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Old 02-11-2009, 06:28 AM   #1
CnnmnSchnpps
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Default Next Brew Suggestions?

So, I have my first beer bubbling away in the fermenter (a brown ale), and having a hell of a time "relaxing" With the long weekend coming up, I am thinking of dedicating some time to whipping up a couple more batches. I want to get a couple smaller fermenters (maybe 2.5g) and going for some variety rather than just quantity.

Some ideas I have been kicking around:

- An irish red (most likely, this recipe)
- A belgian tripel (possibly, this recipe)
- A third, as of yet undefined

Besides simply getting extra practice, this should minimize the chance of waiting 1-2 months and being disappointed by a bad/mediocre batch. I figure at least one of these should turn out decent And best case scenario I can have a variety pack to give away to my friends

So, I would like to ask a couple questions...
- Does this sound too ambitious for a first time brewer? My first brew day went surprisingly smoothly and I was meticulous with sanitation (to the point of re-sanitizing some stuff that I had doubts about). The red should be simple enough, with extract and some steeped grains. The tripel would be a little tougher and I would have to make a starter but even that doesn't sound that difficult.
- Any suggestions for a #4? I am not a big fan of stouts/porters (yet? ) but I do enjoy doppelbock (the Celebrator is quite tasty). Any other suggestions on how to best round off this foursome?
- Any suggestions for an alternate red/tripel recipe? Extract / steeped grain only, please - trying to keep my operation low-tech for now

Thanks for any tips!
-Dmitri

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Old 02-11-2009, 07:38 AM   #2
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I'd suggest a wheat beer, but don't know how it would turn out using extract. I also don't know where you live, but if it's cold right now, maybe attempt a lager before it warms up and you discover you need a fridge to keep things sufficiently cool.

Spring is just around the corner though.. how about an American Pale Ale? Or an IPA?

I'm not personally a fan of either style, but the IPA is nice to have around if your buddies are into different beers... and the American Pale Ale is nice to have around if they aren't.

I vote you dry hop the heck out of something...

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Old 02-11-2009, 08:26 AM   #3
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I'd suggest that if you make a big beer, like a Tripel or Doppelbock, that you make the biggest batch your equipment will handle. Otherwise, you'll have "sampled" it all before it has a chance to peak.

Case in point, I'm "sampling" my 9.5% Delirium Tremens clone right now, my fourth batch, brewed August 2008. It scored about 16/50 in a homebrew competition in October 2008, and this is the first one that is CLEAR and FULLY CARBONATED, let alone drinkable! It's now at least a 22/50 and I have 23 bottles left.

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Old 02-11-2009, 10:20 AM   #4
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Well, there's a hefeweizen in my profile that is easy to do and is a hit with most of my friends. The best part about a hefe is that it is "done" sooner than many other styles. Maybe try BierMuncher's Centennial Blonde. As for variety, I think I have a similar personality to you. I pretty much want to try everything. I'd recommend picking up Brewing Classic Styles by Jamil Zainasheff and John Palmer. It has "award winning" recipes for 80 different styles and is what I use for 90% of my batches.

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Old 02-11-2009, 01:02 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sir Humpsalot View Post
I'd suggest a wheat beer, but don't know how it would turn out using extract. I also don't know where you live, but if it's cold right now, maybe attempt a lager before it warms up and you discover you need a fridge to keep things sufficiently cool.

Spring is just around the corner though.. how about an American Pale Ale? Or an IPA?

I'm not personally a fan of either style, but the IPA is nice to have around if your buddies are into different beers... and the American Pale Ale is nice to have around if they aren't.

I vote you dry hop the heck out of something...
Thanks for the suggestions! I'll have to check the temp on the atirs outside my apt, I think it might be just right for a lager. And IPA might be quite nice too since I don't have anything majorly hoppy in the works - will investigate

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Originally Posted by 944play View Post
I'd suggest that if you make a big beer, like a Tripel or Doppelbock, that you make the biggest batch your equipment will handle. Otherwise, you'll have "sampled" it all before it has a chance to peak.

