Time to decide on a second batch - looking for recommendations

Discussion in 'Beginners Brewing Forum' started by Tal Orbach, Jun 21, 2018.

  1. Tal Orbach

    Tal Orbach Member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2018
    Messages:
    151
    Likes Received:
    18
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Hello there.
    My name it Tal. I am very new to home brewing.
    I made my first batch a few weeks ago, and now, the time has come to decide on what to brew for my next batch. I'd really appreciate your advice.
    First off - a bit about my own taste in beer: I don't like sweet or fruity beers (belgian ales are really not my thing) nor do I enjoy overly hoppy ones (most IPAs I've tasted I could appreciate, but not enjoy; the exception being Hitachino, which I actually did enjoy). I like a drinkable beer, but one with some complexity. I love them when they are bitter, but not too much so, and I enjoy some interesting hoppiness or maltiness, as long as they're not overbearing. I love toasted flavors in beer - especially in relatively lighter beers. Not a huge fan of porters and stouts. (I'm especially into lagers, but those aren't an option at this time).

    A bit about my technical situation - I live in a house with rather thick walls, so temperatures don't fluctuate too much, but summer is coming, and temperatures here are on the rise - currently around 26C (79F) indoors, and that figure will surely go up. For this reason, I plan on putting my fermenter in a small tub of water, and adding ice occasionally.

    I'd really like my next batch to be BIAB.

    I thought of either brewing a lighter ale with some toastiness to it or an Irish Red - but if I do that, I want it to have this thick body, with creamy, velvety head. If you could point me at a good recipe for either of these - that'd be great. If you think this might be a bit too ambitious for a novice like myself - please tell me.

    Alternatively, I thought of brewing something that would help me to start learning what the individual ingredients contribute to the final product - so I'd be looking for a recipe for a relatively "plain" beer, where I can play with just one variant to create two different products. I'm guessing the easiest one to play with (especially in terms of costs) would be the aroma hops (or dry hopping). I thought of maybe a SMaSH of some kind. So, again, if you have any good recipe for a beer that really lets the hops express themselves, and that would work well with two different kinds of hops - I'd really appreciate it if you point me in the right direction. Ideally - both kinds of hops that I'd be using would be quite different from one another, and also quite mainstream - not something too esoteric (and of course - something that I'd like - so not something too fruity or citrusy or anything).
    I'm also open to changing something other than aroma hops, if you have another idea, but the idea remains the same - two beers, that are identical, except for one change, so I can really understand what that change did.

    If you read this LOOOOOONG scroll all the way - I thank you.

    Looking forward to your inputs!

    Cheers,
    T
     
    Hawkbox likes this.
  2. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2012
    Messages:
    9,399
    Likes Received:
    6,638
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Aurora, CO, USA
    First, I like the way you're thinking! Learning the ingredients is a great way to get going (learning the process along the way is even better). SMASH is a great way to do so but makes a rather boring beer. So here's a less boring beer that you can use for your purposes:

    https://www.brewersfriend.com/homebrew/recipe/view/184044/nosy-s-german-american-blonde-ale

    The acidulated malt is only there for mash pH control, you can lose it if you want. And feel free to vary the hops if you'd like! The Vienna malt makes the beer a bit more interesting but you can even trade it out for pale ale or pilsner.
     
  3. Tal Orbach

    Tal Orbach Member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2018
    Messages:
    151
    Likes Received:
    18
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Thanks for the compliments. :)

    And thanks for the recommendation!
    Any specific hops you'd go for? (I'm guessing that 60 minute addition doesn't really matter all that much, and I'd only play with the flame out addition, right?)
     
  4. Michael_biab

    Michael_biab Member

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2017
    Messages:
    38
    Likes Received:
    14
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Location:
    Ohio
    Welcome to the brewing community, Tal! It's also great to meet another BIAB brewer - which I think makes the brewing process a lot easier than the traditional approach.

    Ok, so you want a lighter ale with some toastiness to it? But not too much in the way of bitterness? A couple of different kinds of beers come to mind that fit the bill.

    First is California Common beer. This was developed in the US West using a lager yeast but at Ale temperatures. It's difficult to get your temperature down to the level for a true lager yeast but you could try it, or use a relatively clean ale yeast and approximate it. This beer has some body and brown color but is not excessively bitter. You can play with toasting grains and the hops you want. Unfortunately, I don't have a recipe to recommend but I bet you can find something here on BF that will work well.

