Archive for March, 2014

AG#11 – Chasing Tail Pale Ale

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Intro

Recipe Specifications

Boil Size: 24.88 l
Post Boil Volume: 22.88 l
Batch Size (fermenter): 19.00 l
Bottling Volume: 17.00 l
Estimated OG: 1.059 SG
Estimated Color: 11.0 EBC
Estimated IBU: 52.7 IBUs
Brewhouse Efficiency: 60.00 %
Est Mash Efficiency: 69.5 %
Boil Time: 60 Minutes

Ingredients

1.00 tsp Gypsum (Calcium Sulfate) (Mash 60.0 mins)
4.500 kg Pale Malt, Maris Otter (5.9 EBC), 75.0 %
1.000 kg Vienna Malt (6.9 EBC), 16.7 %
0.250 kg Cara-Pils/Dextrine (3.9 EBC), 4.2 %
0.250 kg Wheat Malt, Bel (3.9 EBC), 4.2 %
22 g Chinook [13.80 %] – Boil 60.0 min, 40.8 IBUs
0.50 Items Whirlfloc Tablet (Boil 10.0 mins)
57 g Amarillo [7.80 %] – Boil 10.0 min, 11.9 IBUs
41 g Citra [14.80 %] – Boil 0.0 min, 0.0 IBUs
28 g Centennial [10.00 %] – Boil 0.0 min, 0.0 IBUs
20 g Chinook [13.00 %] – Boil 0.0 min, 0.0 IBUs
19 g Simcoe [13.20 %] – Boil 0.0 min, 0.0 IBUs
1.0 pkg Safale American (DCL/Fermentis #US-05)

Mash Schedule: Bubbles’ Single Infusion, Full Body, Batch Sparge
Total Grain Weight: 6.000 kg
Mash In Add 16.80 l of water at 74.6 C 68.0 C 60 min

Sparge: Batch sparge with 2 steps (Drain mash tun, , 14.59l) of 77.0 C water

28/03/2014 Brew Day – Mash temp 67.5C. Used a couple of hop bags on this batch but still ended up with a stuck runoff and a lot of break material entering the fermenter. Recorded an OG of 1.064, so this is going to come out a little bit stronger than expected.

12/04/2014 – Bottled with 130g of dextrose (17.5 itres @ 2.6 vol). Got 12 x 750ml bottles and 14 x 500ml bottles from the batch. Abolsutely amazing smell from the fermenter – toasty and really fruity. Very high hopes for this recipe and suspect it could become my default pale ale recipe.

02/05/2014 – Probably a bit early for a taste, but it was in the fridge and I couldn’t help myself. Pretty good, but a bit immature. Jammy. Great hop flavours, very catty, but that’s not a bad thing. Surprising how much sweetness is there, considering there’s absolutely no crystal malt in it.Even at this early stage, there’s great head formation, really silky. Really nice colour, but not as pale as I expected. A little less Vienna next time? Hazy, but not hugely so.Plenty of tropical fruit and cattiness on the nose. Needs more bitterness perhaps, as the sweetness is very prominent.

16/05/2014 – Wow, this is really shaping up, but should be even better in a week or two. Really dank and hoppy. Lots of sweetness there still, but I wanted the beer to be a lot drier. I will try reducing the gravity on this the next time and I might drop the CaraPils, just in case that is contributing some of the sweetness I’m getting. I might also drop the Vienna malt slightly.

21/05/2014 – The combination of CaraPils and wheat malt has produced a fantastic pillow of a head, with great lacing on the glass. I think I’d definitely do this combination on any future IPAs, but I suspect the CaraPils is contributing a bit more body than I actually want in an IPA. But maybe this was caused by the mash temperature? Great hop aroma and flavours. Quite hazy. I think it needs more bitterness.

AG#10 – Tailgunner Best Bitter

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It’s been over a year since I did my “series” of English bitters. I did a couple of bitters and a mild last January, all using S-04 dried yeast. The results were pretty mediocre, and although I’ve gained a lot of homebrewing knowledge since then, I’m pretty confident that it’s the fault of the S-04 yeast. I just find it very harsh, and it takes far too long to condition out. After scoring rather poorly in last years competition with a couple of these years, I resolved to never again use a dried English strain again that isn’t Danstar Nottingham.

