AG#7 Broadford Progress IPA

I’ve brewed my entry for the Northern Craft Brewers IPA Day event at Saltaire Brewery, March 31st 2012.  If you are a homebrewer and want to join in, then this is a joint event with the Midlands Craft Brewers and I’m sure both groups would welcome some new faces.  I want this beer to have plenty of time in the bottle so decided to get a brew on.

With it being an English IPA competition, there are a few requirements;

OG

FG

IBUs

SRM

ABV

1.050 – 1.070 1.010 – 1.018 40 – 80 8 – 14 5 – 7.4%

Oh and most importantly,  English hops only.

So here was my plan, brew something pale, clear and with a decent head on it.  Having said that, I think the judges will probably have a taste too, so I decided to throw a few hops in, 100g of Progress hops to be precise.  It may sound a lot (or not enough?), but I’ve tried to match the IBU’s (International Bitterness Units scale) with the abv (alc/vol).  I’ve been told this is a reasonable idea when trying to balance the bitterness.  Also, over the sixty minute boil, I went for 50% (weight) for bittering and 50% for aroma.   I’ve not used Progress hops before and couldn’t find any examples of it being used as a single hop, but I do believe it will be a good all-rounder and think it’s worth a punt.  As for the malts, the guidelines do not limit the choice, but should be “consistent”with the style.

A hoppy, moderately strong pale ale that features characteristics consistent with the use of English malt, hops and yeast

This will be a good test for me as an inexperienced homebrewer.  Brewing to style and nowhere to hide when judges and peers are going to be involved. Using Progress hops is really quite apt I thought, see how far I have made it thus far.  I should also mention that I invited fellow homebrewer and brother-in-law Ben (@boodrums) along.   He recently brewed his first beer, a partial mash Pale Ale and is already building his mash tun in preparation for his first full mash brewday.

Malts:
Golden Promise Pale Malt – 86.7%
Munich Malt – 5.2%
Amber Malt – 3.1%
Crystal Malt 30L – 2.7%
Wheat Malt – 2.3%

Hops:
Progress 50g – 7.9% @60mins
Progress 10g – 7.9% @30mins
Progress 10g – 7.9% @20mins
Progress 10g – 7.9% @10mins
Progress 15g – 7.9% @0mins (steep 20 mins)

Final Volume: 19 Litres
Original Gravity: 1.061
Final Gravity: 1.015
Alcohol Content: 6.1% ABV
Bitterness: 58.3 IBU
Colour: 9.6 SRM
Yeast: Nottingham Danstar
Mash: 60mins @ 67c
Boil: 60mins

It was a fairly late start on Friday evening, with the HLT switched on at 7pm, but with Ben firing questions at me and the bottles of beer flowing, (breaking my usual rule of no beer until the boil!), I really didn’t care that my rendezvous with the finishing line was located somewhere in the small hours of Saturday morning.

I had an issue with losing too much heat during the mash for my last brew so, compensated three-fold: raised the strike temp a degree to 79C, wrapped the mashtun with a blanket and used more malt.  The idea being that less head-space = improved insulation.  Mashing in at 68C, a bit hot I know but I lost 5 degrees last time and ruined the extraction.

I also decided to experiment with both a 60 minute mash and a 60 minute boil (I usually use the standard 90 mins for each).  After 60 minutes the mash temp was 67C (lost 1C).

The 1st runnings from the mash tun were clear after recirculating 6L.  I was pleased with the colour and my copper manifold performed well again…Woo!

First addition of 50g Progress hops to the copper at 60mins.

Still not built my chiller, so lots of waiting around to get a good cold break (FV in the sink/cold water).

I achieved a final volume of 18L at 1.071.  Used a calculator and liquored back 2L to achieve a gravity reading closer to my target of 1.062.  A 7% IPA was tempting.  I then opted to leave the FV cooling and covered with cling film – awaiting yeast in the morning.  I don’t like doing this for fear of a wild yeast invasion, but couldn’t stay up any longer (it was 2:00 am).

I took another reading in the morning but didn’t take a photo. It was spot on 1.061 at 22C.  Made a quick starter for the Nottingham Danstar yeast using 100ml cooled boiled water and 100ml of the wort.  Pitched the yeast 28th 08:30am.

An enjoyable brewday, but I’ve also got some figuring out to do.  Something is not right at Broadford.  Somewhere between, calculating losses, efficiency and being clueless is resulting in targets being missed.  More practice required.  Suggestions welcome.

Updated: Bottled this beer FG 1.015 08/02/2012