Recipe Formulation/Brewing Help Needed

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Recipe Formulation/Brewing Help Needed

Postby Kepler57 » Mon Mar 21, 2005 5:45 am

Hello everyone.

I am new to this forum and i just started hombrewing. I brewed a successful octoberfest before Christmas with a friend and now i am ready to begin brewing on my own. I spent some time reading [i]The Joy of Homebrewing[/i], talking to a brewer at my local brewpub about their process and reading articles on this and other homebrew sites. I wanted to attempt something more challenging than a kit or an all extract recipe so i put together a few recipes and went ahead and ordered the ingredients and a bunch of new supplies.

I would appriciate any feedback/critique on these recipes as well as an suggestions for the actual brewing process since i have only brewed once before.

I was hoping to do a full boil, therefore i bought a 30 QT pot and i have a propane burner. I also purchased a wort chiller.

[b]
THE RECIPES[/b]

Trippel Ale

8lb Alexanders Pale LME
1lb Light DME
1lb Aeromatic Malt 21.6L
0.5lb Carapils Malt 7.7L
1.5lb Clear Belgian Candi Sugar
2gm Paradise Seeds
0.5oz Northern Brewer Hops(60 min. boil)
0.5oz Splat Hops (Dry Hop ???)
Wyeast Belgian Abbey Ale yeast (1214)


Apricot Ale

1lb Vienna Malt (milled grain)
1lb German Pils Malt
3lb Amber DME
4lb Pale LME
0.5lb Belgian Candi Sugar
1oz Saaz Pellets (60 min boil)
0.5 Splat Pellets (15 min boil)
0.5oz Strisselsplat Pellets (5 min boil)
6oz Apricot Extract (2oz in secondary fermenter, 4oz at bottling)
Wyeast Trappist High Gravity Ale yeast (3787)


Weizenbock

2lb Wheat DME
1lb Light DME
2lb Honey Malt
2lb Caramel Wheat Malt
4lb Honey
1oz Hallertauer Whole Hops (60 min boil)
1oz Hallertauer Pellets (20 min boil)
0.5oz Willamette Pellets (15 min boil)
0.5oz Hallertauer Pellets (Dry Hop)
0.5oz Progress Pellets (Dry Hop)
Wyeast Weihenstephan Weizen yeast (3068)


Raspberry Cream Ale

2lb Extra Pale LME
1lb Extra Light DME
2lb Honey Malt
1lb Carapils Malt
1lb Caravienne Malt
0.5lb Clear Belgian Candi Sugar
1oz Kent Goldings Pellets (60 min boil)
1oz Liberty Pellets (45 min boil)
1oz Cascade Pellets (20 min boil)
0.75oz Kent Goldings Pellets (Dry Hop)
6oz Raspberry Extract (2oz in secondary fermenter, 4oz at bottling)
Wyeast American Ale yeast (1272)


Main Questions
1. Does the Weizenbock need additional malts?

2. Do i need to sanatize the wort chiller before using it. If yes, how so?

3. I have never used Wyeast yeast, does anyone have an suggestions and/or experience?

4. I was planning on doing a full boil for each of these. Any suggestions?

5. I was planning on racking the Trippel, Apricot and Raspberry ales to a secondary fermenter. Would it be beneficial to do this with the Weizenbock as well?

6. I just guessed at the boiling time for the hops. How do i really determine these times?. Can i calculate the alpha acid levels to create a stellar brew? How so?

7. How do i determine how long to steep the grains, etc.?


All suggestions and concerns welcome!!!

~ Mike
Kepler57
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Welcome and Howdy

Postby BillyBock » Mon Mar 21, 2005 7:02 am

Kepler: welcome to the obsession :D So you wanted to challenge with something more than kits, huh? Good on you...I did a few kits first and then branched out. That's what makes this hobby great...so many ways to do things. On all your recipes, if you haven't done so already, run them through the recipe calculators on this site then you can see if you have the right bittering levels, color, etc. Ok, on to the questions:

1. Does the Weizenbock need additional malts?
Peronsally, I wouldn't use honey at all in a wheat beer. I would also skip the honey malt. Wheat DME is usually about 50/50 or 40/60 wheat & barley...just perfect for this style, so you can stay with just the DME in my opinion and get color from a hint of chocolate malt. You can get color from the caramel wheat malt also. But 2# might lend a pretty heavy caramel flavor and mask the flavors of wheat. Beware wheat ferments! It's gonna foam, don't fill the fermenter too far.

