So my previous beer is now on its secondary fermentation, and I've already made another batch (what can I say, I'm in the beer groove).
Like my previous batch, this one is based on a recipe from the "Homebrewer's Recipe Guide", specifically the "Maura's Bride Ale". IIRC, the bill was:
3 1/3lb light extract
3 1/3lb amber extract
1/2 lb Crystal Malt (20L)
2oz Willamette Hops (bittering)
1oz Liberty Hops (flavor)
1oz Cascade Hops (aroma)
1oz Cascade Hops (dryhop).
Everything went pretty smoothly in the brew process (I even had the chance to work on a cool papercraft project someone gave me, which hopefully I'll finish soon, so I can post a picture), but unfortunately, I'm not sure how well it'll turn out.
When I pitched the yeast and got fermentation going was right around when it warmed up this week, and I think that may have screwed up my beer.
The temp strip I have on my fermenter wasn't registering, so my fermentation took place above 78deg F. (that's the highest the scale goes) So, if it tastes like bananas (esters), I won't be surprised. I read somewhere that a long secondary ferment can lessen that flavor element, so maybe if I just let it sit in the secondary for a long time (2-4 weeks, maybe?), it'll be ok. I'm moving it to the secondary this weekend, so I'll know soon enough.
But anyway, even though this batch may not be perfect, I have to say the book I'm working with right now is pretty close to perfect. The recipes are clear and concise, and are mostly extract recipes, since the authors claim that some 80% of homebrewers (including me) brew primarily extract beers. It's nice to have a recipe guide that aims to meet your needs.
I actually own another book by the authors, called "Secrets of the Master Brewers". I've never made any of the recipes in there, but it was a good read, and it turned me on to a lot of fine breweries.