Simple citra extract recipe to brew between experiments

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JayEff

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Hello friends!
I'm currently fermenting my second batch, which is my own recipe. It's an IPA with Simcoe and Mandarina Bavaria. I want to refine the recipe and experiment with it, to learn more about brewing. But to rework the recipe, I have to have a batch done and ready to drink, otherwise I won't know what I want to change.

For this reason, I'm looking for a recipe to brew between batches. I'd like to use 2 kg of DME on a 12l batch which gives an OG of 1.060, because extract is available in 1 kg bags from my online store and I'd rather not store open bags of extract. I'd like to steep some grains as well, to experiment with them and also because I heard it brings extract beers to the next level. I want to use citra, because I had an IPA with citra and centennial before and the grapefruit aroma was awesome.

I'd like it to be on the low side of (perceived) bitterness, so I thought I might target 25 IBUs, unless malts can offset higher IBUs? This sounds like an American Brown or Amber Ale to me so I think this should be the style I'd go for (advice on other styles are also welcome!). I will ferment at 60F ambient, perhaps with a swamp cooler, using US-05 because I saw this used in other recipes, or Nottingham because I used it before.

I now face two problems: A hop schedule and which and how much grain to steep.

For the hop schedule: I think I'll be going for a 15 min (unless advised otherwise!) 6 liter partial boil. I boil on the stove and keeping 7l at a rolling boil required me to put on the lid from time to time and some insulation on the sides of the kettle, which was a hassle. I'm thinking of a big hop stand and dry hop addition. My problem here is, that I won't be chilling the wort outside of a tap water bath and I'm not entirely sure how to tell this to brewersfriend for IBU calculation. I found the no-chill option but I'm not sure what to put into the "Extended Hop Boil Time" field: perhaps the amount of time I expect the 6 liters to stay above 88°C = 190°F? Do you guys perhaps have some general advice for my hop schedule or even a tried and true schedule you would advise me to use?

For the steeping grains: I don't have any of the typical "Crystal <number>L" malts available in the online shop. I have a lot of CARA type grains such as CARAAMBER, CARAHELL, CARAMUNIC etc. and some others like Melanoidin. Can you perhaps give me a few specialty malt types that I could use, as well as recommended amounts?

Alternatively, I'd also happily take a link to a somewhat similar recipe, no need for me to reinvent the wheel here, that's what my other batch is for!

(Man, do I have a tendency to ask a barrage of questions or what - sorry.) Thanks for any input you can give me!
 
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JayEff

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How does this sound? A hop-forward American Amber Ale.
Batch size: 12l
Boil size: 6l
OG: 1.060
FG: 1.014
ABV: 6.07%, IBU 27.6, SRM: 12.26

Malts:
-1kg Extra Light DME
-1kg Extra Light DME at flame out
-200g CaraAroma

Hops:
-20g Citra 12% at 10 minutes - 27.6 IBUs (because of the slow chilling, assumed 10 min extended boil time) *
-40g Citra 12% at whirlpool, below 190F - 0 IBUs because it's below 190F
-40g Citra 12% dry hopping for 7 days

Yeast: 1pck of Nottingham, rehydrated
Chose this yeast instead of US-05 because its attenuation is lower than US-05 and my FG would've been lower than the style suggests - still considering to use US-05 because I want to try it out some time.
Fermenting at 60F.

I've heard it said that extra light DME is bought more and might hence be fresher, that's why I chose that.

*: This is hard for me to judge - I also add the late addition DME at flame out, so I'm guessing I'll actually get less IBUs ... what are your thoughts on this?
 

AZBeer

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Here's quick extract APA I do.
It's a 1.25g (12 pack) recipe, so adjust accordingly to batch size.

OG 1.059
FG 1.014
ABV 5.9% IBU 47 SRM 3.64

Malts
75% Light DME
25% Wheat DME

Hops
0.5oz hops (I usually use what I have on hand, but Citra is a good choice) @ 15 mins
1oz hops whirlpool @150 for 45 mins
1.5-2oz hops 5 day dry hop.

I pitch US-05. I throw in 1/3 or so of the DME at boil, then the rest at flameout, only do a 15 minute boil. Great summer beer, and super quick and easy to make.
 
