The Narrows - Winter Ale

Discussion in 'Recipes for Feedback' started by Craigerrr, Dec 3, 2018.

  1. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2018
    Messages:
    4,698
    Likes Received:
    6,892
    Trophy Points:
    113
    THis is a recipe from one of my LHBS's, it is their BOTM, $25 for all ingredients except the white chocolate, vanilla extract, molasses, and the water agents. Not sure if I selected the correct Crystal malts in the recipe builder or not.
    https://www.brewersfriend.com/homebrew/recipe/view/742194/the-narrows

    LHBS Grain Bill
    Grains Amount (lbs)
    Maris Otter 7.5
    Vienna 1
    Munich Type 1 1
    Crystal Light 0.8
    Crystal Medium 0.5
    Crystal Dark 0.4
    Chocolate Malt 0.2
    Carafoam 0.3
    Molasses 4oz

    Does this look like a solid recipe?
    TIA,
    Craigerrrrr
     
  2. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2016
    Messages:
    9,422
    Likes Received:
    9,478
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Pest control tech
    Location:
    Palmwoods QLD
    Holly moley you've got some malts crammed in there lol! You can prob drop half them crystals and still get same results but obviously a tried and tested recipe. It looks thick and malty to me.
     
  3. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2016
    Messages:
    3,474
    Likes Received:
    2,688
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Austin, Texas
    I think the carafoam may be redundant but otherwise it looks solid. The percentage of C-malts in relation to base malt is reasonable for style and the different levels of Crystal malts will contribute complex flavors.
     
  4. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2012
    Messages:
    9,367
    Likes Received:
    6,596
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Aurora, CO, USA
    I think you might be taking the notion of "complexity" a bit too far. You're taking the "bread" flavors of the base malt, Vienna and Munich and adding honey, caramel, burnt sugar and black coffee (the crystals and chocolate), then throwing molasses in on top? I believe this might be just a bit too complex, not to mention a bit syrupy (unless you balance with a lot of hops). Maybe if you could tell us what you're trying to achieve?
     
  5. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2018
    Messages:
    4,698
    Likes Received:
    6,892
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Thank you Trialben, JA, and Nosybear.
    The goal is a Winter Ale.
    This isn't my recipe, it is from the LHBS. I am getting pretty good at making beer, but I don't know what makes a good recipe good, hence the request for input.
    Part of the interest in this recipe is the low cost, but I don't want to brew a beer that tastes low cost.
    If the best advice is to look for a new recipe, and ask for further input, that works too. Part of the plan here is for a buddy to brew the same recipe, and then compare the results.
     
  6. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2012
    Messages:
    9,367
    Likes Received:
    6,596
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Aurora, CO, USA
    Reasonable approach: Brew it and see how it compares to our predictions - two tests in one!
     
    rolandblais, Craigerrr and J A like this.
  7. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2016
    Messages:
    3,474
    Likes Received:
    2,688
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Austin, Texas
    A lot of beers are much better off with just a few ingredients to really hammer a particular note in the flavor, but something should be complex and subtle with a lot of notes to mull over. Seems like a winter ale is the perfect beer for that :)
    What would you change? I could see using a 45L candisugar instead of molasses for some toffee/carmel to reinforce the middle of the flavor range but the molasses might add a hint of "fruitcake" and perception of slightly bitter tinge to help the finish. One way or another, I think the extra sugar will help dry it out and provide a little extra attenuation for relatively strong alcohol notes to offset the heavy malt sweetness that could threaten to take over, though there's not a lot of it in the recipe anyway.
    Do you think a lower mash temp would lend more fermentable maltose to further dry it out and let the crystal malt do the work of adding body? That's what I tend to do when I have a recipe with a relatively high C-malt content.
     
    Craigerrr likes this.
  8. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2012
    Messages:
    9,367
    Likes Received:
    6,596
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Aurora, CO, USA
    I'm not a complex beer guy, hence my recommendation that he brew it and tell me how far off I was in my assessment.... ;-). I'd definitely drop the white chocolate, it's nothing but sweetened cocoa butter. Extra sugar is the first place my brewer brain went with this. All that crystal is going to make a very chewy beer. I'd be looking into plain sugars to help dry things out unless the plan is to drink it out of cordial glasses. You're right about Carafoam being unnecessary in this, there's so much crystal body and foam shouldn't be a problem.... Molasses is good if kept below the flavor threshold, it gets nasty pretty quickly above it (mine's about 3 oz in 6 gallons of beer).

    I think of recipes normally as to what should I put in and if I can't articulate the reason to myself in terms of flavor or effect, I don't put it in. So my approach leads to simpler recipes. Brew it, Craigerr, and see!
     
