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Styrian/Kent Goldings Bitter Tasting

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Here are my notes for the Ordinary Bitter made with Styrian and Kent Goldings and fermented with Wyeast 1986. This keg has kicked a while back but I managed to write down notes.

Appearance :  Very clear coppery body with a nice voluminous head that stays around. There is some foam around until the last sip. A nice looking pint.

Smell : Nice earthy hop aroma. Some orange notes but the Styrians lead. As the beer warms up the malt gains strength, some nuttiness and a hint of toffee. Some yeast character evident when the beer warms up, very “British”.

Taste : A very nice malty biscuity taste and the bitterness very much in balance, the beer is neither too sweet nor too bitter. The slight amount of amber malt seemed to make a notable difference, there is a slight roasty note that I have not had in my usual Maris Otter/Crystal malt bill beers.

Mouthfeel :  Surprisingly rich for a small beer, I think at least partly due to the Fuller’s strain which attenuates in the middle 60’s. Carbonation is low which suits this beer well.

Notes/thoughts : One of my best bitters to date. The hops are perfect for my taste, very notable but not too overpowering and I like the Styrian/Kent Goldings combo. The malt bill works well, though i think the amber malt is more a matter of taste, I think the beer would work well without. Finally, the Fuller’s strain is perfect for low gravity bitters, it’s a shame that it is difficult to harvest with my current method. It tends to form such a thick layer that “stealing” a bit for the next generation is difficult. I think the next batch also had some fermenting problems (more on that later).

India Pale Lager

Recently I tried to brew my first lager beer using the 3 week method that brulosophy advocates. As I result I had a nice white yeast cake of lager yeast available and I decided to give it something a bit different to ferment. Usually people use the term “lager” as a synonym for run of the mill tasteless beer offered in countless watering holes all over the world when it of course is a method of brewing. There is a wide range of traditional beer styles made by lagering but there are also some new beers that don’t quite fit in the guidelines. One of these is the “Indian Pale Lager” which is simply an India Pale Ale fermented with a lager yeast and then stored, or lagered for a period of time. The idea is to minimize the taste impact that an ale yeast gives to a beer leaving more room for the hops to shine. To be honest I think that the typical “American” ale strains commonly used to make IPA’s are very neutral to begin with but since I had an opportunity to try it out I thought it might make for an interesting experiment.

Another thing I’m trying out in this beer is the hop schedule. During the last two years I think I’ve learned to make a decent IPA. My usual method has been to use 2 or 3 varieties of hops and then use all of these on both the hot and cold side. (typically I use one bittering addition, a long hop stand and then dry-hop in to the fermentor close to when the fermentation is finished). This has led to decent results but I’ve started to think that a better aroma and taste might be achieved by using different hops in the boil and dry-hopping, aiming to combine the different aromas in to the desired result.

For this beer, I wanted to have a fairly “classical” citrus base aroma overlaid with tropical fruits and a bit of pine. To achieve this I used Centennial and Columbus in the hop-stand and for dry-hopping, mainly Citra with a bit of Nelson Sauvin and Simcoe. I don’t have any science to back this up, just my experiences from the different batches I’ve brewed over the years. I also realize that the quality of hops differ from year to year and I’ve started to pay more attention to the aroma of the packages that I receive. One more thing I’m experimenting on is the amount of hops I use. I think that there probably is a point of diminishing returns with my current hopping method after which throwing more hops in doesn’t achieve much (in a wort of similar gravity, bigger beers can take more bitterness and aroma). I’ll have to pay attention to the result from these experiences, learn from that and then factor in the freshness of the hops to hit that saturation point in future beers.

