 1.6 IBU
1.00 lb Brown Sugar, Dark (50.0 SRM) Sugar 10.00 %
1pk Nottingham Yeast Dry

It is kicking me back some pretty solid numbers:

1.072 OG
1.019 FG
7.04% ABV
77.5 IBU
19.8 SRM

Question - I am only doing primary, so Beer Smith says to only wait 4 days before bottling, then 28 days before drinking. Is 4 days enough?

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Old 12-02-2010, 04:31 AM   #2
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go big or go home. that looks good, i guess the high OG is from the brown sugar. honestly trial and error is the way to go when your new, like me. just do whatever interests you and modify until it works. i want to make a barley wine next, which may kill me... or just make me feel warmer than usual.

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Old 12-02-2010, 04:55 AM   #3
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My first ever brew was 1.068 and it turned out great. My first AG was 1.078. I like big beers and wasn't afraid to give it a try. The only things that immediately come to mind about big beers would be:

1) Probable need for a starter, though I didn't do one for that first beer and it was still good - go figure.
2) Patience, as bigger beers will take more time. The numbers Beersmith is telling you are just defaults. 4 days is way too early - I like the long primary (~4 weeks) and no secondary method. 28 days is probably a bare minimum on the conditioning side.

As for the recipe, I'm not sure. Experimentation is fun, but can have its downsides. I put 1lb molasses in a beer once and it really did not turn out how I expected. If you're really interested in that style, it might be a good idea to look for some clones, then tweak them from there.

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Old 12-02-2010, 04:58 AM   #4
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4 days is awfully short for primary, especially for a stronger beer. It's possible fermentation would be done (need to use a hydrometer to check) but longer in the primary would give the yeast a chance to clean up off-flavours. I'd suggest 2 weeks at the very least, and if it was me I'd probably go for 3-4 weeks before bottling. Another few weeks or even months of bottle conditioning would probably benefit the beer.

It's hard to wait that long when you're just starting out and don't have a pipeline, but bigger beers generally need longer to reach their prime.

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Old 12-02-2010, 05:55 AM   #5
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2 lbs of crystal malt is way too much (unless you fancy drinking syrup). You're going to have a tough enough time attenuating a big beer without adding a butt load of unfermentable sugar. I'd maybe use .5 lbs crystal, pitch a couple yeast packs, and control your fermentation temp.... then it'll be a pretty nice beer. Maybe also scale back the brown sugar to 10oz or so.

Edit:

Oh yeah, let it sit for at least 10 days, preferably 2 weeks prior to bottling.

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Old 12-02-2010, 06:24 AM   #6
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2 pounds of crystal is quite a bit. I would scale it back. I also would move the 30 minute hop addition to 10 minutes or so and add more for flavor/aroma.

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Old 12-02-2010, 07:19 AM   #7
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That's a ton of high AA% bittering hops. I put it in beersmith and got 201 IBUs... maybe scale back to just 1.5 oz Chinook at 60 minutes and get rid of the Centennial 60 minute addition. Also maybe bump the 1 oz Centennial addition to 20 minutes. That'll leave you with 90 IBU if you boil all of the DME for the full 60 minutes, and you'll get more taste from the Centennial. 90 IBU is still A LOT.

I agree about the Crystal, and would only go with 1 to 1.5 lb. You'll still get a lot of body and unfermentables from the amber DME with that amount of crystal.

Also, you could dry hop with 2 oz Centennial for 5 to 7 days if you want a lot of hop aroma. Just another idea.

4 days in the fermenter is no where near enough time. Making a sizable starter will help (check out mrmalty.com), but 2 to 3 weeks is probably more realistic to have it come out better. Then 2 to 3 weeks to bottle condition. Those timelines I would consider minimums.

EDIT: Another sidenote for you to ponder; You can up the sugar a bit (like 1.5 to 2-ish lb), if you want to go even bigger in alcohol content but keep the body of the beer a bit lower.

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Old 12-02-2010, 12:17 PM   #8
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+1 "cut back the crystal" (I'd go .5lb range)

+1 "check the IBU" (I've done several high IBU IPAs and once I get past 100 I can't taste a difference.)

I brew 1.075 OG range all the time. A standard pitch of rehydrated Nottingham will attenuate just fine. A nice ferment trick to get the most out of your yeast is to add the simple sugar a few days into the ferment. Yeast will go after simple sugars first (sucrose/brown sugar) and then will go after the complex sugar (maltose/DME.) Adding everything pre-ferment means the yeast take the easy sugars first and are slowing down when the start on the maltose.

Let the yeast first hit high krausen, the day your krausen starts to fall add the brown sugar. (Add the b.sugar to a small amount of boiling water to make a syrup. Cool the sterilized solution, pour it in the fermenter.) This is a pretty standard technique if you decide to go bigger (8-10+ ABV) and also works great in the range you're working (6.5-8 ABV)

Looks like a great beer, have fun! (PS: take some of those excess hops and throw an ounce in to dry hop 3-4 days before bottling )

Edit: Like everyone said as far as # days before bottling . . .Think weeks not days

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Old 12-02-2010, 06:37 PM   #9
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Thanks everyone!

One thing I forgot to mention is that I will be using a 3 Gal. brewpot for the wort.

Frodo - When you say sugar, do you mean the brown? Can you add simple table sugar for the boil to up the ABV or just add after a few days in the primary? How can you enter this into beersmith?

Here's a revised look:

7.00 lb Amber Dry Extract (12.5 SRM) Dry Extract 84.85 %
0.50 lb Caramel/Crystal Malt - 40L (40.0 SRM) Grain 6.06 %
2.00 oz Chinook [13.00 %] (60 min) Hops 39.5 IBU
2.00 oz Centennial [10.00 %] (60 min) Hops 30.4 IBU
1.00 oz Centennial [10.00 %] (20 min) Hops 9.2 IBU
1.00 oz Centennial [10.00 %] (Dry Hop 5 days) Hops -
0.75 lb Brown Sugar, Dark (50.0 SRM) Sugar 9.09 %
2 Pkgs Nottingham Ale Yeast (White Labs #WLP039) Yeast-Ale

Beersmith shows:

OG - 1.069
FG - 1.015
ABV - 7.05%
IBU - 79
SRM - 15

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Old 12-02-2010, 07:10 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JGROSS View Post
Thanks everyone!

One thing I forgot to mention is that I will be using a 3 Gal. brewpot for the wort.
I'd add only 1/2 of the DME at the beginning of the boil, then add the last 1/2 at the end of the boil. A few minutes before you kill the heat would be fine. By waiting to add the last 1/2 you'll get more utilization from the hops.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JGROSS View Post
Frodo - When you say sugar, do you mean the brown? Can you add simple table sugar for the boil to up the ABV or just add after a few days in the primary? How can you enter this into beersmith?
Either brown or table sugar. Brown sugar is basically table sugar with some molasses in it. Either type of sugar would work, just depends on what you want in there. What ILuvIPA suggested about adding the sugar when the krausen starts to fall sounds like a good idea - I haven't done that before (I haven't added table sugar to a brew in a long while). Either way would be fine; at the end of the boil with the last 1/2 of the DME or when the krausen starts to fall. If you add it when the krausen starts to fall, make sure to boil it in a bit of water first, cool it, then try to add it without a lot of splashing.
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