Golden/Amber Bitter Ale.

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Brewhandy

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Just putting this out there to get feedback. I bottled my 2nd batch I ever made today. This one is a modification of the golden ale recipe from John Palmer’s book “How to Brew”. His batches are 5 gal and mine is 3. I calculated that I would need 3.3 lbs. of DME for my batch but I only had 3. I compensated by increasing the steeped caramel malt to 1 lb. This was supposed to be a higher OG but I was cracking the malt with a rolling pin so theres that. (Mill is on the list.) 3 gal full boil. 0.5 oz Cascade at 60. 0.5 Chinook at 15 (Palmer recipe was 0.5 each for 5 gal and Wakatu not Chinook). I took the OG before I topped off the fermenting carboy at 1.050. A calculation got me adjusted OG of 1.042. Bottled today (2 weeks fermenting). FG was 1.0085. Est. ABV 4.3%. Est. IBU 40.1. Shooting for 2.8 vol. CO2. I got 23 12 oz and 2 22 oz bottles. Of course I sampled the uncarbonated beer. It’s good and I don’t think it’s too bitter. Almost, but not quite. Maybe it’s an amber bitter. More lessons learned and the fire remains lit.
 

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cactusgarrett

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I compensated by increasing the steeped caramel malt to 1 lb
You said your adjusted OG was 1.042, but I'd be curious what the target/recipe OG was supposed to be. Between only cracking your grains and being short 0.5lb of DME, I'd expect you were off a bit.

Steeping caramel malt is not a good way to make up for lack of extract, since you're not getting as much extract from the crystal malt. Also, the higher the crystal number (ex 120 versus 20), the less extract you'll get. Steeping temperature also comes into play, because if you're steeping the crystal malt way outside the range for sugar conversion (ballpark 140-160F), you're going to get even LESS extract. As a result you're going to get more bitterness than intended because it throws the Malt/Hops balance away from your original target. However, because you upped the crystal amount, the additional bitterness might be balanced by the sweetness of the crystal malt (again, depending on the roast level). Usually adding too much crystal yields a cloying sweetness to beer.
 

D.B.Moody

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I brew 5 gallon batches with extract. Most of the time it's 5 lbs. of DME, but the recipe I've brewed most often uses only 4 1/2 lbs. I do several versions, all inspired by Charlie Papazian's "Palace Bitter." I think you made a reasonable compensation, but you could have reduced the water volume to match the extract you had. I think you're bold for a second batch brewer.:thumbsup:
 
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Brewhandy

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You said your adjusted OG was 1.042, but I'd be curious what the target/recipe OG was supposed to be. Between only cracking your grains and being short 0.5lb of DME, I'd expect you were off a bit.

Steeping caramel malt is not a good way to make up for lack of extract, since you're not getting as much extract from the crystal malt. Also, the higher the crystal number (ex 120 versus 20), the less extract you'll get. Steeping temperature also comes into play, because if you're steeping the crystal malt way outside the range for sugar conversion (ballpark 140-160F), you're going to get even LESS extract. As a result you're going to get more bitterness than intended because it throws the Malt/Hops balance away from your original target. However, because you upped the crystal amount, the additional bitterness might be balanced by the sweetness of the crystal malt (again, depending on the roast level). Usually adding too much crystal yields a cloying sweetness to beer.
You said your adjusted OG was 1.042, but I'd be curious what the target/recipe OG was supposed to be. Between only cracking your grains and being short 0.5lb of DME, I'd expect you were off a bit.

Steeping caramel malt is not a good way to make up for lack of extract, since you're not getting as much extract from the crystal malt. Also, the higher the crystal number (ex 120 versus 20), the less extract you'll get. Steeping temperature also comes into play, because if you're steeping the crystal malt way outside the range for sugar conversion (ballpark 140-160F), you're going to get even LESS extract. As a result you're going to get more bitterness than intended because it throws the Malt/Hops balance away from your original target. However, because you upped the crystal amount, the additional bitterness might be balanced by the sweetness of the crystal malt (again, depending on the roast level). Usually adding too much crystal yields a cloying sweetness to beer.
Thank you for your feedback. I realize I made some assumptions that were not valid. The target OG was 1.045. The 5 gal recipe had a yotal if 5.5 lbs DME (Pilsner). I was making 3/5 gal so 0.6 times 5.5 is 3.3. I was 0.3 lbs under. To make up fir this I assumed this could be made up with 0.5 lbs of grain (my caramel malt). Added to the normal amount I calculated for the steep .5 lbs x 0.6 = 0.3 lbs this was 0.8 to reach target gravity. I thought the extra 0.2 would easily help me reach this. Anyway, I steeped for 30 min at 155 F. The DME had already been added according to recipe. Still learning. I think I will be following recipes more closely for a few. Thanks again.
 
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