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TwoHeadsBrewing

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Hey all, I'm about ready to brew my first batch and have done extensive reading in addition to talking to local brew folks. A couple days ago I took the plunge and dropped about $170 on some equipment and my first recipe. Could you look over my recipe and let me know if I'm missing anything or have anything in the wrong amounts? Many thanks for any help you can offer!

6.5# Alexander's Light Malt Extract (liquid)
1.0# Caramel Malt (60L) for steeping in a grain sock
2oz. Fresh Cascade Hops (6.1% Alpha) - should I add all 2 oz????
Wyeast 1056 American smack pack liquid yeast starter (enough for 5g batch)
1/3 tsp. Irish Moss

I think that's everything except the corn sugar for bottling, but could someone let me know if I should add anything else? Thanks!!! :mug:

-Ben
 

Jared311

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Congratulations! Do you have the actually recipe you could post? It would make it a little easier for us to examine. It looks like you are brewing either an IPA or English Bitter? If you are going for an IPA, I would probably go with a 60 minute boil and add 1.5oz of Cascade at the beinning. Then towards the very end I would throw in the last 0.5oz. You could also save 0.5oz of the cascade and dry hop. This is when you put hops in after the beer has been fermented to lock in more aroma. Feel free to ping me back with more questions.
 

Jared311

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I forgot to mention, add a teaspoon of the irish moss in the last 15 minutes of the boil. Irish moss acts as a clarifier for the beer and gives noticeable results.
 

Kai

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For the hops, I'd add an ounce for the full sixty minute boil, half an ounce for the last 15m of the boil, and the last half ounce at flameout. Look good. Smack the smackpack well in advance, and aerate really well before pitching. You'll be good.
 

DUCCCC

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Don't do all the hops in just one addition, if that was your plan.

I don't know if you've got a game plan for your brew, but you're going to get a few more replies to this question if you clarify what exactly you're making, and how you intend to do it.

Do you already know how, or have you been reviewing something like Palmer's "How to Brew" to learn to do this properly?

ETA: looks like you already got some good feedback.
 
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TwoHeadsBrewing

TwoHeadsBrewing

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Thanks for the replies...it puts my heart at ease knowing this recipe will work out. I do like hoppy beers, and I hope this one turns out well. If you have any suggestions for my next batch, fire away! I like Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, SN ESB, Lost Coast Great White Beer, and New Belgium 2 Below, among many others. I'd like to start out with some tame beers so I can build my confidence, then after half dozen batches try out some more exotic recipes.
 
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TwoHeadsBrewing

TwoHeadsBrewing

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ma2brew said:
Don't do all the hops in just one addition, if that was your plan.

I don't know if you've got a game plan for your brew, but you're going to get a few more replies to this question if you clarify what exactly you're making, and how you intend to do it.

Do you already know how, or have you been reviewing something like Palmer's "How to Brew" to learn to do this properly?

ETA: looks like you already got some good feedback.

I've actually read quite a bit...both books and on this forum and others. I've read the Bible of course by Papazian, but also "Brewing Quality Beers" by Byron Burch, and The Complete Handbook of Home Brewing by Dave Miller. I haven't completely finished the last one, but I'm tired of reading and want to brew! My LHBS owner is also part of the Chico Home Brew Club, and she's been really helpful as well.

I intend to make a APA/IPA, either one suits my pallete, I just hope it's good :) . Thanks for the replies everyone!
 

DUCCCC

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TwoHeadsBrewing said:
I've actually read quite a bit...both books and on this forum and others. I've read the Bible of course by Papazian, but also "Brewing Quality Beers" by Byron Burch, and The Complete Handbook of Home Brewing by Dave Miller. I haven't completely finished the last one, but I'm tired of reading and want to brew! My LHBS owner is also part of the Chico Home Brew Club, and she's been really helpful as well.

I intend to make a APA/IPA, either one suits my pallete, I just hope it's good :) . Thanks for the replies everyone!
Great, you should be in good shape then.
 
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TwoHeadsBrewing

TwoHeadsBrewing

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I know this question has been asked before, but maybe not in the context of a beginning brewer: Should I just do a single stage fermentation and then bottle, or rack to a secondary before bottling?

I've heard that utilizing a secondary fermentation can clear up the beer quite a bit, and will improve the taste some. I already have a 6.5gallon glass carboy I planned to ferment in, but should I purchase another of the same to do secondary fermentation? I want this brew to turn out well of course, but how much better is a Pale Ale/IPA going to get?
 

Kai

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Run it through a recipe calculator, like the one at tastybrew, and see what you think. The 1.0 - 0.5 - 0.5 hop schedule I suggested will give you about 31 IBUs, right at the low end of the style; if you want a more bitter balance, reduce the flavour and aroma hops to favour the bittering.
 

Kai

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TwoHeadsBrewing said:
I know this question has been asked before, but maybe not in the context of a beginning brewer: Should I just do a single stage fermentation and then bottle, or rack to a secondary before bottling?
You're going to get argument, but I don't think a secondary is necessary for most beers. There's no real danger of off-flavours from the trub. I don't believe that there's a flavour improvement from secondary. Depending on your racking technique, a secondary could result in a clearer beer or less sediment in the bottle, but as far as I'm concerned these are irrelevant to good beer, and not worth the hassle of using a bright tank. Just leave it in the primary for ~3 weeks and bottle it.

