8 May 2017

posted by benjy edwards

I had planned to brew on Sunday, 7 May, but the weather was really nice so I took the opportunity to ride my bike.  That should have meant skipping this week, but on Monday my son Owen needed to go to the eye doctor unexpectedly, so after that I had the afternoon to brew.  I enjoyed the Fuller’s 1845 clone we made a while back, so today is the second batch of it.  I had to revise the malt bill somewhat since we were out of Special B and melanoidin, so I used Fawcett’s 120L dark crystal in place of the former and kiln amber in place of the latter.  We will see what those changes do to the beer.  There were no problems during the brew day, but later on it surprised me that we had such a long lag before the yeast began fermenting.

The previous batch was up to 75F at the end of fermentation, and of course I did not want to begin the Fuller’s at the temperature, so the pitching temp was reduced to 65F.  That must have caused the yeast to go dormant, because after 24 hours there was still no activity.  Finally, on Wednesday morning, 36 hours later, the yeast was active.  I had started to think there was something really wrong, so I increased the temperature to 68F on Tuesday and by Wednesday morning the yeast had bumped it up to 69F.  Perhaps having brewed on Saturday last week and not until Monday this week, the extra two days also contributed to the yeast going to sleep.

We also kegged the IPA from last week, which was tasting very nice already.  We dry-hopped each keg with an ounce of Citra and an ounce of Chinook, and the gravity was already down to 1.011.  Clarity was also very good, proving that this Thames yeast does flocculate well.  Next weekend we will brew another IPA, I’m thinking something similar to Saint Archer IPA, a very dry, crisp, and hoppy West Coast IPA from San Diego.

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