One brew, multiple competitions

Discussion in 'Recipes for Feedback' started by J A, Aug 18, 2018.

  1. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    There are a few competitions coming up in October and I'm working on a way to split a batch to hit a few different styles. The categories that I know I need are Oktoberfest (Marzen), Belgian Pale and Irish Red Ale.
    All 3 are malty amber beers with moderate hops and slightly different malt profiles. My plan is to put together my Belgian Pale recipe... https://www.brewersfriend.com/homebrew/recipe/view/471085/barely-belgian-pale-ale ...and either split the boil late for different hops or just hop the same and use additions and ammendments in the fermenter to change the flavors slightly to adjust for style.
    For instance, the basic recipe without the candisugar and the addition of a small amount of steeped Black Patent for color and drier finish should fit nicely into the Irish Red profile. The Octoberfest could stand to be a llittle maltier than the Belgian Pale so I might just add some LME instead of candisugar and throw in a little Mittlefruh for dry hop.
    Different yeasts could be used to further accentuate the style characteristics.
    Any ideas or thoughts?
     
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  2. Texas Ale Works

    Texas Ale Works Active Member

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    I like this idea, should give a good idea of how flexible a basic recipe can be
     
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  3. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Oktoberfest should be dryer. It normally isn't dry hopped either. Maybe make a hop tea and add it before lagering?
     
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  4. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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    Just make one batch and put it in every category. See which ones it does well it. ;)
     
  5. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    #5 J A, Aug 19, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2018
    ^^^true...Considered doing a light hop boil in some LME/DME before adding to fermenter. Did that with a split batch Hazy Pale to boost the IBUs and it worked great. Won't actually be necessary, though. I can hop to a level that will work for all the beer styles. The low end of the Belgian Pale overlaps with the high end of the Marzen and Irish ale so 23-24 IBUs catches everything. Neutral hops like Crystal or Willamette or maybe Tettnager or even Mittlefruh should be okay for any of those styles.
    I can control attenuation with yeast strains.
     
  6. White Haus Brews

    White Haus Brews Active Member

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    You could adjust minerals after it's split too. Balanced for the boil and red, higher sulfate in the pale to accentuate hops, higher chloride in the marzen to accentuate the malt. Let us know how it goes!
     
  7. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    ^^^^ True that. About the only ion that matters in the mash is calcium, to a lesser degree magnesium. There's enough of everything else there and you can add the salts to taste.
     
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  8. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, I haven't played with water too much and tend to get pretty good results on a lot of styles just using filtered water as is. I get nice maltiness, depending on yeast and a little gypsum really makes the hops pop.
    I've been needing to look into water profile so I can take another step in quality. Now's a good time to start. :)
     
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  9. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    So looking back at this in prep for brewing, I've decided to mash/brew with acid adjustment only and add some Calcium Chloride to the Marzen batch and Gypsum to the Belgian Pale. For 4 or 5 gallon batches it seems like somewhere in the range of .5 to 1 gram per gallon would give a contribution without interfering with the flavor. Does that seem about right?
     
  10. White Haus Brews

    White Haus Brews Active Member

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    Playing around with the water calculator a bit on BF this is what I'd do (assuming you're starting with DI/RO water):
    Treat all the water before brewing with about 0.3g/gal CaCl and gypsum to provide some Calcium for the mash/boil while staying pretty balanced.
    Add an additional 0.2g/gal to the pale ale batch after split
    Add an additional 0.2g/gal CaCl to the Marzen

    YMMV but happy brewing!
     
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  11. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    I don't use RO. fortunately my local water is pretty nice for mashing with acidulated added to the mash. Even without additions, we have a pretty good balance. Mashed yesterday and got 85% efficiency, so I trust that I've got my PH in a good place. Since I didn't use any additions other than PH for the mash, the .5g I was thinking may work pretty well. Thanks!
     
  12. White Haus Brews

    White Haus Brews Active Member

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    Fair enough. Yeah I'm a little skeptical how much pH matters for conversion anyway, mostly I just do it as cceap insurance for now until I experiment with it myself :p Sounds like you've got a good plan, curious to hear how it all goes!
     
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  13. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    People who do science on beer are not skeptical about pH and conversion. The good news is that a mash tends to settle between pH 5.2 and 5.6 by itself, as long as the water is reasonable due to its buffers. It's almost a law of biochemistry: Enzyme activity is dependent on pH.
     
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  14. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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  15. White Haus Brews

    White Haus Brews Active Member

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    I understand that it's arguable to include Brulosophy as "real science" but they did 2 experiments on mash pH: 4.45 vs 5.33 and another 5.2 vs 6.4. On a subjective level neither one showed any percievable difference in the beer. And objectively their OGs were only 4 grav points off in the first one and identical in the 2nd one.

    I still do acidify my mash as best practice but I'm not nearly as concerned about getting it exactly right.
     
  16. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Understood that lots of what is science, pertains to large breweries, the kind that have been studied extensively. That 4 points is huge if you're doing a 3,000 barrel brew, equating to several tons of malt. I like lower mash pH's, my impression, not backed by anything more scientific than my beer-and-pretzel nightcap, is that lower pH values in the mash gives my beer a "brighter" flavor. I've done tests where I've taken a lifeless homebrew, added a drop of acid and had a nice, bright, good-tasting beer and the other direction, by adding a tiny bit of sodium hydroxide, made a bright beer lifeless. But that was finished beer! Mash pH's below 5.2 are said to interfere with conversion, again, it may be something only a factor in huge brews. So you're probably right - close is good enough since we're not trying to optimize for material consumption.
     
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  17. White Haus Brews

    White Haus Brews Active Member

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    Yeah I'd be curious to try some of that out for myself too and i also relaize the experiments themselves are only one data point so it's totally possible that some styles, grains, etc.. would matter more than others. Not going to stop using acid when I brew, just not going to stress out about being a few points off
     
  18. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    #18 J A, Sep 24, 2018
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2018
    So the first beer is packaged and carbed enough to take a sample. The Irish Red isn't exactly disappointing, but I'd definitely like it better if it were different. It registers as an Octoberfest with a fruity (slightly apple-y) English ale character from the S-04. Color and finish benefited from the late (fermenter) addition of some steeped Blackprinz malt and the hops are present in a way that helps the finish, the caramel/toasty malt body is a little sweet. The attenuation was 78% or more which is quite good for S-04 and is about right for style, it would be nice if it was a little more crisp. I expect it'll benefit from full carbonation and some "lagering" to clear the flavors.
    All in all, a nice beer. Maybe I'm just in the mood for something a little more dark and bitter given our somewhat fall-like weather here...In Texas, 70 degrees in September passes for brisk fall weather. ;)
     
  19. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Send some north - we've been pushing 90 for the last two weeks.
     
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  20. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    Don't worry, we'll be back to at least mid 90's before we get actual cool weather. :)
     
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