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.