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Winger Ale - Brown Ale

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Skagdog

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Thanks to beersmith, some confidence and some spare cash I decided to brew some beer. I just started playing with ingredients in beersmith and decided to 'wing it'. Here's what I came up with:

Winger Ale (because I decided to 'wing it)

7lbs 2 row
3.75 lbs Crystal 80L
.75 lbs Amber
.5 oz Nugget 30 min
1 oz cascade 45 min
1 oz sterling 5 min
1.5 oz Nugget 5 min

Wyeast London Ale Yeast

Mashed at 147 for 65 minutes
Sparged to 6.5 gallons

Post boil, I had just over 5 gallons of almost black wort. I got it into the 6.5 carboy and after 3 days with the yeast doin' it to it, it's really turned brown. I'm planning on racking to secondary 2 weeks from today but that obviously depends on the yeast action.

I will be bottling it in some 500ml Erdinger Bottles. I happen to have 11 plastic racks of empties in my garage...

This is my first ever attempt at making beer and, thanks to the wealth of information on here, I'm thinking it will, at a minimum, be drinkable. I am aiming for good but that comes with experience....
 

dawgmatic

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This is my first ever attempt at making beer and, thanks to the wealth of information on here, I'm thinking it will, at a minimum, be drinkable. I am aiming for good but that comes with experience....
Kudos on jumping straight into making your own recipes. I stuck to kits for over a year before I got the confidence to start formulating my own brews.:mug:
I have no doubt that it will be drinkable.
Be sure to come back to this thread and give some tasting notes. That way you can use this site as your own sort of brew journal
 

Bob

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No matter what happens, it'll be beer, and it'll be AWESOME because it's YOURS.

:mug:

Still, next time keep the crystal malt to no more than 20% of the grist. It's going to be a sweet, very full-bodied beer. ;)

Congrats!

Bob

P.S. I know I'm not the only one who was thinking of the hair band.

 
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Skagdog

Skagdog

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Bob - I had read somewhere that it should be no more than 10% of the grain bill but I literally just started plugging in the ingredients I had on hand (limited selection at the LHBS).
I was trusting beersmith to keep me in the green. Maybe that's why my projected ABV is higher than normal for a brown ale.

Thanks for the heads up though. Are you saying that if it turns out too sweet, I used too much Crystal?

Fermentation has slowed in the primary so I'm gonna swap the blow-off tube for an airlock. Then I'm just gonna wait.
I'm torn between brewing some more once it's in the secondary or waiting and seeing how it came out, then brewing.....
 

Bob

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Bob - I had read somewhere that it should be no more than 10% of the grain bill but I literally just started plugging in the ingredients I had on hand (limited selection at the LHBS).
I was trusting beersmith to keep me in the green. Maybe that's why my projected ABV is higher than normal for a brown ale.

Thanks for the heads up though. Are you saying that if it turns out too sweet, I used too much Crystal?
That's what I'm saying. Too much Crystal has the potential to make the beer cloyingly sweet.

Fermentation has slowed in the primary so I'm gonna swap the blow-off tube for an airlock. Then I'm just gonna wait.
I'm torn between brewing some more once it's in the secondary or waiting and seeing how it came out, then brewing.....
I'd wait. See how it comes out. Taste it when you rack it; I think you'll find it pretty butch. ;)

Still and all, it's not gonna kill you, and it's yours - that makes it good beer! :mug: Next time, cut the Crystal back to no more than 10-15%.

Bob
 
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Skagdog

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Bob-thanks for the heads up.
Now I'm just practicing patience. I want to go look at it every few minutes but I don't. I check on it in the morning when I get up and in the evening when I go to sleep, just to make sure the airlock is still doing it's thing.
I want to start planning the next brew but I'm waiting until I've at least tasted this one. My original idea was to brew this first recipe over again and use the ph stabilizer and the irish moss and all that extra crap to see the effect.

I looked on here for the absolute most basic all-grain recipe but came up short.
Would you know of such a recipe? I just want to brew something simple to practice the process and see what all these additives do to the brew.
 

