3 December 2011

posted by benjy edwards

A busy busy brew day here at Boathouse.  The parti-gyle double-batch of Fuller’s ESB and London Pride were on the schedule.  It was an interesting brew.  Nothing substantial went awry, the only real issue we had was a lack of mash tun capacity, which resulted in struggles to get all the malt and water into the tun.  In the end we were left with half a gallon of wort that had to be run off and left to the side until the malt absorbed enough to subside from the very lip of the mash tun.  The new burner and stand worked well, though a bit oxygen-deprived when run at full bore, which indicates a bigger air vent is needed on the hurricane burner.  I sailed close to the wind in using a mostly-depleted propane tank on the London Pride batch, but it didn’t run out until after the ESB boil was over, so swapping tanks was all that was needed.

The malt bill was 40 pounds of grain, 38 pounds of Maris Otter and 2 of crystal.  I expected to be short on gravity on one or both of the recipes, but in the end we overshot the gravity on the ESB (1.058 actual, target 1.055) and hit the target on the London Pride dead on (1.040).  The wort collected was generous on the ESB and a bit short on the London Pride, so if I were to brew this again I would know to divert more of the first runnings to the London Pride and less to the ESB.  Hops were Target for bittering, with Admiral (substitute for the Northdown that Fuller’s uses but which are unobtainable) and Challenger as the primary late hops, with a bit of East Kent Goldings as well.  Colour looked good in the gravity cylinder, we’ll have to compare them to the real thing in a few weeks.  It all depends on how fresh the samples of Fuller’s beer are from such a distance from their home.

The day was definitely a success: two batches brewed and less than an hour and a half longer than a single batch brew day.  It’s tempting to brew double-batches more often, especially doing two session ales, rather than one session beer and one premium strength.  With a big mash of 100% Maris Otter, I could brew Hophead and Batham’s Best Bitter together, or Landlord and a single-hop Citra or Simcoe pale ale, for example.  If both were in the 1.040-1.042 range (my preferred gravity), the mash would be relatively normal.  With one more kettle, it would be very easy, because the hot liquor tank would not have to double as the second boil kettle.

We also racked the Boathouse Dark Mild brewed last week.  Racking gravities were 1.013 and 1.014.

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