    Second is an English Mild. This is not too bitter, and can the favor the toasty malt you want. You can play with ways to get the amount of maltiness you want (types of specialty grains), or play with finishing hops. Here's one I like:
    https://www.brewersfriend.com/homebrew/recipe/view/532140/mister-manners-mild-augmented

    Third is a British Bitter. This is also not too bitter, favors malt, and gives you an opportunity to get a lot of flavor from a lighter beer. You can experiment with more complex yeasts (we can recommend some if you want) to get a lot of flavor or with your hops. This may be the trickiest beer of the three to brew well so it depends on how ambitious you feel. Here's a recipe I've brewed a couple of times:

    https://www.brewersfriend.com/homebrew/recipe/view/577808/union-jack-it-best-bitter

    I like the idea of the Irish red. I don't have any good suggestions on the velvety head you want though unless you can dispense with nitrogen! And that's a whole other area of discussion!

    Good luck and let us know if what you choose.
     
    The Brew Mentor likes this.
  5. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2017
    Messages:
    3,740
    Likes Received:
    2,975
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    IT Manager
    Location:
    Edmonton
    Welcome! And good thinking. I did a lot of SMaSH beers last summer when I was getting started. They can be a little boring but they are good for knowing how the variables interact.
     
    IPLAYDRUMS and Tal Orbach like this.
  6. Ozarks Mountain Brew

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2012
    Messages:
    7,767
    Likes Received:
    3,976
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    IT Managment
    Location:
    The Ozark Mountains of Missouri
    I like boring beers in the summer heat, light beers are just better when your thirsty
     
    Vesparados, DanC, IPLAYDRUMS and 3 others like this.
  7. Tal Orbach

    Tal Orbach Member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2018
    Messages:
    151
    Likes Received:
    18
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Thanks for the recommendation. I tried a California Common once, and I found it to be too sour-ish, and a bit stale-tasting. I was wondering if it part if the style, of it just happened to not be a very good specimen.

    Regarding clean ale yeast - that does sound like something I'd want. Could you give me a few examples of such yeast? (let's say yeast that would produce something crisp and dry compared to most types of ale)

    That definitely sounds like a possible possibility. I'll definitely make it at some point, even if it won't be the next one I do.

    Sounds like I'll probably wait with this one until I have a few more batch-notches in my belt.

    I don't really have a way of doing that. What about something that would get me part of the way there? (not as creamy as nitro would make it, but still creamier than normal?

    T
     
  8. Hogarthe

    Hogarthe Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2014
    Messages:
    528
    Likes Received:
    264
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Cali common shouldn't be sour or even sourish. You had a bad one. Anchor Steam is the famous example.
    Clean ale yeasts Us-05, Danstar west coast yeast for dry yeast, liquid ones are wlp001 and wlp090 (San Diego super yeast) or wyeast 1056.
    Use a bit of oats to get some creaminess. Won't be like nitro but its good.
     
    The Brew Mentor likes this.
  9. Tal Orbach

    Tal Orbach Member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2018
    Messages:
    151
    Likes Received:
    18
    Trophy Points:
    18
    OK. I'll try to find a better Cali Common here. They're nor too common (see what I did there?) in Israel...
    What does it taste like? What flavors should I be expecting?

    Great. Thanks.

    How much oats would you say?
    And how do Irish Stouts get their creamy consistency? Do all Guinness, Beamish, Murphy's taps use Nitro? (because that level of creaminess would totally be enough for me, so if I can get that without Nitro, I'd be a happy camper)
     
  10. Mark Farrall

    Mark Farrall Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2017
    Messages:
    1,302
    Likes Received:
    1,423
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Melbourne Australia
    Haven't brewed one yet, but I'd put in a recommendation for a mild recipe based on your tastes.

    Or a Schwarzbier? There's more and more evidence that some of the lager yeast strains are far more tolerant of heat than everyone fears. So maybe not a summer brew, but probably a winter brew if you don't have refrigeration. That said, I'm in Aus and we're about two weeks from our coldest temp, so I could probably put my money were my mouth is and brew one myself.

    Any love of the dry yeast driven beers? A Belgian wit is a nice challenge when you've got a few more brews completed. Something like Blanche d'Namur or Hoegaarden.
     
  11. Blackmuse

    Blackmuse Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2012
    Messages:
    918
    Likes Received:
    933
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Electrician (Previously a 6th grade Teacher)
    Location:
    Maine
    Home Page:
    Here's an idea for a Smash beer. I have done it several times and love it.

    Munich malt - up to 1.050

    Phoenix hops - 45-50 ibus spaced as you see fit. I do a bittering, heavy flavor (20-25 min) and a touch at 5 min or so.

    Danstar Nottingham yeast ferment between 60 and 70 degrees. Cooler is better but just do your best to keep it under 70.

    Mash at 154.
    Sparge at 168-170

    Adding a touch of special b was what I did to a later version and have found it to be even better!

    The Phoenix hops have molasses/chocolate notes to it.
     
