Help!! My first recipe, any advice

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G’day everyone,

This is my first recipe, post and brew, and I would like to get some of this forums guidance and experience before brewing. Sorry for the long post, but I thought it best to give an idea of what I am planning. Hopefully, to stop follow on questions and guessing.

I intend to make an American Brown Ale. The general profile I am aiming for could be described as bitterness, aroma, maltiness, and gravity profiles on the lower end for an American style and higher for the classic English styles. I want this beer to sit between the classic Northern English and the newer, more modern American brown ales ….. Well, that is what I hope to make.

OG is forecast at 1.052
FG is forecasted at 1.012
ABV is forecasted at 5.3
IBU is forecasted at 29.7
SRM is forecasted at 25

The malt profile, I think, should offer a sweet malty flavour with tones of caramel, contrasted by small amounts of black and Carafa 2 malt for some bitterness, acidity, and dark roasted complexities. I believe the black malt and Carafe separate this recipe from a traditional English-style porter, delivering the mild but noticeable roasted flavours to contrast and ‘round-out’ the malty profile. Would this be accurate to say??

Malt ingredients
1.5kg Briess – LME Golden Light
1.5kg Briess – LME Traditional Dark
1kg Joe White ale malt – grains
220g Joe White Medium crystal – grains
220g Carafa Specical Type 2 – grains

Currently, I have 33% grain and 67% extract ratio. Broken down further in percentages is about

66% base malt - 22% Grains within the partial mash and 44% within the extract
18% Munich Malt 10L - within the extract
5% medium crystal 60L - Grains within the partial mash
5% Carafa Special Type 2 - Grains within the partial mash
4.5% Caramel Malt 60L - within the extract
1% black malt - within the extract
0.5% carapils - within extract

Should I add any Maltodextrin for head retention, and if so, how much? I want that nice creamy white head!!

The crushed Ale malt, the medium crystal and carafa special type 2 speciality grains will be mashed. Mashing when the temperature gets 71 °C; after that, keep the water at 66 °C for 1 hour.

From my understanding, the ale malt adds the diastatic power (currently sitting at an average of 42 – needs to be above 30?) needed for the Carafa speciality malt, not so much needed for the crystal?

When partially mashing, I have read that a good rule of thumb is to have at least twice as much base malt as the number of specialty grains. In this case, I have 440g of specialist grains and 1kg of base malt (in grain form). Does this all sound about right?


30g Challenger 40 min boil time
25g East kent dry hopped for 10 days

The hop aroma, bitterness and flavour should be mild and well balanced between the English and American brown ale styles. I believe that the IBU is on the higher side – for this style, at 30 IBUs, but the BU:GU is reading a well-balanced ratio of 0.56, hopefully resulting in a malty but not a sweet beer??

30g Challenger pellet hops will be used during the boil for 40-minutes for the bittering. I intend not to use a bag and use the kettle dead space, siphoning off the clear wort from the hop material and other stuff formed during the boil. However, this will expose the hops to the wort for a longer period (cooling time, siphoning, ect) - I have less control. Unsure how much of an impact this will have on the bittering scale?

25g East Kent Goldings pellet is used for aromas, dry-hopped on day 11 after the initial fermentation stages. The dry-hopped pallets will remain in the beer for the last ten days of fermentation.


The yeast I intend on using is the Dry English Ale Yeast (WLP007) x 2, with an attenuation of up to 80% fermented at 19deg C. I require 141B cells; these packets deliver 100B each, apparently. Factoring in age, transport etc, I think it should be about right for a 0.5 pitch rate.


The primary fermentation will be 11 days, followed by dumping the trub and dry hopping. Secondary fermentation will take ten days, a total of 21 days fermentation time. The beer will be cold crashed under pressure (5 PSI) for seven days, after which it will be transferred to a keg remaining under pressure (5 PSI) for an additional 14 days.

The total time is 42 days.

Any advice on my recipe, questions raised or other points that I have not considered would be much appreciated. Thanks all.


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Welcome to AHB!

A few points until someone more knowledgeable comes along with better advice:
1. "Just do it and see what happens." This is a pretty safe recipe, so it's unlikely to turn out unenjoyable.
2. You don't need to mash roasted grains (including Carafa) or crystal malts. I'd suggest either just steeping them (cold overnight works well) or doing a full mash and getting rid of the extracts. The partial mash you're doing will work, but seems like a lot of extra effort when you could just go all-grain (and have more control over the recipe, better results and do it cheaper) if you're mashing.
3. You will likely find it easier to just boil your bittering hops for 60 minutes and assume full utilisation, rather than 40 mins if you're worrying about prolonged time above 80°C. The longer you boil, the less difference a little extra time makes.
4. Your schedule seems a bit convoluted. Unless you're adding new fermentables with the hops, there's no secondary fermentation. At fermentation temp, you'll saturate the dry hop flavours in 3-5 days. You also don't need to cold crash for more than 24-72h to get fairly clean beer into your keg, after which point, cold crashing will of course continue. If you gas your keg (or let pressure build) to 15 psi before cold crashing, you'll have 8-10 psi once the beer is cold, and be a lot closer to the ~12 psi target for serving pressure.

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