AG#32 Texas Brown Ale – Continuity Error

I recently blogged about my intention to brew a Texas Brown Ale.  More about it here.

Here’s the writeup from the brewday last week (28/02/14).  This beer is destined for the Northern Craft Brewers & Saltaire Brewery bar.  Brown hoppy craft cask ale.  No filtration, no pasteurisation, no pressurisation, no vitriol. 

wpid-storageemulated0DCIMCamera2014-02-26-19.14.18.jpg.jpgOriginal Gravity (OG): 1.048
Final Gravity (FG): 1.010
Alcohol (ABV): 5.1%
Colour (EBC): 50.4
Bitterness (IBU): 48.9 (Average)

3.30kg Golden Promise Pale Malt (Simpsons)
0.50kg Biscuit Malt (Dingemans)
0.25kg Dark Crystal Malt
0.25kg Chocolate Malt
0.25kg Pale Wheat Malt (toasted)

10g Columbus (Tomahawk) (16.5% Alpha) @60 minutes from the end (boil)
12g Brewer’s Gold (7.5% Alpha) @30 minutes from the end (boil)
88g Brewer’s Gold (7.5% Alpha) @10 minutes from the end (boil)
50g Columbus (Tomahawk) (16.5% Alpha) @0 minutes from the end (boil)
100g US Cascade (pellets) (5.8% Alpha) dry hop

Safale US05  yeast.

Strike temp of 75C, 12.0L liquor for 4.55kg grain. Mashed in at 65C (single step infusion).   Mashed for 75 minutes.   First runnings 1.090.  Sparged at 76C 19.0L liquor.  Collected 24L at 1.046. 60 minute boil.  

I collected 17L of wort, post boil, with an OG of 1.056.  Liquored back with 2.0L cooled boiled water to 19L with an OG of 1.048

Pitched US05 yeast starter at 19C.

Update: 03/03/14  1.040 

I’ll be transferring to secondary and adding 100g US Cascade pellets for 3-5 days.

Update: 12/03/14  FG 1.012 (4.8%) Dry hopped with 100g US Cascade pellets (in primary).

N.B. My last brewday led me to look at my efficiencies.  I got in a right muddle and was rescued by a professor of brewing, loosely associated with Stringers Brewery.  I applied the prof’s maths to my numbers from this brew. And I calculated my Mash Efficincy as 80% and my Brewhouse Efficiency as 69%.  Workings out, below. 

Pale malt: 3.5 kg @ 293 L.deg per kilo = 1025.5
Biscuit malt: 0.5 @ 273 = 136.5

Dark crystal malt: 0.25 kg @ 275 = 68.75
Chocolate malt: 0.25 @ 273 = 68.25

wheat malt: 0.25 @ 296 = 74.0

Total potential extract 1025.5 + 136.5 + 68.75 + 68.25 +74.0 = 1373 litre.degrees

My runnings from the mash were 24 litres at 1.046 Specific Gravity, so: 24 litres x 46 degrees = 1104 litre.degrees

My mash efficiency is something like…
 1104/1373 = 0.804 = 80%

Post-boil, I ended up with…
17L @ 1.056 i.e 17 x 56 = 952 and 952/1373 = 0.693
That is 69.0% which I’m calling my brewhouse efficiency.

 A couple of photos:

The grist


The toasted wheat malt


First runnings from the mash


The final colour


AG#23 New World ESB

Planned brewday for Sunday, and it’ll be my entry for the Great British Homebrew Challenge 2013.  I want to brew a strong bitter, but as a meddling homebrewer I also want to play around with it and hopefully compliment an English backbone with some New Zealand hop zing!…. well, spice actually, but you know what I mean.  Here’s what I’m aiming for:

Original Gravity (OG): 1.052
Final Gravity (FG): 1.010
Alcohol (ABV): 5.6%
Colour (SRM): 33 (EBC)
Bitterness (IBU): 41.0 (Average)

(87%) Golden Promise Pale Malt
(5%) Caramalt
(4%) Biscuit Malt
(2%) Black Malt
(2%) Pale Wheat Malt

Pilgrim (FWH)
Green Bullet @10 minutes from the end (Boil)
Green Bullet @5 minutes from the end (Boil)

Balancing_actAs you can see, it’s not the strongest of strong bitters, but I’m trying to stay on the right side of ‘sessionability’, given that the winning beer is destined for the pub.  I’d explain myself further, spelling out that I appreciate how strong beers sell too, but I can’t be bothered *smiley face*.  I’m wanting to give the beer malt character and a pleasing colour with the crystal and biscuit malts, but with a punchy bitterness with the Pilgrim hops.  I put a small amount of biscuit malt in my Black IPA and it gives a great flavour, and I’m told that Pilgrim will provide the clean bitterness I’ll need if I’m not to overpower the beer.  Will this create a balanced beer? I hope so.  The bitterness ratio (BU:GU) for a special/best/premium bitter is around 0.75, that is to say my target bitterness units (IBU) of 40 divided by my original gravity (OG) 1.049 = 0.81. (nb, you need to take the fractional proportion of the OG e.g. 0.049 x 1000 = 49).   See more detail on BU:GU rations on Mark Dredge’s blog.  I’m creeping a little out of best bitter territory and towards an IPA, but I’m brewing for my tastes too, so there you go.

The complicating factor, as I understand it, is that attenuation can muck this ratio/balance up.  For this beer I am using some yeast kindly given to me by Saltaire Brewery.  The brewer told me that the yeast is feisty and will go to town on any sugars available.  He also suggested that if I mashed high that this will help tame the b(y)east.  So the mash temp will be 69C.  Reason being for this is that I don’t have the luxury of temperature control, therefore I can’t stop the fermentation that easily.  If the high mash temp doesn’t seem to be working and the FG starts dropping below 1.010 then I’ll transfer off the yeast and give it a stern talking to (while drinking a homebrew and chilling the f*ck out).