    Craigerrr and J A like this.
  9. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2018
    Messages:
    4,698
    Likes Received:
    6,892
    Trophy Points:
    113
    The input is much appreciated, made a few adjustments based on the advice provided.
    Maybe my buddy (and he is as cheap as the day is long) will brew the LHBS recipe, and I will brew the modified recipe. Instead of an experiment, it will be a competition!
    Thanks guys!
     
  10. Group W

    Group W Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2017
    Messages:
    1,388
    Likes Received:
    2,290
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    That’s like a lb of crystal. No problem; Deschutes Jubleale is more like 1.5 lbs of crystal on 5 gal. It’s a winter ale... I’m not a big fan of Vienna and would replace with 2 row. Not sure what to think about the molasses. Respectfully GW. :)
     
    Craigerrr likes this.
  11. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2016
    Messages:
    3,474
    Likes Received:
    2,688
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Austin, Texas
    Can't argue with that logic at all! ;)
    In this case I think the ingredients work for the reasons you noted earlier - the combination of C-malts gives 3 distinct flavors, honey, caramel, raisin. Because that layering of flavors will ideally come through in the beer, that's the reason I'd support using them. I actually didn't register the white chocolate...you're definitely right about that - no reason for it.
    Craigerrr, if it was me, I'd get a little bolder with the candisugar and up it to 8 ounces. It's not going to hurt the flavor and should be good for combating the potential downfalls that Nosy is warning against - beer that's too thick or chewy. Also, there's really no reason for 3 different hops. I'd stick with Willamette all the way and let the malt steal the show. Keep the IBUs up so that the balance is there and the earthy/floral/spice of the Willamette will provide a good base for the hop contribution.
    Brew on! :)
     
    Craigerrr and Group W like this.
  12. Head First

    Head First Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2012
    Messages:
    2,253
    Likes Received:
    2,451
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Back in the mountains
    My take on it is if they sell it as a kit it must be a tried and true recipe. Brew it as is or you will never know if you like the kit. You brew an adjusted beer and your bud brew same as is a good idea. I posted a RIS brewed by a homebrewer recipe. Scotts Thors Thunder calls for 333 IBU! Completely out of reason but it is a standout stout. You never know unless you try it. Exbeeriment is a good thing.
     
    Craigerrr likes this.
  13. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2012
    Messages:
    9,367
    Likes Received:
    6,596
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Aurora, CO, USA
    Can't argue with that.
     
    Craigerrr likes this.
  14. Hogarthe

    Hogarthe Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2014
    Messages:
    528
    Likes Received:
    264
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Seems like a decent beer... It's going to be big and thick though. Maybe mash low to counteract. Unless you want that. Molasses is only about 50% fermentable, so adding that to the crystal malt will leave a thick body to it. But a winter warmer style usually is full bodied. Personally I'd leave out white chocolate. The oils and fats in it won't do the head retention any favors and I'm not sure how well the flavor will show through.
     
  15. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2018
    Messages:
    4,698
    Likes Received:
    6,892
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Have never brewed with Vienna, respectfully, going to leave it in. The molasses is out in favor of the candi sugar, and will up the amount as suggested.
     
    Group W likes this.
  16. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2018
    Messages:
    4,698
    Likes Received:
    6,892
    Trophy Points:
    113
    The white chocolate, and the molasses are both out, thanks for your thoughts.
     
  17. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2018
    Messages:
    4,698
    Likes Received:
    6,892
    Trophy Points:
    113
    This is very true, but I am not 100% confident in the original recipe from the LHBS, he is a good guy, but I have not been thrilled with his recipes in the past (although I must say it has been a while and my skill, equipment, and process have improved considerably since I last brewed one of his recipes). I have also found the help and advice on recipes from the good folks here has always been spot on.
     
  18. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2018
    Messages:
    4,698
    Likes Received:
    6,892
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Thanks JA, I will kick up the candi, and go all Willamette, makes total sense to me.
     
  19. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2018
    Messages:
    4,698
    Likes Received:
    6,892
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Thanks Nosy
    Dropping the white chocolate, the carafoam, and the molasses. I upped the other malts slightly to make up for the carafoam, and as noted the candi will go in place of the molasses.
     
  20. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2018
    Messages:
    4,698
    Likes Received:
    6,892
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Could I also get some feedback on my water profile?
    Target, London (porter, dark ale)
    100 / 5 / 35 / 60 / 50
    With my water agents
    86 / 5 / 27 / 108 / 135
    pH 5.38
     

Share This Page

arrow_white