California Comon recipe review

Grains, malts, hops, yeast, water and other ingredients used to brew. Recipe reviews and suggestions.

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California Comon recipe review

Postby cwiley » Tue Feb 20, 2007 4:59 pm

Hi. Just generated my first recipe and wanted comments. This is a partial mash California Common. I'm relatively inexperienced, so please critique!

3.68 lbs. American 6-row Pale info
0.58 lbs. Crystal Malt 80
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RE: recipe review

Postby wottaguy » Wed Feb 21, 2007 7:26 am

The recipe looks good, but personally, I would not use the honey. If you omit the honey, you'll have to make up for the sugar bt adding more LME. But its your beer and if you go with the honey, it should be fine! Just watch your fermenting temps and you'll be ok.Also, change the 6-row to a 2-row and perform a mini-mash to get it converted.

Hope this helps!

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Postby slothrob » Wed Feb 21, 2007 8:36 am

I would question the honey, too. Do you know what honey adds? Mostly it adds sugar, and little else, so it makes a beer stronger and thinner bodied. Usually it's added when someone specifically wants to make a thinner, crisper beer, so if that's what you're looking for...

Also, for a partial mash, I'd start with a volume of extract equal to a full can, for convienience. So I'd make the extract 3.3#. You'll lose about ((4.3-3.3) 30=) 30 gravity points, so increase the grain by (30/25=) 1.2#.

This will give you (3.7+1.2=) 4.9# grain. I would round this to 5# and round the crystal malt to 0.5#, if you want it to finish dry, or 0.75# if you want it a bit sweet. If you can mash 5.5#, you're all set. If not, you need to swap some of the grain out for DME at a ratio of around 1# DME per 2# of grain.

Also, I would use 2-row, not 6-row. The 6-row is really only for when you're mashing a lot of rice or corn, like in an american lite beer.

You should get a beer of about 1.047, which is on the low end the style. The hops will give you about 34 IBU (if I did the calculation right in my head). That's a bittering unit to gravity unit ratio of 0.7, which should be okay, it's toward the middle for the style.
With a partial volume boil the bittering would be slightly less due to reduced utilization efficiency.

Edit: to correct a whole bunch of math errors.
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Modified recipe

Postby cwiley » Wed Feb 21, 2007 9:31 am

Hi. Thanks for the help! I'm a complete novice, but have made some incredible beer by following other recipies. This is my first attempt at making my own simple recipe. My obvious problem is that I don't know what each ingredient adds or detracts from the final product. I thought I'd run some attempts through here before brewing. I think I'll eventually get a better handle on what I'm doing...

5 lbs. American 2-row
0.50 lb. Crystal Malt 80
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Postby slothrob » Wed Feb 21, 2007 10:20 am

That looks decent to me. I'd brew it with confidence. Some other changes you could make if you want, or consider for the next batch:

You could increase the 15' hop addition to 1 oz, or add 1/2 oz at 30' and 1/2 oz at 15' if you wanted to add more hop flavor or complexity.
Same thing with the Saaz, which could be increased to 1 oz for more aroma. Your current values are fine, it just depends on what you want. The Saaz is out of style, Steam Beer being made with all Northern Brewer just because Ancor does, but I think it could work well. It's one of those hops that goes with almost everything, giving a bit of a floral aroma.

Same with the crystal malt. A lot of recipes use as much as 1# Crystal Malt, but that would be too sweet for me. It's a choice. The 0.5# should make a crisper drier beer with plenty of flavor. If you want to increase the body or sweetness, I prefer to increase the mash temperature instead of adding a lot of crystal. 152
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Postby cwiley » Wed Feb 21, 2007 11:06 am

Ok, I'd like a crisp beer, but I do want a little body as well. What do you think about .25# of Crystal 40 and .35# of 80?

I've only done a couple mashes. I started a couple of years ago doing Coopers cans, moved to extract w/ steeped grains, added a couple of kegs and now I'm hooked. I think its time for me to learn a little bit about what I'm doing, now that I've got the process down (mostly).

Thanks!
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Postby slothrob » Wed Feb 21, 2007 11:36 am

Sorry, I might have given too many choices, I was just trying to give you ideas about how the process works, considering the role of the different components.

I think any combination of Crystal 40 or 50 and Crystal 80 would be a good choice somewhere in the 0.5-0.75# range, total. I think your original choice of 0.5# of Crystal 80 is perfectly fine, but it might be a little dark (I'm not sure of the exact color off the top of my heads). You're looking for a bit of a toasted caramel flavor, the 80 will give you a bit of a roasty/toasty edge and a redish color on top of a caramel sweetness, the 50 will give more of a straight caramel flavor, and the 40 will be a lighter sweetness.

Perhaps, thinking about it more, I would choose less of the 80 and more of the lighter. 0.25# 80, and 0.25-0.5# 40 sounds good, 0.35# would be fine. I'm not sure how much difference 0.25 and 0.35# really will make, though, so I don't think you can go wrong in that range.

I asked about your partial mash experience because it might not be a bad idea to have an extra pound of DME on hand in case the gravity comes out lower than you hope from the mash. I had to do that for my first 2 mashes before I got my numbers nailed down.
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