Brewing with Citra for the first time

Reads 12469 • Replies 38 • Started Friday, November 9, 2012 10:13:20 AM CT

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beers 2452 º places 182 º 11:06 Mon 11/12/2012

Originally posted by Gazza
Originally posted by bitbucket
OH, GAWD! Not another Crystal vs Caramel thread. Crystal IS a Caramel malt.

It is, but the flavour profiles of cara v crystal are totally different. Cara is 25EBC (Fawcetts is, anyhow) whilst most Crystal malts are 130EBC. Cara gives body and a hint of flavour whereas crystal gives toffee, caramel and ruins hop character.

As has been said, with UK Maris Otter you just don’t need the extra flavour from darker malts although it’s down to the specs of the beer as to what flavour is required.

OK, I get ya now. So it’s darker crystal malts that you find objective. 130EBC crystal is what Sierra Nevada uses in their pale ale and Celebration from what I’ve been told (but we’d call it 60L here). Seems like caramalt is what UK maltsters call their pale crystal/caramel which I think are the only ones that work well in IPA at least. We use Simpsons, which is about 60-70 EBC, so still darker than Fawcetts but half the color of the darker stuff. Bear Republic and Stone are two west coast brewers that use caramel malts in the 25EBC range in their IPAs to good effect as well.

beers 19165 º places 37 º 06:27 Tue 11/13/2012

I may have a wee taste out of the fermenter this evening. It’ll be interesting to see what affect the crystal has made.

places 1 º 09:12 Tue 11/13/2012

My view of Citra is that it has a bigger impact when using by itself for aroma/flavor than with other varieties. A small % of something else like centennial or chinook along with a large % of citra is ok too. But whenever I use them in more equal proportions with other hops, citra seems to get jealous and kills all the hop character turning it into a gentle melon flavor. YMMV.

As far as crystal malt is concerned, the amount of crystal used has a bigger impact than the lovibond. For example I find it better to get a little color using a very small % (%) of 40-60L cyrstal vs. using a larger amount of 15-20L cyrstal. Each type of crystal will give different flavors so its going to depend on what you are shooting for really.

beers 19165 º places 37 º 10:51 Tue 11/13/2012

Well it’s hoppy. Quite bitter on the finish. Yes some toffee sweetness, but some biscuit I think is going to come through. I plan a 2 week fermentation/secondary tank so it should give it time to sort itself out. Mostly lime is the fruit flavour that comes through most. Anyway if it’s rubbish at least I’ll know never to use crystal again.

beers 217 º 11:56 Tue 11/13/2012

There are many IPA drinkers who don’t want any Crystal in their IPA. However, Crystal is used in plenty of IPAs and PAs that you probably like. You might have used too much of it this time around, unless you like the result.

beers 19165 º places 37 º 12:51 Fri 11/30/2012

So the proof of the pudding is in the eating, or in this case the proof of the beer is in drinking the damn thing.

It’s only been bottled for a week and needs another week I think to gain some character, but I had to decide whether to take a bottle to London tomorrow for a Ratebeer get to gether and I wanted to know if it was good enough to take.

Hazy bronze colour (I didn’t use any finings) lasting thin off white head. Aroma of some toffee and some green leafy hops. Mouthfeel is ok but will be better given another week, but still happy with the carbonation from the secondary fermentation in the bottle. Some ok orange fruit, quite a bit of toffee and even some milk chocolate and then some bitterness on the finish. Needs at least another week I think to sharpen up some of the flavours and the mouthfeel.

What have I learnt from beer no. 7 which is also all grain no. 2?

I need to improve my boil to fermenter transfer, 5 gallons of hot liquid is quite difficult to handle sometimes.
I need not to brew with Crystal malt.
Citra hops are quite nice.
I can get a decent efficency from my mash
I need to let my beers get at least 2 weeks age on them before trying them.
On some of my beers I’ve got a slight bleachy aroma and I don’t know what it is. Doesnt carry over into the flavour. Just a bit of plastic/bleach.

Most of all, I’ve learnt that I can brew a beer!!!!

beers 6557 º places 146 º 14:03 Fri 11/30/2012

Originally posted by harrisoni
Most of all, I’ve learnt that I can brew a beer!!!!

beers 6557 º places 146 º 14:06 Fri 11/30/2012

I bittered for the first time with UK Phoenix, pleased with the results so far.

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