18 March 2006

posted by benjy edwards

After not being able to decide which pale ale to brew, I chose instead the Dark Ruby Mild clone from Sarah Hughes Brewery. OG was supposed to be 1.060, but I had the wrong settings in the spreadsheet so I only ended up with 1.056. The mash efficiency was on target, I just used the wrong numbers in the spreadsheet calculation and ended up with a low original gravity. Hops were minimal, just some Willamette for bittering and flavour. I didn’t have any black molasses used in the last version, so I replaced it with five ounces of the debittered black malt for the colour. It looked a touch light when collecting the wort, but maybe the colour will darken from the boil.

We tapped the firkin of Boathouse Bitter and were surprised how much excess condition it had after only one week in the cask. It was kept warmer than cellar temperature, probably about 65 or so, but it still was surprising. The SNPA clone fermented with the Dry English yeast was racked to a corny keg for the handpump, and the hazy London ale batch was racked to secondary and chilled to allow it to clear.

11 March 2006

posted by benjy edwards

Time to brew another pale ale, no matter what we do there always seems to be a shortage of those! This time it’s Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, version 5. Grist is pale with a pound of light crystal and three quarters of a pound of carapils. Hops were Galena for bittering and Cascade for flavour and aroma. I tried a new hopping schedule this time, adding no hops at all until the last twenty minutes, where I added ten ounces of bittering hops (since hop utilization is about a quarter of what it is at the 60 minute addition), then some Cascade at 15 minutes and steep. The theory is that this method will give the beer a very smooth bitterness, I read about it on the morebeer.com brewing forum. We did notice that the hops were very pungently aromatic when the the kettle was cleaned out. Original gravity was 1.050. Anti-foam was used again in the boil and the fermenters.

We also racked the Boathouse Bitter to a firkin, adding 2.5 ounces of Willamette for the dry hop. Gravities were great coming out of the primary, 1.011 for the Dry English and 1.012 for the London ale yeast. First tastes were good, the Dry English had a very nice rounded malt flavour, tasted like malt, but not grainy. The London was still a bit yeasty, but that should polish out after cask-conditioning. No priming sugar was added, so we’ll see how well it carbonates. It’s being kept at a higher temperature than usual, in the low to mid 60’s instead of cellar temperature.