Author Topic: Mitch Steele excerpt  (Read 814 times)

Offline flbrewer

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Mitch Steele excerpt
« on: April 06, 2014, 01:12:48 PM »
I'm reading an older thread that mentions the following by Mitch Steele.
"1. Brew a really dry beer. Target a terminal gravity at 3 °P or below."
I've asked this before and with extract brewing you've commented to use a bit of sugar in the grain bill. Can anyone elaborate on the terminal gravity of 3....means?



"2. Minimize crystal malts, or eliminate them. And only use the lightest (20°L or less) if you do want to use crystal malt."

I've asked this before ad nauseum but I'd like more feedback. I always assumed it's better to use them.

Thanks everyone.

Offline denny

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Re: Mitch Steele excerpt
« Reply #1 on: April 06, 2014, 01:32:09 PM »
1.) He's talking Plato.  In specific gravity, which most of us use, that about 1.012.

2.)  That's his opinion, not a rule.  Use as much of any malt as you need to get the beer you want.  It's in how you use it, not the amount you use.
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Offline majorvices

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Re: Mitch Steele excerpt
« Reply #2 on: April 06, 2014, 01:39:08 PM »
Yeah, it is his opinion. But it's also a pretty good guideline for brewing IPAs. Too many IPAs out there have too much crystal and are too sweet. If you are trying to dial in your IPA these are good guidelines to follow. Brew the beer you want, for sure! But most likely the beer you want won't be a crystal overloaded high finishing gravity IPA.
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Offline a10t2

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Re: Mitch Steele excerpt
« Reply #3 on: April 06, 2014, 02:05:34 PM »
Bear in mind too that these super-attenuated West Coast IPAs tend to run 7+% ABV. For a lower-gravity IPA to achieve the same balance, you need to compensate for a little of that alcohol sweetness. Or at least I find that I do. I generally target an OG of 15.2°P and an FG around 3.2-3.5°P.
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Offline majorvices

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Re: Mitch Steele excerpt
« Reply #4 on: April 06, 2014, 02:38:39 PM »
I have definitely found that I like at least some crystal malt in my IPAs. They can get too dry.
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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Mitch Steele excerpt
« Reply #5 on: April 06, 2014, 02:52:31 PM »
I like 5 or 6% crystal in IPAs. Personally, I just think there's a clash between too much crystal sweetness and IPA hopping levels. I pretty much use all of Mitch's IPA guidelines, except I think no crystal might be a little extreme. I definitely like his low mash temp (149-150F) and targeting 1.012 as FG. But I also agree everybody should make it their own dang way.
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Offline denny

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Re: Mitch Steele excerpt
« Reply #6 on: April 06, 2014, 02:54:12 PM »
Yeah, it is his opinion. But it's also a pretty good guideline for brewing IPAs. Too many IPAs out there have too much crystal and are too sweet. If you are trying to dial in your IPA these are good guidelines to follow. Brew the beer you want, for sure! But most likely the beer you want won't be a crystal overloaded high finishing gravity IPA.

But crystal malt and sweetness don't necessarily go hand in hand.  You can use crystal for the flavor, and balance it with the rest of the grist, the hopping, the yeast, the mash temp.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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Offline flbrewer

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Re: Mitch Steele excerpt
« Reply #7 on: April 06, 2014, 03:53:49 PM »
If someone would kindly fork over the perfect IPA recipe I'll stop asking questions...otherwise the questions will continue until morale improves.

Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Mitch Steele excerpt
« Reply #8 on: April 06, 2014, 03:59:30 PM »
If someone would kindly fork over the perfect IPA recipe I'll stop asking questions...otherwise the questions will continue until morale improves.
That depends on what you consider to be the perfect IPA. Can you elaborate on the best example of perfection?

That is not a flippant reply. I have a fondness for something like Ballantines IPA, as I had that in my misspent youth. I like some Classic British IPA recipes. Some of the new American ones I like, others not so much.

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Offline flbrewer

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Re: Mitch Steele excerpt
« Reply #9 on: April 06, 2014, 04:08:46 PM »
Not to derail my original question, but here are some IPAs/DIPA's I'm fond of...
Cigar City Jai Alai
Bells Two Hearted
Bear Republic Racer 5
New Belgium Ranger
Ithaca Beer Flower Power
DIPA's
Pliny the Elder
Victory Dirt Wolf

Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Mitch Steele excerpt
« Reply #10 on: April 06, 2014, 04:14:52 PM »
Not to derail my original question, but here are some IPAs/DIPA's I'm fond of...
Cigar City Jai Alai
Bells Two Hearted
Bear Republic Racer 5
New Belgium Ranger
Ithaca Beer Flower Power
DIPA's
Pliny the Elder
Victory Dirt Wolf

That helps a lot.