Here is the recipe:

Recipe
—————-
Target Batch Size (Litres/Gallons): 17.00 / 4,49
Total Grain (Kg/Pounds):  3,9 / 8,6
Anticipated OG: 1,057
Anticipated SRM: 5,4
Anticipated IBU: 43,5 (Without Hop-Stand additions)
Wort Boil Time: 60 Minutes

Fermentables
—————–
82,1%       – 3,2 kg / 7,05 lbs Pale Ale malt, Viking
12,8%        – 0,5 kg / 1,1 lbs Munich malt, Weyermann
5,1%        – 0,2 kg / 0,44 lbs Wheat malt, Weyermann
Hops
——–
20g /  0,7 oz. Columbus (15,5 % AA) plug @ 60 minutes for 43,5 IBU

30g / 1,06 oz. Columbus (15,5 % AA) pellet @ Hop-stand for 30 minutes
60g / 2,11 oz.  Centennial (10,0 % AA) pellet @ Hop-stand for 30 minutes

20g /  0,7 oz.  Nelson Sauvin (12,0 % AA) pellet Dry hop for 7 days
20g /  0,7 oz. Simcoe (13,0 % AA) plug Dry hop for 7 days
60g /  2,11 oz.  Citra (14,0 % AA) pellet Dry hop for 7 days

Extras

———-
½ Tablet of Whirlfloc @ 10 Min.
½ Teaspoon of yeast nutrient @ 10 Min.
2g  Calcium Chloride in the mash
6g / 0,21oz. of Gypsum in the mash

Yeast
———
Mangrove Jack Bohemian Lager M84 Yeast cake from First Lager

Mash
———————–
24,6  Litre BIAB @ 66 Celsius for 60 mins (6,5Gal/151F)

____

Similar fermentation schedule than with the first 3 weeks lager. Added the dry hopping in just when fermentation was slowing down. Cooling the beer will leave the hops in contact for longer that I planned but I don’t think that will be a problem.

 

Porter Tasting

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I’ve been a bit lazy in posting tastings lately (and posting in general) but now that I’ve started to brew regularly in my new home I’ll have to do a better job in following up on how the recipes work. The porter I brewed before Christmas was one of the recipes that clearly improved from my the first try at the style. Here are my notes, written down around new years eve.

Appearance :  Dark black body with red highlights when held up against the light. The head is medium and brown-ish in colour. Lots of pretty lacing is left in the class.

Smell : Roast Coffee, slight chocolate note. As the beer warms up some sweet caramel notes appear.

Taste : Nice roast coffee-chocolate character with a hint of cocoa. Compared to the last porter I brewed (judging from my notes and memory) this one has a nice sweet caramel taste to round-up the roast character. Not as harsh as the last one. A slight nutty taste comes through from Maris Otter.

Mouthfeel :  Nice mouthfeel, the beer feels rich despite the fairly low gravity. Carbonation is low, I’ve turned the pressure even further down in the kegerator.

Notes/thoughts : This Porter is by far my best one to this date. Adding the caramel and brown malts worked well and cutting down the black malt was a good idea, the beer is not as harsh as my last porter. Still, I think that I could improve the recipe still by increasing the amount of caramel malts by a few percent and decreasing the IBU’s just a tad. I also forgot to mash the beer higher… Still a very nice and drinkable porter, I was very pleased with this one.

Lager!

I’ve had the ability to brew lager beer for many moons now (or rather, ferment the beer in a low temperature), thanks to my fermentation chamber. However, I haven’t gotten round to it, because if you brew them the traditional way you have to keep the beer cold for at least a month after it has stopped fermenting. This has the downside, obviously, of keeping the chamber occupied for that period. Of course, you could brew something during that time that isn’t too picky about the temperature, say a saison but still, this has felt like too large a limitation. But is that long lagering period in the cold really necessary? Brulosophy doesn’t seem to think so and as usual, they have evidence to back that up.

So, when the chamber became free I wanted to test this method of brewing a lager beer out. At first I decided to go for a Urquel-ish pilsner since I quite like that style of beer. Fairly low in alcohol but very tasty and sessionable. After I designed the recipe (quite simple, Pilsner malt and Saaz hops, with a simple infusion mash though, instead of the traditional concoction mash which takes more time and would be quite interesting to do with the BIAB method) and started to measure out the ingredients it turned out that my inventory was incorrect and I didn’t have enough Pilsner malt. Well, not to worry, I changed the recipe to include some Munich malt and after thinking about it a bit, left in the later Saaz additions but used Magnum for bittering. The resulting recipe isn’t really spot on for any official style but that really hasn’t bothered me. I suppose it could be called a Munich Helles with more bitterness than usual and Saaz for aroma hops. Oh, and fermented with Mangrove Jack’s Bohemian Lager yeast M84 which is probably  a relative of the Pilsner Urquel strain. So much for styles.

