3 November 2007

posted by benjy edwards

I had a difficult time selecting which recipe to brew this weekend, partly because there are so many real ales I want to try to clone and partly because we don’t have most of the hops used in the beers.  I settled on Cottage Brewing’s Golden Arrow, a really nice golden ale I had in the Brewer’s Arms in Lewes on my trip to England a few weeks back.  The recipe guidance called for only pale malt but I remember the colour being a bit darker than that so I added half a pound of pale crystal.  Hops were Challenger pellets for bittering and a combination of the Styrian Goldings called for in the recipe, plus some Willamette to use instead of all Styrians.  Target gravity was 1.043 and we got 1.041 after yet again believing what the refractometer said during wort collection and adding a couple of quarts of water in place of some wort from the mash.

The runoff from the mash was very slow, and quite cloudy, for some reason.  Examination of the screens after dumping the mash showed a lot of grain under the false bottom, but nothing that we expected the stainless braid to be unable to handle.  Perhaps a lighter crush is in order, since we’ve been getting extract efficiencies in the region of 90% recently.  I haven’t changed the mill setting in quite a while however.

There was no beer to rack this week.  I drew off a couple of pints of the Palmer’s best bitter from the corny, something I should have done right after filling it, because it was so full that no conditioning was taking place.  The beer shows promise, but it’s not quite there yet, still needing some carbonation as well as to drop a couple of points which should drop the sweetness level just a bit.  Another week should do it for the corny.  The pin may already be ready, but we’ll wait a week on that too.

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