11 April 2015

posted by benjy edwards

In keeping with the need for cask ale, today we are brewing another batch of one of our favourites, Hophead.  This time, though, instead of using all Cascade, we are experimenting with our first use of a new hop, Apollo.  Brewing with only one hop is the best way to assess its qualities.  Apollo is supposed to be bold, dank, and resiny, so it should be interesting in a 4% cask ale.

The brew went well, no snags of any kind, except that our original gravity turned out to be 1.038 instead of 1.040, but that is nothing to worry about.  The mash is all Maris Otter at 152F, and the hops went in at 60, 30, 15, 5, and 0 minutes.  IBU should be about 50.

While the mash rested, we kegged up the dark mild from a week ago.  Interestingly, the two yeasts attenuated differently, with the Fuller’s strain being 2 points higher than the West Yorkshire (1.014 v. 1.012).  The Yorkshire yeast wasn’t quite as bright in clarity, but not bad for a week old.  The aroma was more pronounced with the Fuller’s, and the same goes for the flavour.  The Yorkshire didn’t taste as sweet, but its overall level of flavour was subdued compared to the Fuller’s.  The Fuller’s batch also was more complex.  However, much can change during conditioning, so we shall see what the final results are.

Edit: the next day after brewing, we discovered that the chest freezer containing the cask ales was no longer cooling.  Cleaning the area around the compressor and letting the motor cool did not help.  The compressor just makes a buzzing sound with no cooling.  Time to replace this!  The inside is all rusty, anyway, after a decade of condensation and loading and unloading firkins, which scratch the walls of the freezer.

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