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First Brew (for A Long Time)

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Thylacoleo

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Hi all,

Just been enjoying thinking about brewing again, browsing the forum and gathering ideas. After much planning, I'm now gearing up to put down a brew this Saturday. Before I jump in the deep end though, I thought I would run the plan past you good people and see if I've missed anything.

Beer: American(-ish) Pale Ale
Batch size: 23L

Fermentables:
Coopers Light LME 3kg
Light DME 0.6kg
Baird's Medium Crystal 0.3kg

Hops (whole flowers):
Cascade (6.2%AA) 35g @ 60
Cascade 25g @ 15
Galaxy (11.1%AA) 25g @ 5
Galaxy 15g @ flameout

Cascade 15g (Dry hopped)
Galaxy 15g (Dry hopped)

Yeast: US-05 (LHBS was out of 1056)

Ianh's spreadsheet (which has been a HUGE help, can't thank the man enough) tells me I should get an OG of 1.054 and FG 1.015. Bitterness should be 38.2 IBUs, which is right where I was aiming.

I'm planning to do a boil volume of 10L, to make chilling it easier. My pot is too wide, or my sink too narrow, so I won't be able to sit the pot in a sink full of ice. I'm going to chill the remaining ~13L in an esky, so I was thinking I could add some to the pot as I take it off the heat to give it an initial drop in temp. Then strain* the wort into the FV, and top up the rest to the 23L mark with the remaining chilled water. Pitch the yeast when temp drops sufficiently further. Does this sound like a reasonable solution? The main aim being to cease isomerisation, so I feel this should do the trick (please correct me if I'm wrong!).

*Straining: I haven't gotten around to organising a big hop sock for the boil, but I do have a big colander. Was also thinking this would aerate the wort, which I've gathered can be a good thing?

I don't have a second FV, and I won't be racking or crash chilling. I've been reading bits about leaving the brew in the FV past the ferment, but I thought this leads to autolysis (at least, in the primary FV)? Thinking of just bottling once I reach (near enough) the target FG and is stable.

I'm also wondering when I should dry hop? When the krausen begins to die back?

Does the hop bill sound okay? Galaxy might be an odd choice, but I was going for an aromatic pale. Particularly looking for some citrus notes I've been enjoying in some of the IPA's and APA's. I'm kind of committed to the Cascade/Galaxy combo, as I've already bought 100g of each. I'm also up for learning by my mistakes when it comes to hops and flavours. I've just never boiled hops before, so I'm keen to know if the times and quantities sound right for balancing bitterness with flavour. (The spreadsheet indicates I'll hit the target IBU, but I imagine I could reduce some of the late additions, make a 30min addition and still come out with the right IBU).

I feel like I've written an essay on this first brew, so I'll leave it there and see what everyone thinks. I know I've rambled on and dumped a lot up there, but I've had all of this rattling around my brain for the last three weeks. I promise I'll be more concise in the future. Any help or advice will be gratefully received.

Cheers,
James.
 

JakeSm

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Hey james, glad to here you getting back into brewing.

I have recently put down one very similar to yours and is ticking away nicely. The only thing i would say is to use only 1 can of lme as the last 2 brews i have done with 3kg and has been really sweet in the end tastings. I only used 1.5kg with the pale ale and the colour is spot on.

Also i used Citra hop instead of galaxy and is working really well. I dry hopped 15g after 5 days of fermentation.

Everything else sounds awesome mate, hope it goes well.

Cheers jake.
 

Thylacoleo

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Hey james, glad to here you getting back into brewing.

I have recently put down one very similar to yours and is ticking away nicely. The only thing i would say is to use only 1 can of lme as the last 2 brews i have done with 3kg and has been really sweet in the end tastings. I only used 1.5kg with the pale ale and the colour is spot on.

Also i used Citra hop instead of galaxy and is working really well. I dry hopped 15g after 5 days of fermentation.

Everything else sounds awesome mate, hope it goes well.

Cheers jake.
Thanks Jake,

Cheers for the confidence boost, I mashed up this recipe from various threads (mostly various different LCPA "clones", as the most widely covered APA, plus a Sierra Nevada APA someone linked to). :)

Almost all the recipe's I came across used two cans of LME with some DME, or Wheat instead of DME (I decided against the Wheat for this first experiment; malted barley, hops, water was my mantra). Do you add any dextrose to compensate and bring the gravities back up? Citra does sound like an exciting cultivar, I'll definitely have to give it a go next time.

Cheers,
James.
 

JakeSm

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James,
these were my ingredients:

1.5kg Morgans Extra pale Liquid Malt
230g Cracked Wheat
180g Carapils
100g Medium Crystal
800g Light Dried Malt
750g Dextrose
11.5g US-05 Yeasties

Hops were:

15g Citra @ 45 mins
15g Amarillo @ 30 mins
15g Cascade @ 20 mins
10g Amarillo @ 10 mins
10g Cascade @ 5 mins
10g Citra @ 0 mins

Dry Hopped 15g Citra After 5 days

Original Gravity was 1.045.

hope this helps/gives you some ideas.

cheers jake.
 

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