30 January 2005

posted by benjy edwards

We skipped brewing this week, as we’ve done batches every week for four weeks, and it’s time to stop reusing the yeast.  I think the yeast may have been carried over from two batches in December, as well, making six uses for each strain.  The Pedigree Bitter was racked to the firkin from the primary, and five ounces of First Gold plugs added for dry hopping.  The gravities were decently low (1.013 for both yeasts), but no priming sugar was used.

23 January 2005

posted by benjy edwards

The weekly kegging was the Ruination Ale clone.  I used the Surescreen in the corny keg to filter the dry hops, so two ounces of Centennial went into the keg without a hop bag.  Force-carbonated, the final gravity ended up at 1.014, which is great attenuation from the original 1.071.  Sampling from the secondary, the bitterness was nice and sharp, promising to be a fine India Pale Ale.

22 January 2005

posted by benjy edwards

In need of some cask-conditioned ale, we brewed a new recipe, the Marston’s Pedigree Bitter.  A simple bitter, all pale malt with a couple of ounces of roasted barley.  The original gravity was 1.046, pitched onto the English and Dry English ale yeasts we’ve used several times.  I think this will be the last use of the yeasts.  Hops are Willamette leaf and First Gold plugs.  It was very cold today and there was about six inches of snow, so the new filter system was freezing up at the end of the brewing session.  We also casked the Two Hearted Ale clone directly from the primary (SG 1.020).  With the highish gravity, there was no need for primings.

16 January 2005

posted by benjy edwards

I didn’t have time to catch up on the kegging on brew day, so today I casked a batch of Boddington’s Ale clone that my friend John Brush brewed, as well as kegging the Burning River Pale Ale clone.  Both were dry-hopped, the Boddies with an ounce or so of Willamette and the Burning River with two ounces of Cascade.  Now there’s nothing in secondary except  the Ruination, which wasn’t racked into secondary until yesterday.

15 January 2005

posted by benjy edwards

Today we brewed a clone of Bell’s Two Hearted Ale, except that our 68% mash efficiency of last week was elevated to 85% today, so instead of the target 1.058 we reached 1.071, the same OG we got last week, but with 6 fewer pounds of malt.

The only changes from last week was to alter the crush of the malt mill, and also use a higher mash temperature, which favors the alpha-amylase enzymes over beta-amylase, resulting in a wort with lower fermentability.  The racking gravity and final gravity should confirm that the Two-Hearted Ale was not as fermentable for the yeast as the Ruination.  Time will tell.

10 January 2005

posted by benjy edwards

Time to keg the Commemoration Ale.  The final gravity was 1.016 on the batch fermented with English Ale yeast, so the ABV is 7.1%.  I dry-hopped it with two ounces of Cascade, and force-carbonated it.  The Ruination is on its second full day of fermentation, it needed blow-off tubes on both fermenters since it was so active.

8 Janaury 2005

posted by benjy edwards

The new year was started off with a clone of Stone Brewing’s Ruination IPA, using the recipe recently printed in <a href=”http://www.byo.com/” target=”_blank”>Brew Your Own</a> magazine.  The OG is a stiff 1.075, we got 1.071 with only a touch over 60% efficiency.  The refractometer showed the gravity at start of boil to be 15 Brix, or about 1.062, so the boil reduced the dilution by about 9 points.  Bittering hops were Chinook, with Centennial at five minutes left in the boil and in the hopback, which was used for the first time.  Three ounces of Centennial in the hopback worked pretty well, and didn’t slow down the chill very much.  It remains to be seen how much of an effect the hopback has, however.