Advice for custom recipe

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heathcom

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Looked up grain characteristics and thought I would attempt a recipe of my own. Hoping to get some advice if some of the ingredients arent a good match or too much of one and not enough of another. Heres what Im guessing will he a good dark beer, 5 gallon batch:

7.5 lbs english pale (british 2 row)
.75 lbs wheat malt
2.25 lbs vienna malt
.75 lbs carapils
1.5 lbs crystal 60
.75 special roast
.35 lbs roasted barley
.35 lbs belgian special
.75 lbs cara munich

Kent goldings 60 mins
Tettnanger or santiam 15 mins

And probably an english ale yeast

Mash 152 - 155 usual 60 mins and batch sparge.

Waddaya think?
 

MalFet

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You've got a little bit of everything in there, eh?

There's a certain point at which a complex malt bill starts to just get muddled. Don't let me talk you out of anything, but if I were in your shoes I would certainly consider paring the recipe down significantly.
 

LexusChris

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Agreeing with Malfet.

I like the overall idea here. However, I would thin out the crystal malts some. For example, the Carapils is not needed as you have wheat malt & plenty of C-60, and other caramel malts. Maybe even loose the Caramunich...

I also kinda feel you don't need the special roast. You have plenty of biscuity flavor from the British 2-row, and a healthy amount of Vienna for some maltiness. Plenty of character here. The Special-B & roasted barley for some roastiness & color... looking good!

Good luck!
:)
--LexusChris
 
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heathcom

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Thanks for the help, nice to have such a well rounded group of people to bounce ideas off. Heres an updated version:

7.5 lbs English pale (british 2 row)
.75 lbs wheat malt
2.25 pounds vienna malt
1.5 lbs crystal 60
.5 lbs roasted barley
.25 lbs belgian special

Let me know what you think. Thanks and cheers!
 

sidepart

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I like the revised recipe.

What kind of beer style are you going for? You mentioned dark. Is there anything in particular you're going for with the flavor? Imagine you have a pint of this in front of you and you take a long draught. What're you hoping to taste?

Any reasoning behind the wheat?

Looks like a porter or stout to me. WLP007 is my favorite english ale yeast.
 
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heathcom

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Dark beer for sure, I just went through the grain characteristics list and picked the ones that appealed to me. I went with wheat malt for better head retention and malty flavor. I wanted something semi sweet, rich, bold and dark.
The vienna should be a warm and rich, malty too. Crystal should give a caramel sweetness. The roasted barley and belgian special should darken things up and give it that bold complexity.
Thats what im aiming for, just guessed on amounts to use, maybe could use more dark but dont want to over do it.
 
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You might sub out half the roast barley for some briess black prince malt. It will give you a nice roasted flavor without and astringency like the roasted barley will give you. Also I would use EKG for your 15 min hops not Tett.
 

sidepart

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Dark beer for sure, I just went through the grain characteristics list and picked the ones that appealed to me. I went with wheat malt for better head retention and malty flavor. I wanted something semi sweet, rich, bold and dark.
The vienna should be a warm and rich, malty too. Crystal should give a caramel sweetness. The roasted barley and belgian special should darken things up and give it that bold complexity.
Thats what im aiming for, just guessed on amounts to use, maybe could use more dark but dont want to over do it.
Caramel 120L will make it darker and add some more caramel and (I don't know how to describe it) dark flavor. If you were to add it, I'd maybe consider 1/2lb.

Instead of wheat, the crystal malt (60L) should help with head retention and body instead. The crystal malts as I understand it don't release a lot of fermentables. Therefore they're nice for the head retention and body. I may have that wrong, but they do aid in head/body. Maybe even look at Simpson's Dark or Extra Dark crystal and see what you think. Oats would help give some kind of creaminess to the mix.

Anyway, don't let us (or me) tweak your recipe too much. It's your gig, and I encourage you to experiment. When all is said and done, I don't really know jack about ****. I just have hunches.
 

MalFet

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Thanks for the help, nice to have such a well rounded group of people to bounce ideas off. Heres an updated version:

7.5 lbs English pale (british 2 row)
.75 lbs wheat malt
2.25 pounds vienna malt
1.5 lbs crystal 60
.5 lbs roasted barley
.25 lbs belgian special

Let me know what you think. Thanks and cheers!
This is much improved. This is still a complex grain bill, but at least now each grain is contributing something specific. The vienna will probably be lost behind all the crystal, so you might consider replacing it with Munich instead. Vienna and Munich are in the same family, but Munich is darker and stronger. You might also consider shifting some of the crystal 60 towards the special-b, but crystal balance preferences tend to be relatively subjective.

In general, though, looks good! Let us know how it turns out. :mug:
 
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heathcom

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Thanks everyone for the tips. I have refined things with the help of this forum and a bit of online research. Here is the final grain bill that my brain thinks will be good:
7.5 lbs english pale 2 row
2.25 lbs munich malt
1.0 lbs crystal 60
1.0 lbs roasted barley
.75 lbs wheat malt
.25 lbs belgian special
 

Yooper

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Thanks everyone for the tips. I have refined things with the help of this forum and a bit of online research. Here is the final grain bill that my brain thinks will be good:
7.5 lbs english pale 2 row
2.25 lbs munich malt
1.0 lbs crystal 60
1.0 lbs roasted barley
.75 lbs wheat malt
.25 lbs belgian special
That's a stout. If that's your plan, that's good. If not, cut back a lot on the roasted barley.
 

MalFet

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Like the good Yooper says, a full pound roasted barley will dominate everything else in there. If you're just looking to use it for color or a hint of roast, tone it down to a few ounces at most. If you're looking for a roast-forward stout, on the other hand, this will definitely be that.
 
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heathcom

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Dark is the goal, stout it will be :)
Was thinking maybe a bit of lactose to offset some bitterness with something creamy. I'll let the grains talk to me. Trick will be to leave it alone for a month after the bottling...
 
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heathcom

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Just finished brewing this, 1/5th of the ingredients, OG 1.50. Tasted really good but maybe too much hop. Used half ounce each round and pretty "foresty" which I think will be fine once it settles out. Used Nottingham yeast, 1/2 dry packet, shop was out of wlp004. Lots of nasty looking yeast cakes on top and bubbling away. 2 weeks for another reading. Cheers.
 

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