Author Topic: Critique my "American Bitter" recipe  (Read 1175 times)

Offline guitalele81

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Critique my "American Bitter" recipe
« on: October 10, 2013, 10:47:19 AM »
Hello Everyone!

I'm working on a recipe for a beer I'm calling an "American Bitter". It's probably closest to an American IPA by the guidelines, but I want a little more of an interesting malt presence in the beer. I'm looking to create something similar to Surly's "Furious" IPA. Let me know what you think / what you would change! Thanks!

HOME BREW RECIPE:
Title: American Bitter

Brew Method: All Grain
Boil Time: 90 min
Batch Size: 3 gallons (fermentor volume)
Boil Size: 3.75 gallons
Boil Gravity: 1.048
Efficiency: 70% (brew house)

STATS:
Original Gravity: 1.059
Final Gravity: 1.013
ABV (standard): 6.08%
IBU (rager): 115.81
SRM (morey): 11.57

FERMENTABLES:
4.5 lb - American - Pale 2-Row (65.1%)
1.73 lb - United Kingdom - Maris Otter Pale (25%)
8 oz - Belgian - CaraVienne (7.2%)
2 oz - German - Acidulated Malt (1.8%)
1 oz - American - Midnight Wheat Malt (0.9%)

HOPS:
0.5 oz - Warrior, Type: Pellet, AA: 16, Use: Boil for 60 min, IBU: 61.56
1 oz - Simcoe, Type: Pellet, AA: 12.7, Use: Boil for 30 min, IBU: 54.25
1 oz - Simcoe, Type: Pellet, AA: 12.7, Use: Boil for 0 min
1 oz - Columbus, Type: Pellet, AA: 15, Use: Boil for 0 min
0.5 oz - Cascade, Type: Pellet, AA: 7, Use: Boil for 0 min
1 oz - Columbus, Type: Pellet, AA: 15, Use: Dry Hop for 5 days
2 oz - Simcoe, Type: Pellet, AA: 12.7, Use: Dry Hop for 5 days
0.5 oz - Cascade, Type: Pellet, AA: 7, Use: Dry Hop for 5 days

MASH GUIDELINES:
1) Infusion, Temp: 152 F, Time: 60 min
Starting Mash Thickness: 1.25 qt/lb

YEAST:
White Labs - Dry English Ale Yeast WLP007
Starter: No
Form: Liquid
Attenuation (custom): 78%
Flocculation: Med-High
Optimum Temp: 65 - 70 F


Generated by Brewer's Friend - http://www.brewersfriend.com/
Date: 2013-10-10 16:37 UTC
Recipe Last Updated: 2013-10-10 16:36 UTC

 :D

Online morticaixavier

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Re: Critique my "American Bitter" recipe
« Reply #1 on: October 10, 2013, 12:50:52 PM »
This is such a personal taste issue I hesitate to suggest anything. The recipe is fine.

If I were brewing it I would leave out the acidulated malt and use liquid lactic acid if I needed a pH adjustment. I'm not familiar with cara-vienne but I'm sure that will be fine. It's basically a light crystal malt right?

When I think bitter I think session and 1.058 is not session in my book. I would drop the 30 minute hop addition, move the 60 minute to First Wort and drop enough two row to bring your gravity down to 1.040 then add enough table sugar to get it back up to 1.048 and bump the crystal a little for body and sweetness.

So you see, My suggestions make a more or less totally different beer.  :o
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Offline denny

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Re: Critique my "American Bitter" recipe
« Reply #2 on: October 10, 2013, 01:01:04 PM »
1 oz. of wheat malt is pretty much useless.  I'd leave it out, but leaving it in won't have much affect.  Hops look good to me.  And you might as well call it an APA or AIPA.  I think that's what was throwing Mort off...he expected to see a beer that matched the name.  I'd change the name to match the beer.
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Offline garc_mall

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Re: Critique my "American Bitter" recipe
« Reply #3 on: October 10, 2013, 01:14:57 PM »
So, the way I read your recipe, with the "interesting malt presence" it looks like an English IPA grain bill with an American IPA hop bill. That is the assumption I am going to make as I move forward with this recipe assessment.

A: I think this will make a fine beer as is.
B: Denny, it is 1oz of midnight wheat, so I think it is for color adjustment.
C: I agree with just calling it an AIPA, it fits styles, and when I hear american bitter, I think Session IPA.

On with the recipe Critique!

1. I would just use all MO for your base malt. It will give a much more toasty, stronger malt presence.
2. I would use 8oz of Medium British Crystal (55L) rather than the CaraVienne and Midnight wheat. I think this will give a more "British" malt profile, and keep the color where you want it.
3. I agree with Mort re: Acidulated malt vs. 88% Lactic. It is easier to control the mash pH if you just use the acid.
4. I would move the 30 minute addition to FWH, or to 5mins, with an appropriate bump in the 60min addition to maintain the Ibu numbers.

There is my 2 cents.
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Offline dordway29

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Re: Critique my "American Bitter" recipe
« Reply #4 on: October 10, 2013, 01:17:12 PM »
It's Midnight Wheat (about 550 lovibond) probably mostly for color adjustment in this recipe. and yes cara-vienne is a lighter crystal malt. personally i would drop the acidulated malt. the midnight wheat will most likely bring your pH low enough.

