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Experimenting with American Ale

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I ran out of recipes to brew so this weekend I bought a few more including the "buy one, get one" American Ale extracts.

 

Now I am contemplating how to rationally dress them up from just the basic extracts.  I have a few extra items from past recipies that can be used and I bought some Pale LME to upgrade the basic America Ale to a deluxe version.

 

Here are the ingredients I could conceivably use and I wanted to get input from the group.

 

- American Ale Extract

- 2 x Booster Packs (new smaller size = to one booster pack of old)

- Pale LME

- Carapalis Malt - 4 oz

- 2 Row Malt - 2 oz

- Standard MR. Beer Brewer's Yeast that comes with extract 

 

Questions - 

 

- should I use the boosters and the Pale LME?  Or just the Pale LME?

 

- will the Mr. Beer standard Yeast work if I do a partial mash with the Carapalis and / or 2 Row?

 

- Should I partial mash with both Carapalis and 2 row?  Or just Carapalis

 

- What would the resulting beer be if I did all this?

 

- Should I add any other additional items?  Honey?  Brown Sugar?

 

Thanks for the thoughts!

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-  Personally, I'd skip the booster and go with the LME.  Unless you just want more ABV, in which case add the booster.

 

-  Yep, the standard yeast will work.

 

-  I'd steep the carapils, 2-row, and 2oz of grain such as flaked corn.  If you're going to use the 2-row you might as well put its diastatic power to use. :)

 

-  The resulting beer would be a tasty ale, so you might as well brew it. :)

 

-  Honey will add a dryness, so if you like drier beers, go for it.  Brown Sugar will give a bit of molasses flavor, which I think would be a little off-putting.

 

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Well.... i was working on a long winded response but @Shrike pretty much summed up what i was gonna say....lol

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Okay - I am going to revise my inventory now that I can take a deeper dive in the freezer where the grain is stored.

 

I would like to make 2 batches based off American Ale Extract with what I have.

 

2 x American Ale Extract

2 x Pale LME

 

4 x small booster packs

 

4 oz Flaked Corn

 

6 oz Carapils Malt

2 oz Pilsen Malt

2 oz Crystal Malt 40

2 oz 2 row Malt

2 oz Munich Malt

2 oz Chocolate Malt

2 oz Flaked Oats

 

I don't have to use all the ingredients or the same for each - but what could / should I make here?

 

I do love the Partial Mash recipes and sometimes you only use half a package of grain - hence the extras.

 

If I could make something awesome, I am willing to go to a local brewing store to get an extra grain or so.

 

Thanks Brew masters!

 

 

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1 hour ago, hotrod3539 said:

Well.... i was working on a long winded response but @Shrike pretty much summed up what i was gonna say....lol

 

Thank you!  Hotrod, maybe you have some ideas on my revised inventory . . . .

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1 hour ago, Shrike said:

-  Personally, I'd skip the booster and go with the LME.  Unless you just want more ABV, in which case add the booster.

 

-  Yep, the standard yeast will work.

 

-  I'd steep the carapils, 2-row, and 2oz of grain such as flaked corn.  If you're going to use the 2-row you might as well put its diastatic power to use. :)

 

-  The resulting beer would be a tasty ale, so you might as well brew it. :)

 

-  Honey will add a dryness, so if you like drier beers, go for it.  Brown Sugar will give a bit of molasses flavor, which I think would be a little off-putting.

 

 

Thanks @Shrike - any ideas on my revised inventory?

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If I were doing these I'd split them up so that one goes towards a lighter and crisper brew, and the other uses the sweeter grains for a maltier ale.  Something like:

 

First brew:
- 1 HME and 1 LME
- 3 oz Carapils

- 2 oz 2 row

- 2 oz flaked corn

- 2 oz Pilsen

Second brew:
- 1 HME and 1 LME
- 3 oz Carapils
- 2 oz Crystal
- 2 oz Munich

- 2 oz flaked oats

 

I'm not sure if you'd also need an extra 2 oz of 2-row in the second one to help convert the oats or if there's enough diastatic power in the other grains to get the job done; maybe @MRB Josh R or @MRB Tim can chime in with advice. 

 

I'd save the chocolate malt for use in a porter or stout, unless you just want to see what that amount will do for the ale, in which case I'd use it in the second one.

The boosters are up to you.  I don't normally use them so I'm probably not the guy to ask. :)

You might want to think about adding hops to each one just to balance the extra malt.  

