Author Topic: Newbie dark pseudo-bock  (Read 945 times)

Offline brewmonk

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Newbie dark pseudo-bock
« on: August 18, 2010, 03:22:00 AM »
I hope I'm not going out of my league for my second brew ever, but I wanted to get a bit more complex.  This may be more a question of yeast though.  This recipe started with me looking for something with which to get rid of my "lager" extract kit that came with my fermenter kit.

Recipe
Rocky Mountain American Dark
This is a Bock-Like lager made with added chocolate malt.
The American Mount Hood hops add fine flavour and aroma.

1 can Coopers Lager extract kit

50g Cracked Crystal Malt

100g Cracked Chocolate Malt

500g Light Dry Malt Extract

20g Mount Hood Hop Pellets (Hallertaur Hersbruker as substitute, since I can't get Mt. Hood here in Italy)

(Possible yeast substitute: White labs American ale yeast blend)

I plan to just steep the grains according to John J. Palmer's "How to Brew", then do the usual extract kit thing, and add the hops with about 10 minutes left.  Since I don't have the ability to lager, I was going to try to use a substitute ale yeast (not the dry yeast that comes with the kit) of the White labs American ale yeast blend.

Does anything seem glaringly wrong in this recipe?  I'm not really sure what to expect, but it sounds interesting.
« Last Edit: August 18, 2010, 04:25:20 AM by brewmonk »
Br. Francis
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Offline ryang

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Re: Newbie dark pseudo-bock
« Reply #1 on: August 18, 2010, 07:46:01 AM »
Substituting the lager yeast with ale yeast will not be a problem.  The only thing that seems wrong to me is your only hop addition at 10min.  With only 20g, I would imagine that is for a 60 min addition.  If you are going for a bock-esque ale, there should only be a tinge of hop balance in the back end of things, not really any flavor or aroma of hops.  Try it out, experiment, and drink up.

Offline euge

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Re: Newbie dark pseudo-bock
« Reply #2 on: August 18, 2010, 09:16:20 AM »
Yup, a bock should have a decent malt backbone followed up with bitterness, but a 60 to 45 minute bittering addition should do you well.

Once fermented try to cold condition the bockesque ale for a while .
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Newbie dark pseudo-bock
« Reply #3 on: August 18, 2010, 10:16:33 AM »
I agree about the bitterness, but maybe the kit is already hopped.  If so, we need a bit more information on the amount of bitterness there, hopefully the kit came with a recipe that will give you that information.
Tom Schmidlin

Offline wingnut

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Re: Newbie dark pseudo-bock
« Reply #4 on: August 18, 2010, 10:36:15 AM »
It has been a while, but I recall the Coopers Lager kit being pre-hopped, but needing some Dry Malt Extract added, to the tune of about 3 LB of Dry malt Extract to make 5 gallons.  (Things may have changed, as may have my perception of reality in the past 5 years)  The 1Lb (500g) seems a bit light.  However, the more I examine all the addtions, I think I should ask if you are shooting for a smaller batch size than 5 Gallons (19 liters)?

Let us know


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Offline brewmonk

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Re: Newbie dark pseudo-bock
« Reply #5 on: August 18, 2010, 10:59:18 AM »
Yes, the hop question is a bit confusing too.  The can of liquid exctract is pre-hopped.  So I am assuming all I need are finishing hops.  The recipe only called for that one addition of hops near the end, so I am assuming the pre-hopped extract makes up for the lack of bittering hops. ??? But any help on that aspect would be greatly appreciated too.
« Last Edit: August 18, 2010, 10:13:08 PM by brewmonk »
Br. Francis
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Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Newbie dark pseudo-bock
« Reply #6 on: August 18, 2010, 11:18:44 AM »
It depends on if they expect you to add more sugar or not.  If they think you'll use it as is, adding unhopped extract will make it seem less bitter than it already is.  Still, I would probably leave out any bittering addition this time around and see how it turns out.
Tom Schmidlin

Offline brewmonk

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Re: Newbie dark pseudo-bock
« Reply #7 on: August 18, 2010, 10:21:09 PM »
It depends on if they expect you to add more sugar or not.  If they think you'll use it as is, adding unhopped extract will make it seem less bitter than it already is.  Still, I would probably leave out any bittering addition this time around and see how it turns out.

Hmmm, I didn't consider that.  I can't tell from the recipe if it assumes you will add additional sugar (following the directions on the can) or if the dry malt extract and grains in this recipe makes up for that. My guess is that the grains and dry malt extract replace the sugar you would use if you were just brewing the kit as is.  If I added more sugar, would that just increase the gravity and therefore the alcohol content, or would that make the beer too sweet?  ???
Br. Francis
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Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Newbie dark pseudo-bock
« Reply #8 on: August 18, 2010, 11:13:48 PM »
It depends on if they expect you to add more sugar or not.  If they think you'll use it as is, adding unhopped extract will make it seem less bitter than it already is.  Still, I would probably leave out any bittering addition this time around and see how it turns out.

Hmmm, I didn't consider that.  I can't tell from the recipe if it assumes you will add additional sugar (following the directions on the can) or if the dry malt extract and grains in this recipe makes up for that. My guess is that the grains and dry malt extract replace the sugar you would use if you were just brewing the kit as is.  If I added more sugar, would that just increase the gravity and therefore the alcohol content, or would that make the beer too sweet?  ???
When I said sugar, I meant extract sugar as opposed to table sugar / sucrose.  Adding something highly fermentable like sucrose or glucose will increase the alcohol and reduce the body because they attenuate fully.  They will not increase the sweetness of the beer if you're adding reasonable amounts.  Adding malt sugar in the form of extract will tend to increase the body and decrease the bitterness because the extract it is not fully fermentable.