Bob

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Bob-thanks for the heads up.
Now I'm just practicing patience. I want to go look at it every few minutes but I don't. I check on it in the morning when I get up and in the evening when I go to sleep, just to make sure the airlock is still doing it's thing.
Practice makes perfect. ;) Hell, I still find the "blup" of the airlock satisfying, and I've been doing this for the better part of 20 years, hobby and pro! :D

I want to start planning the next brew but I'm waiting until I've at least tasted this one. My original idea was to brew this first recipe over again and use the ph stabilizer and the irish moss and all that extra crap to see the effect.
That's an excellent idea. I'm always advocating brewing the same recipe or core stable of 2-4 recipes, in order to dial in process and learn the craft of brewing.

There are some things, like pH stabilizer, that you probably won't need. Irish moss or some sort of kettle coagulant is a good idea to promote wort clarity.

I looked on here for the absolute most basic all-grain recipe but came up short.
Would you know of such a recipe? I just want to brew something simple to practice the process and see what all these additives do to the brew.
I recommend a SMaSH - Single Malt and Single Hop - beer. Use one type of base malt and one hops variety. Any change you make to the process of brewing will show up in that beer. It sounds pretty plain Jane, but it doesn't have to be; some of the most beloved beer styles are SMaSH, from Pilsner to historical IPA.

I recommend you start with a baseline: OG 1.048, IBU 22-25 (BU:GU ratio of 0.5). Tweak and twiddle it from there.

Cheers!

Bob
 
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Skagdog

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Love the idea of SMaSH brewing for a beginner like myself. Thanks for that direction, I started searching different threads for "SMaSH" and have come up with all sorts of ideas.
One more week (est.) and I'll have my primary freed up for another go round...
 

Bob

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Cool. A couple of pieces of further advice:

1. Get another fermenter. ;)
2. Don't be tempted by SMaSH beers with relatively exotic ingredients. Part of the point of SMaSH is to brew a good beer, yes, but the overriding point is to learn ingredients. So use the base malt you expect to use most often, like US 2-row, instead of, say, Vienna. (Unless, of course, you intend to use Vienna as your base malt for all styles, which is silly.) To begin, use common malt and a common hops, and choose a yeast you suspect you'll be using a lot. This first go-round, I suggest the criteria I quoted above, from US 2-row or some other neutral base malt, a common homebrewing hops variety like Cascades or Goldings, and S-05 yeast.

Actually, that makes a surprisingly tasty beer. ;)

Cheers,

Bob
 
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Skagdog

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Bubbling calmed waaaaayyyyy down so I checked gravity yesterday and this morning and it's static. Since I'm not prepared to bottle, I racked to secondary as previously planned. I'll let it cook in there for a week or so, then bottle and carb.
I'm still researching how to best undertake the bottling portion. I've read through the bottling sticky thread several times just to look for things that will work for me. I'm soo excited, this stuff will be ready by Christmas.
I've discovered a couple other home brewers in my network so, besides me, they'll get the first bottles, for some critique and advice...
 
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Skagdog

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First pint, EVARRRRRRRRR! My non-beer drinking wife said that it "tastes just like beer."
Smells and tastes glorious! I'm sure some may argue but man-o-man....this rocks!!!!!

Gotta find some local critics, both brewers and not, to share this with...

image-2238028804.jpg


image-3749137012.jpg
 
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Skagdog

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I had some gut problems and was unable to eat anything for a few days. I had previously stashed a couple of these in my fridge for consumption that night but had to leave them sit in there for 7 days. Man-o-man, those were the best ones yet. I had nothing but positive comments from various sources.

I'm brewing this again with the only change being I now have an immersion chiller so it doesn't have to sit for a long time before pitching....
 
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Skagdog

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I've only got six bottles left! I'm saving them for the LSU-Bama game on the 9th, Roll Tide!

man-o-man....Alabama Football and home brew......the perfect formula!
 

dawgmatic

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Roll tide. I was lucky enough to be in NOLA this weekend. Nothing like watching the tigers get shut out in their own backyard
 
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