29 April 2006

posted by benjy edwards

The stock of cask ales has been replenished, so this time it’s an American ale, based on Snake River Pale Ale, from Snake River Brewery in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. I’ve never tried the commercial beer, but it won a gold Medal in the 1998 World Beer Cup, so it’s worth a try. Grist was pale, crystal, and Munich, with Chinook for bittering, Goldings for flavour and Cascade for aroma. Target OG was 1.050, we hit 1.052 instead, most likely as a result of a longer boil. I’m not sure of the exact boil period because the burner went out when the propane ran out, so I had to switch tanks. I added about 10 minutes to the boil to compensate, but the boil must not have been stopped for that long.

The Boathouse Bitter was racked to the firkin, with 2.5 ounces of Kent Goldings in the cask. Gravities didn’t drop much from a sample I took on Monday, they were both in the mid-teens. We tapped the Bluebird Bitter clone and it was quite tasty. The cask was quite lively, despite the low finishing gravities.

15 April 2006

posted by benjy edwards

Based on the performance of the two yeast cultures in the last couple of batches, we dumped the London and Dry English and started fresh cultures of British and English ale yeasts. The first batch brewed with them is Boathouse Bitter, version 16. I dropped the OG down from the mid-50s to 1.038, just to have another seesion-strength bitter for quaffing. Actual original gravity was 1.039, hops were Fuggles (bittering) and Goldings (flavour and aroma).

The Bluebird clone was racked to the firkin, gravities were low, at 1.012 and 1.013, so it will be kept at room temperature to condition for a week or so. Dry hop was a couple of ounces of Kent Goldings.

1 April 2006

posted by benjy edwards

Continuing the trend of brewing every other weekend (the head brewer was out of town last weekend) this time it’s another low-gravity session bitter, and that’s no April Fool’s joke. Bluebird Bitter from Coniston is the basis for the recipe. Pale, crystal, wheat, and a touch of roasted barley make up the grist. Everything went smoothly, even got a good chill despite the ground water already warming up. The gravity was spot on at 1.038. This will go directly into a firkin out of the primary.

The Dark Ruby Mild got racked to secondary, although the Dry English had already fermented out to 1.010 so could have been casked right away, but there’s no space currently on the handpumps, so it will wait. The London has reverted to not attenuating fully, only reaching 1.020 after two weeks. Might be time to dump that strain after we see its performance on the Bluebird.