Got a green light to brew late yesterday afternoon and sprung into action. It’s always good to have bought in what you need for your next recipe to allow you to seize the moment. This was my sixth full mash brew (AG#6) and an attempt to brew something similar to a beer I recently enjoyed. This will be my take on the Porterhouse Plain Porter. I understand it should have been bittered with Cluster hops, but substituted these for Galena (due to availability). The late kettle hop is First Gold and the idea was to brew something dry, clean and bitter without any sourness.
Maris Otter Pale Malt – 76.1%
Brown Malt – 8.4%
Crystal Malt – 7.9%
Black Malt – 3.8%
Flaked Oats – 3.8%
Galena 10g – 12.0% @90mins
Galena 10g – 12.0% @30mins
First Gold 10g – 7.8% @10mins
First Gold 40 g – 7.8% @0mins(steep 20 mins)
Final Volume: 19 Litres
Original Gravity: 1.044
Final Gravity: 1.011
Alcohol Content: 4.2% ABV
Bitterness: 31.4 IBU
Colour: 28.9 SRM
Yeast: Safale US-05
Mash: 90mins @ 66c
Water treatment: In the HLT 1 camden tablet. In the mash 3.4g gypsum. In the boil 4.4g gypsum, 3.8g epsom salts.
As with most brew days, there is at least one thing that will go wrong, in this instance it was the last minute realisation that either I made a mistake on my order and ending up with Flaked Barley rather than Flaked Oats. An eagle-eyed brewer spotted this when I posted a photo of my grist on Twitter. Thanks Sean 😉
Moving on from this minor glitch I used what I had available to me, turned the HLT on and weighed my malts out. The mash was the next thing to go slightly wayward, when you have your 4 year old being helpful and when you are trying to help cook the dinner and get the kids to bed, things tend to slip. I had the HLT to strike temp of 78C and added a kettle of boiling water to the mash tun to pre-heat it. Time passed. I came to mash in, but forget to re-heat the tun, this meant that I had to mess around to get the mash temp to my target 66C.
Mashing out, HLT temp set to 78C again and a quick temperature check on the tun told me that something had gone wrong. It was 62C, I usually only lose a degree over 90 mins. Carried on with the brew, batch sparging. I usually try to take hydrometer readings throughout the mash, but decided to try to do this by tasting the wort. This worked in that I got some experience of this method. I stopped sparging with 3L water left in the HLT. Got the boil on, 90 minute boil with the additions detailed above. FOr my 19L brew length I collected 13.6L at around 1.058 (temp corrected). I decided to liquor back and added 5L boiled/treated liquor. giving me a final volume of 18.6L at OG of 1.044. Pitched the US-05 yeast when the temp hit 23C Happy with this, but there are some learning points:
- Check your ingredients well before your brewday.
- Always pre-heat mash tun with boiling water.
- When the mash tun is half empty, correct the strike temp? or at least give the tun some external insulation.
- When sparging, use the calculated liquor volume to avoid having to liquor back so much.
You can see the rest of the pics here.