17 November 2012

posted by benjy edwards

It was another double batch brew day here, with an American pale ale and another attempt at cloning Harvey’s Sussex Best Bitter as the recipes.  The APA uses all Citra hops, except for a bittering addition of Sterling, where the distinct flavour of Citra wouldn’t make an impact.  The APA malt bill is Maris Otter, medium and dark English crystal, and flaked maize.  To get the right colour for the Harvey’s, I capped the mash with three ounces of pale chocolate malt after running off the APA.  Target OG for the APA was 1.050, but we reached 1.058 in the end, so it will be a bit of a stronger pale ale.  Target OG on the Harvey’s is 1.040, whereas we achieved 1.039.  Mash temperature was 152F.

The hopping on the Harvey’s was tweaked again, going back to something closer to version 8, as it had a better hop flavour than version 9.  Cloning this beer has been one of the toughest challenges, without any specifics from the commercial brewery as to the timing or quantities of hops.   All we know is that it contains Progress, Bramling Cross, Fuggles, and Goldings.

During the brew I had help from my friend Brian who came up from Portland, and also from Nate, a fellow local homebrew club member.  It certainly helps on the double batch days to share the work.  The only hitch we had all day was when they put away the brewing stand, at my request, while we were chilling the second batch, and then I realised that we still needed it to raise the kettle to finish the chill.  As snags go, it was a minor one, at least.

The Hophead and Boathouse Bitter brewed last weekend both got racked to corny kegs, with a Cascade dry hop for the Hophead and Belma for the Boathouse Bitter, since it was an all-Belma SMaSH recipe.  Gravities for both batches were 1.010, so good attenuation on the second use of the yeast.  Samples straight from the primary were delicious for both ales.  I like the hop profile of Belma.

Next weekend we’ll try another double batch, recipes will likely be the Double Jack double IPA from Firestone Walker, and an IPA using some of the coveted Simcoe, Amarillo, and Citra.  On Saturday night, Brian and I spent a lot of time vacuum-sealing the 2012 hops from Hopsdirect, in order to make room in the hop freezers for his home-grown harvest.  He brought up 7 pounds, plus 4 pounds of commercial hops, and on top of the 25 to 30 pounds of hops already in storage, we were very short on space.  However, we just managed to cram them all in, so now the priority is to use them up!

Comments are closed.