After mashing it turned out that the pre-boil gravity was way past what I had planned for… I had changed the figures in Beersmith since I had ended up with higher PreboilG in a few of the previous patches but obviously I had corrected the figures in a wrong direction. After brewing I used the numbers from couple of recent boils to change the equipment profile so that the recipes would reflect reality – the only way I could get them to match was to set the efficiency to around 90% which can’t be right… I’m at a loss to why but at least the amount of water and malt now seem to be inline with the resulting gravity. (Any advice would be appreciated). I used some boiled water to top up the wort after boiling but it still ended up a few point higher than planned. In hindsight, just looking at the amount of malt should have been enough but I think I’ve fallen in to habit of just trusting the software…

Here is the recipe as it turned out. Anyway, the interesting part isn’t the recipe itself but how the brulosophy fermentation schedule turns out. This beer is in the “lager” phase now and clearing out nicely.

Recipe :

—————-
Target Batch Size (Litres/Gallons): 17.00 / 4,49
Total Grain (Kg/Pounds): 2,98 / 6,56
Anticipated OG: 1.050
Anticipated SRM:  4,1
Anticipated IBU: 29,0
Wort Boil Time: 90 Minutes

Fermentables
—————–
73,8% 2,2kg / 4,85 lbs  – Pilsner malt, Weyermann
23,5% 0,7kg / 1,54 lbs – Munich II malt, Weyermann
2,7 %   80g / 2,8 oz – Acidulated malt

Hops
——–
10g / 0, 35 0z. Magnum (Pellet, 11% AA) @ 90 min for 17,6 IBU
20g / 0,7 oz. Saaz (Pellet, 3,75% AA) @ 30 min for 8,6 IBU
20g / 0,7 oz. Saaz (Pellet, 3,75% AA) 15 min hop-stand

Extras

———-
½ Tablet of Whirlfloc @ 10 Min.
½ Teaspoon of yeast nutrient @ 10 Min.
2g / 0,07 oz Gypsum in mash
2g / 0,07 oz Calcium Chloride in mash

Yeast
———

Mangrove Jack’s Bohemian Lager yeast M84, 2 packets rehydrated

Mash
———————–
26 Litre BIAB @ 66 Celsius for 60 mins (6,8Gal/150F)

7/3/16 Single infusion mash, Preboil gravity too high (had to check the refractometer reading to be sure). OG at 1,054, topped of with about a liter of boiled water. Added two packets of rehydrated M84 to be sure to end up with enough cells. Set to ferment at 11C/51,8F

9/3/16 Loong lag, some bubbles evident at 36 hours.

12/3/16 High krausen, strong fermentation

13/3/16 took a gravity reading, past half-way point at 1,030. Started to ramp up the temperature 1C per 12 hours up to 18C/64F

21/3/16 Some slight fermentation visible, will leave at 18C for a few days

23/3/16 From the two options, decided to crash the the beer to 1C/33F straight away

25/3/16 Clearing up nicely

28/2/16 Moved to a keg and lifted to the kegerator to carbonate, used the yeast cake for the Indian Pale Lager. Sample tasted very malty with a hint of Saaz spice. Already very clear.

 

 

 

Nz Pale Ale

The ordinary bitter I brewed recently with Wyeast 1968 was so good that I wanted to try how the same malts and yeast would work in a more hoppy beer. I had some 2015 crop New Zealand hops at hand and decided to use them. Nelson Sauvin is a very characterful hop and I’ve learned to be careful with it since it can really overwhelm the beer. So I went with a 1/2 mix of Nelson together with some robust smelling NZ Cascade. Otherwise the recipe is very similar, I just increased the OG a bit and the aroma hops are added at flame-out.

Sometime after this I plan to do a third patch with the same yeast and malt bill and dry hop it in the fermenter. I’m interested to see if this method of dry hopping is the reason for the persistent haze I’ve seen in some of the IPA’s I’ve done lately and with all other things being equal (and since beers fermented with Wyeast 1968 are usually crystal clear) such a test would tell whether this is the case (or it might be that dry hopping in the primary leaves a haze only with certain yeasts but we will see).