 

I think you'll get a tasty beer with both of those.  The American Ale is a good HME to tinker with, and you're not adding so much grain that the character will be completely changed.  If nothing else it will help you see what small additions to the HME do for your end product.

And I'm like you:  I love the PM recipes but sometimes wonder what to do with leftover grains.  So far I've been able to make two beers that I really enjoy with the leftovers, my CALEX#1 and Blacker, Beardier Porter (this is a variation on the Black Beer'd Porter MRB recipe for which I added some leftover grains from making the Lock, Stock Bourbon Stout.  It was the first time I'd really "experimented" and I love the results.)

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2 hours ago, KaijuBrew said:

 

Thank you!  Hotrod, maybe you have some ideas on my revised inventory . . . .

 

9 minutes ago, Shrike said:

If I were doing these I'd split them up so that one goes towards a lighter and crisper brew, and the other uses the sweeter grains for a maltier ale.  Something like:

 

First brew:
- 1 HME and 1 LME
- 3 oz Carapils

- 2 oz 2 row

- 2 oz flaked corn

- 2 oz Pilsen

Second brew:
- 1 HME and 1 LME
- 3 oz Carapils
- 2 oz Crystal
- 2 oz Munich

- 2 oz flaked oats

 

I'm not sure if you'd also need an extra 2 oz of 2-row in the second one to help convert the oats or if there's enough diastatic power in the other grains to get the job done; maybe @MRB Josh R or @MRB Tim can chime in with advice. 

 

I'd save the chocolate malt for use in a porter or stout, unless you just want to see what that amount will do for the ale, in which case I'd use it in the second one.

The boosters are up to you.  I don't normally use them so I'm probably not the guy to ask. :)

You might want to think about adding hops to each one just to balance the extra malt.  

 

I think you'll get a good beer with both of those.  The American Ale is a good HME to tinker with.

 

Ya know... i am with @Shrike yet again...lol!!

As for the boosters, in my humble and honest opinion....with the grain and LME additions, you really dont need them unless you want the extra ABV, the LME and grains will add plenty on their own.

As for the recommendation with the second... i would toss in a couple oz of 2 row as a safety with those oats 

I would recommend adding some hops just as Shrike said just a 1/4 to 1/2 oz with a 5-10 min. boil before you add in the HME.... The hop choices would be yours, just find a couple with the flavor profile you want and go for it. ( i am a fan of citrus, so i would toss in some Citra hops for the second and maybe something simpler for the first like... Polaris for a bit of mint, pineapple thing)

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Just now, Creeps McLane said:

Im starting to wonder if @Shrike and @hotrod3539 are actually the same person using two email accts and then logging on commenting and then agreeing with themselves. Shame

 

I are not!  I mean we is not!

 

:P

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GAAAAA!!!!

 

I did not read all the responses. In fact I did not read any of them....but if you are looking to work up an American Ale....I am your brewmuse.

 

1. Have you considered taking the Mr. Beer grains to the next level? Look at the grain profile...think go big or go home, and then, go big or go home. Forget any LME or booster and forget the whole "only use half" a grain pack nonsense. Take yourself into partial mash land and don't look back.

2. Have you considered that you can create the craziest hop schedule ever seen? Why not???? Take a look at those hops, get drunk, and be the boldest, drunkest, hop brewer ever. There is nothing to lose.

3. Combine 1 and 2.

4..........this is #goMAD #totalWAR #rockStar #brewingGOD territory.......take that American Ale....and make an 11% Belgium Dark hopped English India Pale....what does that mean? I don't know. This is your beer. 


Own.


It.

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1 hour ago, Creeps McLane said:

Im starting to wonder if @Shrike and @hotrod3539 are actually the same person using two email accts and then logging on commenting and then agreeing with themselves. Shame

LOL!! Kinda like the yoda/mr why situation we questioned a while back? Nope, we are two different people, but with the same thoughts on beer it would appear... LOL!

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Munich is a base grain, no 2 Row needed.

 

You should also look up each grain to understand what it does.  For example, adding 2 oz of Pilsen and 2 oz of 2 Row to the same beer.  Why?  Also, you have Carapils and Crystal Malt.  If you use Crystal in a batch, then Carapils serves no real additional purpose.

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2 hours ago, RickBeer said:

Munich is a base grain, no 2 Row needed.

 

You should also look up each grain to understand what it does.  For example, adding 2 oz of Pilsen and 2 oz of 2 Row to the same beer.  Why?  Also, you have Carapils and Crystal Malt.  If you use Crystal in a batch, then Carapils serves no real additional purpose.

