Author Topic: What To Brew?  (Read 11666 times)

Offline Northwoods_Basics

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What To Brew?
« on: July 08, 2014, 04:41:40 PM »
I have 4 carboys, 2 are 5 gal. and 2 are 6.5 gal.  I haven't brewed anything yet....still trying to figure it all out....but I know the 2 big ones are for primary fermentation and the 2 "smaller" ones are for secondary fermentation.  I know that I like the amber ales (Bass, Fat Tire, Bell's Amber Ale, etc).  I also know that water quality is extremely important, so here goes:

I haven't tested the water yet, but we're on well water.  No chlorination, and it's very, very soft, with a minimal amount of iron (shown by the slight orange stains in the bathroom sink).  I'm guessing that the carbonate and magnesium levels are also low.  Since water is a very big part of how the final brew is going to taste, does anyone have any suggestions on what I should start with first?

Thanks!
 
Primary 1: empty          Primary 2: empty
Secondary: empty        Secondary 2: empty
Bottled: empty
drinking: nothing yet until I get this figured out!

Offline Baron Von MunchKrausen

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Re: What To Brew?
« Reply #1 on: July 08, 2014, 06:47:27 PM »
Are you thinking extract or delving into all grain?
I'd start with an Irish stout extract. They're bomb proof. That was my first brew back in 1984 and I did everything wrong imaginable. Tasted great. :)
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Offline Northwoods_Basics

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Re: What To Brew?
« Reply #2 on: July 09, 2014, 04:18:44 AM »
Are you thinking extract or delving into all grain?

I was actually thinking of doing an extract with partial mash...I thought that sounded the most interesting.  The only problem with that is the local store only has extract.  They're new and working on getting a grain mill built, but haven't gotten it running yet. 

Quote from: Baron von MunchKrausen
I'd start with an Irish stout extract. They're bomb proof. That was my first brew back in 1984 and I did everything wrong imaginable. Tasted great. :)
Sounds very interesting!  I'll see what the recipes look like!  Thanks!
Primary 1: empty          Primary 2: empty
Secondary: empty        Secondary 2: empty
Bottled: empty
drinking: nothing yet until I get this figured out!

Offline Scott Ickes

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Re: What To Brew?
« Reply #3 on: July 09, 2014, 11:59:33 AM »
My suggestion is to keep it simple for now.  There is nothing wrong with brewing an all extract beer.  Many brewers have one awards brewing an all extract beer.  You can get grains online at many different places, with the grains arriving in a few days.  So partial mash or steeping of grains is an option.  Partial mashing involves controlling temperatures a little more closely than steeping of grains does.  You can have an extract recipe with some steeped grains and still keep it as simple as an all extract recipe.  The steeped grains will add color and some flavor (think of steeping grains as making tea).  Partial mashing on the other hand will extract sugars from the grains, making temperature control and recipe formulation a little more complicated.

Why complicate the first batch or two?  Just use extract and steep some grains.  You can make a great dry stout in this manner as was suggested earlier.
Kegs:
 Red IPA
 ESB
 Saison Solera
 Dubel (Aged in Malbec Wine Barrel
Aging:
 80 Shilling (In bourbon barrel)
Bottled
 Peppermint Patty Stout
 Wee Heavy

Scott Ickes
https://creativebrewing.wordpress.com

Offline Northwoods_Basics

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Re: What To Brew?
« Reply #4 on: July 09, 2014, 06:46:31 PM »
Can anyone suggest a recipe?  I searched out the Irish Stouts and it seems like the "good" ones (ABV > 5.5%) were all grain.
Primary 1: empty          Primary 2: empty
Secondary: empty        Secondary 2: empty
Bottled: empty
drinking: nothing yet until I get this figured out!

Offline Baron Von MunchKrausen

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Re: What To Brew?
« Reply #5 on: July 09, 2014, 08:35:17 PM »
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Offline depper

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Re: What To Brew?
« Reply #6 on: July 11, 2014, 05:36:07 AM »
The local bootlegger sells Brewer's Best products and I have a Belgian Golden Ale fermenting with a German Oktoberfest starting next weekend.  They also sell an Irish Stout....here is the recipe:

http://www.brewersbestkits.com/pdf/1023%202013%20Irish%20Stout%20Recipe.pdf

The Belgian was my first brew ever and it was very easy to do.  I eventually want to get into the all grain, but also want to make sure I have a decent grasp as to what beermaking is all about.  I agree with the others and say keep it simple to start.  Good luck and welcome!

Tim

Offline Northwoods_Basics

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Re: What To Brew?
« Reply #7 on: July 11, 2014, 08:00:31 AM »
Ok...to make sure I didn't make any mistakes, I went out last night and bought a couple of different commercial Irish Stouts that were available in the area.  Guinness was one of them, since almost every Irish Stout reference places that beer at the top of the list.  I have to admit that I'd never tried it before last night, but there was a very large eye-opener for me.  I can say the following without any reservation whatsoever:

I will NEVER brew an Irish Stout! 

