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So many beers... so little experience w/ all grain

Discussion in 'Homebrewing' started by Applecrew135, Apr 12, 2013.

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  1. Applecrew135

    Applecrew135 Initiate (48) Jul 18, 2012 Pennsylvania

    I was initially planning a really big beer for my first all-grain batch, a Raging Bitch clone, but I'm having second thoughts. I was planning this as an experiment in advance of a scaled-up brew for a family party mid-summer, and began to realize that even though I love the hell out of Raging Bitch, not everyone will appreciate such a big beer. Honestly, I think I got caught up in the excitement of wanting to show off :flushed:. I think I would like to reach a wider audience and want to offer two beers: a good all-around session ale with lots of character and a second more aggressively hopped IPA.

    I'm thinking these would help me get a good understanding of all-grain brewing before I really start branching out with trying to brew something with a lot of challenge to it.

    Anybody have some good recipe ideas for me?

    inchrisin likes this.
  2. OddNotion

    OddNotion Devotee (478) Nov 1, 2009 New Jersey
    Beer Trader

    I have heard good things about BierMuncher's Centennial Blonde on Homebrewtalk. I have a Pale Wheat Ale I love to brew that is really hopped up and simple, if that interests you at all, let me know and I would be more than happy to send you over the recipe.
  3. AlCaponeJunior

    AlCaponeJunior Initiate (0) May 21, 2010 Texas

    My blonde ale is a big hit with everyone from craft beer drinkers to BMC drinkers (round 5 is coming up, if that tells you anything). It's easy, fairly low ABV, and quite tasty. The hops schedule is negotiable, just don't way over-hop it or it won't be a blonde ale anymore, and I don't know how tons of hops will go with this grist. US-05 yeast is perfect for it. As OddNotion mentioned, centennial would taste real good in a blonde ale. I'd use a tiny bittering charge, and a fair burst of late hops for some flavor (maybe 0.25oz early and 2-2.5oz at like 5 min, depending on AA%, bittered up to about 25 IBUs).

    IPAs and hoppy pale ales are pretty forgiving for initial attempts at all grain brewing. There must be a zillion recipes available, and no doubt plenty of suggestions coming. Hops tend to cover flaws too, so any imperfections won't be as notable. I suggest an IPA in the 6-6.5% range with a nice burst of late hops, and some dry hops.
  4. Applecrew135

    Applecrew135 Initiate (48) Jul 18, 2012 Pennsylvania

    Thanks for the replys... I was just so stumped because there are a lot of recipes out there... and you know some good, some bad... I was hoping that members here would be able to suggest GOOD ideas, and you have! Thanks so much! OddNotion, if you would be so kind, I'd like to see your pale wheat ale! Just send me a PM, that would be awesome! BTW, I,m a Jersey boy originally... where are you from?
  5. JrGtr

    JrGtr Disciple (399) Apr 13, 2006 Massachusetts

    I would say to not do a 'big beer' for a first all-grain. Sure the procedures aren't much different, but IMO better to do a small or mid-size one, OG 1.060 max for a first time. Just that much fewer things to keep track of.
    Not to mention the big ones need a bigger pitch of yeast to get going.
    There are some great, fairly simple recipes out there.
    That said, more complicated is easier with AG than extract, since you're not worrying about when to add extract A, it's all mashed in together
  6. Ejayz

    Ejayz Initiate (0) May 15, 2011 Iowa

    As a new all grain brewer I can honestly say start little! 3 batches in and I am still fine tuning my system/process. We all want to show off and get fancy right out of the gate. But this can lead to bad batches and getting discouraged so don't get in a hurry! Practice on some smaller easier to brew styles first learn as you go then take what you have learned and move up to the fancy stuff!
  7. Boonedog

    Boonedog Initiate (0) Apr 10, 2013 Illinois

    OK. My Tun is coming today. I think I like your Blond Ale for my first AG. Was going to do a SMaSH to keep it simple but this sounds pretty easy and tasty too.

    Will let you know how it goes. Thanks for sharing.
    AlCaponeJunior likes this.
  8. Boonedog

    Boonedog Initiate (0) Apr 10, 2013 Illinois

    Ooh. Whats a good sub for the Serebrianka hops?
  9. AlCaponeJunior

    AlCaponeJunior Initiate (0) May 21, 2010 Texas

    Thrilled! You won't be disappointed, I'm sure. Make sure to let me know how it goes!

    I haven't brewed that beer with the same hops twice, FWIW, and haven't tried the version with serebrianka yet (still conditioning). I have made that beer with various hops before:

    vIII belma (tiny 0.25 oz bittering charge), 1 oz cluster at 10, 1 oz cascade at 3
    vII 0.5 oz NB bittering, 1 oz willamette at 10, 1 oz willamette at FO
    vI 1 oz each willamette at 60, 20, 10, 1

    SO FAR I think vII was the best, but I haven't tried the serebrianka version yet. Honestly any reasonable hops schedule should do. I was thinking of doing an all cascade version.

    Just make sure and add a fair amount of late hops (10 minutes or less) so you get some hops flavor. A good amount of hops also helps with head retention.
  10. VikeMan

    VikeMan Meyvn (1,334) Jul 12, 2009 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    I don't have an answer to this, as I haven'y used them. But a nice thing about blonde ales is that hops are not the focus. Just about any variety will work.
  11. Applecrew135

    Applecrew135 Initiate (48) Jul 18, 2012 Pennsylvania

    Yeah, a good reality check... that's why I had a change of heart. I need to learn my process first and would rather have a good solid brew to share with everyone than try to impress and fall flat.

    Ejayz likes this.
  12. inchrisin

    inchrisin Defender (654) Sep 25, 2008 Indiana

    I have great luck with dark beers and they are very forgiving when getting into all grain. A dry Irish stout is a good way to go and Brewing Classic Styles hits a lot of home runs.
  13. tngolfer

    tngolfer Initiate (75) Feb 16, 2012 Tennessee

    The Green Flash WCIPA from the Can You Brew It show is fantastic. Very citrusy with a good balance if piney/resiny. I'm on my phone so I can't type the recipe right now. If you're interested let me know.
  14. bszern

    bszern Initiate (0) Aug 18, 2011 Massachusetts

    When I used my mash tun for the first time I was so excited I forgot to put the bazooka tube in hahaha. It was awesome. Valve clogged up in about 2 minutes and I had to throw the whole thing out (couldn't figure out a way to save the grains without possibly compromising the quality of the beer). Totally worth it though...replaced the grains and yeast (had made a starter I didn't want sitting around all week), and brewed it the next week. Made the entire floor of my apartment building smell like a bread factory. Very satisfying!
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