Did you come up with this recipe on your own, or is it one that someone has done before?  If it's someone else's recipe I would just follow it and see what happens.  If you came up with it on your own . . . well, you're not adding so much to it in the way of grains/extract that I think you really need to worry about the bitterness, so just follow it and see what happens. :)

Let me sum up: don't worry about it, brew it as you have it written and let us know how it goes.
Tom Schmidlin

Offline brewmonk

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Re: Newbie dark pseudo-bock
« Reply #9 on: August 19, 2010, 04:59:54 AM »

Did you come up with this recipe on your own, or is it one that someone has done before?  If it's someone else's recipe I would just follow it and see what happens.  If you came up with it on your own . . . well, you're not adding so much to it in the way of grains/extract that I think you really need to worry about the bitterness, so just follow it and see what happens. :)

Let me sum up: don't worry about it, brew it as you have it written and let us know how it goes.

It is someone else's recipe but I have modified it a bit because they say to put the grains in the water and bring it to a boil and let the grains sit in the boil for 20 minutes, which I hear creates tannins.  I am changing it to be more like what John Palmer recommends in his book for steeping grains.  Otherwise I have stuck with the ingredients as the recipe said (with the exception of a different hop because I can't get Mt. Hood, and of trying a better yeast than the dried packet that comes with the can).

Thanks to everyone for the advice though.  It really helps.
Br. Francis
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Offline wingnut

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Re: Newbie dark pseudo-bock
« Reply #10 on: August 19, 2010, 05:45:59 AM »
All right, I had a chance to go back through the brewing notes from many years ago... Assuming the Coopers Lager Extract can is the same I used back then...

My Notes
The can is pre-hopped, so no bitterness hop addition is needed.
The can is 1.7Kg or 3.75Lb.
To make 5 gallons (18.9L) I add about 3Lb or 1.36Kg of Dried Malt Extract.


Conclusions

If you are making around 3 to 4 gallons then the single can with 1Lb Dried Malt Extract you should be OK. If you are going up tp 5 gallons, I would add another 1 to 2 Lb Dried Malt extract.

Essentially, if you do not have enough Malt then the beer is going to be thin and watery. 

Also, steeping the grains below 75C is a very good practice (as you know from Palmer's Book)

I encourage you to try your recipe, and if after you taste it (and it will taste good by the way!!!) you think Hmm too hoppy, or not Hoppy enough, or I wish this had just a little more body... you now have some tools to make those changes in your next back. 

In my opinion, drinking the beer is only half the fun!  The other half is dissecting what I would or would not change about every beer I have made, and change the recipe or brewing process to make that flavor change happen. 

It is really a lot of fun!!!   Good luck!   
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Offline brewmonk

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Re: Newbie dark pseudo-bock
« Reply #11 on: August 20, 2010, 04:24:10 AM »
All right, I had a chance to go back through the brewing notes from many years ago... Assuming the Coopers Lager Extract can is the same I used back then...

My Notes
The can is pre-hopped, so no bitterness hop addition is needed.
The can is 1.7Kg or 3.75Lb.
To make 5 gallons (18.9L) I add about 3Lb or 1.36Kg of Dried Malt Extract.

Conclusions
If you are making around 3 to 4 gallons then the single can with 1Lb Dried Malt Extract you should be OK. If you are going up tp 5 gallons, I would add another 1 to 2 Lb Dried Malt extract.

Essentially, if you do not have enough Malt then the beer is going to be thin and watery. 

Also, steeping the grains below 75C is a very good practice (as you know from Palmer's Book)

I encourage you to try your recipe, and if after you taste it (and it will taste good by the way!!!) you think Hmm too hoppy, or not Hoppy enough, or I wish this had just a little more body... you now have some tools to make those changes in your next back. 

In my opinion, drinking the beer is only half the fun!  The other half is dissecting what I would or would not change about every beer I have made, and change the recipe or brewing process to make that flavor change happen. 

It is really a lot of fun!!!   Good luck!   
Yes my can is the same.  After considering it, I think I will add about another 500g (1lb) of DME just to get a bit more body and bump the gravity up a bit.  Would you believe that the original recipe also calls for this to make 6 gallons?  I think I'll go for a five gallon batch though.

Wow, this has been quite a good learning experience in the research alone, but it is also getting me psyched about this next batch.

Thanks again for all the help.

I'll post the results ASAP, although I probably won't get a brewday in the near future.  Arrgggg the wait!!!  ;)
Br. Francis
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Offline wingnut

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Re: Newbie dark pseudo-bock
« Reply #12 on: August 20, 2010, 07:43:31 AM »
Yes my can is the same.  After considering it, I think I will add about another 500g (1lb) of DME just to get a bit more body and bump the gravity up a bit.  Would you believe that the original recipe also calls for this to make 6 gallons?  I think I'll go for a five gallon batch though.

Wow, this has been quite a good learning experience in the research alone, but it is also getting me psyched about this next batch.

Thanks again for all the help.

I'll post the results ASAP, although I probably won't get a brewday in the near future.  Arrgggg the wait!!!  ;)

Sounds like you are off to a healthy and exciting obsession with brewing!!! Just remember as you go from this to other batches, don't get too caught up in the research to have some fun brewing every once and a while!!  There is a ton of information out there and a lot of details to get lost in when brewing.  Even Palmer's book tells you to stop after a chapter or two and brew something before you continue into the rest of the details in his book!!   

Just remember, to concentrate on sanitation, and after that... as long as you throw some hops, malt, water and yeast together... you will get beer!!  Making beer can be as simple or as complicated as you want it to be. 

My advice is to stay simple to start, get the process down (especially sanitation) by dong a few batches.  Once you have your base process down, and your brew days go fairly smooth... enjoy the exploration!
-- Wingnut - Cheers!