Archive for September, 2013

Tasting impressions #50 & #51: Kiwi Bitters

September 14, 2013 Comments off

Two pale ales against each other, both using Nelson Sauvin hops.  First one tasted is #51 Kiwi Golden Ale.


Delicate tropical fruity aroma, some Nottingham yeastiness. Good balance between dusty bitterness which I associate with Challenger, Progress etc  hops, and slight tropical fruitiness, Progress dominating though. Medium mouthfeel with good drinkability. Better balanced than the other brew. Typically English bitter but with a touch of something different – I guess that’s the Nelson Sauvin hops coming through. Actually very interesting that this feels very English although it has Hallertau and NZ Pacifica which I think is a Hallertau derivative.

So let’s have a glass of #50 Nelson’s Savant Bitter shall we? (see what I did there).


Slightly more coppery in colour, looks like a beer. Aroma is peach and Juicy Fruit chewing gum, has stronger aroma than the other beer. Some bitter pine resin first when the hops hit, then afterwards white winey character but not too much at all. Not quite as drinkable as the other one and not as balanced. Crystal malts seem to add some extra goodness.

I believe the first one takes the lead but both beers definitely come up trumps against #49 that I’m not even going to blog about. That I found too harsh and metallic and I guess it was the NZ Pacific Jade hops that did it – SWMBO didn’t find anything wrong at all about it – bless her soul as I have not brewed a beer yet to disappoint her.

Very chuffed with the effort, perhaps these colonial chaps know how to grow a hop bush or two.

Categories: Tasting my brew

Brew #52: Rambler’s Respite Bitter

September 6, 2013 Comments off

Back to the fruitier bitter, no Gypsum and Notty replaced with S-04. Target gravity 42 took some tinkering to achieve: during the sparge the mash efficiency was looking at 94 per cent and gravity 44 already. Decided to sparge/rinse with additional 2 litres (8 litres total). At this stage efficiency was at 88 per cent and gravity 39. On average I pick up 4 points in the kettle so added another litre (9 in total). Just before the boil started efficiency still showed 88 per cent, gravity being 38.

Although the recipe doesn’t show it, added a small handful of Northdown at 60 minutes to account for the added liquor into the grist.

name Rambler’s Respite
“style” Bitter
brewlength 24 litres
IBU 32
EBC 22
OG 1043
brewing date 6-Sep-13
yeast Safale S-04
fermentables grain kg %
grain 1 Pale Ale 3.350 77.1%
grain 2 Munich 0.650 15.0%
grain 3 Crystal 0.200 4.6%
grain 4 Wheat 0.100 2.3%
grain 5 Chocolate 0.025 0.6%
grain 6 Black 0.020 0.5%
total 4.345 100%
hops gram minutes ibu
Northdown 8.45% 20 60 19 FWH
Northdown 8.45% 20 20 10
Styrian Goldings 3.45% 20 10 3
Bramling Cross 4.8% 20 0 0
total 80 32
mash schedule minutes degrees c
step 1 mash in 40
step 2 70 67
step 3 15 77
After boil-off hops soaked 15 minutes before cooling
Categories: Brewing