27 May 2006

posted by benjy edwards

The keg of the Two Hearted Ale clone was getting very low, so we brewed another batch. We upped the hopping from last time, which was the lowest it had been, and to my mind wasn’t bitter enough. All Centennial hops, every 15 minutes from 60 minutes to steeping. It was almost 90 degrees, so there were concerns about the chill, but the ground water wasn’t bad, so we could maintain low 70’s while running off the wort at full speed. No problems, and we got another clear sparge, for the third time in a row, so maybe the method of adding a little sparge water to the mash before beginning the recirculation is helpful.

The pale mild from two weeks ago was racked to a firkin, gravities both around 1.012. Alcohol content will be around 3.5 percent, so that should be nice for the hot weather. We also kegged up the second half of the Boathouse IPA, dry hopping it with lots of Chinook and Galena. Then at the end of the day the Two Hearted ale keg ran dry, so we brewed it again just in time.

13 May 2006

posted by benjy edwards

The Snake River Pale Ale clone has been on the yeast for two weeks, so it’s time to brew again. This time it’s a low-strength mild, adapted from several different recipes. Original gravity was correct, at 1.037, and the IBUs are under 30, around 28. Hops were Kent Goldings at bittering and with 15 minutes left in the boil. The grist was pale ale, crystal, wheat, Munich, and biscuit. Colour is pretty light, closer to a pale mild than a dark mild. The brew went very quickly, from start to finish in less than 5 hours, including racking the Snake River off the yeast into secondaries, since we don’t need any cask beer at the moment. Gravities both hit 1.016, and the flavour was very nice, the British being slightly nicer than the English ale.

5 May 2006

posted by benjy edwards

While not a brewing report, I wanted to include a review of this weekend’s New England Real Ale Exhibition in Boston. It was the 10th festival, but the first one I’ve attended. It’s not as large as the now-dead Real Ale Festival in Chicago, but approximately 70 cask-conditioned ales were expected. We went to the Friday night and Saturday afternoon sessions, having missed the Wednesday and Thursday nights. We tried all of the ales we could, which amounted to forty-six. Some of the best ones were already gone by Friday, and more continued to disappear on Friday and Saturday. Overall, the condition of the beer was very good, with only a couple showing signs of oxidation. The level of carbonation was good on the vast majority, a couple being noticeably flat. Temperature was good, their home-made cooling systems worked well. My favourites of the festival were the Fuller’s London Pride and Dark Star’s American Pale Ale. Boston is a fun town.