31 July 2010

posted by benjy edwards

We’re done with brewing with this yeast culture, so no new batch today, but I did rack the Landlord clone brewed last week to a couple of corny kegs.  They dropped down to 1.01o in each primary, so that is good attenuation from the OG of 1.040, resulting in 3.9% ABV right now, and 4.2% ABV if it drops a further two points in the corny before it is vented and tapped.  I dry-hopped each keg with a couple ounces of Bobek.  The samples from the primaries were very good, with a nutty quality mixed with a great hop aroma and flavour.  Copious amounts of late hops in the boil seem to be great for the beer when it’s young.  The key is to drink it all before the hop character fades!

24 July 2010

posted by benjy edwards

We have pitched this batch of English ale yeast five times so far, so today’s batch will be the last use of it.  Unusually, we’re not brewing a high gravity beer as the last batch of the cycle, but rather another session ale.  With today being the hottest day of the year so far and the whole summer being exceptionally hot, we have little interest in beer that’s over about 5% ABV.

The recipe is a clone of Timothy Taylor’s Landlord.  Golden Promise pale malt is used, along with a couple of ounces of debittered black malt for colour darkening.  Hops are Target pellets for bittering, East Kent Goldings for flavour, and aroma additions of Bobek at 15 minutes, 5 minutes, and steep.  We used almost a pound of hops total, mostly at the end of the boil, so the IBU is only 40 for a low-gravity ale.  Original gravity was 1.040, so it should be a great summer thirst-quencher.

The Simcoe pale ale was racked to corny kegs, with one keg getting the last of the Simcoe whole hops (1.25 oz.) and the other getting 2.75 oz. of homegrown Cascade.  The batch with the Simcoe dry hop is being cask-conditioned, while the other was force-carbonated and stored cold until a space is free in the co2 freezer.  Gravities were 1.011 for the Simcoe half and 1.012 for the Cascade keg.  The leftover beer from the primaries tasted very nice, there’s certainly no sign of any deterioration in the yeast.

Later tonight after brewing I replaced all of the beer lines for the four handpumps, and also dismantled one beer engine for cleaning.

17 July 2010

posted by benjy edwards

The batch of Simcoe Pale Ale we brewed earlier this year was a very nice beer, and since we don’t have enough Simcoe hops to make the IPA, we brewed another batch of the pale ale.  We could have used another couple of ounces of Simcoe, but we made do with what we have.

We used our last 9 pounds of Maris Otter pale malt and supplemented another 6 pounds of Golden Promise.  Specialty malts are a pound of Vienna and half a pound each of carapils and caramunich.  We mashed for an hour and collected for the boil, then boiled it for 5 minutes and turned off the heat while we went over to a childrens’ birthday party (one-year old twins!) for an hour.  When we returned we started up the boil again, hopping with Newport and Magnum for bittering and Simcoe for flavour and aroma.  The original gravity is 1.042.

The Hophead from last week was racked straight to a couple of cornies and dry hopped liberally with Centennial – almost two ounces in one keg and almost three in the other.  The gravities were different again in each primary, like last week with the Palmer’s BB.  Again, the drier one was preferred, with better hop character.  They were between 1 and 2 points different this time.

10 July 2010

posted by benjy edwards

Today we brewed a batch of Hophead, one of our favourite golden ales, brewed by the Dark Star Brewery in Sussex, England.  The original recipe is all Maris Otter pale malt and Cascade hops, but this time we’re varying the recipe by using Centennial instead of Cascade.  Bell’s Two Hearted Ale uses all Centennial and it’s a great beer.

We mashed at about 153F for an hour and boiled for the usual 90 minutes, with the first hop addition after 30 minutes of the boil.  We used Newport for bittering since the flavour of the bittering hops won’t be noticed, and Centennial for flavour and aroma additions.  The original gravity is 1.042.

We racked the Palmer’s Best Bitter brewed last weekend to a couple of corny kegs and dry hopped them with more Bobek.  Interestingly, the gravities on the primaries were difference by a couple of points, one was 1.012 and the other 1.014, and the beer tasted different too.  The drier batch was nicer, since the hops come through better.

4 July 2010

posted by benjy edwards

Today we brewed another batch using the Bobek hops.  Palmer’s Best Bitter uses East Kent Goldings and Styrian Goldings and some crystal malt.  We used half light crystal and half dark crystal along with Maris Otter, and added almost a pound of golden syrup at the end of the boil.  Target gravity was 1.042 but we hit 1.046 instead, so the idea of matching our extract efficiency from last week was wrong.  Last week’s low efficiency must have been  an aberration, perhaps due to the higher mash temperature of 156F.   This week we mashed at 153F.

Target pellets and East Kent Goldings were used for bittering, then EKG for flavour and Bobek for aroma.  We racked the Golden Arrow to a couple of corny kegs dry-hopped with Bobek.  Gravity was down to 1.011 on the Golden Arrow, so a few days to a week of 65F temperature is needed to develop condition.

On Friday the pin of Bishop’s Farewell was vented and tapped, and it was served at a party over at Steve’s on Saturday.  By the end of the night of brew day, it was gone, so 36 imperial pints were consumed within 48 hours.  Light, sessionable bitter like that goes very quickly!