—–

Target Batch Size (Litres/Gallons): 17.00 / 4,49
Total Grain (Kg/Pounds): 2,9 / 6,4
Anticipated OG: 1.042
Anticipated SRM: 7,8
Anticipated IBU: 30,4
Wort Boil Time: 60 Minutes

Fermentables
—–

89,7%   2,6 kg / 5,73 lbs     Pale Malt, Maris Otter (Thomas Fawcett)
8,6 %   0,25 kg / 0,55 lbs     Pale Crystal Malt (Thomas Fawcett)
1,7 %   0,05 kg / 0,11 lbs    Amber Malt (Thomas Fawcett)

Hops
—–

15g / 0,35 oz. Bravo (Pellet, 13%  AA) @ 60 min for 30,4 IBU

50g / 0,7 oz. Nelson Sauvin (Pellet, 11%  AA) Hop-stand for 20 minutes
100g / 0,7 oz. NZ Cascade (Pellet, 7%  AA) Hop-stand for 20 minutes

Extras
—–

½ Tablet of Whirlfloc @ 10 Min.
½ Teaspoon of yeast nutrient @ 10 Min.
2g Calcium Chloride in mash
3g Gypsum in mash

Yeast
—–

Wyeast London ESB Ale 1968, 1,5 Litre starter

Mash
—–

24 Litre BIAB @ 66 Celsius for 60 mins (5,97Gal/150F)

Notes

—–

  • My numbers were way of again, with the pre-boil gravity too high. Otherwise everything went smoothly. Cooling to 18C took only 10 minutes with the new cooler and the cold weather! Fermentation seemed to be done at about 2 weeks and I ragged the beer to a keg after 17 days. Lifted to the kegerator to carbonate. Pulled a sample and the Nelson Sauvin aroma was veeery strong.

Recipe – Table Beer

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What would be the most simple beer that could be brewed? Just using one malt, one addition of a single hop and a yeast to ferment the wort. Could such a simple beer be good? I think so. Even with these limitations it’s possible to do all kinds of variations. There are lots of possible malts that could work well. Obviously there are a lots of different hops and you could vary the time when you add it to the boil, changing the amount of aroma it imparts. Different yeasts give a different flavour profile and a flavorful yeast is important in a beer with a low starting gravity (I dislike the term “weak” beer that some people use implying that bigger is better).

I wanted to brew such a simple beer to evaluate a new dry yeast from Mangrove Jack, a Belgian strain called Belgian Abbey M47. I went with a recipe that would leave the yeast most “room” by adding the hops at 60 minutes (thus imparting little or no hop flavour) and choosing a fairly bland base malt, simple Pale Ale malt from Viking. Such a simple brew also made for a relaxed brewday and allowed me to test the new cooler and new thermometer, courtesy of my wife. She also helped with (gough, bought and installed everything) the whole coupling and table setup in the picture. People might call me very lucky since I have a wife who is supportive of my brewing hobby and they would be totally correct…

Recipe :

—————-
Target Batch Size (Litres/Gallons): 17.00 / 4,49
Total Grain (Kg/Pounds): 2,20 / 4,85
Anticipated OG: 1.032
Anticipated SRM:  3,2
Anticipated IBU: 24,1
Wort Boil Time: 60 Minutes

Fermentables
—————–
100% 2,2kg / 4,85 lbs  – Pale Ale Malt, Viking

Hops
——–
10,0g / 0, 35 0z. Magnum (Pellet, 13,5% AA) @ 60 min for 20,6 IBU
Extras

———-
½ Tablet of Whirlfloc @ 10 Min.
½ Teaspoon of yeast nutrient @ 10 Min.
Yeast
———

Belgian Abbey (Mangrove Jack’s M47) 1 packet rehydrated

Mash
———————–
22,2 Litre BIAB @ 67 Celsius for 60 mins (5,86Gal/152F)

Brewday went well but I have to tweak the settings on the software. I had a higher efficiency than estimated and though I added water I ended up with a higher than expected OG of 1.034. I set the fermentation chamber to max temp of 22C and lifted that to 24C after two days of fermentation. The temperature peaked at 23C. Fermentation seemed to be over after a week. Left the beer on the cake for 1,5 weeks more, then racked to a keg and lifted to the kegerator to carbonate.

