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HolmBrewing
post Dec 31 2009, 04:54 PM
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Hi All,

I am a new extract brewer trying to put together my first ESB recipe. This is what I came up with so far:

6 lbs Pale LME (76.2%)
1.5 lb Amber DME (19.1%)
6 oz Biscuit (4.7%)

.8 oz (10AA) Target for 60
.5 oz (6AA) Bramling Cross for 15
.5 oz (8AA) Challenger for 15
.5 oz (6AA) Bramling Cross for 5
.5 oz (8AA) Challenger for 5

It would turn out a beer projected at:

OG: 1.055
FG: 1.013
SRM: 10.76
IBU: 40.7
ABV: 5.6%

I started out using some 60L (about the same as the Biscuit) but then thought that perhaps the Amber DME would provide more complexity since it contains 60L and Munich. Am I incorrect in thinking that the Amber extract could be subbed for the 60L? Would 1.5 lbs of the Amber be too much and just make it a sweet mess since it seems that its suggested that Crystal be kept to a small percentage of your recipe? If so, would I want to use about 4-5 oz of the Crystal 60L to balance out the Biscuit and Pale (assuming I would sub additional Pale to make up the difference)?

The other question I had was on yeasts. I have easy access to the WLPs. I'd like a yeast that attenuates pretty well to dry out some of the extract sweetness. I was leaning toward WLP-007 but I know folks generally seem to go with the WLP-013 London strain. Any thoughts on which works better with extract? Other strains that folks really like in an ESB?

I'm looking for this to be a bready, lightly fruity, drinkable brew.

Any suggestions on how to get thre would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!
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Highlander
post Dec 31 2009, 05:05 PM
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Amber DME is no substitute for Crystal. Use what you have up and never buy it again. Keep to light LME/DME.

Keep it in the recipe or replace it with light malt extract; but whatever you do add the Crystal back in. Using 1.5 lbs amber vs 1.5 lbs light will not make much difference in sweetness. You might end up a point higher in your FG.

Yeast: Either will do. The London Ale might ferment out a little more. WPL 039 (or Danstar Nottingham) is also a popular one. Probably WPL 007 (Whitbread yeast) will give you the 'fruitiest' profile.
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slothrob
post Jan 1 2010, 04:05 PM
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From what you've said, I think you'd be happy with the WLP-007, but I haven't used the 013. My favorite is 002, but I like 007 when I want a drier beer.

I can't speak with a lot of personal authority about extracts, because I only made a couple extract beers before switching to all-grain. I can't think of a reason why there would be an advantage to just steeping C60 over using the mashed C60 and Munich in the Amber Malt, though, Highlander. What's lacking in the Amber Malt?

I think an all-grain recipe can go as high as 0.5#/5 gallons Crystal Malt and still resemble a British ESB, maybe up to 0.75# with an attenuative yeast and a low mash temperature. I wouldn't go above 0.5# with extract, though, and I'd probably keep it close to your 4-5 oz. to meet my personal preferences and to stay similar to British examples I've had.

The hop profile looks tasty. I think you'll like the the Brambling Cross / Challenger combination. It's a little heavy on the late additions, in that a British beer would probably use closer to 0.5 oz for flavor and aroma additions. You should get a lot of flavor from the 15' and 5'. More traditional additions might be at 30' and perhaps 0', but I use 10-20' additions as often as not.
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ryno
post Jan 2 2010, 12:58 AM
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A lot of my extract beers turned out too sweet, so the WLP007 seems logical to me. It's also a very very clean yeast, leaving a lower ester profile than other British yeasts. I think it's almost cleaner than the Chico/American yeasts.
WLP002 gives my favorite flavor profile of all the British yeasts, but supposedly has lower attenuation and can throw additional diacetyl (buttery) flavors. One of my favorite breweries uses that yeast in most of their beers with amazing success, so part of it comes down to technique/sanitization.
I think those hop additions are good if using WLP007, but if you go with other English yeasts that are prone to fruitier esters I'd back the late additions off a little bit.

I echo the sentiments on just using light DME from now on. If I had your extracts, I'd probably still stay away from Crystal just b/c the extract will leave you with enough unfermentable sugar. If it were me, I'd add some Aromatic and a little pale malt to help convert the specialty malts in a mini mash for a more authentic flavor.

Still, go with your gut on this one. I find that homebrew ESB is either terrific or pretty "bleh". Good luck.
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Highlander
post Jan 2 2010, 12:16 PM
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Light malt extract is essentially pale or 2-row malt, and in my experience ferments out well. Use it as a replacement for 2-row in a recipe. With amber and dark malt extracts, you don't know what they have used to darken them, and if you do find out, you don't know the amounts used. Using light extract gives you more control.

