Tag Archives: Crystal 40

Pumpkin Ale Recipe- Version 2

I’ve brewed two pumpkin beers in the past. My first one was right when I first got into homebrew and it involved cutting up some cooked pumpkin pieces and steeping them in the boil kettle. The results were good but I wanted more out of the pumpkin. I also thought that the porter aspect of my beer took away from the other aspects that I wanted to showcase. About three years ago I brewed my second Pumpkin Ale. I still like the recipe idea but I got a stuck sparge and only collected 2.5 gallons of wort. The only thing that I didn’t realize was that I managed to get the majority of the sugar pulled out of the grain before it stuck, meaning that I had a 15% pumpkin beer.

For this round I wanted to make sure that I could really highlight the pumpkin flavor. I also had two secondary goals; a medium mouthfeel and a bready malt quality. On the technical end I just wanted to avoid a stuck sparge again. Below is the recipe that I decided to go with after looking through the ingredients that I had:

  • 8 lbs. 2-Row
  • 1 lb. Light Munich
  • .5 lb. Oats
  • .5 lb. Carapils
  • .5 lb. Crystal 40
  • .25 lb. Crystal 80
  • .25 lb. Crystal 120
  • 3 lbs. Pumpkin puree
  • 1 lb. Rice Hulls
  • 1.0 oz US Goldings @60 mins
  • 1.0 oz US Goldings @10 mins
  • 1 tsp. Ground nutmeg @1 min
  • 1 tsp. Ground allspice @1 min
  • 1 tsp. Ground cinnamon @1 min
  • WLP008 East Coast Ale Yeast

Generally I like simple malt bills but I went a little more complex on this one. The 2-row is pretty standard as a base grain but the rest are all added for a specific purpose. The Munich malt helps add some breadiness as well as a depth to the malt character. The oats are there to provide a bit more mouthfeel. Carapils is there, well for what Carapils does, head retention. I used a variety of crystal malts to try and hit all ends of the caramel/toffee spectrum. The rice hull are there to help stop a stuck sparge. My pumpkin puree was made using the process I described here with the only difference being that I didn’t add any water. I added the spices at the end to make sure I could get as much flavor out of them as possible without having to add them in the secondary. I made sure to make this mash very thin, mashing 12 lbs. of grain and 3 lbs. of pumpkin puree with 6 gallons of water at 153. I sparged with 2 gallons to collect a total of six gallons of wort.

I wasn’t sure which yeast I wanted to go with on this one originally but the homebrew store only had one “standard” American ale yeast in stock so WLP008 was the choice of the day. After doing some research I think this one will do well with the style. It is described as, “Similar neutral character of WLP001, but less attenuation, less accentuation of hop bitterness, slightly less flocculation, and a little tartness. Very clean and low esters.” The beer comes out with the follow stats:

  • OG: 1.049
  • FG: 1.008
  • ABV: 5.37%
  • IBUs: 24

As of posting this the beer is sitting in the secondary and my transfer sample tasted very nice. I can’t wait to try this one out in a few weeks.

Brown Porter Recipe

A brown porter is a style of beer that I have really enjoyed for a long period of time. I really enjoy fully flavored beers that provide a bit of roast, but also don’t kill you with alcohol. I also find porters to be more sipping beers, despite their low alcohol (4-5.4%). My thinking behind this beer was that I wanted to have something that was easy to make, super drinkable, and enjoyable in cold weather. I also wanted a beer that I could pitch on top of my IPA yeast. Below is the recipe that I came with for my take on a brown porter. It is as of yet, untested, but I will let you know how it turned out in a few weeks.

  • 6.25 lbs. English 2-Row
  • 2 lbs. Munich Malt
  • 1 lb. Crystal 40
  • 1/2 lb. Chocolate Malt
  • 1/4 lb. Roasted Barley
  • 1 oz. East Kent Goldings (4.9% AA) @ 60 minutes
  • 1 oz East Kent Goldings (4.9% AA) @ 15 minutes
  • English Ale Yeast

The expected outcomes for this beer at a 75% efficiency is 5.2% ABV and ~28 IBUs.