You can find some homebrew clones for the Two Hearted and Pliny the Elder in Zymurgy issues. You can do the online editions if you are a new AHA member and find those.

Web searches can find other clone recipes for the popular ones that have been out for some time. Dirt Wolfe might be too new.

Buy Mitch Steele's book and read it in detail. I am drinking an IPA right not modeled on Fathead's Headhunter, and I am really liking it. 3rd time brewing that one.
« Last Edit: April 06, 2014, 04:17:27 PM by hopfenundmalz »
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Offline majorvices

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Re: Mitch Steele excerpt
« Reply #11 on: April 06, 2014, 04:16:53 PM »
Yeah, it is his opinion. But it's also a pretty good guideline for brewing IPAs. Too many IPAs out there have too much crystal and are too sweet. If you are trying to dial in your IPA these are good guidelines to follow. Brew the beer you want, for sure! But most likely the beer you want won't be a crystal overloaded high finishing gravity IPA.

But crystal malt and sweetness don't necessarily go hand in hand.  You can use crystal for the flavor, and balance it with the rest of the grist, the hopping, the yeast, the mash temp.

Sweetness is the wrong word. I don't think crystal malt really adds sweetness, per se. But it does add flavors I find that clash with hops if used too much. As I said, I do think some is important. Around 5% is the key for me. Don't care for higher Lovibond crystals in IPA.
« Last Edit: April 06, 2014, 04:18:51 PM by majorvices »
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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Mitch Steele excerpt
« Reply #12 on: April 06, 2014, 04:20:34 PM »
Yeah, it is his opinion. But it's also a pretty good guideline for brewing IPAs. Too many IPAs out there have too much crystal and are too sweet. If you are trying to dial in your IPA these are good guidelines to follow. Brew the beer you want, for sure! But most likely the beer you want won't be a crystal overloaded high finishing gravity IPA.

But crystal malt and sweetness don't necessarily go hand in hand.  You can use crystal for the flavor, and balance it with the rest of the grist, the hopping, the yeast, the mash temp.

I don't think crystal malt really adds sweetness, per se. But it does add flavors I find that clash with hops if used too much. As I said, I do think some is important. Around 5% is the key for me. Don't care for higher Lovibond crystals in IPA.

It depends on the IPA, and the amount of crystal malt. Have you ever made this one? It is a classic that old guys like me like. Just realized I need to do it again!
http://realbeer.com/hops/sister.html
Jeff Rankert
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Offline narcout

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Re: Mitch Steele excerpt
« Reply #13 on: April 06, 2014, 04:23:12 PM »
"2. Minimize crystal malts, or eliminate them. And only use the lightest (20°L or less) if you do want to use crystal malt."

I have to say, my favorite IPA recipe at the moment includes a pound of English dark crystal (80 SRM). 

Offline majorvices

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Re: Mitch Steele excerpt
« Reply #14 on: April 06, 2014, 04:29:14 PM »
Yeah, it is his opinion. But it's also a pretty good guideline for brewing IPAs. Too many IPAs out there have too much crystal and are too sweet. If you are trying to dial in your IPA these are good guidelines to follow. Brew the beer you want, for sure! But most likely the beer you want won't be a crystal overloaded high finishing gravity IPA.

But crystal malt and sweetness don't necessarily go hand in hand.  You can use crystal for the flavor, and balance it with the rest of the grist, the hopping, the yeast, the mash temp.

I don't think crystal malt really adds sweetness, per se. But it does add flavors I find that clash with hops if used too much. As I said, I do think some is important. Around 5% is the key for me. Don't care for higher Lovibond crystals in IPA.

It depends on the IPA, and the amount of crystal malt. Have you ever made this one? It is a classic that old guys like me like. Just realized I need to do it again!
http://realbeer.com/hops/sister.html

Yeah, I always forget about English IPAs. I mean citrus hop bomb American IPAs. And even there a 1/4 lb of 120 crystal isn't going to sink the boat.

I also have a few recipes I have brewed over the years that break the mold I am talking about. But as guidelines, I think Mitch's advice is sound and mirrors my experience. If the OP is having trouble dialing in his IPA recipe maybe cutting back on the crystal or cutting back on higher lovibond crystal might be the key.

As an aside, I wonder what Denny would say about the wheat added to that recipe. ;)
Keith Y.

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