28 November 2010

posted by benjy edwards

The third batch after the move to the west coast is another cask bitter, Sam Smith’s Old Brewery Bitter.  OG 1.041, hopped to 25 IBU with Target, Fuggle, and East Kent Goldings.  Water treatment was changed from the last batch by cutting the gypsum in the mash and hot liquor by half.  No lactic acid in the mash this time, but with the dark crystal and pale chocolate malt in the grist makes up for that.  Mash ph was 5.4.  Clarity and taste are improved from the first two batches, showing that the water here is better for brewing darker beers rather than very light SRM ales.  The alkalinity of the water is just too high for light pilsners and ales without major adjustment, such as diltuting with RO or distilled water.

20 November 2010

posted by benjy edwards

The second batch made in Olympia is our favoured Hophead.  OG is 1.042, hopped solely with Cascade.  Water treatment changes from last week’s batch is the addition of lactic acid in the mash.  A mishap during the brew was forgetting to close the valve on the boil kettle as the first runnings were collected, resulting in a loss of an unknown amount of wort.   Compensating for this, an extra 5 pounds of pale malt was mashed for 25 minutes with the main mash.

Still have the astringent finish like in the Golden Arrow, but less so.  The lower mash ph is helping, but just not enough.  More tweaks to follow.

13 November 2010

posted by benjy edwards

A lot has happened since the last batch.  A great trip to England was followed by a rather sudden move across country to Olympia, Washington in October.  The challenges of moving the brewery were many, but in about a month the brewery has been set up, including plumbing in the stainless steel sink.  All of the refrigeration equipment made it out, with the exception of one conditioning fridge which has found a new lease of life as a kegerator fridge for Steve.

The brew is another go at Cottage Brewing’s Golden Arrow, one of my favourite golden ales from England with a wonderful Styrian Goldings hop character.  OG was 1.042, hopped to 30 IBU with Target, Willamette, and a newer version of Styrians called Bobek.  The well water here is quite different from the water in Ohio, notably softer.   I don’t have a water analysis yet, so I treated the liquor along the same lines as in Ohio, only more so since it is softer water.  The beer’s finish was rather astringent, so the water treatment needs work.  Tweaks will be made in subsequent batches.