26 February 2011

posted by benjy edwards

The fifth batch using the London III yeast is an old friend – a clone of Anchor’s Liberty Ale, which we used to brew all of the time, but hasn’t been brewed for two years.  Water treatment was along similar lines to the last week’s batch, except adding calcium chloride to the mash and the boil.  OG is 1.051, hopped to 60 IBU with Galena for bittering and Cascade throughout the last half of the boil and in the dry hop.

Last week’s Lagunitas IPA was racked to two corny kegs, both force-carbonated and dry-hopped, one with Ohio-homegrown Cascade, the other Oregon-homegrown Centennial.  Racking gravity was 1.016.  Sampling one week after fermentation shows great promise, indicating that the water treatment is on the right track, even for a light-coloured beer like this IPA at 7 SRM.   Both this beer and the one brewed today have been mashed high, so higher finishing gravities are expected, which helps avoid the overly-dry, astringent character we ran into in the first few light-coloured batches using the soft Olympia water.

18 February 2011

posted by benjy edwards

After a six-month interruption, we are back to the brewing reports.  For those followers who don’t already know, Boathouse Brewery moved from Columbus, Ohio to Olympia, Washington in October 2011.  The intervening time was first spent dealing with the move, then setting up the new brewery, and finally beginning to brew again in December.  Since then there have been 9 batches brewed, the most recent today, with the help of Brian Tuwalski, visiting up from Portland, Oregon.  He was kind enough to bring along three years’ worth of his homegrown hops, which we began to use in the day’s brew.

Much of the focus at the new brewery has been adapting to the use of different brewing water.  The Ohio water was from a public system and quite a bit harder than the private well supply in Olympia.  A sample of the Olympia water was analysed in a lab and the results have enabled us to tailor a much different treatment regimen to that of Ohio.  The high residual alkalinity of the Olympia water makes it difficult to brew very pale beers, so the Hophead, which is an all-pale malt recipe, has been brewed twice, each with different water treatment, to try to overcome this issue.  Further adjustment is necessary, but the astringent finish of the first batch of Hophead has been lessened in the second version, so we are on the right track.  Further adjustments will be made.  Darker ales like the Old Brewery Bitter and the Dark Mild have turned out will with much less water treatment.

Today’s recipe is an India Pale Ale, similar to that of Lagunitas IPA.  Targeting an original gravity of 1.060, we reached 1.057 from a mash of Golden Promise, dark and light crystal malts, along with malted wheat and Vienna.  The bittering hops were homegrown Galena, followed by Centennial and Willamette for flavour and Cascade for aroma.  We racked the American Pale Ale brewed last weekend to a couple of corny kegs, dry-hopping with a combination of Cascade, Chinook, and Centennial.  One keg will be naturally carbonated and served via handpump, with the second force-carbonated and put on the co2 dispense.  Half of today’s IPA will be given to Brian to thank him for the hops.

The first eight batches we brewed during December 2010 and January-February 2011 were Golden Arrow, Hophead, Sam’s Smith’s Old Brewery Bitter, Boathouse Dark Mild, and Boathouse IPA using a culture of White Labs English ale yeast, WLP002.  We also made a cider with the yeast, which was dosed with cherry and pomegranate juice.  The following batches were another version of the Hophead, St. Austell’s Tribute, and an American Pale Ale, all fermented with Wyeast’s London Ale III yeast, 1318.  This yeast has nice flavour but is not nearly as flocculant as the WLP002.

Apologies for the interruption in the brewing reports, but expect regular news on all of the future batches.  For reference, I have included specs on the first eight Olympia-brewed batches below.

12 February 2011

posted by benjy edwards

Batch 8 of Olympia brews was an American pale ale.  Original gravity was 1.052, fermented with Wyeast 1318, racking gravity 1.012.  Dry hopped two cornies with Centennial, Cascade, and Chinook.  One destined for co2 dispense, the other served on handpump.

5 February 2011

posted by benjy edwards

The seventh batch brewed on the west coast is a clone of Tribute Ale from St. Austell Brewery in Cornwall.  This beer has a great bright and floral hop character from the Willamette late hops.  Original gravity was 1.040, fermented with Wyeast 1318, racking gravity 1.011.  Dry hopped two cornies with Willamette, both to be served via handpump.