Brews of Summer

It’s been a slow summer brew-wise, but I did manage to do 2, a Lager and a best bitter. Recipes are below:

OG 15 – Main Sequence IIa

Fermentable Colour lb: oz Grams Ratio
Pale Malt 5 EBC 7 lbs. 11.4 oz 3500 grams 90.9%
Crystal Malt 130 EBC 0 lbs. 12.3 oz 350 grams 9.1%

Hop Variety Type Alpha Time lb: oz grams Ratio
Challenger Whole 7.6 % 60 mins 0 lbs. 0.9 oz 25 grams 50%
Fuggle Whole 4.9 % 15 mins 0 lbs. 0.9 oz 25 grams 50%

Final Volume: 20 Litres
Original Gravity: 1.043
Final Gravity: 1.010
Alcohol Content: 4.3% ABV
Total Liquor: 28.9 Litres
Mash Liquor: 9.6 Litres
Mash Efficiency: 75 %
Bitterness: 30.9 EBU
Colour: 24 EBC

Fermented at 18-20C with S-04 for 2 weeks. Crash chilled for 1 week then kegged in a Cornie.

OG 16 – Neutrino Oscillation Lager

Fermentable Colour lb: oz Grams Ratio
Flaked Maize 0 EBC 2 lbs. 3.3 oz 1000 grams 20%
Lager Malt 2.5 EBC 8 lbs. 13.0 oz 4000 grams 80%

Hop Variety Type Alpha Time lb: oz grams Ratio
Hallertauer Hersbrucker Whole 2.9 % 60 mins 0 lbs. 1.8 oz 50 grams 100%

Final Volume: 23 Litres
Original Gravity: 1.049
Final Gravity: 1.011
Alcohol Content: 5% ABV
Total Liquor: 33.3 Litres
Mash Liquor: 12.5 Litres
Mash Efficiency: 75 %
Bitterness: 14.6 EBU
Colour: 3 EBC

Fermented at 12C with Saflager S-23, with a diacetyl rest at 16C from day 10 to day 14. Crash chilled for 2 weeks, bottled and chilled for 4 weeks.

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OG 14 – Quasi-Stellar Object

Spring is upon us, and here’s a beer that should be suitable for it:

Fermentable Colour lb: oz Grams Ratio
Pale Malt 5 EBC 4 lbs. 13.5 oz 2200 grams 50%
Oat Flakes 2.5 EBC 0 lbs. 7.0 oz 200 grams 4.6%
Flaked Wheat 0 EBC 4 lbs. 6.5 oz 2000 grams 45.4%

Hop Variety Type Alpha Time lb: oz grams Ratio
Challenger Whole 8.1 % 60 mins 0 lbs. 0.4 oz 11 grams 50%
Challenger Whole 8.1 % 15 mins 0 lbs. 0.4 oz 11 grams 50%

Final Volume: 19 Litres
Original Gravity: 1.050
Final Gravity: 1.012
Alcohol Content: 5% ABV
Total Liquor: 28.3 Litres
Mash Liquor: 11 Litres
Mash Efficiency: 75 %
Bitterness: 15 EBU
Colour: 5 EBC

This was fermented with WB-06 for 2 weeks at 20C, then 1 week resting at around 2-4C. It has been bottled with a mix of white and brown sugar. i’ve doubled up the priming sugar to try and get it gassy enough for the style. The result hit an OG of 1.050, and went lower than expected, finishing at 1.008.

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OG13 – The Dark Side of the Moon

Back in the summer I brewed up a black IPA, which I called Supermassive Black Hole. As a brew is showed great promise, before the bottom of the King Keg it was in split and emptied iself over the kitchen floor. Back in January I decided to revisit the style and came up with:

Dark Side of the Moon

Fermentable Colour lb: oz Grams Ratio
Pale Malt 5 EBC 10 lbs. 2.3 oz 4600 grams 85.2%
Wheat Malt 3.5 EBC 0 lbs. 8.8 oz 250 grams 4.6%
Caramalt 30 EBC 0 lbs. 10.5 oz 300 grams 5.6%
Dehusked Carafa III 1300 EBC 0 lbs. 8.8 oz 250 grams 4.6%

Hop Variety Type Alpha Time lb: oz grams Ratio
Apollo Whole 19.5 % 60 mins 0 lbs. 0.6 oz 17 grams 25%
Summit Whole 14.3 % 15 mins 0 lbs. 0.6 oz 17 grams 25%
Amarillo Whole 9.5 % 15 mins 0 lbs. 0.6 oz 17 grams 25%
Amarillo Whole 9.5 % 0 mins 0 lbs. 0.6 oz 17 grams 25%