Case in point, I'm "sampling" my 9.5% Delirium Tremens clone right now, my fourth batch, brewed August 2008. It scored about 16/50 in a homebrew competition in October 2008, and this is the first one that is CLEAR and FULLY CARBONATED, let alone drinkable! It's now at least a 22/50 and I have 23 bottles left.
Hahaha... That is a very good point. I am hoping that having other alternatives around will cut down on the sampling part, but a 2.5 gal batch only makes what like 25 bottles? Hmmm...

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Originally Posted by uwjester View Post
Well, there's a hefeweizen in my profile that is easy to do and is a hit with most of my friends. The best part about a hefe is that it is "done" sooner than many other styles. Maybe try BierMuncher's Centennial Blonde. As for variety, I think I have a similar personality to you. I pretty much want to try everything. I'd recommend picking up Brewing Classic Styles by Jamil Zainasheff and John Palmer. It has "award winning" recipes for 80 different styles and is what I use for 90% of my batches.
A hefe sounds like a good plan as well - having one thing done sooner will definitely help the others reach maturity I will have to check out that book as well
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Old 02-11-2009, 02:15 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CnnmnSchnpps View Post
trying to keep my operation low-tech for now
-Dmitri
I'm amazed no one else suggested Apfelwine. It's not a beer, but it is stupid-simple to make. If you're getting 2.5 gallon fermenters, it's easy enough to scale down EdWort's recipe. Plus, assuming you don't want to carbonate it, it's only going to take about a month until you're drinking it.

One other suggestion, if I may... If you're planning on dropping 20 bucks on a 2.5 gallon carboy, you might be better off just paying that same $20 for a 5 gallon Better Bottle.

And no, I don't think it's too ambitious. If you've done your homework, you clean and sanitize properly, and you feel comfortable making an extract kit, there's no reason not to have several batches going at once. This way, by the time the first batch is ready, you'll have started your "pipeline," and should have fresh beer on hand at all times.
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Old 02-11-2009, 03:09 PM   #7
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Ooh, the apfelwine sure sounds tasty. I always loved the dry hard cider available in France but it's tough to find in the states. Thanks for the link! I can put together a few .75 bottles and stow it away for a while...

The reasoning behind going to 2.5 gal volumes is to allow more experimentation. This way I can go through more styles in a shorter timeframe.. Also once I get more comfortable it will allow more experimentation with some spices I have in mind that don't seem to be documented anywhere with respect to beer

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Old 02-11-2009, 08:32 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CnnmnSchnpps View Post
Ooh, the apfelwine sure sounds tasty. I always loved the dry hard cider available in France but it's tough to find in the states. Thanks for the link! I can put together a few .75 bottles and stow it away for a while...

The reasoning behind going to 2.5 gal volumes is to allow more experimentation. This way I can go through more styles in a shorter timeframe.. Also once I get more comfortable it will allow more experimentation with some spices I have in mind that don't seem to be documented anywhere with respect to beer
In case you didn't know this.... if you experiment with bigger batches, your beer doesn't last longer... you just make more friends...
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Old 02-11-2009, 08:42 PM   #9
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After my first brew I did the thing that came most naturaly, and put up recipes It makes experimentation so much more fun. In fact just posted a new recipe on my blog I just started that is based off a recipe I found on brewutopia, but that I completely corrupted to my style I guess what I'm saying is since your starting, now is the time to experiment with funky stuff.

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Old 02-17-2009, 04:11 AM   #10
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Thanks for the suggestions all! Spent most of the weekend brewing I ended up with:

- EdWort's Apfelwine - rhino farts :'-(
- Patrick Irish Red Ale - airlock smells real good
- (Anonymous) Belgian Tripel - OG=1.087 - assuming 80% attenuation that's about 9% abv.. sweet!

Now the biggest challenge is to.. wait!

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