Archive for August, 2013

Brew #51: Kiwi Golden Ale

August 22, 2013 Comments off

Still continuing with the Kiwi theme, don’t want to lose the aromatics of the hops in the freezer. Aiming at low forties gravity, golden reddish colour, gentle hopping, balance and drinkability. Mash pH was 5.5. Mash efficiency 89 per cent. I now have 66 litres in the pipeline – happy days ahead.

name Nelson’s Golden Ale
“style” Golden Ale
brewlength 24 litres
IBU 30
EBC 14
OG 1045
brewing date 22-Aug-13
yeast Nottingham
fermentables grain kg %
grain 1 Pilsner 1.900 43.1%
grain 2 Pale Ale 1.900 43.1%
grain 3 Munich 0.280 6.3%
grain 4 Crystal 0.250 5.7%
grain 5 Wheat 0.080 1.8%
total 4.410 100%
hops gram minutes ibu
Progress 8.25% 6 60 5
Hallertau Spalt Select 6.6% 12 60 8
Nelson Sauvin 12.3% 5 60 6
Hallertau Spalt Select 6.6% 16 20 7
Nelson Sauvin 12.3% 4 20 3
NZ Pacifica 5.6% 10 5 1
Nelson Sauvin 12.3% 10 0 0
total 63 30
mash schedule minutes degrees c
step 1 mash in 40
step 2 70 65
step 3 15 77
1/4 tsp Gypsum to the boil
After boil-off hops soaked 15 minutes before cooling

Liquored down a bit during the boil and still overshot the gravity by two points.

Categories: Brewing

Brew #50: Kiwi Pale Ale v2 (Nelson’s Savant Bitter)

August 21, 2013 Comments off

Kiwi theme continues in order to use up opened hop bags in the freezer. Added 1/4 tsp of Gypsum both to the mash and kettle. Oh my word! Stone the crows! Never had a freshly opened hop foil packet smell so strongly as this Nelson Sauvin – pungent super fresh grapefruit and now the fingers smell like I’d peeled a lemon. 20g of NS went in at 0 minutes and soaked for 15 minutes (new technique for me).

Just before the mash was done the postman delivered the ph-meter sent from China – good timing. £5.50 all in. Showed 5.2 (calibration was spot on). Enzymatic activity works between 5 – 6, optimal being 5.3 – 5.5 but I did add a small amount of Gypsum. Close enough for cooking.

name Kiwi Pale Ale v2
“style” Kiwi Pale Ale
brewlength 24 litres
IBU 36
EBC 21
OG 1045
brewing date 21-Aug-13
yeast Nottingham
fermentables grain kg %
grain 1 Pilsner 2.800 60.2%
grain 2 Pale Ale 1.200 25.8%
grain 3 Crystal 0.150 3.2%
grain 4 Caramunich II 0.150 3.2%
grain 5 Wheat 0.135 2.9%
grain 6 Vienna 0.135 2.9%
grain 7 Carared 0.050 1.1%
grain 8 Black (for colour) 0.030 0.6%
total 4.650 100%
hops gram minutes ibu
Nelson Sauvin 12.3% 7 60 9
NZ Pacific Jade 15.1% 7 60 11
Nelson Sauvin 12.3% 7 20 5
NZ Pacific Jade 15.1% 7 20 6
Nelson Sauvin 12.3% 7 10 3
NZ Pacifica 5.6% 10 10 2
Nelson Sauvin 12.3% 20 0 0
total 65 36
mash schedule minutes degrees c
step 1 mash in 45
step 2 15 45
step 3 10 52
step 4 40 62
step 5 20 72
1/4 tsp Gypsum both to the boil and mash
After boil-off hops soaked 15 minutes before cooling
Categories: Brewing

London Beer Trip August 2013 – Practise Run for GBBF

August 19, 2013 Comments off

Starting from Charing Cross, short hop to The Harp (47 Chando’s Place, Covent Garden). Lovely interior and sausages.




Windsor & Eaton – Guardsman. Nutty and woody (apparently oak-conditioned, learned later). Sort of a bitter I like to brew.


Next one, Milk Brewery – RA. Citrussy, towards grapefruit, a flavour we tried to avoid all day but didn’t quite succeed. Very nice though.


Next stop a Brodie’s pub Cross Keys (31 Endell Street, Covent Garden)


The beer calling my name here was Brodie’s – Kiwi. Grapefruit to the max.


After a quick walk to Holborn, Holborn Whippet (Sicilian Avenue).


Went for Moor Beer – Nor Hop. Grapefruity citrus, dispensed through a sparkler as God intended.


Cask ale was in short supply so tried a keg beer (craft keg for you hipsters), Kernel – Pale Nelson Sauvin and Galaxy. Creamy, soft and – you guessed it – grapefruity. Also had orange and Del Monte fruit cocktail from the tin in the flavour mix.


A bit of brisk walking to the east and we get to The Gunmakers (13 Eyre Street Hill, Clerkenwell).


This customer looks very content and happy, beer must be in the air.


Portobello – Porter. Engine oily, soft, lactose.


A  two minute walk takes us to The Craft Beer Co. (82 Leather Lane, Clerkenwell). Quite a few beer engines there:


Blue Monkey – Sanctuary Nottingham Bitter, just a perfect amount of crystal malts, that is, not too much. Perhaps some black for colour…medium body and smooth.


Thornbridge – Black Harry Dark Mild. Refreshing, roasted flavours.