Eyes down, HLT at the ready.

Updated 10/12/12:  The brewday went well, although I managed to collect 20L at 1.061, so liquored back (a little too far, due to lack of concentration) to 24L at 1.052.  I pitched the Saltaire yeast early evening and as of this morning there was no visible fermentation.

I tweaked the recipe once I’d had a chance to look at it through the eyes of my BrewMate software.  The colour was on the pale side and the only crystal malt I had was Caramalt, which wasn’t going to add any real colour.  I opted to add 100g Black Malt, somehing I haven’t tried before, but was happy with the resulting colour.

One other observation from the brewday.  My brewkit is annoying me…. again.

Updated 07/01/12 – sadly this brew didn’t make it beyond the FV.  It was tasting of fusel alcohol.  Not terrible, but not worth bottling and certainly not good enough to enter into the competition.  I think the issue could have been fluctating temp or that the yeast got too hot in the FV – autolysis?  Anyway, moving on to my next brew…..

AG#22 Tricks of the Shade – Black IPA

It was an impromptu brewday yesterday.  It was a nice moment when I realised that I had all the components necessary to create beer, excluding free time, but went for it anyway.  I had intended to brew a Christmas Belgian Stout as per my last post, but the yeast starter didn’t make it.  Sad times.  I’ll revisit that another time.  Instead I decided to give brewing a Black IPA a third shot.  My previous efforts AG#5 (Nebulous) and AG#18 (Transatlanticism) both yielded good results, but not the kind of Black IPA I was looking for.  Both of my previous brews were roasty versions of the style, more what some would describe as a hoppy porter.  For my third attempt I had planned to steep the dark malts overnight and add the resulting wort to the boil.  However, due to the impromptu brew, I decided on adding the Carafa III just before the sparge.  As usual, the figures below reflect the recipe.  I did OK, but did collect more wort at a higher gravity than planned.  Most likely due to several things, including; not factoring in the Carafa III, boiling for slightly longer and I think my software has malt extract values that might be lower than the actual values?

Original Gravity (OG): 1.051
Final Gravity (FG): 1.008
Alcohol (ABV): 5.7%
Colour (SRM): 7.7 (EBC): 15.2 (this is the colour without the dark malts)
Bitterness (IBU): 55.0 (Average)

3.750 kg (75%) Golden Promise Pale Malt
0.300 kg (10%) Caramalt
0.200 kg (10%) Munich I
0.150 kg (5%) Biscuit
0.350 kg Carafa III (added before sparge)

27g Columbus (16.5% Alpha) @15 minutes from the end (boil)
13g Simcoe (16.2% Alpha) @15 minutes from the end (Boil)
30g Galaxy (14.4% Alpha) @10 minutes from the end(Boil)
30g Simcoe (16.2% Alpha) @5 minutes from the end (Boil)
100g Crystal (3.3% Alpha) @0 minutes (Steep at flame out)
20g Galaxy (14.4% Alpha) @0 minutes (Steep at flame out)

Water treatments:  Campden tablet (HLT), 1 tsp gypsum (mash).  My weighing scales aren’t great and I only need 3-4g, which is a tsp (approx).  Same rule for the epsom salts and gypsum in the boil.  Since my outing to Roosters, I was testing the PH at various stages of the process.  Those in the brackets are the target range:

HLT 5.6
Start of mash 5.4 (5.2-5.5)
First runnings 5.0 (4.8-5.2)
Pre boil 5.5 (5.1-5.4)
Post boil 5.0 (4.9-5.3)
Beer after fermentation (3.7-4.2)

Strike temp of 74C, 12.5L liquor for 5kg grain.  Mashed in at 66C (single step infusion).  Mashed for 75 minutes and temp remained constant.  Sparged at 78C (strike temp 85C), 23.30L liquor. I didn’t take any gravity readings as I was trying to be a dad and a brewer at the same time.  I used this brew to try out using biscuit malt, to give me an idea of what to expect for future brews.  It gave the first runnings a really deep amber colour, even though it was only 5% of the bill.  I suppose of the Carafa doesn’t dominate then it may even add to the malt aroma too.

The boil was scheduled for 90 minutes, but due to life getting in the way it was more like 110 minutes.  No drama here is nothing was scheduled to happen until 15 minutes from the end.  In went the Immersion Chiller, protofloc and first addition of Columbus.  Closely followed by additions of Simcoe, Galaxy and Crystal.

My next time-pressure induced mistake was running to the FV too soon and ending up with 33C wort.  As I couldn’t pitch at this temp, I sealed the FV and stood it outside to think about what it had done.  An hour or so later I pitched the US-05 at 23C and left the FV in the cold kitchen so it’s temp continued to fall (18C this morning, and moved to a warmer room).   I collected 24L of wort post boil with SG of 1.058.

I’ll be dry hopping in the FV with Galaxy, before making this my first kegged beer just in time for Christmas.  Any advice on dry hopping in the keg would be great, thanks.

Update: 09/11/12 down to 1.020. Dry hopped with 80g Galaxy. Great aroma from the FV. Colour is a dark muddy brown rather than black, but tastes good so I’m happy enough.

Update: 12/11/12 down to 1.016.

Update: 15/11/12 removed dry hops from FV (6 days).

Update: 20/11/12 kegged (and 5 bottles) 1.012 (6.1%)