First recipe - am I doing this right?

Discussion in 'Recipes for Feedback' started by Sunfire96, Jun 1, 2020.

  1. Sunfire96

    Sunfire96 Well-Known Member

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    Hello! I would love some feedback about my first recipe, a single hop Centennial pale ale. Do you the malt amounts seem okay? I was mostly shooting for a certain color and ABV. Also I'm curious about the hop addition timings; would fewer additions with more hops be better than the additions listed? I don't currently have the ability to dry hop, but am trying to create balanced hop flavors using only Centennial hops. Thank you so much!

    https://www.brewersfriend.com/homebrew/recipe/view/1004353/single-hop-centennial-pale-ale
     
  2. Yooper

    Yooper Administrator
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    upload_2020-6-1_12-28-7.png

    I copied and pasted the recipe above my text because it's easier to look at it while I "talk". I'm old, so that's my excuse. :)

    Anyway- a couple of things. It's a good start on a malty pale ale, with the maris otter. I'd look at the amounts of victory and caramel malt. Generally, you want less than about 10% (I like 7%) of a crystal malt as to not have the beer be cloying. You can go much higher in an American amber, but then you'll bitter it more heavily as well. So think about your goal and the flavor you're looking for. 10% is good, if you get rid of the victory malt.

    Speaking of victory malt, I love the toastiness it brings to the beer. But you want much, much less of it! It helps with a dry finish and is great is very small amounts in pale ales. As much as 2-5% is plenty, and even 5% is pushing it to my taste.

    In your recipe, you have only 75% base malt. That's really unusual, and I'd go with at least 85% base malt. So, maybe 88% marris otter, 8% caramel/crystal malt and 4% victory if you really love victory malt. Or, 90% base malt, 7-8% crystal/caramel malt and 2-3% victory malt.

    For hops, simplify the addition. For bittering hops, skip the 40 minute addition (it doesn't do anything there, except contribute bitterness, and you'll get more out of them at 60 minutes) and all all of the bittering hops at one addition at 60 minutes. You can add them at 15/5/0 if you want, but I"d probably increase the 0 addition. Also, consider dryhopping this batch. You say you can't but I can't imagine why- it involves adding hops to the fermenter after fermentation slows/stops.
     
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  3. Sunfire96

    Sunfire96 Well-Known Member

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    Thank you so much! What you said about base malt percentage makes a lot of sense, I will adjust the crystal and victory malts. I had a feeling the additions were overcomplicated, thank you for your advice. I also have some cascade hops; would you recommend using those for aroma/dry hopping and use Centennial for bittering? I wasn't looking to dry hop this only because I'm doing small batches and didn't want to lose beer to the hops absorbing liquid. I also want to hone my process a bit, and make sure I understand how the hop timings affect bitterness and aroma without adding another variable before I've mastered what I have now. Again, thank you so much! I'm excited to brew more and learn as much as possible!
     
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  4. Semper Sitientem

    Semper Sitientem Well-Known Member

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    Although experimentation is one of the more interesting parts of home brewing, hops do fall into general categories of bittering, aroma and dual use. As a beginner, I stuck with these guidelines to gain experience. Cascade is an aroma hop and centennial is dual use. So, what you’re suggesting looks ok IMO.
     
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  5. Sunfire96

    Sunfire96 Well-Known Member

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  6. Yooper

    Yooper Administrator
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    I like centennial and cascade together, and I think the recipe looks good!
     
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  7. Sunfire96

    Sunfire96 Well-Known Member

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    Excellent, thanks again for the very helpful advice! If you were going to dry hop this recipe, would you omit any of the aroma hops during the boil, or just dry hop with a small amount (like 0.1 oz)? I've got a tea infuser I can try dry hopping with, assuming it fits into the opening of my gallon jug fermenter. Also, do you dry hop in your primary? I have some 1/2 gallon growlers I could rack into as a secondary, and try dry hopping one but not the other...
     
  8. Yooper

    Yooper Administrator
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    I do dry hop in the fermenter. Dryhopping brings things to the beer that kettle additions do not, so I dryhop in addition to the kettle additions.
     
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  9. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    I brew pales with nothing darker than C-40 and that seems pretty perfect - some caramel sweetness without any cloying quality. The C-60 may be just a little heavy with raisin/dark fruit notes and overpower the toasty/nutty flavors in the Victory. Try it, though...it might be just what you're looking for.
     
  10. BOB357

    BOB357 Well-Known Member

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    Assuming you're using pellet hops, just drop them in loose once fermentation has slowed. Give the fermenter a gentle swirl once or twice a day until they start to sink. Put the fermenter in the fridge and the hops will settle out and compact with the yeast in a few days. This will minimize volume loss. If you decide to dry hop, I'd go with about 1/4 oz. for some nice aroma.
    I agree with both @Yooper and @J A. No secondary fermenter, and lighter Crystal malt.
     
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  11. Sunfire96

    Sunfire96 Well-Known Member

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    Brewing today! I'm trying a new mash/sparge setup for simplicity, so fingers crossed
     
  12. Semper Sitientem

    Semper Sitientem Well-Known Member

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    +1 on Bob357’s suggestion for dry hopping, especially on a 1 gallon batch. For future reference, if you do intend to use a tea infuser on subsequent batches, make sure there is enough room in the infuser for the hops to expand. If I had to estimate, I’d say 3x.
     
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