21 October 2017

posted by benjy edwards

It is time to make another IPA, so the choice of hops is the most important consideration.  We’re out of our favourites Citra and Simcoe, and while we still have Mosaic, the pale ale last week was heavy on that.  We also have Eureka and Lemon Drop left, so we’re going to make another batch of what we’ve called Crisp Lemony Zip.  The hops are exclusively Eureka and Lemon Drop, for a lemony and piney flavour and aroma.  The grist was primarily Maris Otter, with some Vienna and Munich to lessen the English biscuit character, and some wheat for head retention.  The target gravity is 1.062 so it should be in the mid 6 percent ABV range.  The mash rest was low, 151F for a dry and crisp IPA.

The brew went fine, another sub-4 hour session.  We hit our target gravity spot on, and the wort colour looks good.  During the mash rest and recirculated we kegged up the pale ale, which for some reason was quite cloudy.  That’s very unusual for the Fuller’s yeast, but it tasted very good so there is no reason to think the yeast is a problem.  The gravity dropped to 1.010, so the attenuation is fine as well.  We dry-hopped each keg with two ounces of Mosaic and force carbonated them.

It is unlikely that we’ll use this yeast another time, but I haven’t ruled it out yet.

14 October 2017

posted by benjy edwards

I didn’t have a set recipe in mind for today, so I just went with an IPA using some of the hops we happen to have on hand.  I was intending to use Maris Otter along with some pilsner malt, but we only have one bag left of pilsner, so I’ll save that for when we brew some lager this winter.  I have a 25 pound bag of Palouse Pint English pale malt from Joseph’s Grainery in Colfax, Washington, so I used that.  I set the extraction rate as the same as the domestic two-row, but even using the whole bag along with 3 pounds of wheat and 2 pounds of flaked oats, we fell well short of the expected 1.062 gravity, hitting only 1.050.  So this batch is an American pale ale, not an IPA.  I still went with the IPA hop bill, targeting 100 IBUs.  The hops were Columbus for bittering, along with Columbus, Mosaic, Simcoe, and Centennial late in the kettle.

During the recirculation and wort collection for the boil, we racked the Batham’s Best Bitter clone into a couple of corny kegs.  One problem arose when I forgot to switch kegs and started filling the already-full first one with the second fermenter, so it overflowed a bit and had to drain off some for the needed headspace for conditioning.  The gravity was down to 1.012, and it was very tasty.  I dry hopped each corny with two ounces of East Kent Goldings.

The boil went well as did the rest of the brew, and we kept the whole session to just over three and a half hours.  The next batch might be the last, and will be an IPA for sure.  I don’t have any Citra, so the Kern River clone is out.  We’ve got Eureka and El Dorado, so perhaps something with those would work.

1 October 2017

posted by benjy edwards

There is one more cask ale to brew during this run of the yeast.  I chose another batch of the Batham’s Best Bitter, a very simple but delicious bitter.  The mash is just Maris Otter, and the hops are primarily East Kent Goldings late, with bittering hops of Northdown and Fuggles.  However, I chose to bitter with Bramling Cross and used EKG for flavour and aroma.  Target OG is 1.042, which we hit spot on.

There was one little problem during the brew, which was a boilover shortly after the kettle was filled.  Other than that, another short brew day of just over three and a half hours.  While the wort was being collected, we racked the dark mild into a couple of corny kegs.  The gravity was higher than I expected, at 1.018, but if it drops a few points in the keg then it should end up around 3.8-3.9% ABV.

Next week it’s time for an IPA, and we’ll follow that up with the final batch as either another IPA or perhaps a double IPA.  The Kern River Citra double IPA at 8% would be a nice choice.