Wednesday, 30 April 2008

Book - Real Ales for the home brewer

I mentioned in my last post that the recipe for Broadsword was from a book by Marc Ollosson, the recipe had been passed on to me by a friend, I decided to order the book online and it arrived this week, I'm impressed with the information in the book and the range of recipes. I like formulating my own recipes but there are quite a few here that I want to brew or draw inspiration from. I'd recommend this to any home brewer. This is where I ordered it from. (I'm not on commission....honest!) I had an email from the author thanking for my order and was quite pleased to find that it had even been signed.

Looking forward to brewing a few from this.

Thursday, 24 April 2008

Brew Evening 23 April - "Broadsword"

A friend of mine reccomended that I try a recipe from a book by Marc Ollason (cheers Vossy), he's brewed it before and it sounds right up my street for this time of year. In Marcs book he describes this beer:

A very refreshing beer, the Fuggles give a good hop charachter while the Styrian Goldings give a superb aroma. The use of carapils ensures that this beer has a good body, slight residual sweetness, and a very pale colour.

I scaled the recipe up from 23 to 25 litres and adjusted for my 75% brewhouse efficiency and came up with this:

Target OG : 1.042 (75% bhe)
Brewlength : 25L
Target IBU : ~36IBU
Mash : 60 mins 65 degrees
Boil : 60 mins

4170gm Pale Malt Marris Otter 89%
520gm Cara-Pils Malt 11%
70gm Fuggles [5.50 %] (60 min) Hops 36.0 IBU
50gm Styrian Goldings [4.00 %] Added at 80 degrees and left for 15 mins

Whirlfloc at 10 mins
Fermenting with S04

Here are a few pics from the brew evening.

The grains weighed out and in a large bag, the thermometer is so that I can judge what strike temperature I'm going to need when I dough in.

The grains being added to the mash liquor in the tun, aka doughing in, I stopped stirring to take the pic!

The initial temperature of the mash 65.2 degrees, quite happy with that.

Tucked up nice and warm for an hour.

After a 60 min mash i'd only lost 0.2 of a degree, a quick test with a drop of videne on a sample of the first runnings confirmed full conversion.

The first runnings being returned to the tun through some pierced tin foil so that I didn't disturb the grain bed.

70g Fuggles weighed out.

Fuggles being added to the boiler.

50g Styrians added once the wort had cooled to 80 degrees, steeped for 15 mins then the wort was cooled quickly.

I ended up with 25L of 1.040 wort, so a little off target OG but I'm not too dissapointed with that.

Looking forward to supping this one in a few weeks.

Thursday, 17 April 2008

Largs Thistle The End Result

This is a pint of largs thistle served through the beer engine i'm enjoying this one it has a really complex malt flavour - the beer engine definately enhances it.

Tuesday, 15 April 2008

Brew Evening 15th April - "Long Summer Nights"

Managed to fit a 'cheeky' brew in today. Inspired by the sunny morning we had I had an urge to brew something that will be a good session-able, pale, hoppy BBQ brew. I have some lovely Cascade in the freezer so decided to go with Northdown for a good 'clean' bittering hop and the citrus from Cascade at 15 Min's and then steeped at 80 degrees after 'flame out' or when you switch the boiler off, where I come from.

I set out as follows:

Brewlength : 25 L
Target OG : 1.042 (75% brewhouse efficiency)
Target IBU : ~35
1 Hour Mash 66 degrees
1 Hour Boil

4300gm Pale Malt, Fawcetts Marris Otter 92.5%
200gm Torrified Wheat Grain 4.5%
150gm Crystal Malt - 60L 3%
48gm Northdown [7.90 %] (60 min) Hops ~35 IBU
30gm Cascade [5.40 %] (15 min)
30gm Cascade [5.40 %] (0 min) (Steeped for 1/2 hr from 80 degrees)

I ended up with 25 L at 1.040 so missed OG by .002, I know why - I used a 3kg bag of Marris Otter from a local home brew shop as I was short. It doesn't matter, if the S04 that I pitched with does it's job it'll be 3.9% I was hoping for 4.0% - that's acceptable!

The wort was nice and pale and very clear, no pictures I'm afraid, I am soon to be reunited with my phone charger so pics of other brews will follow.

Relaxing now with a pint of Largs Thistle served from the beer engine, oh and silly me for thinking about BBQ's this morning, it's tipping it down now....

Saturday, 12 April 2008

Brewday 9th April - Big Kenny

On Wednesday I decided to brew up another batch of Big Kenny, to add a bit more body I've added some torrified wheat and I mashed at 69 degrees. It's bubbling away nicely at the moment.

I went for a 1hr mash and 1hr boil again with no drop in efficiency, I ended up with my target OG of 1.047.