    Tal Orbach likes this.
  12. Aub

    Aub Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2018
    Messages:
    123
    Likes Received:
    57
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    Hi Tal, you may find it helpful to have a look at the beer style guidelines, it will give you an idea of what to expect with the various styles.
    https://www.brewersassociation.org/resources/brewers-association-beer-style-guidelines/
     
    Tal Orbach likes this.
  13. Tal Orbach

    Tal Orbach Member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2018
    Messages:
    151
    Likes Received:
    18
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Sounds nice. Which other hop would you use (for a A-B comparison. let's say I do half a batch with Phoenix, what would you use for the other half, that has a very different character, and that would still really work with a Munich SMaSH)?
     
  14. Tal Orbach

    Tal Orbach Member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2018
    Messages:
    151
    Likes Received:
    18
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Don't really know the style. The fact that lager yeast would work at higher temperatures is nice, but what kind of flavors would they give? I'm guessing it would be rather different from a cold fermented lager, wouldn't it?

    I really don't like Hoegaarden. I don't know Blanche d'Namur, and I'm not sure what else would fall under the category of dry yeast...
     
  15. Mark Farrall

    Mark Farrall Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2017
    Messages:
    1,302
    Likes Received:
    1,423
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Melbourne Australia
    #15 Mark Farrall, Jun 23, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2018
    Certainly warmer fermentation at the start of fermentation should create more esters and/or phenols, and I'm sure I've seen it myself, but it's looking like it's very yeast strain specific. This is the start of a series checking to see how important temperature is for various yeast strains - http://brulosophy.com/2015/01/19/fermentation-temperature-pt-1-exbeeriment-results/. They've gone on and done a bunch more and it certainly seems a number of the lager strains aren't as sensitive as thought (at least at home brew scale).

    I have this theory that you get something like 20 points of stuff ups before it shows in the beer. So, poor fermentation temp control, minus 5 points, poor cleaning, minus 8 points, etc. When you're starting out you get hits in most categories, and maybe a really bad number in one or two categories. As you get more experience you start getting smaller numbers in each category, and probably a few with no hits.

    So if you're an experienced brewer a lot of people won't notice fermentation temperature control problems as most of the other problems aren't alse in the beer. So not saying you won't notice it, just that it might not be that big a deal if you've got most of the basics covered.
     
    Tal Orbach likes this.
  16. Blackmuse

    Blackmuse Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2012
    Messages:
    918
    Likes Received:
    933
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Electrician (Previously a 6th grade Teacher)
    Location:
    Maine
    Home Page:

    My number one comparison would be Tettnang - a German hop that is spicy/herbal. Munich malt is obviously German and I LOVE German style beers. So, I'd like to see this beer with a German hop though admittedly I probably wouldn't let it get much over 30 to 40 IBUs with a German hop... That's just me and my German thinking.

    To keep it in line with an ESB and have a truly English comparison I would try it with Fuggle or East Kent Golding (EKG is known to be Citrusy though so maybe stick to the Fuggle as it is earthy/minty/floral)...

    Many of the other hops that I like and would try this with for an "American" style versus the English ESB that I consider it -would fall into a citrus or fruity category that you have mentioned wanting to avoid. - Citra, Chinook, Amarillo etc.

    I really hop you try this! Keeping a Nottingham yeast or US-05 in the 60s will give you a clean yeast profile to let the munich malt and hops shine through. Sounds like you got a lot of advice here but several recommended recipes weren't really simple in the malt profile or weren't along the style lines you were looking for in your original post. However, I have enjoyed peeking at those recipes! It can be so hard to choose what is next brewing-wise! I often find myself straying from my original plans! lol Good luck with whatever you choose and please keep us posted here with the results!

    Prost!
     
    Tal Orbach likes this.
  17. Tal Orbach

    Tal Orbach Member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2018
    Messages:
    151
    Likes Received:
    18
    Trophy Points:
    18
    #17 Tal Orbach, Jun 30, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2018
    Thanks all.
    I eventually decided to go with a Pilsner malt with Nottingham yeast SMaSH, halved - one half with Hallertau and one with EKG.
    Brewed a couple of days ago, now in fermentation, which is so far quite lazy, buy will hopefully pick up pace soon enough.
     
  18. Blackmuse

    Blackmuse Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2012
    Messages:
    918
    Likes Received:
    933
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Electrician (Previously a 6th grade Teacher)
    Location:
    Maine
    Home Page:
    Nice! I've been itching to try my hand at Pilsner malt. I love EKG - it was my first favorite hop. I plan on using it in my next batch. A brown mild of sorts.

    I regularly use Hallertau. Solid hop.

    Be sure to let us know what you think of the results.
     
  19. Tal Orbach

    Tal Orbach Member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2018
    Messages:
    151
    Likes Received:
    18
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Sure will! In about a month or so.
     
  20. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2012
    Messages:
    9,399
    Likes Received:
    6,638
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Aurora, CO, USA
    My recommendation? Redo your first one and see if it comes out differently. If it does, find out why and correct.
     
    Blackmuse likes this.

Share This Page

arrow_white