First ever AG - Maris Otter Pale Ale

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by Talltwits, May 13, 2016.

  1. Talltwits

    Talltwits New Member

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    Hey folks! Thanks for having me here on the forum! I'm a newbie to home brewing and have only three extract brews under my belt. Been thinking of moving to AG as I want to learn as much as I can and hopefully further skills. After all...I have been told once you go AG you don't go back...or something like that! :?

    So I've been recommend to do some research into a Maris otter pale ale to start off with. Can anyone recommend a recipe? I'm new to Brewers friend and struggling to navigate through the website as I'm a little unfamiliar with it the now. I have a 19 litre stock pot and will be going down the BiAB route. Can anyone recommend a recipe for that size of pot and a Maris otter pale ale recipe?

    Much appreciated!
     
  2. oliver

    oliver Well-Known Member

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    if i could go back, i would have started with a SMaSH recipe, single malt and single hop.

    You should try a single malt Maris Otter, and choose a hop that sounds good to you. https://ychhops.com/varieties

    Brew it, and when it's done, do some research into more malts, hops, recipes. Branch off from your SMASH beer and be meticulous. take good notes. Experiment. Drink more beer. And then drink some beer.
     
  3. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

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    If there's an extract recipe that you like, Google 'extract to grain conversion.' Even as a rookie, I'm pretty happy with my ability to get recipes close to what I like. Assume about 70% efficiency to start. Use the same hops, go for the same IBUS. If your extract recipe has steeping grains, use the same amount in your AG recipe, in addition to the grains you use for your extract conversion. Use the same yeast. It's not that hard. If it was, I wouldn't do it!
     
  4. jmcnamara

    jmcnamara Well-Known Member

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    I wholeheartedly agree with oliver. Maris and Amarillo make for a great pale.

    I've got roughly the same size pot as you, and I can fit about 11 lbs of grain comfortably.

    Probably around 10lbs should give you a nice sessionable beer.

    And I can vouch that you'll never go back to just extract, unless it's just to bolster your gravity a bit. There's just way too much control and nuance with all grain for me to go back

    Good luck!
     
  5. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    I'd go with the SMASH recommendation as well, although Maris Otter is not a requirement. My advice, lather, rinse repeat: Brew something simple over and over until it comes out the same every time, then branch out into more complex recipes.
     
  6. jmcnamara

    jmcnamara Well-Known Member

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    for hops choices, i like amarillo and/or citra as a single hop. or even together. in keeping with the nationality of the malt, maybe some english hops? fuggles or goldings are standard, but there are others. i hope to try using target in an english pale ale this weekend

    i also like a little bit of honey malt, maybe 5 % or so. it gives a nice sweet taste that you just can't get with real honey. not too much, but adds a little complexity

    yeast, i'd go with wlp001 or other neutral yeast so that you can really get a sense of the malt and hops. belgian yeasts would throw a whole bunch of other flavors into the mix. while good in some cases, those flavors will mask / blend with others and might be hard to tell apart
     
  7. oliver

    oliver Well-Known Member

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    i also wish when i started that i brewed belgian and higher temperature yeast strains, i never really liked my beer until i got a ferm chamber and controlled it at 60ºF... US-05 at humid ass louisiana room temp? No thanks.
     
  8. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    It's hard to beat a Belgian or German wheat beer for a first all-grain. It's an easy beer to brew, works very well with single-infusion mash, doesn't require a long conditioning time.
    If you're intent on MO - and it's a great choice for a base malt - think about an Ordinary Bitter or Best Bitter. There are tons of recipes with a simple grain bill that will yield a really enjoyable beer.
    I worked up a Maris Otter Session Pale/Hoppy Blonde with Simcoe and Amarillo that seemed totally great at bottling. I'll know in a couple of weeks if it's a share-worthy recipe. ;)
     
  9. Talltwits

    Talltwits New Member

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    Guys, honestly the advice has been amazing! I think SMaSH sounds like the ideal route for me. I'm currently drinking a Kernel, which is a London brewery and has Citra hops in it I believe. It's nice and gives me an idea of what to expect.

    To be honest for my first AG I don't really have favourite flavours as I'm
    So early into my home brew, and let's face it commercial beer has no taste after home brew. So really what I mean by that is that I wanna get the technique down before fine tuning flavours I like. So I'm quite happy to experiment. And with a 20 litre pot hopefully the batches won't be too big so I can do that experimenting! Hope that all makes sense.

    I don't have Maris otter set in stone. I just had I recommended to me so I'm happy with whatever. But as I said earlier SMaSH sounds right for me. Ok, next question then, for a 20 litre pot how much grain should I use?

    Thanks in advance!
     
  10. jmcnamara

    jmcnamara Well-Known Member

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    In that case I'd highly recommend doing small batches where you can compare different ingredients. Maybe do some that compare maris, vienna, and munich. Or American, English, and German hops.

    I don't do full volume boils, but I usually use about 10 lbs of grain for a 5-6% beer. I've got the same size pot as you. That's what, 24kilos?
     
  11. Talltwits

    Talltwits New Member

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    Yeah, I defo think that smaller is best for me at first. I know some people will differ, however for me smaller is best until I get the technique down. and as you recommend it will make it easier to compare different ingredients.

    So 10lbs of grain would convert into 4.54 kg. and that would be fine for a 20 litre pot? And if I can be really annoying could you recommend what would come next?

    If my research has been right most AG BIAB are 60 min boils? Then I'm quite unsure of what comes next?

    Cheers
     
  12. jmcnamara

    jmcnamara Well-Known Member

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    Ahh, my math was going the wrong way.