If you used 100% amber extract, you don't know how much Crystal (or what crystal) is in the beer. Many years ago I used amber extract and needed to add Crystal to get much improved flavor. In this case, using amber extract as 20% of the fermentables, will not give you much Crystal in the beer, and probably very little Munich, if it really does have Munich in it. Making a wild guess, you might be able to assume 1 lb of amber LME has the equivalent of 1 oz of Crystal and 1 oz of Munich ....... but you really don't know. With that small amount, I'd ignore it and add the specialty grains per the recipe.

I second doing a mini-mash with a couple of lbs of grains. Not much more effort than steeping Crystal, and eliminates the haze produced by steeping the biscuit (Biscuit really should be mashed). It does take longer; instead of steeping for 15 minutes, you need to mash (essentially steep) for an hour and pay more attention totemperature.
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HolmBrewing
post Jan 3 2010, 03:15 AM
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QUOTE(Highlander @ Jan 2 2010, 12:16 PM) *
Light malt extract is essentially pale or 2-row malt, and in my experience ferments out well. Use it as a replacement for 2-row in a recipe. With amber and dark malt extracts, you don't know what they have used to darken them, and if you do find out, you don't know the amounts used. Using light extract gives you more control.

I second doing a mini-mash with a couple of lbs of grains. Not much more effort than steeping Crystal, and eliminates the haze produced by steeping the biscuit (Biscuit really should be mashed). It does take longer; instead of steeping for 15 minutes, you need to mash (essentially steep) for an hour and pay more attention totemperature.



Point taken, Highlander, about knowing the amounts of Munich and 60L. I assume as an extract brewer that I'm giving up a lot of ability to control the flavor profile, so I should maintain that in every area I can. Luckily, I haven't purchased any of my ingredients yet. I like to get feedback ahead of time so I have fewer mistakes to drink.

Ryno, thanks for the feedback on the yeast. I think I will go with the WLP-007 to dry it out. I'm still in the stage of trying out lots of ingredients. I've tried WLP-002 and like it as well. I think whatever recipe I settle on for the ESB I'll trying it on a number of the English strains just to see which I lke best. I'm intrigued by the description of Aromatic and just wanted to clarify that you would use both Biscuit and Aromatic? Would you use them in similar quantities? I'm a bit nervous about the idea of mini-mashing as I've not done it before and only have a couple of batches behind me but am game to try after I study up a bit more. I'd like to get rid of the haze, but don't want to botch the batch in the process.

slothrob, thanks for the input on the hops. I will take your advice to back it off a bit. I assume I'd up the Target to keep my 40 IBU target? I'd like to keep it a brew that's as evocative of an English ESB as I can with the resources and skills I have. The alternative I was thinking of for the Target was Brewer's Gold, but I figured that combination of BG/BC/Challenger might just be hitting you over the head with fruity undertones.

So, if I were to brew up something with light/pale, biscuit, aromatic, 60L, BG/BC/Challenger I'd be looking at something malty, bready, caramelly, fruity, and spicy? Does that sound accurate?

Thanks so much for your feedback! Every bit helps.
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ryno
post Jan 3 2010, 11:23 AM
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I say go easy on the specialty malts in the ESB. Maybe 6 oz. each of the Aromatic and Biscuit and 8 oz. of Crystal with 2 pounds of pale malt in a mini-mash.
Don't be nervous about a mini-mash: You won't screw up anything, it's just a little more time and technique...If you were to do the above, it'd be 3.25 lbs. of grain. Steep it in a gallon or so of 150-155 degree water for an hour. Stir it every few minutes.
Drain the resulting liquid and rinse the grains with some 170 degree water and proceed as you normally would with an extract brew. It'll be nice getting some fermentable sugar and authentic flavor from those grains, plus it's just another step to the more exciting (and delicious) world of all-grain homebrewing.
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slothrob
post Jan 3 2010, 01:32 PM
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QUOTE(HolmBrewing @ Jan 3 2010, 03:15 AM) *
slothrob, thanks for the input on the hops. I will take your advice to back it off a bit. I assume I'd up the Target to keep my 40 IBU target? I'd like to keep it a brew that's as evocative of an English ESB as I can with the resources and skills I have. The alternative I was thinking of for the Target was Brewer's Gold, but I figured that combination of BG/BC/Challenger might just be hitting you over the head with fruity undertones.

The fruity contributions from the 60' hops will be subtle, so I wouldn't worry much about that. I'd consider just going with Challenger for the bittering hops, which is one of my favorites, but either of other hops would be fine and just make slightly different beers.

Ryno's got some good ideas, and I think his numbers are good. The Aromatic and Biscuit will help make up for the flavor impact of using Extract instead of an English base malt, though I would use a British extract, if you have access to one.