17/4/16 Not much to write about this beer. The yeast seemed to impart a fair amount of fruity esters (no banana though, luckily). The beer was fairly enjoyable with food as a table beer but of course, rather on the thin side. I think I would use this yeast to ferment a higher strength Belgian but perhaps ferment it a bit higher.

Styrian/Kent Goldings Bitter

Ordinary bitter is one of the styles that I’ve brewed most often. It’s fairly simple to brew and a “session beer” in the true sense of the word with ABV usually below 3,5%. As I have written often before a beer with such a low gravity is, at least to my experience, more difficult to brew than say, an Indian Pale Ale. Don’t get me wrong, brewing a truly good IPA is no simple task but when you are making a small beer that also isn’t blasted with a load of hops there is very little to hide any defects in your recipe or process. You are also trying to avoid making the beer feel and taste “watery” while still using fairly small amounts of malt. I find that in order to make a good ordinary bitter two things are especially important: a good base malt and a yeast that gives a nice balance of ester character and lets the malt come through in the beer. A bitter fermented with a neutral yeast just doesn’t work.

I think that I’ve improved with every OB that I’ve brewed and have the basics locked down but as usual I wanted to try something a bit different. Though I feel that Maris Otter with just a bit of Crystal malts is quite satisfactory, I wanted to add just a dash of amber malt to see if it would give a slightly roastier end result. I also wanted to try Wyeast 1968 (supposedly the Fuller’s strain) again using the yeast harvesting method I have imitated from Brulosophy, a site that I very much recommend. I have had one bad patch with 1968, probably as result of under-pitching and can’t recommend it to anyone who bottles their beer since it has a tendency to “wake up” in the bottle resulting in over-carbonated beer but now that I’m kegging that won’t be a problem. It has a low attenuation percentage which I’m hoping will work well in a small beer. The hops used are Styrian and Kent Goldings which are fairly traditional and should work well together with the Styrian being more “earthy” and Kent Goldings giving that traditional “bright” hop character.

Here is the recipe:

—–

Target Batch Size (Litres/Gallons): 17.00 / 4,49
Total Grain (Kg/Pounds): 2,45 / 5,4
Anticipated OG: 1.036
Anticipated SRM: 6,8
Anticipated IBU: 25,2
Wort Boil Time: 60 Minutes

Fermentables
—–

89,8%   2,2 kg / 4,85 lbs     Pale Malt, Maris Otter (Thomas Fawcett)
8,2 %   0,2 kg / 0,44 lbs     Pale Crystal Malt (Thomas Fawcett)
2,0 %   0,05 kg / 0,11 lbs    Amber Malt (Thomas Fawcett)

Hops
—–

10g / 0,35 oz. East Kent Goldings (Pellet, 5%  AA) @ 60 min for 8,3 IBU
10g / 0,35 oz. Styrian Goldings (Pellet, 3%  AA) @ 60 min for 5,0 IBU

10g / 0,35 oz. East Kent Goldings (Pellet, 5%  AA) @ 15 min for 4,1 IBU
10g / 0,35 oz. Styrian Goldings (Pellet, 3%  AA) @ 15 min for 2,5 IBU

20g / 0,7 oz. East Kent Goldings (Pellet, 5%  AA) @ 5 min for 3,3 IBU
10g / 0,7 oz. Styrian Goldings (Pellet, 3%  AA) @ 5 min for 2,0 IBU

Extras
—–

½ Tablet of Whirlfloc @ 10 Min.
½ Teaspoon of yeast nutrient @ 10 Min.
2g Calcium Chloride in mash
3g Gypsum in mash

Yeast
—–

Wyeast London ESB Ale 1968, 1,5 Litre starter

Mash
—–

22,5 Litre BIAB @ 67 Celsius for 60 mins (5,93Gal/152F)

Tasting here – one of my best bitters to date.

