11 August 2012

posted by benjy edwards

Today was a very busy brew day, what with a double batch in the works, plus racking four fermenters to kegs.  The recipes are Boathouse Pale Ale and our clone of Palmer’s Best Bitter.  The pale ale is largely unchanged from the previous batch, though due to a lack of the lighter crystal malts, we went with amber malt and kiln amber instead.  Target OG for the pale ale is 1.050, but we managed to hit 1.055.  It is good to be on the higher end for this beer, since it will be served via co2.  The gravity of the Palmer’s was 1.039, perfect for a cask ale.  Getting the two gravities correct when simultaneously running off into two boil kettles when aiming for different strength beers can be tricky, you really have to keep an eye on the gravities as you go, using the refractometer.

The hops in the pale ale were Nugget for bittering, then a combination of Columbus and Amarillo throughout the rest of the boil.  We are now out of Amarillo until the next harvest, which thankfully is not far off.  I’m looking forward to be able to get Citra, Amarillo, and Simcoe again.  The Palmer’s used Willamette for bittering, followed by Styrian Goldings and East Kent Goldings late hops.

The two boils were fifteen minutes apart, which works out well since one batch has to wait to be cooled until the first one is chilled.  During the last part of the runoff of the pale ale wort, one fermenter got filled a lot more than the other, a difference of almost a gallon.  I sanitized the thief and transferred it to the other carboy, since it was so full that it would undoubtedly have blown out of the top during fermentation.  As it was, one of the fermenters still pushed foam and wort through the airlock once it was active.

Other than the disparate fill levels on the pale ale, no hitches during the brew day; the propane supply held out this time.  I used the heatstick to assist the heating of the hot liquor, but I skipped using it in heating the strike water and the boil.

The Hophead clone and the Boathouse Bitter were casked in four cornies, with liberal dry hopping of Cascade in the Hophead and Mt. Hood for the Boathouse Bitter.  Gravities for both batches were down to 1.011.

We may be brewing next weekend, if so it will most likely be a single batch of something stronger, such as IPA.

Comments are closed.