I think the mini-mash is a good idea, and I wouldn't worry about messing it up. You can keep it really simple by just using a pound of base malt with the specialty grains, putting it in a 1 or 5 gallon paint strainer bag in a gallon of about 160F water, raise it to 150F if you need to, then let it sit for 1 hour. (I'd aim for a low mash temperature to make up for the typically higher unfermentability of extract.) Dilute it up to your final boil volume, remove and let the bag drain. You're getting so few gravity points from the mini-mash, that it might not be worth the trouble of trying to sparge it. Besides, No-Sparge is a time-honored technique for making Bitter.

Check the gravity and use as much DME as you need to hit your OG.
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HolmBrewing
post Jan 3 2010, 06:49 PM
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QUOTE(slothrob @ Jan 3 2010, 01:32 PM) *
You're getting so few gravity points from the mini-mash, that it might not be worth the trouble of trying to sparge it. Besides, No-Sparge is a time-honored technique for making Bitter.


I really appreciate everyone taking the time to help me learn about all of this. If you don't mind, I'll run by what I think I have from all of your suggestions

1 lb Pale malt for no-sparge mini-mash
5 lb Extra-Light DME (Munton's)
6 oz Aromatic
6 oz Biscuit
8 oz Crystal 60L

1 oz Challenger at 60
.25 oz Brambling Cross at 20
.25 oz Challenger at 20
.25 oz Brambling Cross at 10
.25 oz Challenger at 10

Irish Moss at 15

So in this scenario I would be mini-mashing (with no sparge) the Pale, Aromatic, and Biscuit together for one hour on the lower end of 150-160. I would then remove the Pale, Aromatic, and Biscuit.

Now would I do another 30 minute steep on the 60L, or should I add it in with the specialty grains?
If I don't add it in to the specialty/base grains and need to do another steep, should I not dilute until after I've done the 60L steep? (I know there is an issue with having the right proportions for accurate IBU utilization, but I'm not sure if there's a similar issue with grains.)

Once I have that sorted I would add the Munton's Extra Light DME (I couldn't really find English Pale extract) up to my OG, do a 60 minute boil and and follow the hopping schedule as listed and add in my Irish Moss as normal. Theoretically, if I get this right it would give me a beer that was:

OG: 1.055
FG: 1.013
SRM: 12
IBU: 39
ABV: 5.5%

How does that all sound? I think that sounds like a pretty decent recipe from which to tweak the yeasts, specialty amounts, and sparging.
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HolmBrewing
post Jan 3 2010, 07:25 PM
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QUOTE(HolmBrewing @ Jan 3 2010, 06:49 PM) *
1 lb Pale malt for no-sparge mini-mash
8 oz Crystal 60L


Looking for ingredients I was able to find some Simpson's Golden Promise Pale. The descriptions say its an especially sweet type of Pale. Should I get this because its English and, perhaps, cut back on the 60L some, or should I just get a non-English Pale and leave everything as is? The Crystal I found is also Simpson's 50L-60L.

Sorry for all the questions.
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Highlander
post Jan 3 2010, 10:51 PM
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"especially sweet type of Pale" Sounds ominious. I would not touch it, it may contain a lot of unfermentables. Laagerlander (if it is still made) was only 55% fermentable; and you needed to be careful with that. I still have 6 lbs of the stuff from several years ago; never find a recipe to use it in.

Get any common light extract, and add the grains as you planned.

You plan is good. I assume you are doing a partial boil. This will reduce your IBUs. Either boil for an extra 10 minutes (that is; give the 60 minute hops 70 minutes), up the hops by 10%, or say to hell with it since it is just a crap shoot anyway and see what happens. Whichever way you go, it will turn out fine.

Add the Crystal in with the other grains. get it all done at the same time. It will be good experience. It's not too hard; the same as steeping grains, but for a longer time.

Slothrob; you have mentioned it here twice and I think I have seen it elsewhere, where you say there is a higher amount of unfermentables in extract. Where do you get this information. I'll agree with you for amber and dark malt, but I use extra light and have not seen any problems with fermentability. Examples: I have just done a Kellerweis Clone with 1 lbs Pale Malt, 1 lb Munich malt, and 8 lbs Briess Wheat LME; OG 1.053, FG 1.013 (I use yeast propogated from the bottle, supposedly a special yeast for SN). I recently did a SNPA clone, with 2 lbs Pale malt, 1 lb Crystal, 7.5 lbs Briess Pilsner LME; OG 1.056, FG 1.012 (I used 1056 yeast). I don't see any problems with attenuation with these numbers.
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HolmBrewing
post Jan 3 2010, 11:53 PM
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QUOTE(Highlander @ Jan 3 2010, 10:51 PM) *
"especially sweet type of Pale" Sounds ominious. I


Argh. Second try as my wireless went out as I was sending.

