Author Topic: First All-Grain Recipe - Please check my math  (Read 1947 times)

Offline gmac

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First All-Grain Recipe - Please check my math
« on: February 19, 2011, 01:40:12 PM »
Although there are a myriad of beer recipes available, one of the things that excites me about this hobby is coming up with my own recipes.  So, I am trying to formulate a very simple recipe that I would like to try for my first all-grain batch.  I'd appreciate it if you'd check my math and give me your comments/thoughts.  I won't list all the calculations I did but I was using Ray Daniel's "Designing Great Beers" as a guide as well as a style reference.  My goal is to have something that I can do repeatedly and  make small changes to as I become more proficient.

Some assumptions first.
Style:  English Pale Ale
% efficiency - 65% ( as this is my first attempt, I am keeping my expectations low and also allowing some room in case it goes better than I expect)
Target OG = 1.045
Volume = 6 US gal (23L)
Boil volume = 7 US gal
Boil time = 1 hour
Process = Infusion mash/batch sparge (Coleman Extreme cooler) per Denny's directions on his site.

Based on the calculations that I came up with (and there is some rounding in here), my grain bill will be:
11.5 lb Canadian 2-row Pale Malt - to be ground by supplier
0.7 lb Crystal 40L - to be ground by supplier
This is based on roughly 95:5 ratio of pale to crystal.

Hops and schedule
English Fuggles Pellets (6% AA) 1.5 oz - 60 min
East Kent Golding Pellets (4.75% AA) - 1 oz - 15 min
English Fuggles Pellets (6% AA) 0.5 oz - 5 min
Note:  I considered adding the remaining fuggles and 1/2 the EKG at 15 min and adding the other 1/2 oz EKG at 5 min or flameout)

Yeast: Wyeast London ESB 1968 - Prepared in 4 L starter prior to pitching

Other:  Irish Moss added 15 min before end of boil

Water:  Municipal water with Camden tablet to remove chlorine.  Water condition is unknown although relatively hard (limestone bedrock, lots of shale production on appliances etc).  I know that getting this analyzed needs to be done.

Fermentation temp:  65 degrees (cellar temp with wet towel over carboy).

Thoughts? 
Thank you very much.
Graham


Offline hokerer

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Re: First All-Grain Recipe - Please check my math
« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2011, 01:59:25 PM »
BeerSmith thinks your math is Ok...



Joe

jaybeerman

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Re: First All-Grain Recipe - Please check my math
« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2011, 04:53:34 PM »
My goal is to have something that I can do repeatedly and  make small changes to as I become more proficient.

Woohoo, it's good to hear someone say that.  The "scientific method," I wonder if they still teach that in school. cheers, j

Offline sharg54

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Re: First All-Grain Recipe - Please check my math
« Reply #3 on: February 19, 2011, 05:21:13 PM »
Not sure about your grain bill but it looks good at first glance. As far as getting your water tested you should be able to obtain information form your water boards web site or have them send you one for free. They have to by law to anyone who asks for it. Also John Palmer has a nice excell sheet on his how to brew site that works very well for adjusting your water. And if you would like to save a few cents you don't need the tablets to clear up your chlorine issues, just put it in plastic jugs a day or so before you brew and leave it in the sun. Chlorine will be removed in about 6 hours in direct sun light on that small of a scale. I leave mine in the sun in the dinning room for a day or so before I brew. A good charcoal filter on your sink works just as well if you don't want 8 or so gallons of H2O sitting around.  :)
« Last Edit: February 19, 2011, 05:24:09 PM by sharg54 »

Offline hokerer

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Re: First All-Grain Recipe - Please check my math
« Reply #4 on: February 19, 2011, 06:09:53 PM »
And if you would like to save a few cents you don't need the tablets to clear up your chlorine issues, just put it in plastic jugs a day or so before you brew and leave it in the sun. Chlorine will be removed in about 6 hours in direct sun light on that small of a scale. I leave mine in the sun in the dinning room for a day or so before I brew. A good charcoal filter on your sink works just as well if you don't want 8 or so gallons of H2O sitting around.  :)

That'll work for plain chlorine, but these days, more and more municipalities are sanitizing their water with chloramines for which those methods don't work.  Campden'll work for both chlorine and chloramines and they're really not an expensive option - you only need a quarter tablet per five gallons.
Joe

Offline hokerer

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Re: First All-Grain Recipe - Please check my math
« Reply #5 on: February 19, 2011, 06:13:12 PM »
Not sure about your grain bill but it looks good at first glance.

