AG#24 Tomahawk IPA

I got the green light for a brewday on Sunday morning, so I set the kit up and weighed the grain the night before to ensure an early start. I had five hours to get this done and cleared away (ended up being nearer 6). This was a rebrew of my Tomahawk IPA AG#9 and AG#15. My aim was to brew a similar beer, but as this is one of my two recipes in development I tried a couple of different things with it. Having just bought Mitch Steele‘s IPA book, I couldn’t resist tinkering. The first was to tweak the grain bill, upping the quantity of caramel malts. To date I have used a combination of Pale, Munich, Pale Wheat and a small quantity of Caramalt in my IPAs, but wanted to experiment, so out with the Pale Wheat Malt and in with some Crystal 60L.

The second change was to the hopping, sticking with Pilgrim for bittering and with Columbus as the late copper hop. I previously brewed with Cascade in there too so kept that. I added Chinook to the bill which I hope will tame the Tomahawk down a notch. As well as the slight change to hop varieties I wanted to structure the schedule, as per a Deschutes recipe (Inversion IPA) in the Steele book. I want a beer with 80 IBUs or thereabouts that isn’t harsh, and as I wasn’t sure how that would work it seemed a sensible idea to use a Deschutes recipe (Inversion IPA) as a guideline for hop addition rates. I based my recipe on their 5.8g/l , which worked out at 133g, added to the kettle as follows: 15% at the start of the boil, 25% at 30 minutes and 60% at 5 minutes. For the dry hops, Deschutes use 1.16g/l which works out at 30g. This seems a bit low, but as those hops will be Columbus, Chinook and Cascade then they should still give it a bit extra on the aroma.

Original Gravity (OG): 1.062
Final Gravity (FG): 1.012
Alcohol (ABV): 6.7%
Colour (SRM): 9.3 (EBC): 18.4
Bitterness (IBU): 80.0 (Average)

5.000 kg (82%) Golden Promise Pale Malt
0.600 kg (10%) Caramalt
0.370 kg (6%) Munich
0.120 kg (2%) Crystal 60L

20g Pilgrim (11.2% Alpha) @60 minutes from the end (boil)
33g Columbus (14.5% Alpha) @30 minutes from the end (Boil)
10g Cascade (7.9% Alpha) @5 minutes from the end (Boil)
10g Chinook (12.5% Alpha) @5 minutes from the end (Boil)
60g Columbus (14.5% Alpha) @5 minutes from the end (Boil)
10g Cascade (7.9% Alpha) in secondary for 3 days (dry hop)
10g Chinook (12.5% Alpha) in secondary for 3 days (dry hop)
10g Columbus (14.5% Alpha) in secondary for 3 days (dry hop)

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 in the boil.

Strike temp of 76C, 15.2L liquor for 6.090kg grain. Mashed in at 68C, a degree higher than my target as my mash tun loses a bit of heat (single step infusion). Mashed for 60 minutes and temp dropped to 67. Sparged at 78C (strike temp should have been 88C, error), 19L liquor. The boil was scheduled for 60 minutes. All went to plan, Pilgrim in at 60 minutes (from the end of the boil), followed by additions at 30 minutes and 5 minutes. No steeped hops after flame out on this occasion.

I collected 21L of wort post boil with SG of 1.062. Pitched US-05 at 18C. Once I get back to the point of being able to plan ahead, I’ll brew a few more beers with liquid yeast. I’ll be transferring to secondary and dry hopping with Columbus, Cascade and Chinook.

Updated 09/01/13 – SG 1.032

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AG#18 Transatlanticism – Porter

I brewed this beer for the Roosters Brewing Co. / Leeds Homebrew competition.  I didn’t write it up on the blog at the time as we were asked by the organisers/judges to keep our entries anonymous.  It won.  On Friday I went along to Roosters to brew it on their pilot kit.

Ol Fozzard (Head Brewer/Roosters) made it clear throughout the process that this was my beer.  He had no interest in changing it from the beer the judges chose.  At times I found this a challenge, brewing a beer I had only brewed once before, on an unfamiliar kit and knowing that a limited number of bottles would eventually be sold to the discerning public.  Ol did lead the brewday, no doubt, but each time there was a decision to be made I was left to mumble my way through it.  The beer is a hop-forward Porter, meaning that in the first instance I aimed to brew a Black IPA, made it too roasty (possibly) and voila! a hop-forward Porter.  We stuck with this, but substituted some of the crystal malt for brown malt and added some flaked barley for head retention/body.