25L Brewlength
Target OG 1.047 (75% brewhouse efficiency)
Target IBU ~ 31
1 Hour Mash
1 Hour Boil

4850gm Pale Malt - Fawcetts Marris Otter Grain 92%
250gm Torrified Wheat Grain 5%
70gm Crystal Malt - 60L Grain 1.5%
50gm Roasted Barley Grain 1.0%
25gm Chocolate Malt Grain 0.5%

63gm Fuggles [5.50 %] (60 min) ~31 IBU
20gm Styrian Goldings [3.30 %] (15 min)
20gm Styrian Goldings [3.30 %] (0 min)

1x Whirlfloc Tablet at 10 mins
Fermenting with S04

Wednesday, 9 April 2008

Some Pleasing Feedback

It’s been an interesting day for the Fledgling Brewery today.

A little while ago a friend of mine who works for ‘Bateman's Brewery’ in Wainfleet, Lincolnshire knowing that I am a keen home brewer asked if he could sample my wares, he was duly supplied with a bottle of Big Kenny just before Christmas, he enjoyed that beer (I think he was a bit surprised!) and asked if I could supply another 6 bottles of the same beer so that he could present them to their "taste panel" at one of their monthly tasting sessions for their opinions. I duly brewed up another batch, and after letting the beer come into condition I sent him the bottles.

Today was the day that the 6 members of the tasting panel tried the beer....I was a bit apprehensive to say the least as so far my beers had only been tried by fellow all-grain brewers and a few friends and work colleagues, all of whom it could be argued would be fairly generous with their feedback no matter what they actually thought! I wasn’t expecting any such generosity today.

I received a phone call at lunchtime today to say that the beers had been very well received, of the 6 ‘tasters’ 5 were positive about it and only one of them wasn’t keen, although that apparently was because it wasn’t 'his sort of beer' not that there was anything technically wrong with it. I was told that the Head Brewer enjoyed it and I was over the moon to get the following email from him.

"Neil brought a few bottles of Big Kenny to our Beer Taste Panel this morning. We are always a little cautious of home brewed beer but it was a delight to sample Big Kenny. The most usual fault with home brew we have tried is a harsh flavour called yeast bite. Your Beer had no hint of this. The predominant flavour was of apple fruitiness. The balance of bitterness from the hops & sweetness from the malts was perfect. As you can imagine we get asked to taste a number of beers of this type but I have never had the pleasure of such a delightful example of the home brewer's art.

I must congratulate you on your skill as a brewer. If I was to recommend one home brewed beer Big Kenny would be the one. Keep up the good work."

I personally think that i'm more than entitled to be a bit smug about that for at least a few days!

Monday, 7 April 2008

A change of plan...

Rather than brewing up the Buzzards Walk Pale Ale I had planned to do I'm opting for brewing up another batch of Big Kenny next, this is so that I'll have a tried and tested beer ready in 6 weeks rather than the experimentation brew with the Zeus hops! I don't yet know how my last brew West Coast Pale Ale will turn out so doing this will mean that I don't have two 'unknowns' back to back. The grains will be weighed out tonight for Big Kenny hopeful that I can brew it tomorrow night. The Buzzards Walk will be brewed later in the week I hope.

Saturday, 5 April 2008

Beer Engine

Im in a good mood today because I've just ordered myself a reconditioned beer engine off someone in the trade at a good price. Looking forward to getting it and dispensing from a vented cornie keg. I'm also looking forward to designing my own pump clips.

Wednesday, 2 April 2008

Planning a Brew : Buzzards Walk Pale Ale

It's been a while since the boiler has seen any action so I've decided to get a brew on over the next few days, I want to do an American Pale Ale with the Zeus hops I've had in the freezer for a few weeks now. From what I've read (thank-you Google/wiki) Zeus are: American aromatic high-alpha hop with noticeable bitterness. Similar, if not identical, to Columbus/Tomahawk. (Alpha acid 15.0%) the one's that I have are 12.8%AA I've heard that they are really 'smack you round the face citrus' too. I'm going to use them as bittering along side Perle (50/50 split on the IBU) and then use them for aroma also. I'll be fermenting with US-05 which has turned out really well in my SNPA clone. The name might seem a bit odd, but while I was out walking the dog, I watched a Buzzard for ages, it's the first one I've seen for a while, I love the light nights where you can get out and see a bit of your surroundings after a day at work!

25L Brewlength
Target OG 1.045
Target EBU ~35
BHE 75%

4560gm Pale Malt, Maris Otter 95%
170gm Crystal Malt - 60L Grain 3.5%
70gm Cara-Pils Grain 1.5%

14gm Zeus [12.80 %] (90 min) ~17.5 IBU
26gm Pearle [6.90 %] (90 min) ~17.5 IBU
30gm Zeus [12.80 %] (10 min) (Aroma Hop-Steep) Hops -
30gm Zeus [12.80 %] (0 min) (Aroma Hop-Steep) Hops -