Tiny Rebel – Flux, black pale ale, grapefruit aroma and taste. Solid and full body for a 4 per cent abv beer.


Time to move on, some walking and I just couldn’t wrap my head around how we got to Cittie of Yorke (22 High Holborn) so easily.




Sam Smith’s – Todcaster Extra Stout. Had given up taking tasting notes at this stage.


And off to JD Wetherspoon The Knights Templar (95 Chancery Lane). A massive pub.



Salopian – Darwin’s Origin. No notes written down but was a lovely drop, just a perfect bitter. Balanced, malty, hoppy, with good drinkability (not of the elusive kind).


A walk to the bridge and Waterloo station. Saw this on the way, would make a nice pub.



Having crossed the bridge Mr. Morgan started running desperately towards The Hole In The Wall (5 Mepham Street) and a well-needed slash. I met him there outside the pub looking very relieved. No beers.


But this one slipped down nicely with curry at the end of a long day.


The day’s beers seemed to hover around 4 per cent abv and two pints cost around £7 1/2. For example, Nor Hop was £3.60, Flux £3.85 and Black Harry £3.55. A far cry from real ale sold in Finland at around £8…

Refreshed and invigorated from the trip, time to get the pipeline in order and make my two fermentors work non-stop – one Kiwi pale ale to brew this week, then it’s boring brown beer bitter season for a while.

London Beer Trip August 2013: Great British Beer Festival at Olympia

August 17, 2013 Comments off

Not too crowded yet on Wednesday:





Beers drank (mostly thirds, some halves but no pints) on Wednesday:

Arkell’s – Bramling X 4.2% (very sulphury so the hops didn’t show)

Dorset Brewing Company – Dorset Knob 3.9%

Fuzzy Duck – Golden Cascade 3.8%

Goose Eye – Chinook Blonde 4.2%

Great Oakley – Gobble 4.5%

Rother Valley – Smild 3.8%

Salopian – Golden Thread 5%

Hawkshead – Windermere Pale 3.5%

Cantillon – Iris

Kneitinger – Export Dunkel 5.2%

Aecht Schlenkerla – Rauchbier Marzen 5.1% (wooden cask/barrel)



East London – Foundation Bitter 4.2%

Foxfield – Dark Mild 3.7%

Harveys – Wild Hop 3.7% (good reminder why Harveys beers are crap, the brewing water is disgusting, burtonised-like)

Highland – Pale Ale 4.7%

Stonehouse – Station Bitter 3.9% (best normal bog standard bitter)

Lincoln Green – Village Green 4.2%

St Austell – Proper Job 4.5% (twice, very good)

Cairngorm – Black Gold 4.4% (Carafa malts I assume, practically no roasted coffee flavours)

Trunk – Export Dunkel 5.3%

Il Vicino Brewing New Mexico – Nelson’s Exodus 7.6%


Citrus and especially grapefruit flavours were not easy to avoid, those seemed to pop up everywhere. Hopefully it’s just a fad. Got two lovely glasses and Bob Steel’s South East Pub Walks as souvenirs. No T-shirts this time.


Tasting impressions #48: Progress Single Hop from a Cask

August 11, 2013 Comments off

I recently tasted the bottled version here, the beer is far from without faults. Yesterday I opened the 5-litre cask and could only finish a glass or two – metallic, crude, alcoholic. Today as I am doing research (trip reports to follow)


I opened the vent/bung and poured half a pint (this is actually the second one)


What a transformation overnight. Dry, bitter but not harsh, a decent drop really. I’ve never had a home brewed cask that needed a day to taste good, usually I get a bit of foam and fizzyness first, then it settles down but the taste has always been there from the start. Luckily this beer is soon behind me – I just can’t get my head around it.

Categories: Tasting my brew

Pictorial Brew #49: Kiwi Pale Ale

August 1, 2013 Comments off

First time using Kiwi hops, overshot the gravity by one point. Mash efficiency 83 per cent. Loads of pictures to follow the recipe:

name Kiwi Pale Ale
“style” Pale Ale
brewlength 24 litres
IBU 40
EBC 18
OG 1049
brewing date 1-Aug-13
yeast Nottingham
fermentables grain kg %
grain 1 Pilsner 3.35 66.7%
grain 2 Vienna 1.00 19.9%
grain 3 Carared 0.32 6.4%
grain 4 Wheat 0.20 4.0%
grain 5 Crystal 0.15 3.0%
total 5.02 100%
hops gram minutes ibu
NZ Pacific Jade 15.1% 8 FWH 12
NZ Pacific Jade 15.1% 8 60 12
NZ Pacific Jade 15.1% 10 15 7
NZ Pacifica 5.6% 15 15 4
NZ Pacific Jade 15.1% 10 5 3
NZ Pacifica 5.6% 15 5 2
total 66 40
mash schedule minutes degrees c
step 1 mash in 40
step 2 70 66
step 3 15 77
1/4 tsp Gypsum in the boil
After boil-off hops soaked 10 minutes before cooling


Grist ready to be crushed:






Speciality malt storage:



Base malt, Pilsner and Pale Ale:






Sanitising the fermentor:



Hops weighted and ready:






Draining the malt pipe:



Rinsing the malt:



First wort hops into the hop spider:



Restorative, roborative:






Cooling water being utilised for later (tomatoes need water):



Hop spider done its work:



Speise ready for the freezer:



Into the fermentor:



All done:


Categories: Brewing