Overwhelmed with style/recipe options. Help!!

Discussion in 'Beginners Brewing Forum' started by SabreSteve, Jul 25, 2020.

  1. SabreSteve

    SabreSteve Well-Known Member

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    So I had my first brew about 3 days ago, it was a pretty basic Hefe recipe I put together after like a month of studying and comparing different recipes. First thing I do now when I wake up, get home from work and last thing before bed is go to the basement and check on my fermenter. Seeing the airlock bubble away yesterday morning was the next closest feeling to when I first saw my son's heartbeat on the ultrasound (don't tell my wife). So after I do that all I can think about the rest of the day is my next brew! My main challenge is picking out a new recipe though. I tend to overthink things (think like Chidi from the Good Place) when it comes to making decisions. I've looked at several recipes and styles but everything that sounds good has scared me away because it either seems too complex or too expensive. Was hoping if you guys are willing to indulge my insanity that I could pick your brains for suggestions.

    Here's what I'm working with/looking for:
    I brew in a 28 quart (7 gallon) turkey fryer
    Fermenter volume is 5 gallons
    I do extract, I have everything I would need to BIAB but I'd prefer to work on my process a little more before throwing a whole new method into the mix.
    Ambient temperature in my basement this time of year is typically about 66 degrees F
    My temperature control right now is limited to tempature strips, a wet shirt and a fan although I am looking to upgrade eventually.
    I enjoy a very wide range of styles although I typically like to drink pretty seasonally (wheats in summer, darker in fall, porters and stouts in winter)
    I got fatigued by the IPA craze quite a while back so no need for anything above 50 IBU
    No leftover ingredients from my first brew so I'll be buying everything new for this brew
    My first brew cost $40 USD and I'd prefer not to go too much higher than that if possible.

    Sorry for the mega post. Look forward to your input.
     
  2. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    Honestly, if you've got everything for BIAB, you have nothing to lose by brewing something up. It'll make beer as good as your extracts. All you have to watch out for is efficiency boil-off rate (unknown until you do a few brews) which can mess up your OG if you haven't estimated closely enough. There's not much to worry about, though because you can just keep some DME on hand to boost low OG and you can always top up if you boil off too much. If you can buy a bag of grain locally, and take advantage of hops on sale you'll be able to brew for $10-$15 per 5-gallon batch.
    I'd give anything for a 66 degree basement!!:)
     
  3. Bubba Wade

    Bubba Wade Well-Known Member

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    One style I like that is easy to make with extract is an American Pale Ale. About 30-35 IBU, with some nice floral or citrus notes from dry hopping, depending on the hop choice. You can pick up some caramel malt (~40-80 lovibond) and steep to get some nice color.

    A similar beer with lower hops is a Belgian Pale Ale. Low hops, but a lot of flavor from the Abbey style yeast. You can use the same approach with caramel malt.

    There's probably 150 active posters on this forum, and you'll see about 100 different favorite beers, so good luck.
     
  4. BarbarianBrewer

    BarbarianBrewer Well-Known Member

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    Don't worry, we won't tell your wife! Remember what happens on the web stays on the web...forever :eek:

    I know what you mean about so many recipe choices! Unfortunately, as much as I love Brewer's Friend, the sheer volume of recipes to choose from is quite overwhelming to a new brewer. I started brewing 5 gallon extract kits from Northern Brewer. And I would suggest you start there as well; simply because there are fewer choices and the recipes are tried and true. Their extract kit page (https://www.northernbrewer.com/collections/extract-kits) has various filters including one for difficulty level. So you say you like Wheat beers in the summer...so I selected that as well as "simple" for the complexity level. It displayed 8 extract recipes under $39. The more you brew the more you will understand the process; how to do things the right way and how to do them the wrong way:oops:. Maybe you will start to tweak this thing or that and understand how it impacts your beer. And once you go All Grain/BIAB, you will learn even more. But all that comes later. For now follow the KISS principle. And although I've only bought kits from Northern Brewer, I'm sure there are numerous other sites to choose from. But, there we go again, increasing the choices you face! :D
     
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  5. BarbarianBrewer

    BarbarianBrewer Well-Known Member

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    I disagree. With all-grain, which BIAB is, there are more steps, more choices, more knowledge required (or more guesses made) that you simply don't have to deal with as an extract kit brewer.

    Totally agree on the cost savings of all-grain, especially if you get your base grain by the sack.
     
  6. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    Eventually the OP will make the transition, I stand by my offer of encouragement to do so. :)
     
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  7. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    I'd go with American Pale Ale. It's an easy style, tastes good and pretty forgiving. Find an extract Sierra Nevada clone, you won't be disappointed.
     