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JayEff

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Here's quick extract APA I do.
It's a 1.25g (12 pack) recipe, so adjust accordingly to batch size.
Thanks for your response!
I've never used wheat extract, I should definitely try this. I've scaled it up and adjusted for the sizes of ingredients I can buy:
Batch size 10l (~2.6 gal), boil size 5l
1kg extra light DME late addition (66%)
500g wheat DME (33%)

10g Citra at 15 min (21 IBUs) (about .3 oz)
40g Citra hopstand at 150F for 45 min (about 1.5 oz)
50g Citra dry hop for 5 days (about 1.8 oz)

The wheat DME makes up a lot more of the grain bill now because I can only buy it in 500g packages. I also have quite a bit less hops: I wanted to go for a lower bitterness beer to match a friend's tastes, making this more of a blonde ale in style although the ABV is on the high side for it, and because I'd like to save some money, I've adjusted the hop schedule to use 100g.
Do you think this would work, or is the wheat DME too much?
Do you think the hops will still come through nicely, or should I buy a second pack and go for your exact amounts?
 

AZBeer

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I think you will be okay with the extra wheat.

Hops are up to you. I don't find the beer to be bitter at all. It is very much a juicy, hop-bomb of an APA with what I use, but it's not particularly bitter. I guess it depends on what you and your friend like. FWIW, my wife is not a fan of IPAs at all, and she loves this beer. I would say you probably want to increase the dry hop, and maybe the hop stand. That should give you that citrus/ grapefruit flavor and aroma, but no more IBUs.
 

redllama

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You definitely should be ok with the extra wheat. IIRC Wheat DME is made up of 50/50 wheat/pils malt
 

GrimBrewer

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First, you dont have to worry about partial using DME. I push out most of the air and use the plastic zip...thingy to seal it. I then put it in another plastic shopping bag to protect it. I do the same with my unmilled grain.

I'm not sure what you mean "doing a recipe between batches". Surely that is a Batch on its own? Or do you want to do a All grains and then an Extract in between?
I am also tweaking my recipes and have more than one going. While waiting on my Black IPA, I made a vienna pale ale.

When I am doing partial or a full extract, I do a full boil with the grains and hops (and some of the DME). The rest of the DME I do a quick concentrated boil in a smaller pot so that I end up with less liquid in the fermenter than planned. I freeze sterilized water in a sterilized container and drop it straight into my boil pot once the temperature is on the lower side from a ice bath.

You can use caramunichs as replacements for recipes asking for crystals, just use the lovibond(color) to
match them. caramunichs I = crystal 20 and caramunichs II = crystal 40
 
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JayEff

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I'm not sure what you mean "doing a recipe between batches". Surely that is a Batch on its own? Or do you want to do a All grains and then an Extract in between?
I meant a recipe to do between batches of my own. I can't exactly tweak my recipe without having tasted a fully carbonated and conditioned bottle! That's why I wanted a different recipe to do.

Thanks for the advice about an ice block of sterilized water, that's an interesting consideration!
AZBeer said:
Hops are up to you. I don't find the beer to be bitter at all. It is very much a juicy, hop-bomb of an APA with what I use, but it's not particularly bitter.
I don't mind bitterness too much, I've had bitter IPAs and loved them. The other reason why I want this to be lower on the IBUs is because my previous batch clocks in at 38 and I wanted to go lower to get a feel for what the different IBU ranges taste like.

I'll order two packages of citra after all. I know I love the smell so why not, I'm sure I'll use whatever is left. So I'll be using 55g at whirlpool and 80g dry hop - man, hop forward beers sure are expensive :)

This 10 liter batch will cost me just about 45 euros with shipping...
 

GrimBrewer

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Ive been tweaking my APA for a while by only changing one or two things.
The black IPA was my first stab at that style. I doubled my caramunich 2. Added about 3% chocolate malt and went wth 4 C hops. Cascade, centenial, columbus and chinook. Didnt have citra a that time. Came out great. Next tme I'll tweak him. Once its closer to summer i want start playing wth belgium yeast and try a white IPA.

