27 January 2007

posted by benjy edwards

I pitched the two flasks of yeast into a gallon growler of wort on Friday night, and then we brewed another batch of Boathouse Bitter today, but with American hops, so it will be more like an American Pale Ale served on the handpump. Malt was pale, light crystal, aromatic, Special B, and flaked maize. Hops were added at 20 minutes to go, then 10 and 0 minutes. Previous experience using the technique of hopping only in the last twenty minutes of the boil has shown that it lends great hop aroma and flavour that quickly fades within a couple of weeks. This beer will be consumed quickly and so it should be gone before the hoppiness has a chance to fade too much. Hops used were Chinook, Galena, Cascade and Ahtanum. We tried pumping the wort through the counterflow chiller again, this time using only whole leaf hops, and the bazooka screen still clogged and stopped the flow to the fermenters. We did use almost a pound of hops, so the quantity must have been the problem this time. The pumping method is therefore only good for low quantities of hops, which must be predominantly whole leaf. Overall, it’s not really a viable method without changing the equipment we use. OG was 1.052.

Primary:  Boathouse Bitter
Secondary:  Chocolate Hazelnut Porter, Burning River Pale Ale clone, Evil Twin Amber
Kegged but not yet tapped: Milk Stout

20 January 2007

posted by benjy edwards

Another weekend without brewing, but I did keg up both secondaries of the Simcoe IPA. One keg is on tap here, the other keg will be given to friends of ours who have a kegerator. The two batches were dry-hopped with two ounces of Simcoe each, and the final gravity was 1.013. Clarity was great, and aroma is superb, even before the dry-hopping. This batch seems exactly like the previous batch, so that’s good. The yeast will need to be reused net week, so there will be brewing on the next three weekends before the yeast finishes its six pitch cycle.

13 January 2007

posted by benjy edwards

No brewing today, but I did take time to rack the Simcoe IPA from primary to secondary. We were a little short on volume going into the secondary because the huge amount of hops we used in the boil soaked up a lot of the wort. Gravity was good, though, at 1.014, which is a significant drop from the original gravity of 1.063. After a week in the secondary, at least half the batch can be kegged and dry-hopped. The yeast was stored in 2 litre flasks for re-pitching in a week or two. The yeast has been pitched three times so far, so it’s half way through its lifespan.

6 January 2007

posted by benjy edwards

We just got in a new supply of the unique Simcoe hops, so it’s time to brew another batch of Simcoe IPA. Malt and hops were similar to last time, but not identical. Instead of rye we used aromatic and Special B, and instead of all Magnum for bittering we used Magnum and Galena. Out of over 20 ounces of hops, only 4 ounces were pellets, but that was still enough to clog the bazooka screen when pumping the boiling wort to the chiller. Our theory on the cause of the problem is that the pellets settle amongst the leaf hops when running off by gravity, but with the use of the pump the pellets get sucked into the screen, clogging it and causing a slow or stopped runoff. It probably makes it worse to sanitize the pump by recirculating boiling wort through it, because that way the pellets are moving around while the wort is boiling, and if they get near the screen they get pulled into it and eventually get stuck. That theory is substantiated by the fact that the pump was clogged at the end of the boil, even before we tried to run the wort off to the primary fermenters. Therefore, the use of the pump to chill the wort and the use of pellets are mutually exclusive.

We racked half of the Landlord clone to a corny keg for conditioning, and the other half to the pin. Both were dry-hopped with East Kent Goldings. Gravity was as expected, 1.014.