Friday, 20 September 2013

37 - Wheat

Another birthday party beer, again half to jerrycan and half bottled. This time a wheat, for no other reason than the quick turnaround. I forget what the gravity ended up as, but it was under target. We decided not to do anything about that though. Also, I would have chucked some oranges in this but forgot to buy them. We'll chuck some slices in at the party.

  • .5kg Flaked oats
  • 1.4kg Pale Wheat malt
  • 1.7kg Pilsen malt
  • 15g Northdown @ 60
  • 29g Bobek @ 5
  • 1.5 tsp crushed coriander seed @ 15
  • 1 chamomile teabag (contents) @ 5
  • Mash @ 66 for 60 minutes

36 - Fuggly Pale

I'm not sure why, possibly because I destroyed my decent thermometer somehow, but the next couple of beers both came out 10 points under the gravity that I was aiming for. Either that or I messed up the recipe creation in BeerSmith2.

I decided to do a more classic British pale ale, mainly to use up a packet of Fuggles, if I'm honest. This was also destined for the 40th birthday party, however, in the end we decided to bottle and keep half of it. There was a sugar addition to this, but Daz did it at fermenting time, so I'm not sure exactly what he added.

The birthday party beers have been put back into jerrycans. The idea being that we'll syphon into another jerrycan after they've settled and serve from that. I have some taps that should be OK for serving. I know this isn't exactly ideal, but it was the best we could come up with with limited time and resources.

  • 2.13kg Pale malt
  • 0.35kg Pale crystal malt
  • 0.35kg Pale wheat malt
  • 45g Fuggles @ 60
  • 30g Fuggles @ 15
  • Mash @ 66 for 90 minutes
  • Make up to 1038 with sugar

35 - Weakling

We realised with something of a start that we had agreed to make some beer for a 40th birthday party and hadn't done anything about it, so I had a few brew sessions after knocking off work early.

I thought it might be an idea to make a reprise of the Thornbridge Kipling-a-like that I brewed a while ago, but perhaps knock the gravity down. And thus decided it should be called Weakling.

  • 2.69kg Pale malt
  • 0.26kg Wheat malt
  • 0.26kg Munich
  • 15g Nelson Sauvin @ 60
  • 15g Nelson Sauvin @ 30
  • 45g Nelson Sauvin @ 5
  • Mash @ 65.6 for 60 minutes
  • OG 1041

34 - 100% Wheat

I had quite a lot of wheat malt left and not that much of anything else, so I started casting around to look for articles/posts about doing a 100% wheat. There was a lot of 'thou shalt not do this' style talk, mainly centering around stuck mashes and the like. Well, since we do brew in a bag I figured that wouldn't be an issue.

  • 5kg Wheat malt
  • 36g Hallertauer Northern Brewer @ 60
  • 30g Bobek @ 10
  • Mash at 66.7 for 60 minutes
This had an additional random couple of litres of water chucked in as it was coming up to the boil, a 90 minute boil and an additional litre of water to compensate for evaporative loss. OG 1043.

33 - Smoked Amber Lager

I haven't kept this blog up to date with recent brewing. Naughty me. A while ago we made wort for a smoked amber lager which, for one reason or another, has sat in jerrycans for ages. We're kind of ready to ferment it now - this will be our first lager since we used to do kits ages ago.

  • 2.5kg Pilsen malt
  • 1kg Munich malt
  • 1kg Rauch malt
  • 40g Tetnang @ 60
  • Mash @ 66.9 for 60 minutes

Monday, 1 April 2013

On no-chill

Using jerry cans for no-chill wort production is working out quite well for us. Because of changes in the kitchen I no longer have much room to ferment - and until recently Daz's cellar has been off limits. These factors has changed now, but we have managed to build a stockpile of wort ready to ferment, which is quite nice. Removing the chilling step also knocks the length of the brewday down by quite a bit and also not wasting all the water is nice.

Beer 32 - Blackberry surprise

I got given a 2 tin Woodford's Wherry kit for my birthday. I decided just to chuck this in a fermenter with some old frozen blackberries and also chucked in 25g of Bramling Cross into the fermenter. Update: Realised I totally forgot to take a hydro reading for this. Just tested it after a week and a bit and it's down to 1012. Not sure whether much sugar will have been added from the blackberries. I intend to rack it to another vessel this afternoon and leave it for a day or two to settle out and then bottle from there.

Beer 31 - American IPA

Daz ended up staying over one evening after I cooked for him & Jen. In the morning when we got up we decided on an impromptu brew session because the allotment was off the cards due to snow. We knocked together a US IPA recipe on the fly as a user-upper of hops in the freezer.

