Generic APA Recipe

Discussion in 'Recipes for Feedback' started by KenK, Aug 12, 2017.

  1. KenK

    KenK Member

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    I wonder if any of you could offer an opinion on this APA recipe. I don't have the equipment for an all grain brew yet so this is what I came up with. I'm looking for something that's not citrusy but has decent hops and malt. I thought I'd cold crash to clear it up a little and then warm back up to basement temperature (it's about 72 degrees down there) before adding the sugar so I don't end up with bottle bombs. Does anybody have any comments on this recipe? The recipe is here:
    https://www.brewersfriend.com/homebrew/recipe/view/516862/generic-apa
    Thanks folks.
     
  2. jmcnamara

    jmcnamara Well-Known Member

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    First of all, you're still brewing. All grain or no

    A few things stood out for me. The equipment is set to BIAB, but you're not mashing anything in your recipe (you only use specialty grains, no base malt). If you are doing BIAB, I'd say sub out some of the liquid extract for some base malt. I'm partial to Vienna, but that's your call

    That's a lot of crystal too, maybe drop that by half or so or it might end up too sweet in the final product

    Anyway, good luck with it and let us know how it turns out. I really started to enjoy this hobby more once i made my own recipes.

    Side note and a little off topic, but search the web for the Briess malt steep test. I haven't done that one yet, but it should give you a great idea of what each malt brings to the table
     
  3. KenK

    KenK Member

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    Thanks J. I'll take your advice since I have no real idea how this'll turn out anyway. I like to mess around with recipes so will try a couple pounds of Vienna and knock down the crystal. I'm not sure what the difference is between BIAB and just steeping grains but maybe it doesn't matter. I'll see what the steep test has to say. You're right -- fun hobby.
     
  4. jmcnamara

    jmcnamara Well-Known Member

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    Think of steeping like you're making tea. Flavorful malts soaking in hot water for a period of time. Steeping is best done with the specialty malts where your trying to get flavor, color, and aroma

    BIAB / Mashing is when you are a bit more particular with your water temp and mash time. You also need enough base malt to convert the starches on the other grains into sugar. This is essentially like making a big bowl of watery oatmeal
     
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  5. BoomerBrian

    BoomerBrian Active Member

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    Definitely bump that crystal down. I would probably just cut it in half. 5-10% is what I find usually works for crystal.
     
  6. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Problem there is Vienna doesn't work well as a steeping grain. Crystal malts have had their starches converted to sugars in the malting process, as have most grains that can be steeped. Vienna has not had its starches converted. It needs to be mashed. What I'd do is use a mix of pale and amber malt extract to get the color you want, maybe use a bit of crystal.

    Mashing is just another way of steeping and yes, you can do it in a bag. Vienna malt will convert itself: Steep it in a bag for about an hour at 152 degrees and you've mashed it. Throw all the grains in a big enough bag and do that and you have brew in a bag (actually mash in a bag). I like the idea of using Vienna or Munich instead of Crystal in a Pale Ale - I've almost banned crystal malt from my brewery - but they do need to be mashed.
     
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  7. jmcnamara

    jmcnamara Well-Known Member

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    Right, I'm still a little unclear on his method for this batch, so it's hard to say
     
  8. KenK

    KenK Member

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    I guess that's where I get a little confused between mashing and steeping. I put the 2-4 pounds of grains in a bag and steep/mash/soak it in 3 gallons of water at 150-155 for maybe an hour or so. I jostle the bag every now and then like you might stir a mash. This seems like pretty much the same as mashing in a picnic cooler to me, which is how I've seen it done in a lot of youtube stuff. Then I rinse/sparge with a gallon or so of 170 degree water, add the extract and start the boil.
    I get pretty good beer this way. It won't take any awards but I gotta say that I like the homemade stuff from my own basement better than a lot of commercial stuff.
    I had planned on adding the crystal malt for head retention but think I got it confused with carapils, so I'll change to a half pound of that and get rid of the crystal. I'm not real fond of sweet beer, so thanks for the heads up.
    You folks are a gold mine!
     
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  9. KenK

    KenK Member

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    Correction: It looks like I'm supposed to mash/steep/soak the grains in the water that already has the extract in it, so I'll add the extract first and then the steeping bag. I've been soaking grains in plain water before, so we'll see what difference this makes.
     
  10. BoomerBrian

    BoomerBrian Active Member

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    If you have a big enough kettle you might consider to start doing all grain brew in a bag.
     
  11. jmcnamara

    jmcnamara Well-Known Member

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    You're doing a partial mash. Using mostly grain, but supplementing with extract as necessary. To boomerbrian's point, seems like you should ditch the extract for normal strength beers. I do BIAB in a 5 gallon kettle now. That's about 11 lbs absolute max grain. But you either brew 5 gallons of a session ale or 2 gallons of a barleywine, and you don't need the extract

    Never done it, but it seems like mashing with the extract wouldn't be a good idea. If the strike water is already saturated with sugars, there's less room for it to pick up anymore from the grain. Think like the bottom of the koolaid jug when you put too much in and not enough water. At some point no matter how much you stir, there's still some that won't dissolve

    Seems like it's best to mash with plain water so it sucks as much sugar out of the grain as possible.
     
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  12. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    #12 Ozarks Mountain Brew, Aug 12, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2017
    I've done what you mentioned here an your fine, don't worry about being perfect on extract or partial but in the recipe editor you did specify bib which is confusing people, the difference would be the default 35% efficiency for the extract setting and it didn't change in your recipe so I would start over or change the efficiency to 70%, crystal is ok in a pale ale as a matter of fact I like it better with crystal but as for steeping for an hour your fine at the bib setting.
     
  13. KenK

    KenK Member

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    I was thinking putting the extract in first didn't sound right too. Then I got to looking at the "diastatic power" of the grain and it sounded like Vienna didn't have enough on its own to convert enough, so adding the extract seemed to make sense. But I'm pretty sure I'm overthinking this so I'll just steep/mash in plain water like I always do.
    I've only got a 6 gallon kettle so I don't think I can make a 5 gallon all grain BIAB work. I wonder if I could get 8 gallons of mash to boil in a 10 gal kettle on the stove? Boiling 5 gal is no problem now so the stove (electric) seems to have plenty of horsepower.
     
  14. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    you can make a 10 gallon beer in a 5 gallon pot, I've done it many times, you have to add twice the hops for it to work so yours will be easy, Ive developed a process that even cools the beer
     
  15. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Palmer's Method. If you can get hands on a copy of "How to Brew", John lays out the method of using wort (water with extract dissolved in it) rather than water for steeping. When you consider pH (geekery to follow), that method makes sense, since there's not enough buffering capacity in the grains to be steeped to correct the pH. Vienna malt will convert itself - makes a wonderful SMASH beer if you're into lagering. I'd go with steeping in wort if I were doing an extract batch, it's relatively easy (mix up half your extract in water warmed to about 160 degrees and steep your grain in that. Boil that mixture, then add the rest of your extract with about 10 minutes to go. Remember if you do that, adjust for higher hop utilization.).
     
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  16. KenK

    KenK Member

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    I have the book and now remember reading about the Palmer method. Thanks for the reminder -- gettin old and forget a lot... Thanks to all you guys -- this forum rocks!
     
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  17. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    Hey and remember to have fun...:)
     
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  18. KenK

    KenK Member

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    Oh, you betcha! Bottling up a little batch of Bell's Two Hearted Ale this morning. I've been cold crashing it in a plastic garbage can of icewater for a few days -- high tech, huh? But good, bad or meh, I'm gonna drink it :D
     
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