Again I like using a 2-Row as my base malt for the majority of my recipes and an English version works really good in this style. To me it adds a bit more body and flavor than the American versions. I also like to add 10-20% Munich Malt to add some light caramels, biscuit, and bready flavors to my beers. I went pretty heavy with the crystal on this beer, but I wanted to have a sweetness to it. The crystal also adds some nice color to the beer. My final two malt additions, chocolate and roasted barley, are there to give the flavors they indicate. I wanted to have some chocolate malt to add some chocolate tones to this beer. The roasted barley is there to add the needed roast flavors and to help cut through the sweetness.

I went with some traditional English hops to stick with the flavor styles properly. I also like the mild nature of the hops and the “natural” quality they give to the beer. I’m really looking forward to seeing how this beer turns out as I love the style and I really hope that I can brew up a quality/repeatable recipe. Who knows, this could serve as a base for future beers.

IPA Recipe

Part of my New Year’s Resolution for Brewery Reviewery was to post more of my homebrewing activity. I really slacked off in the last year and most posted about my wants/needs for what I want to do with my homebrewery. The beer recipe below, a citrus hop flavored IPA, has already been brewed and completely drank. It is a really solid recipe and it might be my best beer to date.

Before we get to the recipe, let me go through my thinking on the recipe with you. To begin with, I really enjoy IPAs, but if you have been reading this blog for any length of time, you will know that I am not a big fan of piney hops. I know that all hops will inherently have some of this flavor, but I wanted to minimize it as much as possible. Because of that I did a lot of research into hops that give off a lot of tangy, citrus, tropical, and grapefruit flavors. What I ended up deciding on was a mix of Amarillo and Citra hops. It was actually my first time using both of these hops, and I already have plans to use them again.

I’m also not a fan of IPAs with all hops and no malt backbone. I’m a big fan of balanced beers, so having a good malt component was key in the formulation of this recipe. I modeled my projected beer to be similar to Smooth Hoperator. Below is the recipe along with the hopping schedule.

  • 10 lbs. American 2-Row
  • 2 lbs. Munich Malt
  • 1/2 lb .Crystal 40
  • 1/2 lb. Cara-Pils
  • 1.25 oz. Amarillo hops (9.3% AA) @ 60 minutes
  • .75 oz Amarillo hops (9.3% AA) @ 15 minutes
  • .25 oz Citra hops (13.4% AA) @ 15 minutes
  • .75 oz Citra hops (13.4% AA) @ 0 minutes
  • Yeast is a mix of American and English Ale

The expected totals for this beer at a 75% efficiency should be 6.6% ABV and it should have ~63 IBUs.

I really like using American 2-Row or English 2-Row as a base malt (I’m sure I’m with the majority of homebrewers out there with that one). In addition I like adding 10%-20% Munich Malt to most of my grain bills as it adds a nice malt complexity, body, and overall good flavor. It also add some light color to the beer. The half pound of Crystal 40 serves two purposes, 1. Adds malt body and sweetness and 2. Adds some color. The final malt addition is Cara-Pils which doesn’t add much in the way of sugar or flavor, but it helps support head retention.

The hops, as I mentioned earlier are all there to add citrus flavors to the beer. I really wanted to add the majority of the hops towards the end of the beer to give it a killer nose. The ounce and a quarter of Amarillo hops at the beginning was enough to give a solid bitterness without making it too bitter.

As I said, I this beer has been brewed and completely drank. It really turned out excellent and did everything that I wanted to do. The nose was bright and fresh, the malt was solid, the mouthfeel was slightly creamy, and the overall bitterness was on line with an IPA. This beer is no hop bomb, but a balanced example of the style.

It feels really good to design a beer from the ground up with goals in mind and then to accomplish all of those goals. I really feel like I am making major steps forward with my brewing and this beer is just a great example of this.