I recently brewed an American Brown Ale for the upcoming Ilkley Brewery competition. I had high hopes for it based on an interesting malt and hop bill and a Burton Ale yeast. My first concerns were due to the aromas coming from the FV, which turns out was from the Summit hops I added at flame out. Having spoken to other homebrewers and a pro brewer I was reassured that the onion/garlic aromas from Summit do dissipate and make way for orange! Sure enough the onion stench moved along. After my initial panic I had also dry hopped with 20g of US Cascade. I took a gravity reading on day 7 of primary fermentation and tasted the beer…. describing it as ‘interesting’ doesn’t quite do it justice. There are several unfamiliar flavours which could be as a result of aromatic or special B malts, which I’ve never used before, the combination of hops, the yeast or the combination of all of them. The main off-flavour is of elastoplast (I think) and am told this could be chloramines.
Chloramines or Chlorine will give your beer a medicinal or band-aid type of flavor.
I will look into this in more detail, but did the following to avoid this: Water treatment using 1 Campden tablet per 5 Gallons and I use an acid, rather than chlorine, based sanitiser. I’m hoping that the off flavours are phenols that haven’t been dealt with by the yeast yet, so there is hope, but I didn’t want to chance not having a beer to enter into a competition I’ve helped organise. So here is the American Brown Ale brewday Mark II. Despite Chris Ives (Ilkley Brewery) advice to make incremental changes as a way of understanding your brewing process, I decided on a totally different recipe (sorry Chris), and a beer I’ll be calling ‘Mothman’, due to my late night brewing and the critters dive-bombing me and my precious beer. (Also, thanks to Neil @leedsbrew and Ian @lugsy51 for talking this through with me).
Strike temp of 72C and 4.53L liquor for 1.810kg grain. Mashed in at 64C.
Mashed for 60 minutes and temp remained constant. Sparged at 84C, 12.23L liquor (total liqour 16.75L). Collected 13.60L with gravity reading of 1.030 @22C. My target was 15.1L at 1.036.
First hop additions of Magnum at 30 minutes. Added a protofloc tablet and immersion chiller at 15 minutes, and a further copper additions of Cascade at 15 and 5 minutes, before a heap of Cascade at flame-out.
Collected 10L of wort post boil with SG of 1.038. Cooled to 20C and pitched the vial of WLP090 yeast. No starter for this one, but MrMalty told me that this would be fine. Ideally I would have made a starter, but the brew impromptu and needed to be done without further delay due to the 14/07/12 deadline.
and a shot of the colour in the daylight
The design and name of this yeast promise a lot! I’m hoping it saves the day.
A few more photos of the brewday here.
Update 25/07/2012 This beer took joint 1st prize in the Ilkley Brewery competition (along with Matt Lovatt).