Archive for August, 2014

Brew #75: Pale Ale 1050°

August 27, 2014 Comments off

Fermenting temperatures looking better now, time to start fixing the pipeline. Starting with a very simple golden ale / pale ale with added Cascade and Columbus in the end for aroma and flavour.


name Pale Ale 1050°
“style” Pale Ale
brewlength 24 litres
IBU 42
EBC 13
IBU to OG ratio 0.85
brewing date 27-Aug-14
yeast Safale S-04
OG 1050
fermentables grain kg %
grain 1 Pale Ale 4.600 93.9%
grain 2 Wheat malt 0.200 4.1%
grain 3 Crystal150 0.100 2.0%
total 4.900 100%
hops gram minutes ibu %ibu
Target 10.2% 20 60 20 48%
WGV 7.02% 25 15 9 21%
First Gold 6.44% 25 15 8 19%
Columbus 14.8% 10 5 3 7%
Cascade 7.6% 10 5 2 5%
total 90 42 100%
mash schedule minutes °C
step 1 – mash in 5 55
step 2 – maltose rest 40 63
step 3 – dextrinisation rest 50 70
step 4 – mash out 15 77
Hop-stand for 15 minutes
Categories: Brewing

Tasting impressions #73: Christmas Winter Warmer – Revisited

August 25, 2014 Comments off

Earlier tasting here, but what a change in a few weeks, thus this new post. The bottles are gushers and very aggressively so. The taste has changed drastically and the yeast seems very Belgian. Beer is dry and has the Belgian yeast aroma, that spiciness. In a blind test I would guess this beer to be a Duvel. Basically I have created a Duvel clone. Uncanny.

Due to the heat wave, fermentation was at around 30°C and over, conditioning also. I don’t mind the new taste but gushing is irritating and tedious. I bottled at 1016° after a week or so no change in the gravity and got 5.5 per cent abv. I just checked the gravity again and got 1010°, 6.4 per cent abv! Quite a change in the bottle, looks like Mangrove Jack Burton Union yeast was just having a bit of a rest in the fermentor before making the final plunge in the bottle.

At some stage this Autumn I will double-mash and brew a 10+ per cent abv barley wine with the same yeast, and even in the cooler weather will make sure I keep it in the fermentor long enough in order to catch any pauses and plunges in the gravity.

Categories: Tasting my brew

Tasting impressions #74: DIPA

August 4, 2014 Comments off

The competition DIPA went down to 1013 ° and has 8 per cent abv. The looks are reddish mahogany copper, quite bright even with the dry-hopping:


Here’s another one:


Aroma is pine and some refreshing fruit, not grapefruit but perhaps something tropical – clearly a familiar American IPA aroma. Mouthfeel is about medium+, not too heavy I’d say for the style but for me personally on the heavier side – double mash and not too much sugar worked well I guess. What I didn’t want was Belgian strong ale digestive drinkability like Duvel for instance has, I wanted the drinker to feel the body and 8 per cent alcohol.

Taste is pine and resin. Based on the first test bottle a few days ago I thought I wasn’t going to get enough bitterness due to my soft water, low utilisation and all that bollocks but I think the bitterness now comes through better. I had my dentist work on my choppers this morning and my gums might be a bit tender but this resiny taste really sticks to my gums. I don’t know. I am not an expert on AIPAs but usually expect pine and grapefruit. This certainly has the former. I think the bitterness is there but masked somewhat by the soft water and malty body. Say no more, say no more nudge nudge wink wink – dropped a 6-pack to Arde, who gave some reference points and other pointers for the recipe, so look forward to some tasting notes from someone who has been a hop head since 1980’s at least. He will explain this beer a lot better than I can.

I am halfway my 0.75L bottle and I am digressing…where was I going…yes, the beer style as I understand it is meant to be drunk very fresh, as soon as carbonated, for the sake of hops. Having now double mashed and dry hopped I think I could brew a similar DIPA and up the oomph about 25 per cent and land on a barley wine territory.

I need a kip now.

Categories: Tasting my brew

Tasting impressions #73: Christmas Winter Warmer

August 3, 2014 Comments off

Early taste of my ESB for the winter. 1058° to 1016° which is 5.5 per cent abv and 72 per cent attenuation. Huge head that lasts forever, beer itself is bright golden:


Aroma is fruity (not in a tropical sense but with redcurrants, gooseberries and the like) and malty. Mouthfeel is prickly due to ample carbonation. Taste is quite hoppy in a bitter way and has good initial bite.

Burton Union dry yeast is very neutral and crisp, and has cleaned out very quickly. With Nottingham the beer would not taste as ready for drinking. I really like these Mangrove Jack dry yeasts: well-behaved, quick, neutral, crisp, easy to clean from the FV.

I can feel the alcohol warming my chest so even at mere 5.5 per cent this beer has good Christmas potential. Nothing fancy, a no-nonsense strongish ale with a good hop bite. Sometimes those late aroma hops, hop stands and what have you simply are not needed and merely confuse the issue.

Categories: Tasting my brew