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Old 02-14-2013, 01:56 AM   #1
kevinstan
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Default Very New - Help With Ingredients

I have made my first one gallon batch of beer as a test and it turned out excellent. I was more than happy with the end result. It was a very simple very quick beer and I was pleased. I used only some Briess DME and Cascade hops. This was my very first attempt at beer. I have been making mead and wine for a while but have now started beer. My question is:

Since my recipe was very simple, I want to know what else I can do to add some more things to my beer. My LHBS has a beer section with a lot of jars of different beer things but I have never really looked at them or to see what it is. I want some suggestions of some other things that I can add during fermentation or cooking process that will add another step / flavor to my beer so I can keep experimenting. I know it is an endless testing thing but I want to start small and work my way up.

Anyone have any suggestions on something simple that I can do to add more to my simple homebrew ? Also, and explanation of how to add it, or the flavor it gives off would be great.

I thought about adding a few good squirts of honey to the next batch, or a handful of pecans, or ??? I don't want to alter the flavor completely, but just start figuring out how to add hints of other flavors. And what beer ingredients do what.

Thank you everyone in advance!

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Old 02-14-2013, 02:00 AM   #2
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Steep grains before adding malt extract. Just put them in a muslin bag, drop into your pot, and heat the water to 160 or so. Temp is not particularly critical. This will add flavor and color along with a little complexity.

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Old 02-14-2013, 02:05 AM   #3
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I would look into steeping specialty grains. Caramel malts, Victory, Honey malt, etc.... They will add a bit more complexity than just using extract. You can also look into other hop varieties and yeast strains. Other than that there's fruit, herbs, spices, wood aging. A lot of options but its good to experiment with different malts and hops to see what else is out there without adding misc ingredients.

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Old 02-14-2013, 02:06 AM   #4
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i agree with freisste. steeping grains are one of the simplest ways to add a little more flavor. you could also use more than one type of hops and at different boil times.

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Old 02-14-2013, 12:17 PM   #5
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Looks like a trip to the LHBS for some grains. One last question. I see for most all grains it shows a percentage like 1 -10% or 20%. Can someone please explain this to me. Is that telling me how much to use ? I am making one gallon batches. How do I figure the 10 or 20% ?

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Old 02-14-2013, 12:25 PM   #6
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That's the recommended max percentage to use in your grain bill.
IE 2-row 100% you could use just 2row if
You had a grain with 20% you'd only want to use it to make up a fifth of your recipe at most
Just for example.
2-row 4pounds
Munich malt 1 pound

If Munich was 20%. It was just an example not a factual statement on Munich malt.

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Old 02-14-2013, 12:48 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GilSwillBasementBrews
That's the recommended max percentage to use in your grain bill.
IE 2-row 100% you could use just 2row if
You had a grain with 20% you'd only want to use it to make up a fifth of your recipe at most
Just for example.
2-row 4pounds
Munich malt 1 pound

If Munich was 20%. It was just an example not a factual statement on Munich malt.
This is correct. Though you can, you generally don't use the max proportion.
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Old 02-14-2013, 01:50 PM   #8
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Kindof makes sense but I am still a little confused. If I got a grain that said 1 to 10% and I wanted to do half and use 5% in a one gallon batch, how would I figure how much to use ? 5% would be 1/20th of the recipe, but how do I determine that figure ? If for one gallon of beer I use 4 cups of DME, then how much grain would I use ? I am confused on how to come up with the scale of grain based on the percentage.

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Old 02-14-2013, 02:04 PM   #9
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I'd suggest you check out some established recipes to either follow or modify. There is a database full of them here (you'll want to look for the ones marked extract), or there are many other places online or in books. Your LHBS can probably even help you out. Any recipe can be scaled to one gallon.

Unless you're just into the experimentation side and don't necessarily care if the ingredients go together, then ignore me. It just sounds like flying blind a bit. Like knowing nothing about cooking but going and trying random spices in your first soup. Might get something great, or might be yuck.

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Old 02-14-2013, 02:21 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kevinstan
Kindof makes sense but I am still a little confused. If I got a grain that said 1 to 10% and I wanted to do half and use 5% in a one gallon batch, how would I figure how much to use ? 5% would be 1/20th of the recipe, but how do I determine that figure ? If for one gallon of beer I use 4 cups of DME, then how much grain would I use ? I am confused on how to come up with the scale of grain based on the percentage.
It's a little more complicated to figure it with extract, but for a gallon you can use a few ounces of grains. The lighter they are the more you can use. So maybe 4 ounces of caramel 10, but only 2 ounces of caramel 80. But only a half ounce of something really dark like black patent or roasted barley.

I think 4 oz of caramel 40 in a gallon batch with the extract is a good start on a pale ale.
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