Biscuit batch #2

Discussion in 'Recipes for Feedback' started by Leglesswondercat, Nov 25, 2017.

  1. Leglesswondercat

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    On the hunt for a biscuity/nutty ale with nice hoppy character without too much bitterness hiding the malt. Not really into the darker malts at the mo so tried caramalt instead of crystal.

    Brewed this yesterday, a recipe of my own creation but I'm wondering if I have overdone the hop's a little to achieve my aims? If I age it will that help?

    https://www.brewersfriend.com/homebrew/recipe/view/571492/biscuit-batch-2

    Brew went well although I was down on my efficiency from last brew 70% vs 76.5%. I think this is because of the larger grain bill, it gets tricky for me to sparge effectively over 4.5kg it would seem. Sparged in a separate pot 3 times with 3L of 77c water, I think I should have done four.

    Pitched last night and have a healthy foam on top so all good :)

    Would appreciate any thoughts, especially from folk using maxi biab, thanks in advance.
     
  2. thehaze

    thehaze Active Member

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    Biscuit and honey malt in apropriate % work well in ales. CaraBelge from Weyermann and Golden Naked Oats are two of my favourite light, crystal malts, to use in lighter ales.

    IBUs seem OK in the recipe.

    However the amount of hops for 18L is nor overwhelming, so you have not overdone anything. ;)
     
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  3. Leglesswondercat

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    Thanks man, good to know.

    I wanted to use Golden Naked Oats originally but they didn't have any in stock at the LHBS. substituted oat malt for body, haven't used Carabelge or honey before, thanks for the tip.

    Been wondering about adding a pack of oatcakes instead, I guess that would be roasted unmalted oats, dunno, just like the taste and I think it's similar to what I'm hunting for in this recipe

    Aye not too worried, all beer is pretty good ;-)

    Tried a few lagers recently that have the flavour I'm looking for but I'm gonna need to invest a bit more to get the lower temps needed, money I'd rather spend on malt lol
     
  4. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    Looks like a fine recipe. A couple of thoughts...1) Maris Otter and Vienna are close enough in character that you might as well use one or the other and 2) there's no fundamental difference in Cara- and Crystal malts. They're mostly just different designations for the same process used by different maltsters. That being said, one can be more desirable than the other based on how the maltster handles it and you might have a preference for a certain brand of the same thing. For instance, I've come to prefer CaraMunich I over C-40 because I think it lends a smoother, less "artificial" flavor in the finish. It's very possible that I couldn't really tell the difference if I compared them side by side in the same context.
     
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  5. Leglesswondercat

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    Interesting and good, as I have been using Marris as my base malt so will probably buy a sack, the Vienna is a bit more pricey for me so if I can ditch it, it's good news.

    With the crystals I think it's that the ones I have used so far have been a bit dark for me, having said that it's more than likely drinking brews too young haha.

    So much to learn but I'm gonna have a good time learning :)
     
  6. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    I've been using less Crystal malts (fully converted and then cooked for color) because I find that the "concentrated" flavor interferes with a clean, malty finish. I use malts that are toasted or lightly roasted and left unconverted like Victory, Biscuit, Special Roast for some color and nutty, toasty character and a good percentage of Munich can provide plenty of malty sweetness. There's no getting around it for darker beers though...if you're doing a Porter, Brown Ale, Stout, etc you have to have some dark Cara or Crystal malt in it. And, yes, aging a little helps meld those un-reconstituted flavors.
     
  7. Leglesswondercat

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    Thanks for the advice, I can feel batch #3 brewing in my brain already. Not really into darker beers, I don't like high roast coffee and too much time on the grill tastes like a mistake to me. Not sure if it's just my imagination but there seems to be a difference between the bitterness added by hops and that by, IMHO, over roasted malt.
     
  8. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    Yes, there's a specific bitterness that dark roasted and burnt malts give. Roasted is different from burnt. Look into the darker styles of Belgian beers for malt bills that will give rich, dark caramel and toasted flavors without having any burnt roast in them.
    You're on the right track with Biscuit and you'd probably enjoy using small percentages of Special Roast and maybe Special B for some interesting flavors. Those are much, much lighter roast in character and add some very nice deep flavors to the malt.
     