—–

Recipe – Porter

It’s been a while since I’ve written – or brewed. The plumbing was renovated and after that was over it took a while for me to feel like brewing. I’ve been drinking less beer and after moving to the new house it felt like I “lost the routine” somehow, which is not necessarily a bad thing.

This weekend I decided to have a go at it and it was very nice to brew in the  new bathroom with the new electric kettle. I have some new gear, a very accurate temperature probe (thanks to my lovely wife) and a refractometer which really made it easy to get gravity readings and add water to reach the desired original gravity. All in all it was very pleasant to brew after the break.

The beer I decided to make was a black porter. I’ve never really been happy with the porters I’ve brewed – they’ve been ok but not up there with the best commercial examples. I think this is mainly because I’ve used malt bills that have been too simple (I usually feel that a simple malt bill serves the beer best, every grain used has to add something distinct to the end result). So, I used my previous go at the style and added some crystal malt for a bit of sweetness that I felt was lacking and some brown malt for some mellower roast character.  I cut back on the black malt to give some “room” for the less coffee-like flavour of the brown malt. Turned out the malt bill is pretty similar to some of the Fuller’s London Porter clone recipes floating out there and since I like that beer I tweaked the final recipe to include more brown malt and to have  higher gravity than my previous attempts. I also added a bit of East Kent Goldings at 15 minutes, something I have not tried in Porters before. For the yeast, Mangrove Jacks Burton Union, not a perfect choice but that’s what I had in hand.

Here is the recipe:

Recipe
—–

Target Batch Size (Litres/Gallons): 17.00 / 4,49
Total Grain (Kg/Pounds): 3,55 / 7,82
Anticipated OG: 1.051
Anticipated SRM: 31,1
Anticipated IBU: 28,7
Wort Boil Time: 60 Minutes

Fermentables
—–

76,1%  2,7 kg / 5,95 lbs    Pale Malt, Maris Otter (Thomas Fawcett)
9,9% 0,35 kg / 0,77 lbs Brown Malt (Thomas Fawcett)
7,0% 0,25 kg / 0,55 lbs Pale Crystal Malt (Thomas Fawcett)
5,6 %  0,20 kg / 0,44 lbs    Chocolate Malt (Thomas Fawcett)
1,4 %   0,10 kg / 0,22 lbs    Black Malt (Thomas Fawcett)

Hops
—–

13,0g / 0,45 oz. Admiral (Pellet, 13%  AA) @ 60 min for 25  IBU
10,0g / 0,35 oz East Kent Goldings (Pellet. 5% AA) @ 15 min for 3,7 IBU

Extras
—–

½ Tablet of Whirlfloc @ 10 Min.
½ Teaspoon of yeast nutrient @ 10 Min.
2g Calcium Chloride in mash

Yeast
—–

Mangrove Jack’s M79 Burton Union, 1 packet rehydrated

Mash
—–

23,09 Litre BIAB @ 66 Celsius for 60 mins (6,09Gal/150F)

28/11/15 Forgot to add the Whirfloc. Very nice cold break despite that (and it’s a dark beer so no worries). Had to add 1,5L of water before cooling to reach the planned OG. The new kettle seems to boil of much more, I need to adjust the numbers. Collected about 18l of wort, cooled to 18C, shook for 2 minutes and added the yeast. New thermometer and refractometer proved to be very handy.

29/11/15 A bit of activity in the morning, the Mangrove Jack yeast takes some time to get going.

7/12/15 Main fermentation seems to be over. Temperature set to 19C to help the yeast finish.

11/12/15 No signs of fermentation. Dropped the temperature to 5C to help the yeast floculate.

13/12/15 Kegged the beer and lifted to the kegerator to carbonate.

Tasting here, a big improvement over the last porter I brewed.

Water! (and Hops)

A key ingredient in making beer is water, and lately the new brewery has gone through a dry period since the plumbing is being renovated. I did brew an American Saison just before we lost water (and missed out on a perfect opportunity to do a lager with a proper long lagering period, still kicking myself over that one…) but the kegerator is buried behind a wall of stuff and I really can’t change the kegs (and it would be hard to clean the lines etc. without plentiful water). Hopefully things will return to normal in a couple of weeks and I’ll be able to brew again. I think the break might have been a good thing since at times brewing was starting to feel like a routine where I would just go through the moves and not really think about it.