The reason for entering these competitions is for fun and for the opportunity to get some impartial feedback on my beer.  Another reason for me is to gain experience from the brewday that usually forms part of the prize.  As well as a day off work and the chance to get inside a brewery, I try to learn something new.  This can be tricky when there is so much information to take in.  Brewing with Ol, a guy with over ten years commercial experience, gave me time to watch what he was doing and ask a fair few questions.  Whereas a typical brewday for me at home, bearing in mind that I’ve only brewed 20 beers, is a repetition of the process I know.  I become more familiar with my kit, and might make fewer errors, like closing all the taps or adding the finings at the right moment, but I wouldn’t say I’m learning more about the brewing process.  Ol didn’t come from a homebrewing background and as such he has learnt from the brewers at Daleside, Copper Dragon and most recently his time working alongside Sean Franklin as the brewery was handed over.  He doesn’t use brewing software, bar the odd spreadsheet and has learnt the maths.  One such equation can be seen below.  This was used as we stood and scaled up the malt bill from my 23L brew.  Total malt extract value multiplied by kg’s, divided by brewlength, multiplied by brew kit efficiency, equals OG.  In this case we looked at the pale malt and the munich.  A useful calculation.

The second learning point (or more a starting point for more reading) was regarding pH.  I haven’t concerned myself with pH while brewing at home.  I have brewed a few times and have not had feedback to suggest off-flavours of that nature.  I use minimal water treatments and haven’t read/applied much in the way of water profiles to suit beer style.  It appears I have got away with it this far, but should take note that the styles of beer traditonally coming out of London, Burton upon Trent and Dublin were no coincidence.  Being aware of the pH of your local water supply, routinely checking it before you start brewing and adjusting it accordingly, depending on your malts, will help the conversion of sugars during the mash, and among other things, it will affect the flavour of the finished beer.  In the case of my Porter and the inclusion of roasted malt (Carafa III) the acidity needed to be taken into account.  Ol knows the water for his brewery and knows exactly how he will treat it for the beers they brew.   During the brew the pH was measured no fewer than five times: HLT (and adjusted), mash, sparge, run off from sparge and post boil.

…all malts (and dark malts in particular) have phosphates in them that react with the calcium and magnesium ions in alkaline water freeing up H+ ions that make the mixture acidic.  Adding malt, especially dark malt, lowers the pH of the malt water mixture in the mash – BeerSmith ‘understanding pH’.

I won’t try to talk any more about pH as I need to learn about it first, and I know there will be more than a few homebrewers who will read this and wonder why I’m heralding this is as a gem of information.  It’s just new to me, that’s all.

Finally, the finer details.

Original Gravity (OG): 1.062
Final Gravity (FG): 1.010
Alcohol (ABV): 7.3% (if the yeast stops!)
Colour (SRM): 16.7 (EBC): 32.9
Bitterness (IBU): 61.0 (Average)

Golden Promise Pale Malt
Munich I
Caramalt
Brown Malt
Flaked Barley
Carafa III (in the mash)
Carafa III (before sparge)

Simcoe (boil)
Cascade (boil)
Chinook (boil)
Cascade (Dry for 5 days in FV)
Centennial (Dry for 5 days in FV)

I’m told (this morning) that the fermentation has been steady and the smells from the FV are promising.  With a bit of luck the beer will make its way safely into bottles and you’ll be able to buy it from Beer Ritz (Headingley) and online.  A few people have asked when it will be available and I don’t have the answer to that, but I’ll be tweeting about it along with @RoostersBrewCo, @RoostersTom and @RoostersOl.  Can’t wait to see and taste the finished beer.  Tom had drafted the label and it was looking great!

AG#14 Broadford American Brown Ale

Yesterdays brewday was my first attempt at an American Brown Ale and if it works out well it’ll be my entry for the Ilkley Brewery homebrew competition.  I borrowed someone elses boiler and immersion chiller for this brew, so was prepared for fun and games with losses.

