30 October 2005

posted by benjy edwards

No brewing this weekend, but I did rack both carboys of the Burning River clone to corny kegs.  The English ale batch, with a higher finishing gravity, is cask-conditioning, while the Burton ale batch is force-carbonated for co2 dispense.  Both were dry-hopped liberally with the homegrown Cascade, probably at least 2 ounces each.

The cask version was dry-hopped using a hop bag, while the co2 version has a SureScreen to filter the dry hops.  It makes sense the the version with the hop bag would be less hoppy in aroma, because the bag doesn’t allow the hops to move around and mix fully with the beer.

22 October 2005

posted by benjy edwards

With the head brewer on vacation, it was a solo brew day for me, with the Alpha King clone the batch of choice.  Everything went smoothly, but I probably could have skipped the two-stage chill, since the second stage through the counterflow was getting the wort to the low 60s.  The ground water has been around 70 though, and the ground water today was 67, so I didn’t think it would be cold enough to just use the counterflow.  I used some of the homegrown Cascade for aroma, and hit the target gravity of 1.062.

The Highgate Mild clone was racked to the firkin which recently contained the last batch of Alpha King.  Gravities were low, 1.011 for the Burton and 1.012 for the English ale.  With no dry hop, we’ll have to see how well it clears, as the Burton doesn’t flocculate anywhere near as well as the English ale yeast.  The colour was a reddish hue, but not dark enough to hide any possible yeast haze.

8 October 2005

posted by benjy edwards

The mild we brewed back in May is all gone, so we brewed another batch, this time a clone of Highgate Mild from Walsall in the West Midlands.  OG ended up at 1.040, a touch high.  Hopping is of course low, with only a bittering hop addition.  We used a non-traditional Centennial for the mild, although at such a low amount it probably won’t be noticed.  The ground water is still near 70, so had the use the immersion chiller first, before the counterflow.  In a few more weeks I bet the water will be cold enough to get a quick chill using just the counterflow chiller.

The brew from last weekend was racked, the Burton ale batch being very cloudy, although somewhat drier at 1.019 than the English at 1.024.  The first use of new yeast doesn’t usually attenuate as much as later batches.  We managed to fit two firkins and a corny keg in the serving freezer near the handpumps, so can now serve three real ales at one time, two of them from the firkins.

1 October 2005

posted by benjy edwards

After a longish break, it was time to brew again, this time a copy of Burning River Pale Ale, mainly because it uses a lot of Cascade hops, and I want to use the homegrown harvest from this year.  Only a couple ounces of Galena for bittering supplement Cascade, which was added for additional bittering, flavour, and also aroma.  The dry hops will also be homegrown Cascade.  The original gravity was 1.059, so it’ll be close to 7 percent ABV.  Yeast was fresh cultures of the English Ale and Burton Ale from White Labs.  The Burton took a long time to start, but it was actively fermenting by pitching time.

We also racked the second half of the Palmer’s Bitter clone to a corny, primed with half a cup of corn sugar, since it conditioned for so long in the secondary.  The racking gravity was down to 1.009.  Dry hop was a couple ounces of Cluster.