Does this recipe make sense?

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PajasOtter

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I don't know if this is the right forum, but I'm about to brew my #5 batch and that has to classify me as a beginner, so I should't be too off!

On Saturday, the plan is to brew something with the sweet character of british malt but with a kick of american hops. Method-wise I'm going to use BIAB with no sparge. I've ordered the following ingredients:
  • 5 kg maris otter
  • 1 kg Weyermann Carapils
  • 1 kg Weyermann Caramünch 2
  • 1 kg wheat malt
  • 2 pkgs of Lallemand Notthingham dry yeast
  • 100 g Challenger
  • 100 g Cascade
  • 100 g Amarillo
The idea is to mash with something like this:
  • 4,5 kg (9.9 lbs, 91.8 %) maris otter
  • 200 g (0.44 lbs, 4.1 %) Carapils (a.k.a Carafoam)
  • 200 g (0.44 lbs, 4.1 %) Caramünch 2
Perhaps on 66 degrees (152F) for an hour.

Then boil with the following:
  • 40 g (0,088 lbs) Challenger at 60 min
  • 10 g (0,022 lbs) Challenger at 20 min
  • 50 g (0,11 lbs) Cascade at 0 min
And ferment with 1,5 pkgs of Nottingham at 16 degrees (60.8F) in a controlled environment (fermentation chamber).

Now to the questions:
  1. Does this make sense at all...?
  2. Would you recommend changing anything in the mash? Perhaps add a bit of wheat malt to get more foam? Or change the temperature? Perhaps do some rests at certain degrees?
  3. What about the hops? I really like english IPA:s but I also like the flowery tones of American hops. I bought some amarillo that I could use now, or store in the fridge for later brews. What about dry hopping....? I have never done that. Would it make sense to add some Cascade or Amarillo to the fermentation bucket?

Oh, I also bought some calcium sulfate and calcium chloride. My water analysis is like this:

Calcium: 20 ppm
Magnesium: 5,2 ppm
Sodium: 22 ppm
Chloride: 15 ppm
Sulfate: 10 ppm
Bicarbonate: 94 ppm
Sulfate/Chloride ratio: 0,67
Hardness: 71
Alkalinity: 77
Residual Alkalinity: 60

Perhaps I should increase the sulfate a bit. I know Burton-upon-Trent has about 710:30 which might be a bit extreme (that much sulfate is laxative according to Martin Bruun!). But maybe increase sulfate to 300 ppm?

I know it's a lot of questions here, but what the hell, this is a forum for beer nerds such as myself, so what could possibly go wrong with asking? :)
 

Spundit

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This looks like it would produce a decent American pale ale. A great choice for a first brew. Moderate ABV (5-6) and bitterness. The Maris otter will enhance the malt profile a bit as compared to the prototypical American pale ale. I would drink it.

MASH: I dont think you need to change anything. No need for rests on the first brew. 152f is a fine temp to start with.

Hops: everything is fine here. I might substitute your 20 minute challenger with 25g of cascade instead. This will be a classic pale ale profile and you will know most of the flavors you get were from cascade. It's a delicious hop and a good learning experience. No need to dry hop on your first brew. Save that for later.

Fermentation: IMO there is no need to pitch more than one sachet of yeast. I only do that with higher abv beers. I have never fermented with notty quite that low of a temp. It should be fine but I usually do 62-67f.

Water: as you suggested, I think your beer would benefit from some sulfate. I would use a light hand to start. Maybe 6g of gypsum and 2g of CaCl. Putting those salts in the mash should also get your ph into an acceptable range (If you worry about that).

Have fun!
 

Miraculix

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I'd add a 50/50 amarillo/cascade dry hop! About 40 grams each. Throw it in with about 20-30g of sugar, once fermentation stopped. Dry hop for 2 days, maximum 3, then bottle. I would put the hops in bag which I would boil directly before using it. Also put a weight insight, so that the bag stays submeged.

The sugar is for pushing O2 out.
 