You guys actually drink that?  I had a very hard time choking that stuff down.


.......back to the research I guess.
Primary 1: empty          Primary 2: empty
Secondary: empty        Secondary 2: empty
Bottled: empty
drinking: nothing yet until I get this figured out!

Offline depper

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Re: What To Brew?
« Reply #8 on: July 11, 2014, 09:54:46 AM »
You were VERY smart to try it before you brew it!!  That would be a lot of beer you hate to drink :)  Good luck with the research!

Tim

Offline jtoots

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Re: What To Brew?
« Reply #9 on: July 11, 2014, 11:16:40 AM »
I don't like Guinness either.  Anyone have an idea if this brew is typical to the style?

Offline Scott Ickes

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Re: What To Brew?
« Reply #10 on: July 11, 2014, 09:12:22 PM »
Sadly, Guinness is what most Dry Stouts end up getting compared to.  There isn't just one guinness though.  There are at least 13 different styles of guinness from Guinness Draught to Guinness Foreign Extra Stout to Guinness Special Export Stout to Guinness Bitter to Guinness Extra Smooth to Guinness Red....and on and on and on.

I've tried Guinness Special Export, Guinness Foreign Extra Stout and Guinness Draught.  I can drink the Guinness Draught (whether its from a tap or a can with a widget).  The others, I don't like at all.

If you can get one of the cans of Guinness Draught with the widget in it, you might like that.  However, you can't make it without a nitro tap system.  The widget releases nitrogen into the beer when the can is opened.
Kegs:
 Red IPA
 ESB
 Saison Solera
 Dubel (Aged in Malbec Wine Barrel
Aging:
 80 Shilling (In bourbon barrel)
Bottled
 Peppermint Patty Stout
 Wee Heavy

Scott Ickes
https://creativebrewing.wordpress.com

Offline Northwoods_Basics

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Re: What To Brew?
« Reply #11 on: July 14, 2014, 06:47:31 PM »
Ok....I got this recipe from a friend.  He claims he got it from another friend who used to be a home brewer.  Since I'm looking for my first brew, and don't know how to tell a good recipe from a bad one, I thought I'd post it here and see what everyone thinks.  It's supposed to be a brown(ish) ale:
7 LBS Amber DME
3 LBS Dark DME
2 LBS Munich DME

2 oz. Hallertau pellets (60 mins)
0.5 oz Mt. Hood pellets (15 mins)

1 packet Mutton's Premium Gold Yeast (make a starter)

I THINK I understand that recipe.  Anyone care to comment on it?

Primary 1: empty          Primary 2: empty
Secondary: empty        Secondary 2: empty
Bottled: empty
drinking: nothing yet until I get this figured out!

Offline Scott Ickes

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Re: What To Brew?
« Reply #12 on: July 14, 2014, 10:23:19 PM »
Well.  I plug the numbers into beersmith and it is "not" a brown ale.  The OG is wayyyyy to high.  The bitterness and color are in the brown ale range.  It's more like a brown ale on steriods.  I have a feeling it would be cloyingly sweet.  That's enough DME to make an imperial stout or other high alcohol ale.
Kegs:
 Red IPA
 ESB
 Saison Solera
 Dubel (Aged in Malbec Wine Barrel
Aging:
 80 Shilling (In bourbon barrel)
Bottled
 Peppermint Patty Stout
 Wee Heavy

Scott Ickes
https://creativebrewing.wordpress.com

Offline jtoots

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Re: What To Brew?
« Reply #13 on: July 15, 2014, 06:57:06 AM »
when you're looking for recipes, you're best off if you find one that has a few more details... at a minimum original and final specific gravity readings, and optimally IBUs and color rating.  This way, when you plug the recipe into beersmith, you'll know if any tweaks need to be made to arrive at your goal at the end of the day.  Also, as Scott pointed out, you'll be able to easily compare the recipe to style it claims to be.  with a vast array of recipes online, i've come across many good and a few quite terrible ones.  beersmith will watch your back for you if you use it before you go buying ingredients. 

So in this case, again as Scott pointed out, you'll be able to dial back the extract quantities until the OG falls back into the typical brown ale range... if this is what you want... that's one of the many beauties of beersmith, you can gain a much better understanding of what you're going to end up with.

Offline durrettd

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Re: What To Brew?
« Reply #14 on: July 15, 2014, 11:54:58 AM »
You had the right idea when you tried the stout. Go to a beer shop and buy a wide variety of beer styles, try them, and select what you want a large quantity of. Then get a copy of "Brewing Classic Styles" by Palmer and Zainaaheff to get a recipe for that style.

 

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