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First extract brew recipe (American Pale Ale) - Advice for improvements?

Discussion in 'Kits & Extracts' started by BennyBrew, 25/6/19.

 

  1. BennyBrew

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    Posted 25/6/19
    So I recently cracked open my first bottle of an American Pale Ale I brewed using a basic recipe I got from the 'Brew A Batch' home brew book. Details below:

    Base Malt:
    1.5kg Coopers 'Light' LME
    1.5kg Briess CBW Munich LME

    Hops:
    45g Cascade (6.5% AA) 60 min. boil

    Yeast:
    Nottingham Ale

    Bulk Prime:
    100g Dextrose

    OG: 1052
    FG: 1011
    ABV: 5.4%
    Attentuation: 78%
    IBU: 35 (approx)

    Two week ferment and two weeks in bottle before first try.

    Although I didn't mind it (definitely drinkable which is a success for me at this stage) - I have the following issues with it:

    - Too sweet in flavour and lacking any pronounced hop profile
    - Too dark in appearance for this style (see photos)
    - Lacking in carbonation for this style (very smooth almost toffee mouthfeel)

    I would like to refine my APA recipe and give it another crack soon.

    Looking for any advice/comments/suggestions to improve my process? Cheers!

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    monkey brewing likes this.
  2. monkey brewing

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    Posted 26/6/19
    I’m only new myself but I have had similar issue with a brew being to sweet, it’s now 7 months old and is much more drinkable but still to much on the sweet side, same thing in regards to keeping recipes and tweaking them, maybe another form of grain steeped will fix the sweetness
     
  3. BennyBrew

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    Posted 26/6/19
    Thanks Monkey - was thinking about tweaking my hop additions. Perhaps adding more later in the boil? Dry hop?
     
  4. TheBigD

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    Posted 26/6/19
    A 60 minute boil will only give bitterness and very little if any flavour, you need extra additions at 30mins and 15 mins or there abouts for any hop flavour/aroma or you could have just done a 30min boil with the 45g which would have been better, also a dry hop during fermentation wouldn't go astray either.

    2 weeks in the bottle is still vey green give it 6 and I bet it will dry out and carb up a fair bit, it will be like chalk and cheese.
     
    Last edited: 26/6/19
  5. BennyBrew

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    Posted 26/6/19

    Cheers BigD - I must admit I cracked another one last night and even a few extra days seemed to have made a difference in carbonation and improved flavour.
    What sort of quantities would you recommend for 30 & 15 min hop additions?
     
  6. YAPN

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    Posted 26/6/19
    Try using a proper bittering hop for the 60min boil. 20gm of Magnum does the trick for me. Then what TheBigD says, late additions and dry-hop for the Cascade.
     
  7. pcmfisher

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    Posted 27/6/19
    Did you actually get down to 1011? Nottingham may have chomped it down that far but sometimes when you use all liquid malt, not being as fermentable as it could be, you may end up 1014-1015 which leaves sweetness.
    Personally, when I make beers by this method, I will sub out about 500g of malt for dextrose to get the fg down a bit for less sweetness. Either that or up the bitterness and possible the alcohol to balance it out.
    Darkness - What size boil did you do and how much of the malt did you put in.
    Nice compact head considering it was only in the bottle a couple of weeks.
     
  8. TheBigD

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    Posted 27/6/19
    for an American Pal ale you had you could do 25 grams from 60mins( bitterness) 10 grams at 30min( bitterness & flavour) and 10grams at 15mins (slight bitterness, Flavour & aroma) and a 25 gram dry hop on day 5 of fermentation. Not sure where it would come out IBU wise but it would end up nice and hoppy.

    Id advise using IanH's spread sheet you can simply put in what style your after, your recipe and it will work out your IBUs etc, its all I use for kits and extract brews and is usually spot on.
     
  9. BennyBrew

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    Posted 27/6/19
    Will do. After doing a bit of research I was tossing up between Magnum or Northern Brewer hops for the bittering. I'll give the Magnum a go.
     
  10. BennyBrew

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    Posted 27/6/19
    Not going to claim to be an expert with the hydrometer at this stage but fairly confident with the 1011 reading. I might keep the yeast strain the same for next brew so as to not change too many things at once but do you have a yeast strain that would work better? US 05??
    I fermented at 20 C on first brew but might try 18 C next time?

    Good tip on the dextrose in lieu to reduce sweetness.

    Approx. 12L boil - 1.5kg of each malt type (3kg total)
     
  11. BennyBrew

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    Posted 27/6/19

    Thanks BigD I'll give that a crack and check out IanH's spreadsheet.
     
  12. pcmfisher

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    Posted 28/6/19
    Nottingham is as good as any.
    Maybe next time only one x1.5kg tin in the 12L boil. Stick the rest in the end or even in the fermenter.
    Boiling hops in that high gravity is not ideal as you don't get as much out of them. Also that could be why it is darker than expected, a bit of scorching/caramelising due to thickness of wort.
     
  13. BennyBrew

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    Posted 28/6/19
    Which LME would you add at end of boil? Coopers Light or Munich?
     
  14. yankinoz

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    Posted 29/6/19
    I do AG now, but offer the following:

    Notty ferments quite low, even down to 12. I always liked it best in APAs starting at 14 or 15 and only raising to 20 when visibly active fermentation finishes. My preference for APAs is BRY-97, then US-05.

    Why boil that long? Since DME formation is not a concern, maybe put half the hops in for a short boil and the other half in a long hop stand, or just put the lot in for a 60 min hop stand. With that amount of Cascade you might want to wrap the kettle during the stand to maintain the temp.
     

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