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  8. Blackmuse

    Blackmuse Well-Known Member

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    6 pounds light DME (or pilsen DME)
    2 oz of Tettnanger hops
    Kveik dry yeast
    1 pound of Munich dark crushed (if you can acheive this at your local shop)

    Just before prepping everything else for brew day first take a 6 quart pot and bring two quarts of water to about 16-162 degrees and add the crushed munich malt. - Cover it up and let it rest. Don't worry about adding heat or anything. Just let it do its thing for at least 20 minutes.

    While that is "steeping" get everything else ready. Just before your water starts boiling (or you can wait until after to help keep the chances of boil over low) - strain the grain from wort you just made with the munich malt and add it to the brew kettle.

    Boil for 45-60 minutes but add the 2 oz of tettnanger to the boil around 45 minutes. (Or you can split it slight 1.5 oz bittering and .5 oz at 10 minutes).

    Cool to 66 and pitch dry yeast.

    Just a thought... easy drinking enough for the august heat but still just as tasty in the fall...
    - Simple enough?
     
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  9. thunderwagn

    thunderwagn Well-Known Member

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    Morebeer has a kit of the week and often they are well below $40 even with shipping and I've not been disappointed with the quality of their kits. They are some of the best packaged kits I've received from online.
    Northern brewer offers 3 kits for $60 periodically and they're also nice.
    I'm just throwing bargains out there for you to watch out for.
     
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  10. Blackmuse

    Blackmuse Well-Known Member

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    Can't argue with that! - Morebeer! is a great site - for a whole lotta things!
     
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  11. Megary

    Megary Well-Known Member

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    I would agree wholeheartedly with @J A and suggest you go BIAB...but I am very leery that your 7 gallon pot won’t handle a full volume mash for a 5 gallon batch. You would need to make a very low gravity beer and even then your volume would probably be right on the rim of the pot. If you are going to use that pot for BIAB, you would be better off making 2.5 gallon batches. (My process is BIAB and I have an 8 gallon pot for a 3 gallon Into-fermenter volume)
     
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  12. SabreSteve

    SabreSteve Well-Known Member

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    Maybe it's just a weird hang-up but using a kit just feels like cheating. Feels kinda like making mac and cheese from the box. Don't get me wrong I love me some Kraft I just don't feel real accomplished after making it.

    Think I can handle that. I'll let you know if I decide to give it a try
     
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  13. Blackmuse

    Blackmuse Well-Known Member

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    I know exactly how you feel. I made TWO kits before trying to create my own. I very rarely looked back. It is how I ended up finding brewer's friend. Funny, thinking back.... I was hemming and hawing about dropping the dough for the lifetime membership... SO GLAD I PONIED UP! I haven't seen them offer it since. I think, if it weren't for the 6 hour brew sessions, I'd spend more time creating recipes on here than I do brewing them! lol
     
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  14. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    I've done 5 gallons with exactly that pot...it's tricky but it can be done. :) Easy enough to shoot for a slightly lower volume boil with slightly higher gravity and top up in the fermenter.
     
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  15. SabreSteve

    SabreSteve Well-Known Member

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    The turkey fryer is actually a loaner from my dad who wants it back eventually (even though I'm sure he'll never use it). So I am in the market eventually for a new brew kettle. The one I was looking at is 8 gallons, should I go bigger?
     
  16. BarbarianBrewer

    BarbarianBrewer Well-Known Member

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    For 5 gallon batches, an 8 gallon boil kettle is the minimum. But I would really recommend getting a 10 gallon kettle. That will give you some boilover protection and since you plan to go BIAB, a larger kettle will allow you to brew a bigger beer with a bigger grain bill.

    If you think 10 gallon batches are in your future, then get a 15 gallon kettle. Obviously, more volume means more money. So, if all you can afford is an 8 gallon kettle, then that's what you should get.
     
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  17. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

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    If you plan to do 5 gallon BIAB batches you should definitely go with a 10 gallon kettle
     
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  18. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    Don't let them tell you that you can't work with what you've got. I do 11 gallons into the fermenter from a 15 gallon pot. Do the math.
    Yes it'll take a little more attention and a couple of tricks and, yes, eventually you'd like a bigger pot but there are ways to get it done very handily. :)
    Fortune favors the bold....and beer,too...that favors the bold, too...definitely! :D :D :D
    Brew on, brave sir!! :)
     
  19. SabreSteve

    SabreSteve Well-Known Member

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    Well I definitely think I'm sticking extract with this next one then maybe the next one or the one after I'll try BIAB. If I do BIAB with my current setup for 5 gallon batches though I could in theory go with like 4 gallons in the kettle a a higher gravity and then top it off to 5 like I would with an extract batch though right?
     
  20. Megary

    Megary Well-Known Member

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    This.
     
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