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Old 11-27-2012, 04:18 AM   #1
Autry_Akins
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Default What is missing?

My second ever brew, a 2.5 gallon extract batch, is vigorously fermenting as we speak (and smells awesome). I was not aiming to stay true to any particular style; as I was not following a recipe, but really just experimenting with simplicity.

3.3lbs Wheat LME
1oz Saaz (German) at 60min
1oz Saaz (German) at 5min
12oz Mississippi wildflower honey at flameout
Wyeast 3942 Belgian Wheat

I used spring water I collected from the kayak while paddling the creek behind my house and ran it through a hiking/camping water filter (Complete PITA but it produced a good beer for the first go-round). Anyway, what is missing from this recipe? Maybe some specialty grains like Grain of Paradise? Or maybe Carapils? Carawheat? From my persistent hawking of HBT, it seems that it will lack body and depth for sure, but I would like some specific opinions pertaining to my "recipe". Totally not opposed to steeping specialty grains or even BIAB, but its $12 for MidWest to ship to Mississippi (Thanks FedEx); so I wasn't going to place a second order for the same batch (Increase of production costs Haha). Cheers, and yeah I'm hooked. EdWort's Apfelwein is up next.

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Old 11-27-2012, 04:54 AM   #2
45_70sharps
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Shop around for better shipping prices.
Maybe google and find homebrew stores in Mississippi. There might be one that's not too far away. I drive about two hours to the store I go to, and two hours home. I have to go out of town for most any shopping anyway so I combine trips.
When you go to a store, you can smell and taste the grains. You can also talk to someone who is hopefully experienced.

You are going to have some bland beers, maybe sweet tasting the way you are headed. You may like them, but you need to brew some recipes to get ideas of flavors.
You need more than DME or LME for good beer.
What types of beer do you like when you buy beer?

I give you credit for just doing it even if you don't think you can come up with the stuff you should have, but you will be much happier if you get some grain going in there.
What I did after two or three batches is to buy some extra DME, hops and a variety of specialty grains when I was at the store.

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Let's see if I keep this updated!

On tap
Black Butte clone

In secondary
Pumpkin ale

In primary
Honey wit

Up next.. Firestone Union Jack clone

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Old 11-27-2012, 04:59 AM   #3
Brulosopher
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I'm confused. That recipe is for the beer currently fermenting? If so, there's not too much you can do to change it at this point. Given it's a wheat ale using Belgian yeast, it may very well have enough character and body just the way it is. Though you can never go wrong adding some steeping grains for fun. Cheers!

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Old 11-27-2012, 05:07 AM   #4
Joeywhat
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I've brewed a few good beers with just LME and hops. One was actually quite fantastic and I still brew it now (I do add orange peel, though). So I don't really agree that such simple recipes will not yield great beers.

That being said adding additional grains is rarely a bad thing and a great way to start getting different beers. You really can't get a good stout (for instance) with just some extract and hops. Got to add in some various grains to really get those flavors.

If I were to add anything to that recipe (and this is just my opinion), I would probably toss in a half pound each of flaked wheat and oats.

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Old 11-27-2012, 04:24 PM   #5
Autry_Akins
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 45_70sharps View Post
Shop around for better shipping prices.
Maybe google and find homebrew stores in Mississippi. There might be one that's not too far away. I drive about two hours to the store I go to, and two hours home. I have to go out of town for most any shopping anyway so I combine trips.
When you go to a store, you can smell and taste the grains. You can also talk to someone who is hopefully experienced.

You are going to have some bland beers, maybe sweet tasting the way you are headed. You may like them, but you need to brew some recipes to get ideas of flavors.
You need more than DME or LME for good beer.
What types of beer do you like when you buy beer?

I give you credit for just doing it even if you don't think you can come up with the stuff you should have, but you will be much happier if you get some grain going in there.
What I did after two or three batches is to buy some extra DME, hops and a variety of specialty grains when I was at the store.
I agree, there is actually a LHBS opening in close proximity after the first of the year. I purchase a lot of Trappist and Belgians; one of my favorites is Rochefort 10 or the 8. I'm a big fan of the Achouffe beers, namely the Chouffe Houblon IPA. I prefer Hefeweizens and dunkelweizens for sessionable beers. Occasionally I enjoy a hop bomb - Racer 5, Hop Rod Rye PA, Dogfish 90min....I could go on all day about beers I love. I'm a huge beer geek, but when it comes to brewing, needless to say I am only beginning to learn.

I knew this beer was going to be lacking, and yes it is already fermenting, so some would wonder why I even posed the question. Alas, I am in the process of gaining knowledge and learning to judge beer properties based simply on ingredient lists. Yeah, I need to follow a recipe, and I think that would better hone my skills; but this was simply a case of "I'm not waiting for another FedEx package dammit, I'm going to the kitchen to whip up some beer".
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