Starting from the recipe I use as an example on How to create small batch beer recipes, I improvised a Belgian strong ale with three different malts: Pilsen, Munich and Wheat
It took quite a lot of improvisation actually, because it’s not always easy to stick to the exact ingredients indicated in a recipe
Still, most recipes and suppliers are using the same typical ingredients and you never miss the target too much
Another challenge was to divide all amounts to create a small batch and then still convert all that into metric
At first, I felt really overwhelmed by all the different parameters such as grain bill, malt colors, hops alpha acid percentages and type of yeast, but once you start digging, it’s actually very simple and, most of all, it’s so much MORE FUN to compose a recipe yourself, I will never use a ready mix again, even though it was perfect for a first experience
Here is the recipe in case you are interested (this is for 5 liters, remove a quarter of each ingredient for a gallon)
Fermentables (all organic and crushed)
- 2.75lb (1.25 kg) Pilsen EBC 2.8-4
- 5.75oz (163 g) Munich EBC 20-25
- 5.75oz (163 g) Wheat EBC 3-5
- 5.75oz (163 g) Clear candi sugar (add 5 minutes before boil end)
Hops (0.24oz / 7 g each)
- Hallertau 4.1% 60 minutes
- Styrian Golding 3.2% 20 minutes
- Saaz 3% 3 minutes
- 3 g Trappist High Gravity (Abbey)
- 0.05oz (1.5 g) coriander seeds (add 3 minutes before boil end)
Mash 2.5L for 60 minutes at 149°F (65°C)
Boil 60 minutes
Priming 2.1oz (60 g) honey
The beer turned out surpisingly great for my first self-made recipe, with perfect head retention, bubbling in the glass, which I though only experienced brewers could achieve, and great color
Taste and body are perfect too
The only regret I have is to not have brewed more of this awesome beer!
Surprisingly enough, some bottles seem to have less body than others, even though I primed in a pot and, thus, all bottles received the same amount of priming sugar
The other surprise comes from the alcohol volume, which seems a little lower than expected, about 6% instead of 8, maybe because sparging was not easy due to the unusual amount of grain and I couldn’t recirculate the wort as much as I wanted
2 thoughts on “My first recipe!”
Did you mix your honey in water first, or stir it directly into the pot? I stirred directly on my first try, and while I stirred for a very long time, I still had tremendous differences in head from one bottle to the next. Cooper’s Drops fueled my latest batch, and the differences are far less noticeable.
One pattern I think I notice is that the first (and of course youngest) bottle always tastes thinner than the later ones.
I mix honey and water directly in the pot first and then siphon the beer down into it, because I want every bottle to receive the same amount of sugar, but you can indeed achieve this with drops too.
The reason why I prefer honey is because I think it’s a more interesting sugar in terms of taste than just plain sugar from drops and you can choose an organic honey.
I agree that some bottles seem to have more body than others, but it can’t come from priming as the beer is primed as a whole; I still have to figure out where the differences come from, maybe just your mouth this or that day.