 

I recommended the 2-row because of the flaked corn.  Yes, I know the Pilsen works too as it's a variety of two-row.  But the OP has grains he wants to use up.  So why not?  Same with the Carapils.  It won't add flavor or color, just body, head, and a small bit of ABV.  Again, though, he has the grains on hand and wants to use them up.  It's not like their addition will hurt the flavor of the end product.

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Great points everyone.  @RickBeer, @Shrike, @MrWhy, @hotrod3539

 

So how long should I let these condition?  I know ferment 3 weeks.  Carbonate 3 weeks.  Is 4 weeks conditioning after that enough?

 

Also, what is a good source to learn what each grain type does?

 

Lastly, what is this Diastatic power of which you speak to work on the oats?

 

Thanks!

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My recommendation would be to stop describing carbonating and conditioning as two different things.  We recommend 3-4.  3 weeks fermenting and at least 4 weeks carbonating and conditioning at 70 or higher.  At 4 weeks, put one bottle in the frig for 3 days.  Try it.  If it's good, put more in.  If not, try again at 6 weeks.  If you build a big enough pipeline, you don't have to count weeks because you always wait long enough.

 

Google...

 

Grains have to be converted to get the sugars out.  Some grains have no power (diastatic power), so other grains have to do the conversion for them.  These are called "base grains".  Oats won't do squat without an equal amount of base grains, such as 2-Row or 6-Row (or Munich or Vienna, or Pilsner or Wheat or Rye).  

 

Crystal / Carmel malts don't need to be converted, they just get steeped to get the sugar in them out.

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15 hours ago, Shrike said:

If I were doing these I'd split them up so that one goes towards a lighter and crisper brew, and the other uses the sweeter grains for a maltier ale.  Something like:

 

First brew:
- 1 HME and 1 LME
- 3 oz Carapils

- 2 oz 2 row

- 2 oz flaked corn

- 2 oz Pilsen

Second brew:
- 1 HME and 1 LME
- 3 oz Carapils
- 2 oz Crystal
- 2 oz Munich

- 2 oz flaked oats

 

I'm not sure if you'd also need an extra 2 oz of 2-row in the second one to help convert the oats or if there's enough diastatic power in the other grains to get the job done; maybe @MRB Josh R or @MRB Tim can chime in with advice. 

 

I'd save the chocolate malt for use in a porter or stout, unless you just want to see what that amount will do for the ale, in which case I'd use it in the second one.

The boosters are up to you.  I don't normally use them so I'm probably not the guy to ask. :)

You might want to think about adding hops to each one just to balance the extra malt.  

 

I think you'll get a tasty beer with both of those.  The American Ale is a good HME to tinker with, and you're not adding so much grain that the character will be completely changed.  If nothing else it will help you see what small additions to the HME do for your end product.

And I'm like you:  I love the PM recipes but sometimes wonder what to do with leftover grains.  So far I've been able to make two beers that I really enjoy with the leftovers, my CALEX#1 and Blacker, Beardier Porter (this is a variation on the Black Beer'd Porter MRB recipe for which I added some leftover grains from making the Lock, Stock Bourbon Stout.  It was the first time I'd really "experimented" and I love the results.)

 

The Munich should have enough diastatic power to convert the flaked grains. It has 70 degrees Lintner (the measurement of enzymes) and regular 2-row has 110 L. I would do your partial mash for 45 mins instead of 30 just to be sure you get a full conversion.

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Also bottled my Lock Stock and Barrell Stout in hopes it will be ready for Christmas 2017!

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Finishing up experimental American Ale #1.  Made Brew 1 suggested by @Shrike!

 

First brew:
- 1 HME and 1 LME
- 3 oz Carapils

- 2 oz 2 row

- 2 oz flaked corn

- 2 oz Pilsen

IMG_3284.jpg

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13 hours ago, KaijuBrew said:

Finishing up experimental American Ale #1.  Made Brew 1 suggested by @Shrike!

 

First brew:
- 1 HME and 1 LME
- 3 oz Carapils

- 2 oz 2 row

- 2 oz flaked corn

- 2 oz Pilsen

IMG_3284.jpg

 

And thanks for the tips @MRB Josh R, @MrWhy, and @RickBeer.  It is fermenting away nicely this morning.

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Just bottled american ale experimental ale #1 - now with corn flakes!  Looked clear and the sample tasted good!

IMG_3685.jpg

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