24 June 2006

posted by benjy edwards

I wanted to re-use the British and English yeasts again, so this was the fifth pitching. Because of the past two brews’ low extract efficiency, I lowered the mill gap and got a much finer crush, ending up with a 90% efficiency. The original gravity was therefore higher than expected, reaching 1.045 instead of 1.040. The recipe was version 17 of Boathouse Bitter, with Galena for bittering and Northern Brewer for flavour and aroma. The ground water temperature is definitely getting up there, I think this might be the last brew of the summer where we can just use the counterflow chiller. Next time we’ll chill the wort in the kettle with the immersion coil as the first stage, then use the CFC after that.

The keg of Three Floyd’s Alpha King that I got for my birthday late last year is gone, so we replaced it with the first keg of the Two Hearted Ale clone. I tried a new technique with the dry hop this time, taking out from the freezer a couple of ounces of Cascade on Friday night, to let them warm to room temperature to volatilize some of the harsher, negative aroma compounds, which will theoretically make the dry hop come through cleaner and without some of the raw, grassy flavours you sometimes get. Initial tastings were favourable, but that was only an hour after kegging. Further tastings a few days to a week from now should confirm whether it makes any difference.

10 June 2006

posted by benjy edwards

I got in a pound of Simcoe hops from Freshops this week, so I wanted to try it in a batch of IPA as the single flavour/aroma hop. The base beer was a pale-coloured IPA similar to Hop Wallop, with the addition of a pound of rye. Bittering hops were Magnum, as the pound of Simcoe wasn’t enough to use for bittering as well. The Simcoe was added at 30, 15, and 0 minutes left in the boil, a total of 12 ounces. The remaining 4 ounces was saved for the dry hop. Gravity of 1.060 was low, the second week in a row of lower than expected extract efficiency. The only known culprit might be that the mill is out of adjustment, and it’s not crushing the malt enough.

We also racked the Two Hearted to secondary (gravities of 1.014 and 1.013), as well as kegged 5 gallons of the Snake River Pale Ale clone. The Boathouse Bitter is still extant, probably about 3 gallons left.

4 June 2006

posted by benjy edwards

We polished off the Boathouse HDV and the Amber on Saturday night, so today in addition to cleaning the kegs I kegged up the other half of Version 5 of the Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. I added about an ounce and a half of Cascade as a dry hop, and checked the final gravity, which was 1.012. We didn’t brew this weekend, so next weekend I’ll use the yeast we have going right now.