20 December 2008

posted by benjy edwards

The Dark Ruby Mild we brewed two weeks ago was racked out of the primary today. We gave it an extra week on the yeast because the gravity was still rather high last week in the fermenter I sampled, at 1.024. By this week it has dropped a bit more, but the two fermenters were still 1.021 and 1.022. One was put into our last empty secondary, the other went into a corny keg for serving on the hand pump. Both tasted very clean, so we were able to use the yeast for 6 generations without problems.

6 December 2008

posted by benjy edwards

Today was the last batch of this run of the yeast, as well as the final batch of the year. With the Boathouse Porter getting low, we need something else on tap that’s dark and malty, so we chose another attempt at the clone of the Dark Ruby Mild from the Sarah Hughes Brewery in the West Midlands, England. It’s a wonderful beer, and I continue to refine the recipe to get it as close as possible. The last batch turned out very well, and this batch follows that recipe exactly, except for using light brown sugar in place of white sugar to make the caramel syrup, and with half a pound of lactose added for a bit more sweetness.

Target gravity is 1.058, and after an extra 15 minutes of the boil to give us more time to get things ready, we reached an original gravity of 1.060. The caramel syrup we made by heating 1.5 pounds of light brown sugar, about half a pint of water, and a teaspoon of lime juice, until it was a dark amber/red colour. It tasted sweet, but if you darken it too much it can start to taste burnt or sour, so we were careful not to go that far. It probably could have been darker in colour, but we took no chances. It cooled into a solid, which we then dissolved in some of the boiling wort before adding it to the kettle during the last 5 minutes. I’m not sure that using brown sugar instead of white made any difference, but the taste of the beer will decide.

The Two Hearted Ale clone from last week got racked to a couple of secondaries, gravities were 1.014 and 1.015, and it will be kept at 68F for a week. The Boathouse Pale Ale is now two weeks old and it is still at 68F. Half of that batch was dry-hopped in the secondary with half an ounce of Amarillo pellets. The other half could probably be cooled in preparation for kegging.