So I recently splashed out on a vial of WLP002 which will hopefully give a satisfactory result. WLP002 is believed to be the Fullers strain and should lots of characteristic English fruitiness but has a lower level of attenuation, leaving lots of residual body and sweetness. As such, I will need to keep the level of crystal malt restrained and also watch my mash temperatures. I’ve been doing a bit of reading through Graham Wheelers book and I’m going for a fairly standard recipe of Maris Otter, C60 with plenty of wheat malt for head retention and a touch of black malt for colour. I’m hoping for a nice copper colour with this one. I’ll be relying on the Classic English pairing of East Kent Goldings and Fuggles for both battering and flavour, but I’ll keep the size of the additions modest as I don’t want the hop flavours to be pre-dominant. I want to be able to appreciate the full character of the yeast.

I’ll be using a 1.2 litre starter that I made 3 days ago. Hopefully it will be okay as the vial was a little past it’s best before date.

Recipe Specifications

Boil Size: 24.88 l
Post Boil Volume: 22.88 l
Batch Size (fermenter): 19.00 l
Bottling Volume: 17.00 l
Estimated OG: 1.049 SG
Estimated Color: 18.4 EBC
Estimated IBU: 29.9 IBUs
Brewhouse Efficiency: 60.00 %
Est Mash Efficiency: 69.5 %
Boil Time: 60 Minutes

Ingredients

4.400 kg Pale Malt, Maris Otter (5.9 EBC), 89.3 %
0.300 kg Wheat Malt, Bel (3.9 EBC), 6.1 %
0.200 kg Caramel/Crystal Malt – 60L (118.2 EBC), 4.1 %
0.025 kg Black (Patent) Malt (985.0 EBC), 0.5 %
22 g Fuggles [4.30 %] – Boil 60.0 min, 12.8 IBUs
22 g Goldings, East Kent [4.90 %] – Boil 60.0, 14.6 IBUs
10 g Fuggles [4.30 %] – Boil 10.0 min, 1.2 IBUs
10 g Goldings, East Kent [4.90 %] – Boil 10.0, 1.3 IBUs
1.0 pkg English Ale (White Labs #WLP002)

Mash Schedule: Bubbles’ Single Infusion, Full Body, Batch Sparge
Total Grain Weight: 4.925 kg
Mash In           Add 13.79 l of water at 74.6 C          68.0 C        60 min

Sparge: Batch sparge with 2 steps (Drain mash tun, , 16.52l) of 77.0 C water

16/03/2014 – This was my first outdoor brew day and the rain just about held off. Great not to have the brew stinking up the house or condensation dripping down the windows. Treated 25 litres of mash liquor with 1 tsp of gypsum. I waited until the end of the mash rest before I started heating the water for the sparge. It came up to temperature just in time and was around 90C before transfer to the mash tun. I measured the temperature of the sparge after transfer and it was over 76C. I think this is the first time I’ve ever had a proper sparge temperature since I started brewing all-grain. It might account for the fact that I was several points over my intended OG. I got an OG of 1.050-1.052!

Run-off from the boil was excellent because there was so little hops in the recipe. Wort was very clear also, but I think I’m going to have to adjust my “losses to boiler” in BeerSmith as I got only 18 litres into the fermenter. Still plenty of wort left in the boil but it was mixed up withe break material and hops, so I didn’t want to put that into the FV if I could help it.

Pitched about a litre of the starter wort. The WLP002 is such a clumpy yeast, great hunks of yeast went into the FV. Hopefully it won’t be long before the fermentation kicks off.

31/03/2014 – Bottled using 110g of glucose (17l @ 2.5 vol). Got 34 bottles from the batch. Great aroma from the beer, but tastes slightly harsh. Yeasty, perhaps. FG 1.012.

07/09/2014 – Disappointed with the lack of notes on this beer. It’s held up quite well in the warm shed over the summer months and I’ve still got about 10 bottles of it left. I was impressed with the malty flavours and just looked up the recipe. I was amazed to see that there’s no record of me using amber malt in this, but it’s definitely there. Unless the English ale yeast is bringing out those malty flavours? Could it be Thomas Fawcett base malt I used?

