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Old 03-17-2007, 08:20 PM   #1
ethangray19
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I brewed an American Pale Ale II from morebeer.com

recipe as follows:

8lbs ultra light liquid malt
1.5 lbs crystal 15L
8oz honey malt

1 oz magnum hops for 60 min
2oz willamette hops for 5 min
2oz cascade hops for final 1min

questions are:

1. I just put all the grain in a nylon bag and stteped for 30 min at 170F. then took them out of the water. I did not crush them or anything. Is that ok??

2. My OG was supposed to 1.055- 1.062 and it was 1.042, whats up with that? I tookk the OG reading at about 85F

3. The diredtion on morebeer.com said to usewhite labs california ale yeast but I used Safeale -US 56. Is that going to make a difference?


4. I have the extact same kit to brew again in a few days. What changes can I make to better this beer?

5. I was thinking of dry hopping the next batch. Good idea or bad? Cascade or magnum hops?


Thank you to anyone who takes the time to give me advice

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Old 03-17-2007, 08:28 PM   #2
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1. You have to crush your grains, absolutely. You'll only get a fraction of their goodness otherwise.

2. It's virtually impossible to screw up the gravity with an extract beer unless you add too much water. Did you stir the wort after adding your top-off water? The sugars will tend to sink, if you then take a sample off the top, the gravity will read low. Don't worry about it, the yeast will find the sugars, you'll be fine.

3. US-56 is an awesome dry yeast, a good choice for this beer. I'm not sure how different it really is from the Cali Ale yeast; both are very clean and attenuate very well. I rarely use liquid yeast, and US-56 is one of my preferred dry yeasts.

4. CRUSH YOUR GRAIN!

5. Dry hopping would be appropriate for this batch. Cascade would be the better choice - you'll get some real nice citrusy aromatics out of it. No bitterness, no flavor, but the beer will have a much nicer "nose."

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Old 03-17-2007, 08:30 PM   #3
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i am no expert but i will try to help

1)the grains need to be cracked or crushed to release the sugars while steeping.
2)did you make sure everything was well mixed before taking the og?
no grain crush will also be a factor here
3) in a pale ale the yeast does not affect flavour so i will say you are good here.
4)definitley crush the grains
5) i rarely dry hop so i can not offer advice here

good luck - you made beer- just a little lighter on the abv.

edit - beaten by the bird again- damn- 2 fingered typing doesn't cut it around here!

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Old 03-17-2007, 08:30 PM   #4
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you the man bird!!

Do you think my gravity was off because no crush grains

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Old 03-17-2007, 08:30 PM   #5
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Let me preface by saying that I am by no means an "expert", there are many others on here who are, but here are my thoughts:

1. First, try to keep your steeping temp around 150-160, you should be okay, but over 170 can cause off flavors. Second, were the grains already crushed? If not, they need to be crushed enough for the husks to have opened.

2. You took the OG reading at a fairly high temp, I usually wait until my wort is down to 70deg then just do the calculations to determine the real OG (hydrometers are calibrated to 60deg). Not sure why your OG was low, but I wouldn't worry about it.

3. Different yeasts will contribute to different tastes in your beer. Safale-56 is a fairly common dry yeast, I know many brewers use it in all their beers.

4. Not sure what you mean by better. If you mean changing the recipe, I would wait until you have tasted the beer you already made to see how you might want to adjust the flavors.

5. Personally I don't typically dry hop but that is just a personal preference as I am not a huge hop head.

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Old 03-17-2007, 08:32 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ethangray19
you the man bird!!

Do you think my gravity was off because no crush grains
Maybe a little, but not too much. The not-stirring issue is very common, wort isn't a 100% consistent solution.
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Old 03-17-2007, 08:35 PM   #7
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Crush your grains. You got little to no extraction. If they were crushed you would have gotten minimum 4 pts. (30% efficiency for steeping grains).

Your sg adjusted for temp is 1.045.

That would put you at 1.049. The sg from the kit is for 5 gallons. More than likely you have more than 5 gallons of beer fermenting.

I am not a hop head, so I have no suggestion for dry hopping. Logic dictates the Cascade. Magnum is a high alpha bittering hop.

My sg's were usually low when doing extract/steeping recipes. You can add another pound of malt extract to bump it into the range. There are too many variables on each person's system to pin that one down.

It will be drinkable, but the next batch will be better.

Barry

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Old 03-17-2007, 08:51 PM   #8
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I know this. I did not do anything to the grains I got from morebeer.com.

The directions refer to them as cracked grains and I looked at the bag and they look pretty whole with the exception of the bottom of the bag which ahs grains powder.

Should I put them in the blender next time befor steeping?

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Old 03-17-2007, 08:53 PM   #9
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Don't put them in the blender. The grains need to be cracked/crushed, not pulverized. The husks should be opened, but not destroyed. Don't put them in the blender. Sounds like you're OK.

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Old 03-17-2007, 09:39 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ethangray19
I know this. I did not do anything to the grains I got from morebeer.com.

The directions refer to them as cracked grains and I looked at the bag and they look pretty whole with the exception of the bottom of the bag which ahs grains powder.

Should I put them in the blender next time befor steeping?

Places like Morebeer should crush the grains for you. If the directions referred to them as "cracked" then this probably was done. If it doesn't look like a decent crush (and nothing but brewing experience is going to give you an idea of what a decent crush looks like) then you could take the grains, put them in baggie and go ever them with a rolling pin. It may take a bit of time, but it beats buying a grain mill at this point in your brewing hobby/addiction
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