Converting a Recipe to Session Strength

Discussion in 'Recipes for Feedback' started by cerillion, Apr 25, 2018.

  1. cerillion

    cerillion New Member

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    Hi all,

    I am planning a brew for a family campout, and I'd like to take one of my more flavorful recipes and bring it down to session strength.

    I'd appreciate your feedback on the recommended approach to doing that while retaining flavor and mouthfeel?

    Here's what I propose for my Juicy Wheat Pale Ale - reduce the grain bill amount while maintaining the ratios. Is that the right approach, or should I do it another way?

    First, the original:


    Title: Juicy Wheat Pale Ale

    Brew Method: All Grain
    Style Name: American Wheat Beer
    Boil Time: 60 min
    Batch Size: 5.5 gallons (fermentor volume)
    Boil Size: 6.56 gallons
    Boil Gravity: 1.061
    Efficiency: 70% (brew house)


    STATS:
    Original Gravity: 1.072
    Final Gravity: 1.019
    ABV (standard): 7.01%
    IBU (tinseth): 29.77
    SRM (morey): 4.82

    FERMENTABLES:
    10.75 lb - American - Pale 2-Row (70%)
    2.3 lb - American - White Wheat (15%)
    2.3 lb - Flaked Wheat (15%)

    HOPS:
    0.25 oz - Mosaic, Type: Pellet, AA: 12.5, Use: Boil for 60 min, IBU: 9.82
    0.5 oz - Mosaic, Type: Pellet, AA: 12.5, Use: Boil for 15 min, IBU: 9.74
    3 oz - Mosaic, Type: Pellet, AA: 12.5, Use: Whirlpool for 30 min at 170 °F, IBU: 10.21
    1.5 oz - Mosaic, Type: Pellet, AA: 12.5, Use: Dry Hop for 7 days
    1.5 oz - Mosaic, Type: Pellet, AA: 12.5, Use: Dry Hop for 3 days

    MASH GUIDELINES:
    1) Infusion, Temp: 152 F
    Starting Mash Thickness: 1.5 qt/lb

    YEAST:
    White Labs - California Ale V Yeast WLP051
    Starter: No
    Form: Liquid
    Attenuation (avg): 72.5%
    Flocculation: Med-High
    Optimum Temp: 66 - 70 F


    Generated by Brewer's Friend - https://www.brewersfriend.com/
    Date: 2018-04-25 14:40 UTC
    Recipe Last Updated: 2018-02-04 11:31 UTC
    And the same recipe translated to session. I reduced the grain bill while maintaining the ratios (70/15/15), but gave a bit extra to flaked wheat for mouthfeel:

    Title: Juicy Wheat Session Pale Ale

    Brew Method: All Grain
    Style Name: American Wheat Beer
    Boil Time: 60 min
    Batch Size: 5.5 gallons (fermentor volume)
    Boil Size: 6.56 gallons
    Boil Gravity: 1.042
    Efficiency: 70% (brew house)


    STATS:
    Original Gravity: 1.051
    Final Gravity: 1.013
    ABV (standard): 4.9%
    IBU (tinseth): 33.26
    SRM (morey): 3.76

    FERMENTABLES:
    7.5 lb - American - Pale 2-Row (69.8%)
    1.5 lb - American - White Wheat (14%)
    1.75 lb - Flaked Wheat (16.3%)

    HOPS:
    0.25 oz - Mosaic, Type: Pellet, AA: 12.5, Use: Boil for 60 min, IBU: 11.57
    0.5 oz - Mosaic, Type: Pellet, AA: 12.5, Use: Boil for 15 min, IBU: 11.48
    3 oz - Mosaic, Type: Pellet, AA: 12.5, Use: Whirlpool for 30 min at 170 °F, IBU: 10.21
    1.5 oz - Mosaic, Type: Pellet, AA: 12.5, Use: Dry Hop for 7 days
    1.5 oz - Mosaic, Type: Pellet, AA: 12.5, Use: Dry Hop for 3 days

    MASH GUIDELINES:
    1) Infusion, Temp: 152 F, Time: 0 min, Amount: 0 gal
    Starting Mash Thickness: 1.5 qt/lb

    YEAST:
    White Labs - California Ale V Yeast WLP051
    Starter: No
    Form: Liquid
    Attenuation (avg): 72.5%
    Flocculation: Med-High
    Optimum Temp: 66 - 70 F​


    Generated by Brewer's Friend - https://www.brewersfriend.com/
    Date: 2018-04-25 14:35 UTC
    Recipe Last Updated: 2018-04-25 14:35 UTC ​

    Thanks in advance for your advice!
     
  2. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    The two biggest problems I run into when scaling down to session strength are maintaining mouthfeel and losing flavors. You scaled down keeping the proportions the same. I'd do a few things differently:
    - Add some more "flavorful" malt like Vienna or light Munich. It's a Pale Ale so I'd suggest Vienna.
    - Add some Crystal or Dextrine malt to keep the mouthfeel.
    - Reduce the IBUs to keep the BU/GU ratio the same - the loss of malt will cause a higher perception of bitterness!
    - Mash higher to keep some non-fermentable dextrines (again, mouthfeel).
    - Move most of your hops to the end of the boil (20 mins or less) to keep any harshness out of the mix.
    - Consider losing the wheat malt - it's not very flavorful and you'll get the gums out of the flaked wheat.

    Maybe not all of the above but they're some things you could do to keep the flavor in the beer while reducing the alcohol.
     
    cerillion and J A like this.
  3. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    me personally i love me some wheat in my Pales it gives you great head retention and body. id go with what youve got by scaling down if you enjoyed it before you should now.
     
  4. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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    Worst case you don't enjoy it much.
     
  5. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    I'm suggesting keep the flaked wheat, lose the wheat malt. You get wheat flavor and body that way.
     
  6. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Having done the "scaling down" thing, it doesn't work well. Not everything scales on a straight line. IBUs are a biggie: 30 IBU in a 6% beer is not the same as 30 IBU in a 4% beer! Something that's at the bottom of its flavor threshold at 6% will get lost at 4%. The OP needs to rethink the recipe. But then, as suggested, the worst thing that can happen is that you get a session IPA rather than a session Pale Ale. I'd be more worried about the loss of body - an example: When I do a Saison, it generally has sugar in it. When I do the same thing in a sessionable beer, I leave the sugar out. It's back to knowing why you're doing a thing, why an ingredient works in one place but not the other, what they do.
     
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  7. BoomerBrian

    BoomerBrian Active Member

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    BOB357 likes this.

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