Not all news are bad though since it turned out that the hops that we planted did produce cones! This means they are both female plants and will hopefully produce some fresh hops in the years to come. The cones did take a long time to develop and there was very little aroma (the beginning of this summer was really cloudy and rainy) bit still, it will be nice to give a beer a homegrown twist in the future. I picked up the most ripe looking ones and stored them in a vacuum pack and when the renovation is over I’ll use them in a beer. Won’t be long now I hope! (and it would be nice to have running water in the house for other purposes like, well, washing and cooking for example…)

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Recipe – Waimea Pale Ale

Those who have followed the blog for some time (I think there actually are a few ..) know that when it comes to Indian Pale Ale I belong to the school which feels that IPA’s should be very dry bodied and have very little malt character to leave room for the hop aroma to come through. I dislike an IPA that has a heavy malt character, especially if the brewer has been heavy-handed with the caramel malts as often is the case. Personally I think that  what separates a Pale Ale from and Indian Pale ale is not necessarily the amount of hops but rather the balance of hops and malt in a the beer. To me, “just” a Pale Ale is a beer that has less bitterness than a true IPA and also has some malt character along with a medium hop aroma and body. A more balanced beer in the true sense of the word if you will.

To fill the other tap I decided to brew such a Pale Ale using Maris Otter Pale Ale malt with just a touch of Pale Crystal malt. For hops I’ll use some of my diminishing crop of 2013. I’ve written before that I went overboard last year when all the interesting varieties started to appear and bought way too much hops. So I decided to skip buying hops from the 2014 crop and design my purchases much better when the hops of 2015 start to become available. This has meant that my hoppy beers have steadily had less aroma as unfortunately hops start to decline in quality even when stored in a freezer in a barrier pack. The hop I’ll be using for this beer is a variety from New Zealand called Waimea. It smelled robust coming out of the back and had a very American quality about it with Citrus and some Pine. We’ll see how it turns out in the beer. To keep the bitterness in a medium range I did what I’ve often done with Pale Ales; I skipped using a 60 minute bittering addition and threw the first hops in the kettle at the 15 minute mark followed by a hop-stand of 15 minutes after boiling. I also decided to dry hop this one, adding pellets straight into the fermentor. All in all I’m using 200 grams of hops for a 17 litre / 4,5 gallon patch which is still more than some of the IPA recipes floating around the internet. To get hop aroma you have to use hops. To round things up I used my go-to dry yeast for English Bitters and Pale Ales, Mangrove Jack’s M79 Burton Union. It is a fairly fast fermenter, flocculates well and gives a little bit of ester character to the beer.

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Here is the recipe :

—————-
Target Batch Size (Litres/Gallons): 17.00 / 4,49
Total Grain (Kg/Pounds): 3,15 / 6,94
Anticipated OG: 1.047
Anticipated SRM: 6,2
Anticipated IBU: 40,3
Wort Boil Time: 60 Minutes

Fermentables
—————–
95,2%  3,0kg / 6,6 lbs  – Maris Otter Pale Malt, Thomas Fawcett
4,8%     150g / 0,33 lbs  – Pale Crystal malt, Thomas Fawcett

Hops
——–
40g / 1,4 oz. Waimea  (Pellet, 14%  AA) @ 15 min for 40,3 IBU
80g / 2,8 oz. Waimea (Pellet, 14%  AA) @ Hop-Stand for 15 minutes
80g / 2,8 oz. Waimea (Pellet, 14%  AA)  Dry Hop for 5 days

Extras
———-
½ Tablet of Whirlfloc @ 10 Min.
½ Teaspoon of yeast nutrient @ 10 Min.
4g / 0,14 oz Gypsum in mash

Yeast
———

Mangrove Jack’s M79 Burton Union, 1 packet rehydrated

Mash
———————–
23,9 Litre BIAB @ 66 Celsius for 60 mins (6,3Gal/149F)