26 June 2010

posted by benjy edwards

Another day to brew more cask beer.  After laying my hands on some Styrian Golding hops sent to me from England (actually Bobek is the variety I got, supposedly very similar to Styrians), we are brewing some of our favourite ales using this hop.  Today it’s Golden Arrow from Cottage Brewing, which is 97% Maris Otter and 3% pale crystal at an original gravity of 1.040. Next up will likely be another Styrian beer, Palmer’s Best Bitter.  Landlord is the most famous of the cask ales brewed with Styrian Goldings.

The hops are Target for bittering, Bobek and Willamette for flavour, and more Bobek for aroma.  We gave the flameout minute addition about 20 minutes to steep before beginning the chill.

The Bishop’s Farewell brewed last week fermented well, dropping to 1.012 and showing no signs of problems despite fermenting the starter 5 to 10 degrees warmer than recommended.   After only a week it’s tasting great and with a bit of condition and chilling it to cellar temperature it will be just the thing for the hot summer days.  We put half of the batch in the pin with an ounce and a half of Cascade and the other half into a corny with two ounces of dry hop.

19 June 2010

posted by benjy edwards

We are back to brewing again after a break of a couple of months.  I made a starter of White Labs WLP002 English Ale on Thursday night, but due to using a different stir plate than I usually do, the starter fermented at 80 to 85 degrees, which is 10 degrees more than it should have been.  The two home-built stir plates were not working to keep the starter agitated, so I switched to a commercial stir plate which generates more heat.  I cooled down the starter on Friday but then left it while brewing on Saturday and it ramped back up to 80 degrees.  Inquiries with White Labs indicated that I need not worry, so we are fermenting with it anyway.

The recipe is the Bishop’s Farewell best bitter from Oakham Ales.  I really like this one, it’s a golden bitter with a great Cascade hop flavour and aroma.  The mash is Maris Otter and wheat, and we hit our 1.042 target gravity with no adjustments.  Colin helped me today, it’s great that he enjoys the brewing. We hopped with Target pellets for bitterness and Cascade whole hops at 15 and 0 minutes.

We knew chilling would be tough today, so three big bags of ice were used with the immersion coil.  It melted quickly causing me to wonder if he had enough ice, but by the time the kettle drained we had a little bit of ice left in the very cold water, and we kept full flow out of the kettle.  The wort temperature was 70 degrees at the end, which we chilled down to 64 in the fridge by the time the fermentation started.

I had a carboy of the milk stout stored in the cold fridge from the last brewing cycle, so I kegged it up during the boil.  The final gravity was 1.025 and we force-carbonated it as a replacement for the nearly-empty keg on tap currently.

I received an order of a kilo of Bobek hops on Friday, so now we’ll be able to brew the ales I enjoy so much that call for Styrian Goldings, such as Timothy Taylor’s Landlord, Cottage Brewing’s Golden Arrow, and Palmer’s Best Bitter.  Expect one or two of those next.