Edit: there is a definite improvement from aging, I'm just saying that it can all be done in one vessel.
 
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TwoHeadsBrewing

TwoHeadsBrewing

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In the books I've read, the beginner sections don't really cover much but LME, DME, Hops and Yeast. The person at my LHBS advised me to pick up the 1lb of caramel malt, but I'm not sure about the proper time to put it in. If this were AG, I would steep the grain prior to the boil, but since I'm adding extract for most of my sugars would this whole thing just go in with the boil? Should I steep the malt for a certain amount of time prior to the boil?
 
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Kai said:
You're going to get argument, but I don't think a secondary is necessary for most beers. There's no real danger of off-flavours from the trub. I don't believe that there's a flavour improvement from secondary. Depending on your racking technique, a secondary could result in a clearer beer or less sediment in the bottle, but as far as I'm concerned these are irrelevant to good beer, and not worth the hassle of using a bright tank. Just leave it in the primary for ~3 weeks and bottle it.

Edit: there is a definite improvement from aging, I'm just saying that it can all be done in one vessel.

What he said, especially the edit part. Secondarys are really conditioning tanks, mainly for clearing the beer.

Time on the other hand is important for the quality of your beer, whether that is all in the primary or partly in the secondary while it is clearing. Also the post bottling conditioning is important as well. (But at least you can sample them at will.)
 

DUCCCC

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TwoHeadsBrewing said:
In the books I've read, the beginner sections don't really cover much but LME, DME, Hops and Yeast. The person at my LHBS advised me to pick up the 1lb of caramel malt, but I'm not sure about the proper time to put it in. If this were AG, I would steep the grain prior to the boil, but since I'm adding extract for most of my sugars would this whole thing just go in with the boil? Should I steep the malt for a certain amount of time prior to the boil?
Did anyone crush this grain for you? You'll be wanting to steep it before you add any extract. 20-30 minutes at about 155-160°F should be fine.

What size pot are you going to be boiling in? It makes a difference in the amount of bitterness you'll get from those hops.
 
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TwoHeadsBrewing

TwoHeadsBrewing

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ma2brew said:
Did anyone crush this grain for you? You'll be wanting to steep it before you add any extract. 20-30 minutes at about 155-160°F should be fine.

What size pot are you going to be boiling in? It makes a difference in the amount of bitterness you'll get from those hops.
The person at the LHBS crushed the grain for me already, so does that change the whole steeping process? And I'll be doing a full boil for a 5 gal batch in a 7.5gal kettle.
 

eddie

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TwoHeadsBrewing said:
The person at the LHBS crushed the grain for me already, so does that change the whole steeping process? And I'll be doing a full boil for a 5 gal batch in a 7.5gal kettle.
Your grains are supposed to be crushed, so that's a good thing. You should have gotten a muslin steeping bag at the LHBS. Put your crystal malt in the bag and tie it up then heat the water to about 160F. Turn the heat off and put the grain bag in the water and let it steep like a tea-bag for a half hour. You can cover the put during this time to minimize heat loss. After a half hour, remove the bag and let it drain into the pot but don't squeeze it. Squeezing the bag can for harsh tannins from the grains. Once the bag has sufficiently drained, you can bring your pot to a boil and add your extracts and begin your hop schedule.

Congratulations on your first brew.:mug:
 
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TwoHeadsBrewing

TwoHeadsBrewing

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Thanks for the info!

I think I'll brew it up tomorrow evening...so I'll be sure to take pics so you all can scrutinize and criticize my setup :) .
 

DUCCCC

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TwoHeadsBrewing said:
The person at the LHBS crushed the grain for me already, so does that change the whole steeping process? And I'll be doing a full boil for a 5 gal batch in a 7.5gal kettle.
Doing a full boil is great! Most new brewers, myself included, only start with the stovetop capability for 2-3 gallon boils, so you're already ahead of the game there. The only thing I might suggest is not doing your steep in the whole 5+ gallons of water. Like mashing in all grain, steeping should be done with a certain grain to water ratio, and I believe Palmer's numbers were 1 gallon of water to each pound of grain, so you might want to plan on that. Your call, and as long as you keep a close eye on the steep temp, and keep it below 170°, you should be fine.

Good luck!
 

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I've used a brew bucket for a primary, then move to a carboy to finish fermenting once the heavy bubbling has subsided. I have also used a single ferenter with good results, and to be honest, although I feel better using a secondary, I can't say that there is any difference between the two when the beer is properly aged and tasted.

The bucket is easier to clean the nasty stuff off the top and sides. Some people simply pitch into a carboy, ferment, and then right to the bottle when it's time. Either way will get you beer.

Best advice is make sur eyou dont' cheat on cleanliness. Sanitize everything that touches the wort/beer after the boil.
 
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TwoHeadsBrewing

TwoHeadsBrewing

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Thanks for all the replies, I appreciate all the info. I'll be sure to post back after brew day and let you know how it went...and to ask you what your favorite wheat beer recipe is :cross: .
 
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TwoHeadsBrewing

TwoHeadsBrewing

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As promised, I brewed Sunday and took pics of the event. I've started another thread just for the brew day pics, and here it is:
Brew Day March 2008

Thanks again for the help and advice!
 
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