27 June 2009

posted by benjy edwards

The Allium IPA has had a week of cold storage for the yeast to clear, so today we kegged up the first half of the batch.  This is the IPA hopped with a combination of Summit and Nugget, so the dry hops consisted of half of the remaining Summit in stock (1 ounce) and two ounces of Nugget whole hops.  The gravity was unchanged from last week, at 1.014.  The sample tasted quite dry and bitter, so with some carbonation and the dry hops it should be nice.  We force-carbonated the keg and put it back into the 40 degree fridge to finish the carbonation process.

On Friday night I tapped the firkin of Hophead after an hour or so of venting.  It was reasonably lively, but not excessively so for two weeks worth of conditioning.  The clarity wasn’t great right after tapping, but by Saturday was relatively clear.

20 June 2009

posted by benjy edwards

We are not brewing for the next few weeks, but the Allium IPA has been in primary for a week so I checked the gravity.  Upon finding it at 1.014, I racked it to secondary for some cold-conditioning to get the London Ale yeast to flocculate out.

Last night I racked the second half of the Harvey’s 1859 Porter clone to a corny keg for conditioning.  The gravity has dropped to 1.018 so there is still plenty of residual sugar to carbonate it.  It will be served on handpump in a couple of weeks’ time.  The co2 version of the same beer is currently on tap and is quite nice.

There was also some keg washing to be done, as the Samuel Smith Old Brewery bitter clone and the Sarah Hughes Dark Ruby Mild clone both bit the dust this weekend.  That made room in the cooler for the firkin of Hophead, which had been sitting in the cellar conditioning.  Late Saturday night I tapped one of the corny kegs of the Hophead and put it on the engine.  It is very nice, although I prefer the batches fermented with the English Ale yeast as it’s a bit fruitier.  The London is drier and contributes a woody, almost minerally character.

13 June 2009

posted by benjy edwards

Today we brewed an IPA using a hop combination we’ve never tried before: Summit and Nugget.  These hops are used in Green Flash’s Imperial IPA, and it has a unique flavour, so this recipe is an IPA with additions of Summit and Nugget throughout the boil.   Some say that the flavour of Summit is onion-like, so we dubbed the beer “Allium IPA”, since Allium is the name of the genus to which onions belong.

The malt is Maris Otter, carapils, light crystal and caramunich, wheat malt, and 5 pounds of Vienna added to make up for a shortage of pale malt.  We’re completely out of base malt now, but should be getting in a new order in the next week or two.

Target gravity was 1.068, but the actual original gravity was 1.066.  We were a bit short on volume as well, so we must have had a strong boil.  The total hop bill was close to a pound, so some wort is lost there.  Finally, we used 6 ounces of pellets, which caused some clogging during the runoff, so we stopped it with half a gallon left in the boil kettle because it was so slow and so much pellet material was making it into the fermenters.  Pellets just don’t work with our system, so I will avoid buying more of them and slowly use up what I have left.

After a week of cold-conditioning, last night I racked half of each of the Hophead 4 and 5 batches into a firkin, dry-hopping with 2 ounces of Cascade.  The gravities were low, with batch 4 hitting 1.009 (down from OG of 1.039) and batch 5 hitting 1.011 (down from OG of 1.042).  The fermenters spent the last 3 or 4 days at about 39F, which helped the yeast to clear out.

The other half of the Hophead batches were racked to corny kegs while we brewed the IPA, dry-hopping each with an ounce of Cascade.  Gravities on the two were the same as the other half of the batches.

6 June 2009

posted by benjy edwards

The two batches of Hophead have had a week in the primaries, so today I checked the gravity of one of the fermenters to monitor progress.  It dropped well, to 1.012, so I decided to chill the fermenters to help the yeast settle out, since the London Ale yeast is a rather poor flocculator.  I moved all four carboys over to the coldest fridge and over the next few days will drop the temperature down to mid to high 30s.  After a week of that we can rack the beer either to a cask or keg (provided that the yeast has dropped out sufficiently) and use the yeast again for the next batch.