Taking the AG plunge at last...

Discussion in 'General Recipe Discussion' started by SteBeardface, Dec 4, 2018.

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  1. Dec 4, 2018 #1

    SteBeardface

    SteBeardface

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    Finally biting the bullet after a few kit brews and messing with TC's and got myself some ingredients to attempt my first AG!

    I was messing around with the Wort app last night to come up with my recipe, and here it is -

    5 Gal batch

    Malt - 6kg Pale Ale Malt - Mash 60 min @ 68-69 °C

    Boil - 60 min
    10 g Citra (13.4% AA) - 60 min (18.2 IBU)
    15 g Citra (13.4% AA) - 15 min (7.3 IBU)
    20 g Citra (13.4% AA) - Flame-out
    (There's loads left for a dry hop, but I think I'll keep it simple for now)

    Yeast - Safale S-04

    I got the Citra hops cheap as they're 2015 harvest and the malt was just as cheap. I wanted to start at a 1 gal batch, but my equipment is a bit big for it, so I thought bugger it and go all out! I'm gonna try fly sparging after seeing some NZ guy on YouTube use jugs and some holey tin foil to fly sparge, figured it'd be quicker than a batch sparge.

    This is only a trial for me so I can get the basics of the process in my head for future brews, but I thought I'd get some opinions on the recipe before I get cracking with it this weekend. Also, any advice would be welcome!

    Cheers guys!
     
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  2. Dec 4, 2018 #2

    Bigcol49

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    Hi!
    Another slave of the Dark Side :D
     
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  3. Dec 4, 2018 #3

    Bigjas

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    Recipe look ok, its good to keep it nice and simple to start with. My only advice would be to take notes of everything you do, timings, temps etc. It helps with improving for the next brew and helps to understand your equipment setup etc. I'm nearly 30 brews in and I still make detailed notes to help with future brews.
     
  4. Dec 4, 2018 #4

    -Bezza-

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    Should be good. I did a SMASH as my first AG and the end beer was great.

    I would possibly just add a touch more bittering hop if it was me.

    What equipment/method are you going for? If BIAB you might prefer a cold water sparge as it will be a little easier on the hands.
     
  5. Dec 4, 2018 #5

    MyQul

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    The overall IBU's are very low. Depending on how bitter you want it (IPA level?, English Bitter level?) you'll need more bittering hops
     
  6. Dec 4, 2018 #6

    SteBeardface

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    I picked the Blonde Ale in Wort, it's style guidelines put 28 IBUs as the high end for this style, so I thought the 25-26 IBUs I should get would be ok. However, as it is my first AG, I plugged in a 60% efficiency to be safe, with and estimated OG of 1.046, so I can understand why you think the IBUs are a little low.

    I have 2 20L tea urns, 1 with insulation for the mash tun, the other the HLT. Then a large tea urn (at least 30L) for the boil. I wasn't going to bother with BIAB for effinciency reasons, but I'm wondering if I'll need a false bottom or something to prevent the tap from blocking up?
     
  7. Jan 16, 2019 #7

    SteBeardface

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    Just a quick update - I did it! The finished product is conditioning at the moment, but after a 2 week wait, I tasted.

    Verdict - The hops are definitely there, makes for a very fruity beer. I like the colour too. However, it is sweet... not sickly sweet, but enough to make it a difficult beer to drink. It's carbonated nicely, but there's little head retention (I kinda expected that, but still disappointed).

    It was worth a try though, I learnt a lot in the day, ended up buying a decent insulated mash tun after a 5 hour sparge and made sure that my boil isn't as vigorous all the time as I lost approx. 10 L in an hour... I've done a second AG brew since then (MM's Landlord clone) and decided that all future brews should aim for 19L as That's what I ended up getting from the boil.

    I have a lot more to learn in terms of handling my equipment for now, but I'm enjoying it :) next up - 2 different dunkelweizens due to an order cock-up on my part!
     
  8. Jan 17, 2019 #8

    fourbob

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    Hi, well done on your brewing, sounds like you're having fun....
    I'm not expert by any means but I think that part of the sweetness may be due to your mash temperature. My understanding is that mashing at higher temps produce a higher % of un-fermentable sugars so they don't ferment quite as low and leave some sugars in solution. A lower mash temp (62ish) will produce more fermentable sugars and result in a drier beer. For most beers I mash at 65 - 66.
    Also as MyQul has said, your recipe looks (to me) a bit low on bittering hops - more bitterness might cut through the sweetness? I generally use 20-30g of high alpha acid hops (any variety, currently using magnum or admiral because they were cheap last time I put in an order) for a 23l brew.
    Citra is a lovely hop but I'd use something cheaper for bittering because I don't think bittering hops do much to the flavour profile. Thornbridge brewery is fairly local to me and their Crakendale is a citra based american style pale ale and very nice.
     
  9. Jan 17, 2019 #9

    SteBeardface

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    Yes, i thought the temp might have been an issue, but i was aiming for a beer with a bit more body, more ale-like. I definitely got that 100%, so I probably should have bumped up the bittering hops. I would have used something other than Citra, but I like the hop and i got 2015 bag cheap from homebrewwest.ie. i didnt want my first brew to be perfect or complicated, just something simple to get me my first AG under the belt. I'm actually surprised i managed to make something drinkable, in all honesty!
    I'm also learning what I like in my beers. I like most styles, but there are definitely beers within those styles that i havent enjoyed. With this brew, a drier or more bitter beer would have been better for my taste.
    Thornbridge is on the cards for a visit next time I'm over. My family live in Sheffield, not so far from the brewery. Big big fan of their beers :-)
     

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