I agree with your "not sure" about the grain bill - not a whole lot of "English" to it.  For my English ales, I prefer a traditional floor-malted Marris Otter like Crisp and, for the crystal, rather than plain old 'merican 40L, I'd use something like Simpson's Medium Crystal.
Joe

Offline dannyjed

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Re: First All-Grain Recipe - Please check my math
« Reply #6 on: February 19, 2011, 06:35:56 PM »
I agree with hokerer about using Marris Otter for more of an English flavour.  Or you could keep the grain the way it is and use an American Ale yeast.
Dan Chisholm

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Re: First All-Grain Recipe - Please check my math
« Reply #7 on: February 19, 2011, 06:41:09 PM »
I don't know if you've checked MrMalty (or maybe you're just using a really old pack) but a 4 L starter for a medium-gravity ale is pretty huge.
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Offline hokerer

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Re: First All-Grain Recipe - Please check my math
« Reply #8 on: February 19, 2011, 06:52:55 PM »
I don't know if you've checked MrMalty (or maybe you're just using a really old pack) but a 4 L starter for a medium-gravity ale is pretty huge.

Wouldn't have to be all that old.  If the pack's date was around Christmas, MrMalty calls for 4.06 liters.
Joe

Offline gmac

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Re: First All-Grain Recipe - Please check my math
« Reply #9 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. 
Graham


Offline dannyjed

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Re: First All-Grain Recipe - Please check my math
« Reply #10 on: February 19, 2011, 07:19:01 PM »
I agree with sticking with what you know  and what you like for your first all-grain batch.  Your beer will taste fine (maybe your best yet) and let us know how it turns out.
Dan Chisholm

Offline gmac

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Re: First All-Grain Recipe - Please check my math
« Reply #11 on: February 19, 2011, 07:37:06 PM »
An on-line search did give me a bit of info about my water but not much.

Our water is disinfected with sodium hypochlorite (good old bleach I guess) and so I don't think chloramine will be an issue but correct me if I'm wrong. 

Hardness is 220 mg/L but it doesn't say what ions are present in this report.  Likely a high level of carbonate based on our substrate.

Sodium level is about 24 mg/L and is naturally occurring (meaning that there is a very low level of chloride so it isn't coming from percolated road salt).

We do seem to have 0.05 ug/L of uranium in the water which sort or explains why my pee glows in the dark though...


Offline sharg54

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Re: First All-Grain Recipe - Please check my math
« Reply #12 on: February 19, 2011, 09:24:31 PM »
Like I said I have sat the tap water in the direct sun more than once and have checked it for chlorine and had it checked by others and after 6 hours in bright sunlight it has been Zero ppm.... One thing chlorine can't deal with is being exposed to direct sun light.  ::)

jaybeerman

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Re: First All-Grain Recipe - Please check my math
« Reply #13 on: February 20, 2011, 01:00:44 PM »
First of all, everyone here has good intentions and everyone here wants you to make a good beer.  With all due respect for the opinions of everyone else; I really like your approach and IMO it will result in you being a good/better brewer in the long run.  Like a professional brewer would do a test run on new equipment with just water, you will learn from your batch with just 2row and c40.  Guess what that batch of water tastes like, water, it tastes like water.  The important part is that they learn a few things from the brew.  The other posts are correct in that those two grains won't produce a great beer.  I can tell you one thing though, the brewer who can make a drinkable brew out of 2row and c40 can, later on, make a great beer of any style he chooses to try and make.  That said you will find this beer lacking in character so in subsequent brews you could like Ray Daniels mentions in Designing Great Beers pg 173, "up to 5% of the grist MAY include Munich, Vienna, aromatic, biscuit, Victory, or toasted malt to increase the malt complexity of the beer..."  The more batches you brew the better handle you'll have on the process of brewing and at that point you'll have the chance to use those grains and many more and you'll know exactly what they bring to the beer.  Cheers, j   
« Last Edit: February 20, 2011, 01:03:22 PM by jaybeerman »

Offline gmac

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Re: First All-Grain Recipe - Please check my math
« Reply #14 on: February 20, 2011, 03:18:53 PM »
Thanks again to everyone.  I am actually considering adding one change, even before I get started and that is to simply add 1 oz of black patent to darken the beer slightly.  I don't think that this will change too much except the colour.  But, I may also leave it out for the reason of starting with this for consistency.  

Thanks to Hokerer and Dannyjed for your suggestions.  If this one goes well, I will move to MO in the future and see how it turns out.  I know your suggestions will make better beer.  Also, thanks to Jaybeerman for his thoughts.  Appreciate the support.

I do wonder what you all think of the hopping schedule and choices I suggested.  Would it make any difference to alter the EKG and Fuggles later additions?  One of the things I read was that these beers were very heavily influenced by the type of hops and the timing of additions.  This is one area that I am perhaps a bit more open to suggestion because this is not all that different from making an extract beer so I am more comfortable with making changes here.  It's the mashing/sparging process that is scaring the hell out of me right now.

Graham