Final Volume: 20 Litres
Original Gravity: 1.060
Final Gravity: 1.016
Alcohol Content: 5.7% ABV
Total Liquor: 30.4 Litres
Mash Liquor: 13.5 Litres
Mash Efficiency: 75 %
Bitterness: 57 EBU
Colour: 134 EBC

This was my first attempt at full water treatment, using CRS to soften the water and adding a teaspoon of gypsum to the HLT. The wort ended up a little short of the target OG at 1055, was fermented at 18C with US-05, and dry hopped with 12g each of Summit and Amarillo after the first week of fermentation.

FG hit 1012, so the result was a solid 5.8% or so. It’s now sat in a Cornie. Taste wise it’s slightly more ‘burnt’ that the cold steeped Supermassive Black Hole, and I have a feeling that the ‘dehusked’ Carrafa II might actually be the husked version. It is, however, a robust, hoppy brew.

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Diacetyl

Brewing never ceases to be a learning experience. The most recent lesson was beware the perils of diacetyl. Crux finished fermenting inside a week, so I crash chilled it then kegged it in a cornie. A few days later, when I took my first pint off, I was hit by a wall of buttery taste. It seems, despite hitting FG, my brew wasn’t done. With previous brews conditioned in the bottle or in plastic kegs I’d not been bitten by this before, but with the cornie and the early kegging it seems the yeast never had chance to clean it up.

Left with 19l of butterbeer it seemed my run of beer failure was unbroken, but luckily I had another brew on the go, a batch of lager. When the high krausen eased back I transferred a pint or so over to the Crux, and put the cornie back under 10 psi of pressure, then moved it into the house to warm up. A week or so later it got chilled down again, and the diacetyl is much more restrained now.

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2 in a Row OG11 and 12

I won’t dwell on OG11, it’s essentially a replay of the Superluminal Neutrino lager I did earlier in the year. The one notable bit was that I cropped the Saflager S-23 yeast. This left me with a decent amount of lager yeast slurry, but no great enthusiasm to brew more lager.

To that end I ended up with a brew somewhat inspired by California Common, fermented with the slurry at 15C.

Sungrazer
Fermentable Colour lb: oz Grams Ratio
Pale Malt 5 EBC 9 lbs. 11.1 oz 4400 grams 93.6%
Crystal Malt 130 EBC 0 lbs. 10.5 oz 300 grams 6.4%

Hop Variety Type Alpha Time lb: oz grams Ratio
Apollo Whole 19.5 % 60 mins 0 lbs. 0.4 oz 10 grams 19.6%
Nelson Sauvin Whole 12.1 % 15 mins 0 lbs. 0.7 oz 20 grams 39.5%
Nelson Sauvin Whole 12.1 % 0 mins 0 lbs. 0.7 oz 21 grams 40.9%

Final Volume: 21 Litres
Original Gravity: 1.050
Final Gravity: 1.012
Alcohol Content: 5% ABV
Total Liquor: 30.8 Litres
Mash Liquor: 11.8 Litres
Mash Efficiency: 75 %
Bitterness: 35 EBU
Colour: 22 EBC

OG was pretty much on the nose of 1050, FG was 1011. As with OG10 Sungrazer’s now in a Cornie.

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OG10 – Crux

My birthday brought with it lots of vouchers to spend with Rob the Malt Miller. This time I’ve gone a bit mad with hops and have a whole load of new ones to try. I have also gone Cornie, so have new shiny kit that needs filling. To that end I’ve put an Antipodian Pale Ale together.

Fermentable Colour lb: oz Grams Ratio
Pale Malt 5 EBC 7 lbs. 7.9 oz 3400 grams 87.2%
Torrefied Wheat 4 EBC 0 lbs. 3.5 oz 100 grams 2.6%
Munich Malt 20 EBC 0 lbs. 3.5 oz 100 grams 2.6%
Caramalt 30 EBC 0 lbs. 5.3 oz 150 grams 3.9%
Crystal Malt 130 EBC 0 lbs. 5.3 oz 150 grams 3.8%

Hop Variety Type Alpha Time lb: oz grams Ratio
Southern Cross Whole 13.2 % 60 mins 0 lbs. 0.4 oz 10 grams 20.3%
Southern Cross Whole 13.2 % 15 mins 0 lbs. 0.7 oz 21 grams 40.3%
Southern Cross Whole 13.2 % 0 mins 0 lbs. 0.7 oz 20 grams 39.4%