  9. Leglesswondercat

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    Thanks for the tips, will deffo look into it. Been tasting (early) a batch with just Marris and crystal in it, I can see what you mean about the Marris, there is a toasty flavour to it all on its own. It's subtle though, I'll look into the malts you have mentioned to bring it out more. Enjoying the mouthfeel of the crystal, kind of creamy caramel, but still a tiny bit twangy. To young to reach any conclusions yet, ha, kinda going blind just now making more batches before I have tasted the last. Guess I'll catch up soon.
     
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  10. Leglesswondercat

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    Bottled this on Friday but will be brewing #3 today.

    Each batch so far are giving good indications and very tasty but decided to try and reduce the cost of each batch, also want to make a more sessionable version with lower abv, hopefully without sacrificing too much. Trying cheaper hops this time, flaked oats instead of malted and while I am doubling the amount of biscuit, I thought to add some amber malt for colour. Hoping to get some sweetness by mashing at a higher temp because I have dropped the crystal. As per JA's suggestion I decided to just go with Maris Otter as the base malt.

    Kicking myself for forgetting to buy Munich on this order and my choices were a little limited by going with a different supplier. They had some equipment I wanted at the best price I could find and I didn't want to double up on postage from different places.

    Going with Wilco's ale yeast this time as it's cheap and I can get it 7 days a week within 5mins walk. I think I will stick with this until I have a better handle on what's doing what, recipe to recipe. Looking around I believe this is a Nottingham strain so the following recipe reflects that approximation.

    I tend to just brew from the recipe sheet and change it after to reflect what happened on the brewday, so this might change a little after but here is the next batch

    https://www.brewersfriend.com/homebrew/recipe/view/576946/biscuit-batch-3
     
  11. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    By far the easiest way to save money per batch is to find sale prices on bulk hops and buying a bag of base malt. Settle on 2 or 3 hops that you can count on building a recipe around and buy a pound. A pound each of high-alpha American hops like Centennial, a good English hop like Fuggle or Golding or even a cross like Willamette and a solid noble hop like one of the Hallertau varieties will give you a base for dozens of batches. I've gotten a lot of good hops for as little as 50 cents a pound instead of the $2.50 that they often average when bought by the ounce. An IPA that you can hop for $3 instead of $10 makes a big difference.
    Maris Otter, for instance is almost $2 a pound at the LHBS, but a bag from them costs $65, about $1.20 a pound. It's harder when you have to pay postage or shipping find a free shipping sale and take advantage. I've been able to take advantage of group buys and get bags of Pilsner, etc for as little as $25. That sort of things drives the batch cost way down.
     
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  12. Leglesswondercat

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    Kind of where i have been heading with this one, I bought Target for bittering and its higher AA, Fuggles because I have tried it before, like it and it's cheap in the uk and Saaz again it's cheap here and I love the aroma. Your right should have probably dropped the hammer on a sack of base malt it's about 60% cheaper.

    Met an old friend who has hops in their garden, next year the hops are mine in exchange for a beer making lesson :)
     
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  13. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    I'm, growing some Centennial, but central Texas isn't the best place for hops. Luckily, I've got a good spot and they seem to be doing okay. I picked a little from the first year growth (rhizomes planted last spring) and they really got well established in the extended fall weather we have, putting on flowers until November. They should go crazy next year if I can keep enough water on them and they don't succumb to the heat.
     
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  14. Leglesswondercat

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    Tried to grow salad in north west Australia once, should have just hooked it up to the tap direct :) My friend has the opposite problem, west Scotland and a cool climate. She said she got about 2oz this year (1st) so I have hopes it will be better the second year.

    Planning on bittering with a known AA commercial hop and using them as late boil/dry hop
     
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  15. Leglesswondercat

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    Force carbed and a bit young but #3 is the best yet of a good bunch. The upped biscuit and amber malt are giving me that nutty toasty taste up front. I think Ahnatum gives something lovely but the hops schedule on batch 3 is good, a close match and cheaper. Just want a shade more sweetness, so will put a little Munich in as suggested on the next batch.

    I think that will have the recipe pretty much fixed, if it works out I'll give it a proper name at that point and encourage others to brew it, this stuff is lurvley :)
     

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