Original Gravity (OG): 1.038 (°P): 9.5
Final Gravity (FG): 1.010 (°P): 2.6
Alcohol (ABV): 3.73%
Colour (SRM): 15.3 (EBC): 30.2
Bitterness (IBU): 35.1 (Average)

Maris Otter
Aromatic Malt
Munich I
Special B
Flaked Oats
Pale Chocolate Malt

Chinook (12.5% Alpha) @45 Minutes (Boil)
Galena (12.0% Alpha) @45 Minutes (Boil)
Summit (17.5% Alpha) @45 Minutes (Boil)
Chinook (12.5% Alpha) @30 Minutes (Boil)
Galena (12.0% Alpha) @30 Minutes (Boil)
Summit (17.5% Alpha) @30 Minutes (Boil)
Chinook (12.5% Alpha) @15 Minutes (Boil)
Galena (12.0% Alpha) @15 Minutes (Boil)
Summit (17.5% Alpha) @5 Minutes (Boil)
Summit (17.5% Alpha) @0 Minutes (Steep)
Summit (17.5% Alpha) Dry hop

Single step Infusion at 66°C for 60 Minutes. Water treatments: Campden tablet (HLT), Gypsum (mash), Epsom Salts (Boil).  Boil for 60 Minutes. WLP023 Burton Ale.

Strike temp of 74C and 7.73L liquor for 3.092kg grain.  Mashed in at 65C.

Mashed for 60 minutes and temp remained constant.  Sparged at 84C, 18.7L liquor.  I didn’t record pre and post boil volumes and gravity readings.

First hop additions of Chinook, Galena and Summit at 45 minutes.  Same additions repeated at 30 and 15  minutes.  Added a protofloc tablet at 15 minutes, and a further copper addition of Summit at 5 minutes, before a generous addition of Summit at flame-out.

Collected 15L of wort post boil with SG of 1.040.  Liquored back to 16L and 1.038.  Cooled to 20C and pitched my WLP023 Burton Ale yeast starter.

I’ll be dry hopping this with some more Summit.

A few more photos of the brewday here.

AG#5 Broadford Black IPA

A long awaited brewday (night!)  and one that I decided to coincide with local fellow brewers @brotherlogic and @pdtnc #blackipaoff.  This was my fifth full mash brew (AG#5).

The grist

The Brief

Brew a Black IPA, swap some bottles, taste, discuss.

Beer styles are always a topic for discussion and I know that the oxymoronic Black India Pale Ale is a debate in full flow.  I’m not here to discuss it, just to brew a beer, but I was interested to see what others had said on the subject Stout Fellow, Called to the Bar,  Into the BrewCraft Beer and Hop Press.  All things considered I’m sticking with Black IPA.  If it’s good enough for Kernel, Brodies, Windsor Eton Brew, Thornbridge, Buxton then it’s good enough for me!

Malts:
Maris Otter Pale Malt (5.45kg) – 77.9%
Munich Malt (1kg) – 14.3%
Crystal Malt (350g) – 5%
Carafa III (200g) – 2.9% (I added a further 300g Carafa before I sparged.  Aiming for maximum colour, minimum roastiness).

Hops:

Rolling boil & 1st hop addition

Magnum 45g – 12.7% @90mins
Chinook 20g – 12.4% @20mins
Cascade 20g – 7.6% @20mins
Chinook 20g – 12.4% @5mins

Cascade 20g – 7.6% @5mins
Chinook 20g – 12.4% @0mins (steep 20 mins)
Cascade 20g – 7.6% @0mins (steep 20 mins)

Final Volume: 23 Litres
Original Gravity: 1.069
Final Gravity: 1.017
Alcohol Content: 6.8% ABV
Bitterness: 79.2 IBU
Colour: 100 SRM
Yeast: Safale US-05
Mash: 90mins @ 67c
Boil: 90mins
Water treatment: 4g gypsum, 2g epsom salts, campden tablet.

OG 1.069


I’ve now brewed with this setup a few times and I’m really happy with the results this time around.  On day 3 of the fermentation the hydrometer reading is down to somewhere between 1.030 and 1.020 (difificult to tell through the krausen and I’m not messing around dipping trial jars. One of these days I’ll treat myself to an FV with a tap!).

You can see the rest of the pics here.