29 January 2017

posted by benjy edwards

For the second batch this year, we are going with another cask ale, and also happens to be a second batch of a previous success.  This one is a single hop bitter using Cashmere, which turned out really well when we made it last year.  It is not an aggressive hop, but I like it in a simple cask bitter as a change from the Cascade in our Hophead clone.  While using only one hop, this recipe calls for Maris Otter, wheat malt, carapils, and aromatic malt.  I had intended to use aromatic, but found that we have run out, so the biscuit was used its place.  Target gravity is 1.038.

The brew day started well, until I realised when it came time to rack the Batham’s Best Bitter to kegs that I had forgotten to sanitise and dry hop a couple of kegs the night before, as I usually do.  I guess that is what happens when you don’t brew for a couple of months.  I had no choice but to fill a keg with iodophor and wait twenty minutes before racking the sanitiser to a second keg.  I dry-hopped each with an ounce of East Kent Goldings and purged them with co2.  By this time, the mash rest was over, the recirculation concluded, and the wort running off for the boil when I could fill the kegs and take gravity samples.  Both had reached 1.012, so this beer should be 4.2% ABV after given time to condition.  The mash pH was 5.57 and the sparge liquor pH was 5.78.

Meanwhile, the boil began and thirty minutes in, 2.5 ounces of Cashmere added for bittering.  Cashmere was also added at 30, 15, 10, and 5 minutes left.  The wort was chilled and racked into the primaries and the original gravity was 1.040.  The fridge was set to 66F and both primaries had krausen and were actively fermenting by Monday morning.

With ten empty kegs after kegging the Batham’s, it looks like we should brew four more batches after today’s beer.  Ideas are the dark mild, the hoppy brown, a Mosaic pale ale, and an IPA of some sort.  However, I also must work in the need for two different cask beers to take to the Pacific Northwest Homebrewers Conference in March.


22 January 2017

posted by benjy edwards

For the first batch of the new year, and after a long break (haven’t brewed since November!), we’re back to brewing with another cask ale.  I saw a couple of references to how good Batham’s Best Bitter is, and I previously brewed one attempt at a clone, so we’re having another go at it.  The malt bill is simply Maris Otter, but we are using equal parts Fawcett and Baird malts for more complexity over using only one maltster’s malt.  The hops are Fuggle and Sonnet Goldings for bittering, with East Kent Goldings late in the boil for flavour and aroma.  We hit our target gravity exactly, at 1.042.

The pH of the mash was correct, at 5.54, and our liquor pH was 5.90 after adding 7 ml of lactic acid.  With no previous batch to package, it was a quick four hour brew day.  The yeast we used was a PurePitch pack of WLP002 in a starter made on Friday night and fed on Saturday afternoon.  Signs of fermentation began on Sunday night and it was going well by Monday morning.