Broken Crow

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Just my own experience using Lallemand dry yeast; Nottingham is awesome, but if I really wanna tast the malt, for me nothing beats the Windsor. Could be too much malt for the hop character you want though. Just throwing it out there for your consideration. :)
 

hottpeper13

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Mash temp is perfect for notty is an aggressive yeast. I pitch it at 57* and bring to 60* ,for your OG after 5 days I bump it up to 64* and let finish. This lets both the hops and malt come thru with little yeast character.
 
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PajasOtter

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Thanks for all the replies!
I am now in the middle of mashing and have poured up a Fuller's London Pride to celebrate that there hasn't been any accidents yet.

I tried my 2 roller grinder for the first time, and set it to 0,4 mm (0.016 ") based on what I read here on the forums regarding grist size when using BIAB.

Treated 27,5 l (7.3 gallons) with 10,6 grams gypsum and 2,7 grams calcium chloride, to reach 233 ppm sulfate and 64 ppm chloride, based on calculation with BrunWater. However - now when I look again I see that I've based the calc on 26,5 l water. :) But one liter doesn't make that much difference when it comes to treatment I guess. And I hope and believe that the end result will be drinkable as well.

In last batch I started with 26,5 l of water which gave me 23,5 l pre-boil and 18 l post. It'll be interesting to see the results today.

Anyway, I tuned the recipe a bit, and this is the malt note:
  • 4 kg (8,8 lbs, 88,9 %) Maris Otter
  • 200 g (0,44 lbs, 4,4 %) Caramunich 2
  • 200 g (0,44 lbs, 4,4 %) Carapils/carafoam
  • 100 g (0,22 lbs, 2,2 %) wheat malt
I think as the hops go I'll do go with:
  • 40 g (0,088 lbs) Challenger at 60 min
  • 10 g (0,022 lbs) Challenger at 20 min
  • 50 g (0,11 lbs) Cascade at 0 min
  • 40 g (0,088 lbs) Cascade as dry hop for 2 days
  • 40 g (0,088 lbs) Amarillo as dry hop for 2 days
So, the same as in original post but added dry hopping as per @Miraculix recommendation.
 
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PajasOtter

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The fermentation has now gone on for about 19 hours. It struck me that I made one mistake though, and that was not cooling the wort enough. I pitched the yeast at about 18 degrees C (64.4F) and then set the temp setpoint to 16 degrees (60.8F) which it reached after about 14 hours. I have read that you should never let the beer cool down during fermentation. Do you think this matters?

Then I'm pondering a bit more over temperatures and dry hopping... I have now set the controller to stay on 16 degrees for six days, then ramp up over a day to 18 degrees, and stay there for another six days. I'll measure SG to see when it's finished, and then perhaps do some cold conditioning. Should I decrease with just 5 or so degrees over plenty of days, or should I go down all the way to 1 degree (34F)? I've read both about cold conditioning in Palmer's book (the first option) and about cold crashing (the latter).

And if I'll dry hop, should I use a cotton bag or just throw the pellets in there? I'm using a plastic bucket. Should I dry hop 2 days before bottling, or should I do it when I ramp up the temperature, and then pick it out after to days (if so, I need a bag).
 
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PajasOtter

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Here is my fermentation chamber by the way:

FDF1CBCE-FB57-41F5-AFD4-29F059CF48D0.jpeg
 

Miraculix

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2 degrees? You'll be fine. I just pitched into 25 C wort, while dumping the fermenter in 16C water bath. This will also be fine.

The biggest problems occure when fermentation really starts going, which happens usually after 3-12 hours, depending on yeast and pitch rate. If this stage then faces prolonged times of higher temperatures, then you have a problem. But this is not happening, so you are all good. In fact, a bit higher temperatures during the lag phase can be benefitial, to shorten the lag phase.

What I would be concerned about, is the big empty space in your bucket. These buckets do not seal very well usually, so you might end up oxidising your brew more or less, once fermentation stops. So try to get it out of the bucket asap after fermentation finished. Buckets are only good if they seal well....
 
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