Final Volume: 19 Litres
Original Gravity: 1.046
Final Gravity: 1.011
Alcohol Content: 4.5% ABV
Total Liquor: 27.8 Litres
Mash Liquor: 9.8 Litres
Mash Efficiency: 75 %
Bitterness: 34 EBU
Colour: 17 EBC

There’s a couple of firsts here. First batch of 19l (for the cornie). First temperature controlled ferment for an ale (to try and avoid recent taint problems). First use of a hop tea at the end of the ferment (25g of Southern Cross in a caffetiere). First post ferment crash cool (to try and clear it before kegging).

FG ended up a fair bit below 1011, at around 1006, and it’s now sat in a cornie under 10psi of CO2.

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Disaster update

Well it’s been a bad couple of months with brewing here. First the TTLL clone went very bad indeed, then my main sequence suffered a similar fate.

Both seem to have been afflicted by the curse of an overheated ferment, since both had off tastes and smells of pear drops (esters) and burnt rubber (autolysing yeast).

The lesson here seems to be if you’re brewing in August or early September then use a brew fridge to keep your temperatures under control!

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OG9 A New Main Sequence

This is a bit of a user upper and an attempt to actually get some beer in stock, after recent disasters. Nothing clever or complex with this one. The recipe looks like:

Fermentable Colour lb: oz Grams Ratio
Pale Malt 5 EBC 8 lbs. 2.5 oz 3700 grams 89.2%
Amber Malt 90 EBC 0 lbs. 15.8 oz 450 grams 10.8%

Hop Variety Type Alpha Time lb: oz grams Ratio
Target Whole 11.4 % 60 mins 0 lbs. 0.5 oz 15 grams 28.8%
Challenger Whole 6.6 % 15 mins 0 lbs. 0.5 oz 15 grams 28.8%
Willamette Whole 6.3 % 15 mins 0 lbs. 0.8 oz 22 grams 42.3%

Final Volume: 23 Litres
Original Gravity: 1.040
Final Gravity: 1.009
Alcohol Content: 4% ABV
Total Liquor: 32.5 Litres
Mash Liquor: 10.4 Litres
Mash Efficiency: 75 %
Bitterness: 31 EBU
Colour: 19 EBC

In the end I got 24l at 1042, continuing my run of exceeding target OG with Crisp’s pale malt.

It was fermented with Fermentis S-33, mostly because the sachet was only a month from its best before date.

It was kegged after 10 days, having got to about 1010. First samples suggest it’s avoided the taint the Landlord was afflicted with, but time will tell.

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Disaster!

Seems the brewing gods finally turned against me this summer. First there was the black IPA tide that flowed through the kitchen (I still owe my wife several new pairs of shoes), and now I have been stuck with a tainted brew.

The first hint of trouble was at kegging time. I always take a small amount off for early tasting. THis tends to be a bit of a yeasty experience, but usually gives me a good hint as to what the finished beer will be like. This time, however, there was a fairly nasty side taste to the brew.

I gave the brew the benefit of the doubt, but now, 6 weeks later, the off taste is still there. Looking through my various books I’m stll slightly at a loss as to what’s happend, but my working hypothosis is it was a yeast problem.

The Yeast I used was a second generation S-04 that was left over after the failed extract brew I did for Rob the Malt Miller. That brew finished with a high FG, but didn’t show any of these flavours. I washed the yeast and refrigerated it for a couple of weeks till I used it. It seemed to get going ok, and FG for this brew was fine, but I wonder if the washed starter was heavy in dead yeast from the previous brew, and I’ve been left with a whole load of autolysed yeast in the brew.

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OG 8 – The Landlord

After losing the SBH and having a big barbecue, stocks have been looking low. Originaly I’d planned a parti-gyle for the end of this cycle of brewing, but being short of a best I decided a lower risk strategy was in order. To that end The latest brew is a slight adaptation of the Landlord recipe in Wheeler’s book.

I won’t give the recipe here, it’s in the book after all, but I did tweak it slightly to replace some of the Golding with Willamette, due to stock shortages.

A straightforward mash and boil gave me a wort at 1044, into which I pitched some S-04 I’d cropped from the bottom of the test brew I did for The Malt Miller. It went like a rocket and was kegged after 9 days. Now it’s clearing down and should be good to try soon.

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