2. Do i need to sanatize the wort chiller before using it. If yes, how so?
I'm assuming you bought an immersion chiller. If so, just make sure it's clean and free of debris, then place into your boil during the last 15 or 20 minutes. That'll heat sterilize it. Make sure the inside of the coil is free of water or it'll spurt boiling water out of the lines--not fun. Also, cover your kettle while chilling it. A quick, simple way to clean the chiller is to steep it in a boiling white vinger & water solution--this'll remove the tarnish & oxides.

3. I have never used Wyeast yeast, does anyone have an suggestions and/or experience?
The Wyeast smack packs are great, but the toughest part of using it seems to smacking that pack inside. What's worked for me is to knead the package to find the pack inside, then push it to a corner of the smack pack. Then while using one behind the internal pack to keep it lodged in the corner, use the heel of your other hand and bear down with your weight. Once popped, shake it up and weight. Don't use it until you see it swell up--this makes sure your yeast are awake.

4. I was planning on doing a full boil for each of these. Any suggestions?
If you're doing 5 gal batches, you'll probably want to start with 6 to 6.5 gal of wort in the kettle. The boil should drive it down to 5 to 5.5 gal. Remember, you want to boil the final wort, not simmer. Simmering doesn't release hop bittering acids as well as a good, rolling boil. However, don't have a violent boil. If you keep a spray bottle of water handy, you can spritz the top of the boil when it starts to foam over--this will cause it to fall back. Also, make sure your liquid extracts are stirred into solution well before cranking the burner or it'll promptly sink to the bottom of the kettle and scorch.

5. I was planning on racking the Trippel, Apricot and Raspberry ales to a secondary fermenter. Would it be beneficial to do this with the Weizenbock as well?
I think all beers benefit from some additional settling time in a secondary. It's really up to your personal preference...see what works for you. But if you think it'll be a few weeks before you can get back to your beer, I'd use a secondary so you can remove it off the primary yeast cake and prevent off flavors.

6. I just guessed at the boiling time for the hops. How do i really determine these times?. Can i calculate the alpha acid levels to create a stellar brew? How so?
Generally, boiling hops are added at the start of a one hour boil. Flavor hops are added with 30 minutes remaining. And aroma hops are added when you end the boil. There are other variations on this approach, but this is the basic set. Not all beers need all 3 additions, but they all need at least a boiling (bittering) addition. Yes, you can calculate the bitterness levels, just use the calculators on the site or similar programs, such as Promash.

7. How do i determine how long to steep the grains, etc.?
You generally steep grains in hot water (about 150F) for 20 minutes. Never boil them. It's imporant to remember that only certain grains can be steeped: cara- malts, roasted/chocolate malts, etc. These grains don't have enzymes, so you're liberating the color and/or sugars already in them. However, base malts (pilsner, vienna, pale ale, etc.) need to be mashed or you'll end up with starch in your wort. Hold these in 150F water for about an hour to convert them using about 1 to 1.5 qts per pound of grain. Then rinse hot water through them to release the malt sugars. When you're done, top up your kettle with water and add your extracts. You could do this by placing the grain bag in a colander.

One last tip, I'd stay away from tap water. Most cities use chlorine or chloramines to disinfect. The chlorine reacts with malt products to make medicinal tasting compounds--yuk. Also don't use water from a soft water system. These work by an ion exchange system and they usually add sodium as the replacement ion--this will make your beer taste salty. Use filtered water or bottled water.

Well...we covered a lot of ground there. Hope this helps. Let us know how things turn out.

v/r
Bill
BillyBock
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You need more base malt

Postby richanne » Mon Mar 21, 2005 12:35 pm

On the Weizenbock, we agree to forget the honey and the honey malt, but you need more base malt -- either Wheat DME or LME should do the trick.
Richard and Anne Brady
Brady's Homebrew
http://www.bradyshomebrew.com
richanne
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