Multiple grains in recipes. (complicated?)

Australia & New Zealand Homebrewing Forum

Help Support Australia & New Zealand Homebrewing Forum:

Will2233

Well-Known Member
Joined
10/6/18
Messages
45
Reaction score
17
Location
Engadine
Hi,

I have just started experimenting away from the kit and kilo brews and trying to do a couple of smaller BIAB and extract to basically try different techniques and styles.
My thinking so far is BIAB, no chill then racking into a container after fermentation to settle out the sediment.
No kegs yet so bottling.

I have tried a few of the software programs out there and am trying to get my head around BeerSmith, slowly getting there.

One thing I have noticed when looking at recipes is some are really simple with 1 or 2 grains and a simple hop schedule and others have a list of ingredients and hops as long as your arm.

Are the really complicated ones really using all the ingredients for a good brew or are the recipes built by brewers that have a lot of left over ingredients they want to use up?

I am finding that all the research I am doing fascinating.

William
 

CDS01

Member
Joined
16/8/17
Messages
15
Reaction score
6
Hi I Will
First of all welcome to the world of fine brewing.
Stepping away from kits is the best thing that I have done as I have been all grain brewing for just over 12 months.
Yes it looks very complicated when starting out with all these different steps to go through but believe me the rewards of perseverance and time well pay off with great quality brews rather than kit brewing.
I started by being dumbfounded with the amount of hops and grain added to recipes but realised that this is now getting into producing a brew as close as possible to the real style that you are seeking.
To answer your question, most steps you see in a recipe is to add the closest possible flavour and bitterness to the brew as possible. However, at times we may have left over ingredients which will combine to make a bloody good drop if you know the style you are after. I have done this a few times using brewing software so that I can gauge what the finished beer should turn out like.
I hope this encourages you to jump into all grain and reap from the rewards
 

MHB

Well-Known Member
Joined
1/10/05
Messages
6,861
Reaction score
4,326
Location
Newcastle
Its funny, most of the worlds great beers are really very simple, use a limited pallet of both malt and hops. The list of notable beers with at most 3 malts is startling. More than a couple are just 1 malt and 1 hop (see Budvar - the Czech one). They are just really well brewed.
The one big exception is anything coming out of the US, they tend to work on the principle that if a little is good more must be better - this is particularly true of American home brewers!
Some of the really exceptional US beers are much less complex, look at SNPA just 2 malts, Cascade and two other hops for bittering.

As a starting out AG brewer, I would begin with very basic beers, just a good base malt and perhaps a little crystal malt (say <5%) which describes the grain bill for about 80% of the UK Bitter, Best Bitter, ESB, IPA's made.
Learn to control your processes, learn what the ingredients taste like, how bitterness affects the taste of the beer...

Get the basics right and you will be well on your way to being a competent brewer who can make any style of beer you like.
Mark

PS
If you want a great example of overcomplicating brewing, have a read of "Brew Like a Monk", the first half of the book is how Belgian monks make beer with lots of good interviews - the second half is how to **** it all up.
M
 

TheSumOfAllBeers

Well-Known Member
Joined
19/10/17
Messages
126
Reaction score
40
The grain bill can get justifiably complex for dark beers and porters, where you may be looking to source multiple characteristics that cannot exist within one malt type.

- fermentability from pale
- black colour from black/chocolate or other highly roasted grains
- roast character from roasted grains only
- balance/ complexity / style specific from a huge range of adjuncts and malts in the middle ebc spectrum eg 20-150

But for anything else 2 malts is usually all you need.
 

Blind Dog

Beer
Joined
30/7/13
Messages
1,714
Reaction score
793
As Mark said, most of the worlds great beers are pretty simple in terms of ingredients. Best advice I ever received starting down the all grain path was to keep the recipe simple and focus on technique and process. That way you build up knowledge of what each malt, hop, yeast strain etc. brings, whilst still brewing great beer.
 

Will2233

Well-Known Member
Joined
10/6/18
Messages
45
Reaction score
17
Location
Engadine
Thank you for your replies, I apologise for being slow to reply.

I have ventured into doing a extract Stone and Wood clone and Dr.Smurto's Golden ale all grain.

I am guilty of not sticking to a style of brewing and making sure I master that, the problem being all my beers to date go into bottles so waiting a week or so to taste leads to empty fermenter syndrome (EFS).
As you realise it can only be cured by........ filling a fermenter.

I have just brought the gear to keg which the S&W went into so this could hasten the tasting phase up a bit.

As has been said and I am starting to realise you don't need a bucket of ingredients to brew good beer.
My eyes have been opened to the world of different beers, I usually drink (gasp horror) Tootheys New, now i buy a different beer to taste then look to ways to replicate it.
The S&W was for my sons birthday and I brewed it up without even knowing what it tasted like, I brought 1 last week to try and WOW where have these styles of beers been all my life.

I'm looking forward to where this adventure will take me,
William
 

Will2233

Well-Known Member
Joined
10/6/18
Messages
45
Reaction score
17
Location
Engadine
Hello,
Just a quick update.
I was a lucky boy and received a Robobrew for Christmas, my dear wife also sourced a free small fridge for me as well.
I have brewed Dr Smurto's golden ale in the Robo and fermented in the fridge at 18C, the first time I have ever fermented at the correct temperature.
I also have just brought a second hand KegKing kegerator, so was able to carb the beer in the fridge....
I'm in heaven.
William
 

Latest posts

Top