Online morticaixavier

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Re: Critique my "American Bitter" recipe
« Reply #5 on: October 10, 2013, 01:22:28 PM »
1 oz. of wheat malt is pretty much useless.  I'd leave it out, but leaving it in won't have much affect.  Hops look good to me.  And you might as well call it an APA or AIPA.  I think that's what was throwing Mort off...he expected to see a beer that matched the name.  I'd change the name to match the beer.

yeah that's it. As an AIPA it's probably fine, but I would get in trouble quick if someone says 'here, it's a bitter' and I drank like it was a bitter.

It's probably much simpler to change the name than the recipe  ;D
"Creativity is the residue of wasted time" - A. Einstein

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Offline denny

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Re: Critique my "American Bitter" recipe
« Reply #6 on: October 10, 2013, 01:36:44 PM »
B: Denny, it is 1oz of midnight wheat, so I think it is for color adjustment.

Ooops!  Thanks, Marc!
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Offline denny

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Re: Critique my "American Bitter" recipe
« Reply #7 on: October 10, 2013, 01:37:53 PM »
1 oz. of wheat malt is pretty much useless.  I'd leave it out, but leaving it in won't have much affect.  Hops look good to me.  And you might as well call it an APA or AIPA.  I think that's what was throwing Mort off...he expected to see a beer that matched the name.  I'd change the name to match the beer.

yeah that's it. As an AIPA it's probably fine, but I would get in trouble quick if someone says 'here, it's a bitter' and I drank like it was a bitter.

It's probably much simpler to change the name than the recipe  ;D

And that's why I have trouble with a "Black IPA" or a "pale stout"!
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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Online morticaixavier

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Re: Critique my "American Bitter" recipe
« Reply #8 on: October 10, 2013, 02:25:08 PM »
1 oz. of wheat malt is pretty much useless.  I'd leave it out, but leaving it in won't have much affect.  Hops look good to me.  And you might as well call it an APA or AIPA.  I think that's what was throwing Mort off...he expected to see a beer that matched the name.  I'd change the name to match the beer.

yeah that's it. As an AIPA it's probably fine, but I would get in trouble quick if someone says 'here, it's a bitter' and I drank like it was a bitter.

It's probably much simpler to change the name than the recipe  ;D

And that's why I have trouble with a "Black IPA" or a "pale stout"!

Amen,

I say Waltersian Black Ale and...gosh I don't even know what a pale stout would be. cream ale I guess?
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Offline erockrph

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Re: Critique my "American Bitter" recipe
« Reply #9 on: October 10, 2013, 03:59:00 PM »
Anything that calculates to 100+ IBU is an IPA in my books (unless the ABV is high enough to make it an IIPA or American Barleywine).

If you're looking for a more malt-balanced, hoppy brew maybe you're looking for an American Amber? Google "West Coast Blaster" - I'm betting this will be pretty close to what you're looking for.
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Offline guitalele81

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Re: Critique my "American Bitter" recipe
« Reply #10 on: October 11, 2013, 07:49:00 AM »
Wow! Thanks so much to everyone for the replies! That's why I love being a member of the AHA. :)

Yes, the Midnight Wheat is just for color...I'll look into the Medium Crystal instead! Pretty funny, with all your recommendations garc_mall, I'm really close to a clone of Surly Furious! :) I really appreciate all the input. Really looking forward to brewing this beer! Sounds like it will be what I'm going for!

Offline garc_mall

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Re: Critique my "American Bitter" recipe
« Reply #11 on: October 12, 2013, 10:44:05 AM »
Pretty funny, with all your recommendations garc_mall, I'm really close to a clone of Surly Furious! :)

And to think, I have never had this beer. Hopefully I get to have it in Grand Rapids next year!
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Fermenting: Flanders Red, Saison

Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Critique my "American Bitter" recipe
« Reply #12 on: October 14, 2013, 02:34:48 AM »
Pretty funny, with all your recommendations garc_mall, I'm really close to a clone of Surly Furious! :)

And to think, I have never had this beer. Hopefully I get to have it in Grand Rapids next year!
Don't know if Surly will be there, not in MI. Someone could bring cans to share.
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Offline garc_mall

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Re: Critique my "American Bitter" recipe
« Reply #13 on: October 14, 2013, 07:16:37 AM »
Pretty funny, with all your recommendations garc_mall, I'm really close to a clone of Surly Furious! :)

And to think, I have never had this beer. Hopefully I get to have it in Grand Rapids next year!
Don't know if Surly will be there, not in MI. Someone could bring cans to share.

My wife has stated that we are going to fly into Minneapolis to see her extended family, and then drive over to GR. So I will get a chance to have their beer, whether at NHC or on my way there. Maybe I will bring cans to share! I will also hit New Glarus, and visit Leos on my way in.
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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Critique my "American Bitter" recipe
« Reply #14 on: October 14, 2013, 08:05:28 AM »
Pretty funny, with all your recommendations garc_mall, I'm really close to a clone of Surly Furious! :)

And to think, I have never had this beer. Hopefully I get to have it in Grand Rapids next year!
Don't know if Surly will be there, not in MI. Someone could bring cans to share.

My wife has stated that we are going to fly into Minneapolis to see her extended family, and then drive over to GR. So I will get a chance to have their beer, whether at NHC or on my way there. Maybe I will bring cans to share! I will also hit New Glarus, and visit Leos on my way in.
You have a plan there Marc. Sounds like the start of a NHC beercation.
Jeff Rankert
Ann Arbor Brewers Guild, AHA Member, BJCP Certified
Home-brewing, not just a hobby, it is a lifestyle!