Thanks, Highlander. I thought I'd try and put some Pale into it, but I'd assume 1 lb of anything wouldn't make a huge difference in the profile. I'd hate to oversweeten, so I'll just find some regular Pale grain to go with the Extra Light DME I'll be using.

You're correct that I'm doing a partial boil. About the IBUs...Jamil suggests that you create a partial boil wort that replicates your OG. I did this for my last batch which had me adding in just a bit over half of my extract at the beginning and the rest at about 10 minutes out to pasteurize it. My understanding is that this allows you to maintain your projected hop schedule without adding time. Do you think a time addition is needed along with this step? I don't know that I could tell a 5-7 IBU difference on a recipe I've never tasted so, as you mention, its probably a bit of crap shoot. (IMG:style_emoticons/brewboard/dry.gif)

I have a gas stove and a good digital probe thermometer, so I'm pretty confident that I can at least control the temp during the mash as suggested. I'll also ferment at a fairly low temp to help maintain a clean flavor. Hopefully all of that, and some good sanitation, and I'll be in good shape.

Thanks for your help. I'll be sure to check back in and let you know how it turns out.
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ryno
post Jan 4 2010, 01:11 AM
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Golden Promise is a terrific base malt. Macallan and others use it in their Scotch. Lots of brewers use it as a great base malt in their ales (including Surly in Minnesota). I say go for it, or use Maris Otter or any other pale malt. It's such a small amount in an extract brew that it absolutely will not make a difference in fermentability/sweetness in your final product. I'm using 19 lbs. of Golden Promise in my Wee Heavy recipe next week. Have used it in IPA and American Lagers...terrific stuff!
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HolmBrewing
post Jan 4 2010, 01:39 AM
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QUOTE(ryno @ Jan 4 2010, 01:11 AM) *
Golden Promise is a terrific base malt. I say go for it, or use Maris Otter or any other pale malt. It's such a small amount in an extract brew that it absolutely will not make a difference in fermentability/sweetness in your final product.


Thanks for the info, ryno! I went online and nearly smacked my head when I realized that Maris Otter is a Pale. I think I'll go with that for this one as its actually easier for me to get than the Golden Promise.

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slothrob
post Jan 4 2010, 10:20 PM
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QUOTE(Highlander @ Jan 3 2010, 10:51 PM) *
Slothrob; you have mentioned it here twice and I think I have seen it elsewhere, where you say there is a higher amount of unfermentables in extract. Where do you get this information. I'll agree with you for amber and dark malt, but I use extra light and have not seen any problems with fermentability. Examples: I have just done a Kellerweis Clone with 1 lbs Pale Malt, 1 lb Munich malt, and 8 lbs Briess Wheat LME; OG 1.053, FG 1.013 (I use yeast propogated from the bottle, supposedly a special yeast for SN). I recently did a SNPA clone, with 2 lbs Pale malt, 1 lb Crystal, 7.5 lbs Briess Pilsner LME; OG 1.056, FG 1.012 (I used 1056 yeast). I don't see any problems with attenuation with these numbers.

You seem to be having good luck, and it does vary with the particular extract. If you are happy with the taste of your beers, then I certainly wouldn't recommend you change anything. The OP indicated that he was looking for a dry beer, though, so I was trying to keep that in mind.

As a little anecdotal evidence: When Denny Conn adapted one of his recipes to extract for NB, he had to replace some of the extract with sugar to get it as dry as his AG version.
A friend and I make somewhat similar beers, and I find it striking how much sweeter his beers taste than mine and I find it unpleasant, but I like my beer dry.
QUOTE(ryno @ Jan 4 2010, 01:11 AM) *
Golden Promise is a terrific base malt. Macallan and others use it in their Scotch. Lots of brewers use it as a great base malt in their ales (including Surly in Minnesota). I say go for it, or use Maris Otter or any other pale malt. It's such a small amount in an extract brew that it absolutely will not make a difference in fermentability/sweetness in your final product. I'm using 19 lbs. of Golden Promise in my Wee Heavy recipe next week. Have used it in IPA and American Lagers...terrific stuff!

+1 Golden Promise is a base malt, not an extract, and will ferment out well if mashed cool.
QUOTE(HolmBrewing @ Jan 4 2010, 01:39 AM) *
Thanks for the info, ryno! I went online and nearly smacked my head when I realized that Maris Otter is a Pale. I think I'll go with that for this one as its actually easier for me to get than the Golden Promise.

The Maris Otter has a more distinctively British taste than the Golden Promise, in my opinion. They are both great malts, though, and 1# will only make a very subtle difference in the flavor.
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