12/10/2014 – This is still really nice. And it’s so obviously got a flavour of amber malt. I just can’t believe I neglected to put this in the recipe. If I were to reproduce it, I’d probably start with 125g of amber malt. It actually drinks more like a brown ale. Though if I were to call it a brown ale, I’d probably add a little chocolate malt to darken the colour a bit.

03/01/2015 – Last bottle and still yum. Big body and flavour for such a low gravity beer. Toasty, malty, perfectly bittered. Wish I had the actual recipe so that I could reproduce it. Would be more inclined to start with 75-100g of amber malt if I were to attempt it again.

AG#9 – Grapefruit Moon Pale Ale

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Intro

Recipe

Boil Size: 24.88 l
Post Boil Volume: 22.88 l
Batch Size (fermenter): 19.00 l
Bottling Volume: 17.00 l
Estimated OG: 1.051 SG
Estimated Color: 12.9 EBC
Estimated IBU: 35.9 IBUs
Brewhouse Efficiency: 60.00 %
Est Mash Efficiency: 69.5 %
Boil Time: 60 Minutes

Ingredients

4.170 kg Pale Malt, Maris Otter (5.9 EBC), 82.2 %
0.300 kg Biscuit Malt (45.3 EBC), 5.9 %
0.300 kg Munich Malt (17.7 EBC), 5.9 %
0.300 kg Wheat Malt, Ger (3.9 EBC), 5.9 %
25 g Cascade [7.40 %] – Boil 60.0 min, 27.7 IBUs
0.50 Items Whirlfloc Tablet (Boil 15.0 mins)
15 g Cascade [7.40 %] – Boil 10.0 min, 3.3 IBUs
15 g Centennial [10.90 %] – Boil 10.0 min, 4.9 IBUs
25 g Centennial [10.90 %] – Boil 0.0 min, 0.0 IBUs
6 g Cascade [7.40 %] – Boil 0.0 min, 0.0 IBUs
1.0 pkg Safale American  (DCL/Fermentis #US-05) (400ml slurry from Galway Slapper Ale)

Mash Schedule: Bubbles’ Single Infusion, Full Body, Batch Sparge
Total Grain Weight: 5.070 kg
Mash In           Add 14.20 l of water at 74.6 C          68.0 C        60 min

Sparge: Batch sparge with 2 steps (Drain mash tun, , 16.26l) of 77.0 C water

02/03/2014 – Brew day, got slightly less than usual volume (about 18.5l) into the fermenter, but OG was spot-on. Less than 100g of hops in this recipe, so I had no trouble draining off the wort and got a pretty clear wort. Strange thing was, there was still a lot of flecks of cold break, despite leaving it for ages in the boiler before transfer to FV. Huge amount of foam in FV before pitching yeast.

03/03/2014 – Massive overspill from the FV!! Could it be the wheat malt. I really didn’t expect this from a moderate gravity beer that is being fermented in the coldest room in the house. The only thing I can think of is that I must have massively overpitched the yeast. Seems to have calmed down now. Will monitor for a couple of days.

17/03/2014 – Bottled with 120g glucose (18 litres @ 2.5 vol), but got only 34 bottles from the batch (17 litres). Great beery, grainy smell from the fermenter. Looks quite murky though.

15/04/2014 – First taste, not too bad. Tastes a tiny bit yeasty at first, then it settles down a bit and some of the toasty, grainy flavour comes through. I’d say (hope) it will improve with another couple of weeks conditioning. Although I was trying not to make a hop bomb, I can’t help thinking “needs more hops”. Old habits die hard. Level of crystal malt is nice, lots of spiky bitterness poking through. Very dry finish.

19/04/2014 – The bottle I’m tasting at the moment is markedly better than the one I tasted only 4 days ago. Crisp and malty, but with a lovely residual sweetness to balance the assertive hop bitterness. Hops coming through quite nicely, but it’s not a hop bomb. This is the kind of beer I can’t wait to have on tap. Think I might have found my regular pale ale recipe.


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