yeah, personally i always make ales because like you said its more difficult to control the temperature and more stuff can go wrong with them. there are plenty of ale yeasts that are neutral enough that they taste like lagers, read some yeast profiles. its usually what i do.
beertools.com has a user submitted library of like +5000 recipes, pick a style you like and find a recipe that has good reviews from other users (there are a lot of good recipes but a lot of bad ones too since it is user submitted so i usually only pick reviewed recipes).
one thing in mind when you are using recipes though is that its not like cooking where adding x and y will usually get you the same cookies. when youre brewing things like the size of the boil, length of the boil, temperature it fermented at, AA content of the hops, how fine the grains were crushed, whether the recipe was supposed to be all grain but you are doing it as an extract brew, etc. all come into play and can cause a lot of variance in the beer from what the author intended. so if youre converting all grain recipes to extract recipes, the balance might be off because the recipe might be expecting a 90% yield from a mash, but you might only get a 20% yield from that grain when you steep it. i screwed up a few beers when i first started not realizing that the yield can be drastically different if you steep it instead of mash it.
this table has estimations of PPG obtained for some of the common grains... its not perfect but it if you are using all grain recipes, it may help you convert quantities a bit better. http://www.howtobrew.com/section2/chapter12-4-1.html
the size of your boil also affects the yield you get from hops and grains... smaller boil=less hop flavor/bitterness/sugars and flavor obtained from grain than a larger boil, so if you boil just like a gallon or two you may need to add extra steeping malts or hops to make up for that as well.
· 1 decade ago