Second Brew Day - Recipe Help

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Logan

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Nothing specific but I just want to post the two beers I plan on brewing this Saturday. I know there are no absolute answers - but I'm just looking for a little input on possible issues with my recipes or maybe anything you think I might like to try with them. These will both be 5 gal extract batches.

First up is a basic stout:
5.50 lb Dark Dry Extract (17.5 SRM) Dry Extract 84.62 %
0.50 lb Black (Patent) Malt (500.0 SRM) Grain 7.69 %
0.50 lb Roasted Barley (300.0 SRM) Grain 7.69 %
1.50 oz Cascade [8.50 %] (60 min) Hops 39.1 IBU
1 Pkgs SafBrew Ale (DCL Yeast #S-33) Yeast-Ale

Second beer of the day is a traditional ESB.

6.00 lb Extra Light Dry Extract (3.0 SRM) Dry Extract 85.71 %
1.00 lb Caramel/Crystal Malt - 60L (60.0 SRM) Grain 14.29 %
0.75 oz Target [13.90 %] (60 min) Hops 30.3 IBU
0.50 oz Whitbread Golding Variety (WGV) [4.50 %] Hops 5.7 IBU
0.50 oz Whitbread Golding Variety (WGV) [4.50 %] Hops 5.0 IBU
0.50 oz Goldings, East Kent [5.00 %] (15 min) Hops 3.6 IBU
1 Pkgs SafBrew Ale (DCL Yeast #S-33) Yeast-Ale

Three questions I have:
  • How long/hot should I steep?
  • Yeast - I just picked some yeats similiar to the one I used last weekend. Are there better choices? I'm still afraid to do starters so I think I want to stick with dry yeast.
  • I doubt I can find all these hops - will I be able to count on my LHBS picking good substitutes?
 

malkore

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when steeping, go for 20-30 mins. you're not extracting fermentables, only colors and flavors.

S-33 isn't a bad yeast, however Fermentis has some other dry ale yeast strains that might work better. S-04 is one that comes to mind, aimed at English ale styles. S-33 is listed as their 'high tolerance, Belgian style' strain.
 

Blender

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Personally, I would replace the Black Patent with flaked barley. The Black Patent is pretty strong and not needed in a stout.
 
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