I like variety, so the idea I have is to tweak a ipa, then a black, a white and repeat. Meantime that its winter here I am planning a amber and a brown. I currently have my standard pale ale recipe wth lager yeast fermenting. As you said. Only tweak a recipe once u can taste the previous version. But there is nothing from stoping u from changing 1 recipie into a new direction and if u like it then keep tweaking two...then three etc
 
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JayEff

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Ive been tweaking my APA for a while by only changing one or two things.
The black IPA was my first stab at that style. I doubled my caramunich 2. Added about 3% chocolate malt and went wth 4 C hops. Cascade, centenial, columbus and chinook. Didnt have citra a that time. Came out great. Next tme I'll tweak him. Once its closer to summer i want start playing wth belgium yeast and try a white IPA.

I like variety, so the idea I have is to tweak a ipa, then a black, a white and repeat. Meantime that its winter here I am planning a amber and a brown. I currently have my standard pale ale recipe wth lager yeast fermenting. As you said. Only tweak a recipe once u can taste the previous version. But there is nothing from stoping u from changing 1 recipie into a new direction and if u like it then keep tweaking two...then three etc
True enough! I think I'll want to try an amber or brown ale after this APA. I haven't heard of white IPAs before, is that a particularly lightly colored pale ale? How does the taste differ?
 

GrimBrewer

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White IPA is a mix of Belgian Wit, so wheat based beer, with high hop and IBU. The fact that its a Belgian means that you get more funky flavors from the Belgian yeast. Normal IPA will give you cleaner hop flavor with low malt and no yeast character. White IPA you will get some extra spice, clove, banana...brother in law's white had a bit of bubble gum in it :p
 
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JayEff

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White IPA is a mix of Belgian Wit, so wheat based beer, with high hop and IBU. The fact that its a Belgian means that you get more funky flavors from the Belgian yeast. Normal IPA will give you cleaner hop flavor with low malt and no yeast character. White IPA you will get some extra spice, clove, banana...brother in law's white had a bit of bubble gum in it :p
Is that what people mean when they say "funky flavor", spices, clove, banana? I hear that term a lot, also in reference to brett beers, always wondered what that's all about :)

Doesn't sound too bad, kinda interesting - but I wanted to focus on other aspects of the beer first. From my limited experience, I prefer less fruity beers (unless it's something like the kasteel rouge). Plus, I want to stick with dry yeast for a fair while, if only cause it's much cheaper, and I think belgian yeasts are typically liquid, wyeast and such?

At some point, if the hobby sticks, I'm sure I'll give something like that a shot though, seems like a good entry point for more funky beers :)
 

GrimBrewer

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Yea, stick with more clean yeast like us-05 for now. If someone is new to craft beer and use to generic lagers I wont give them a Belgium on the first go. A blonde or pale is a better start.

But I have to say the first craft beers I drank was a german weisse and they are also more yeast driven. Was my first time I went, I don't like "beer", i.e. generic lagers but I like this!

If you keep on making beer, start buying other styles of craft beer and see what you like and dont like. Will give you direction in what recipes/styles to do research on.
 
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JayEff

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Yea, stick with more clean yeast like us-05 for now. If someone is new to craft beer and use to generic lagers I wont give them a Belgium on the first go. A blonde or pale is a better start.

But I have to say the first craft beers I drank was a german weisse and they are also more yeast driven. Was my first time I went, I don't like "beer", i.e. generic lagers but I like this!

If you keep on making beer, start buying other styles of craft beer and see what you like and dont like. Will give you direction in what recipes/styles to do research on.
It's kinda hard to find craft beers in Germany I feel. There's only one place I know of that serves anything more than like 4 varieties of beer, all of which I believe are lagers. But there, they have over 60 kinds of beer from all over the world and I've tried a bunch of different things already, recently a citra IPA which is what made me want to go for this citra beer :) I'll definitely continue to frequent that place :)
 

GrimBrewer

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Was the Citra Ipa your first IPA?
My first IPA...I said how can you drink this bitter stuff!
 
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JayEff

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Was the Citra Ipa your first IPA?
My first IPA...I said how can you drink this bitter stuff!
I'm not entirely sure if it was my fist IPA specifically, but I do remember it being rather on the bitter end of the beers I had tasted so far. It didn't bother me so much because the grapefruit aroma just ... blew my mind, I never thought hops could do something like this.

Now, with my mandarina bavaria batch, my mind is blown again by the smell of that beer (when I took my last gravity reading anyways): it smelled just like orange juice! >_>
 

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