« on: February 19, 2011, 07:08:54 PM »
To clarify a couple things.
The 2-row barley choice is one of economics and practicality as much as anything to do with flavour. Being my first batch, if I really screw it up, I'd rather do it with malt that's 60% the cost of MO. That's one of the things I'd try to change after a few batches once I'm more confident with the process.
The yeast was chosen because I have done extract brews with that same yeast and have had good success and I liked it. So, again, sticking with what I know for this first attempt.
Likewise, I've made a starter with this one before and it worked out well. I boiled about 400 g of light malt extract in 4 L of water, cooled it and pitched the yeast. After 3 days, I crashed it, poured off the wort and pitched the slurry. I don't have a stir plate (all I do have is an old 1 gallon apple juice jug) so I'm just shaking it intermittently when I'm in the basement. So, my yeast number probably isn't as high as could be. I've never used Mr. Malty or Beersmith.
The reason I went with this style is that I like ales and my wife prefers medium hopped darker beers. My last beer was an IPA with IBU of about 60 and that was too bitter for her so I'm trying to tone that down a bit and come in with something a bit maltier and less hoppy. The "English Pale Ale" as a style was more of a guideline for what I was aiming for in terms of IBU:GU ratio. Until I get the process down, which will likely take many batches, I don't think I'll worry about hitting the style exactly. Once I can do it, then I'll start to dial in on doing it better.
Thank you all very much for your comments to date. Really appreciate knowing I'm sort of on the right track.