  • 0.32kg Pale Wheat Malt
  • 1.44kg Munich Malt
  • 4.84kg Pilsen Malt
  • 30g Simcoe @ 60
  • 17g Challenger @ 50
  • 10g Cascade @ 40
  • 10g Colombus @ 30
  • 10g Cascade @ 20
  • 10g Colombus @ 10

Mashed at 69 for 60 Minutes. Boil for 60 Minutes. Hit 1070 bang on post-boil - after a fairly large sparge step.

Thursday, 7 February 2013

Beer #30 - Table Saison

I had a very early morning at work, and left very early, Gemma was away, so what else to do of an afternoon except get a quick brewday in. With the exciting news that the Malt Miller is stocking a new dry saison yeast, I decided a saison would be in order, so set about constructing a recipe. Because all of the available recipes seem to be for quite punchy, high in alcohol beers I had a bit more of a dig around to get inspiration finding Northern Brewer's Petite Saison and their former videographer Chip Walton's Le Saisonette. Although I didn't exactly follow these, they gave me some ideas for my smaller, table saison.

  • 2.59kg Pilsen
  • 0.74 Munich
  • 0.37 Wheat malt
  • 10g Northdown @ 60
  • 25g Tettnang @ 30
  • 20g East Kent Goldings @ 5
  • 1g Black pepper, coarsely crushed @ 5
  • 5g Coriander, coarsely crushed @ 5
  • Rind of 1 Seville orange @ 5

Ended up mashing a degree too low at 67.2C for 60 minutes. OG 1.042, which was a couple of points higher than anticipated.

Went into the no-chill cubes without problem. I await Daz picking it up to ferment. The temperature control box for the fridge is now constructed, it just needs modification of the fridge door and we're away.

Monday, 28 January 2013

Beer # 29 - Porter

Hot on the heels of the previous day's brew, I got the liquor on and grains measured out and wondered whether assistant brewer Daz would turn up at all given his day out at the beer festival. He did as I was doughing in, and seemed relatively chipper. We'd decided a while ago to try our hands at a dark beer, and not satisfied with the recipe that we had selected from Brew Your Own British Real Ale, I did a bit of reading the previous evening and constructed a recipe.

Daz did seem to start suffering more and more as the day went on, but at least whilst he was in the up-phase we got the groundwork laid for the temperature controller we're building for a fermentation fridge.

This was also the first time I've dabbled with water chemistry, by basically chucking a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda in the mash to up the carbonates because we have very soft water here. This is an area we really need to explore more.

The recipe:

  • .26kg Wheat malt
  • .31kg Chocolate malt
  • .52kg Munich malt
  • .52kg Dark Crystal malt
  • 1.03kg Pilsner malt
  • 2.53kg Maris Otter malt
  • 1tsp Bicarbonate of soda
  • 20g Northdown @ 60
  • 10g Northdown @ 10
  • 10g East Kent Goldings @ 10

90 minute mash, at 66.4. The hydrometer straight out of the mash indicated that we were slightly high on gravity, so I chucked another 1.5L in the kettle, on reflection I should have put a little more in as we finished the boil a touch high at 1.056 when the target was 1.054. The colour of this was lovely, deep and dark. It will just be ready for summer when we don't want to be drinking dark beers - ha!

Beer #28 - American Wheat

I was left sad and alone on Saturday as everyone went to the Winter Beer Festival in Manchester. Because the medication I am on at the moment is strictly no-alcohol I decided not to go. The perfect excuse for a lazy brew day even though I already had one planned with Daz for the following day.

Looking at the stocks of malt and hops led me to think about making wheat beer, but then I thought I'd mix it up a bit by using US hops. As the last couple of brews had come out short in gravity terms, I adjusted my efficiency down to 65% in Beersmith 2 and came up with the following.

  • .3kg Munich malt
  • .42kg Rolled Oats
  • 1.44kg Pilsner malt
  • 1.66kg Wheat malt
  • 11g Columbus @ 60
  • 15g Cascasde @ 10

Mashed at 68.7C for 90 minutes, losing 1.4 degrees. After the mash I topped up with 1.5L boiling water as the hydro reading was indicating it was already around the target gravity (before loss to evaporation). I had issues with the hop stopper blocking as I ran off into the no-chill cubes, which was annoying and meant I had to get busy with a spoon. It came in on target gravity wise though, and aforementioned issues notwithstanding was quite relaxing, if a little odd for the lack of a homebrew in hand during the process.