    My method is to heat the strike water in the pot, usually about 1.25 qts per lb of grain. Once that is about 10F over my mash temps, I'll add the grain and mash for 90 mins. You can probably get away with 60. I'll stir it every 15 or 20 minutes to mix things, but generally leave it alone.

    From there, I use the bag to line my bottling bucket. I also use a colander type thing in the bucket to help drain the bag. Using the wife's help, I'll pour the mash into the bucket.

    Clean the kettle and use that to collect the wort. I'll usually sparge with a 2or 3 gallons of 170F water. And I'll squeeze that bag to get every last drop out that I can.

    Then just proceed like an extract batch.

    Most every recipe I've seen is for 60 min boils, extract or AG. Sometimes you'll see 90 mins, but those are typically darker bigger beers, where you want that caramelization flavor from a longer boil
     
  13. jmcnamara

    jmcnamara Well-Known Member

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    Oh, and be as annoying as you want, we love to talk about this stuff :D
     
  14. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    Small batches is good advice. You don't have to mash to the full capacity of the pot. Batches of 2-3 gallons (I'm not fluent in metric ;) )can be great way to brew more batches and get the process figured out. That being said, I quickly moved to the largest batches I could mash just maximize the yield for the hours of work involved. :)

    Amount of grain you start with will be a function of your batch size and desired OG.
    A quick recipe search with "smash" in the name box will give you hundreds of choices. Narrow it down by style and the grain and/or hops you want.

    PS...use the "can I mash it" calculator here to see if you're mash tun capacity will work for your mash volume.
    http://www.rackers.org/calcs.shtml
     
  15. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

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    Above all, do what makes sense to you. If small batches with few ingredients makes sense to you, then by all means, do it. It would definitely help you understand what impact different ingredients can have. If brewing the same recipe over and over again until consistency is achieved makes sense to you, than do that. Those ideas never appealed to me. I jumped right into all grain, BIAB like yourself, and started writing recipes for the extract kits that I like. A few are pretty close, and a couple are almost dead on. Some of my recipes don't taste much like the extracts from which they are modeled, but they are still enjoyable to me. I couldn't tell you by taste which beer had Cascade hops and which beer had Citra hops, or why you should use pilsner instead of 2 row. But the beauty of this forum is that some members who are into aspects of homebrewing that I am not are more than happy to answer those questions when they do come up.
     
  16. Talltwits

    Talltwits New Member

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    Thank JA, haha yeah I'm struggling with the imperial aswell, however the phone is coming in valuable and helping quite nicely with the conversions. I will start searching SMaSH recipes and hopefully get stuck in. My pot hasn't arrived yet anyway and I've still got a few more bottle to pick up before I'm ready to go but starting to feel more ready than I've ever been and quite excited about it. Unfortunately I don't know what mash tun and mash volume is yet??

    Jeff, yup I think as soon as I have a few AG batches under my belt I'll be starting to think about my own recipes. That's why the smaller batches appeal to me first of all. No doubt as time goes on I'll do big batches of the brew I like. I think the experimenting and anticipation of whether a brew is a success is one of the most attractive and exciting part of home brew for me. I will be sure to continue to pick everyone's brain as I think I'll need the help.

    Cheers
     
  17. jmcnamara

    jmcnamara Well-Known Member

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    A mash tun is the vessel you're doing the mash in. In your case, the mash tun and boil kettle are the same. Others use a plastic cooler as a mash tun. Really, whatever works to hold the grain and maintain temperature should be fine.

    Mash volume is the amount of liquid per lb of grain. I
    Most people I've seen tend to stick to about 1.25 qts per lb. If you add more or less water, the mash will be thinner or thicker depending. I forget offhand which does what, but it will affect your gravity

    And I think you've caught the brewing bug, you're already thinking about the next batch and haven't even brewed this one yet
     
  18. Head First

    Head First Well-Known Member

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    If you need to learn a few terms and processes the online book "How To Brew by John Palmer" is easy to access freeware with all the steps of extract brewing and all grain along with explaining the processes of brewing and how it all works. There are others out there too but this has been around a long time and is a great basic way to learn and understand more about brewing.
     
  19. Talltwits

    Talltwits New Member

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    Cheers Head,

    I will give it a look. Understanding the terms and process will help a lot! I'll let you know how I get on with finding it. Thanks for that.

    Cheers mcnanamara I've seen videos with people using coolers as mash tuns. So that explains a lot. I've not yet had the chance to search for a SMaSH recipe but I'll hopefully do that tonight or tomorrow and report back.
     
  20. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    When doing small batches, I can maximize my 4 gallon pot as BIAB mash tun and get about 3 1/2 gallons of wort to boil. The beauty of the smaller pot is that it will fit in my oven. With the temp set on the lowest possible (170 F) it'll hold mash temp perfectly for up to 90 minutes. I found that leaving it on top of the stove requires some sort of wrap to keep it at temp.

    The Brewer's Friend mash calculator is really excellent if you want to do a combination of traditional infusion mashing (with 2 or 3 temperature raises) and BIAB. You can calculate your total water volume and figure out your mash thickness with it. For straight-up BIAB this calculator - http://simplebiabcalculator.com/ - is invaluable. Along with the one I referenced earlier, you can easily predict how much capacity you'll need and what sort of wort volume you can expect. Once you get an idea of your conversion efficiency and figure out your boil off , you'll be able to mash for any OG you want.

    Dang it!...all this talk of mashing has me itching for a brew day! :) I can't brew anything until I take the Helles off of the yeast cake in my fermenter. That should be next weekend and I'll be able to mash up my Helles Bock and get it going. :D
     

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