Posts Tagged ‘cascade’

Sorry for the lack of photos this time round – I must have mislaid my camera somewhere between the shed and the house – normal service resumed one day soon I’m sure.

On 1st December we moved the Premium APA into secondary for a further week of fermentation and to drop clear before kegging. I tested the gravity at 1.018 from 1.058 which is spot on but rather surprising as I was resigned to the fact the Fermentis would break it down below the desired level and create a stronger brew than intended. As things have turned out, we’re very happy and unless anyone knows differently, will expect a final ABV of around 5.25%, which will probably be rounded up to 5.3% to take into account some natural priming.

I was also considering dry hopping this one with a further ounce of Cascade, but the sample I smelled and drank during transfer was pungent with hops and I feel will drink well as it stands. In a way I suppose I’m compromising in order not to create a beer so hoppy that it puts off as many people as it attracts, but I genuinely think the current bitterness, malt and aroma balance is worth conditioning and testing. I’ll let you know if I was right after the keg has been drained sometime in the New Year!

For now the APA is resting like a golden millpond. There is sufficient to fill the keg currently housing our Dark Garden, plus a further eight bottles or so which will be used for early testing (!), presents and perhaps future events.


*  On the same day we also kegged and bottled the Seasonal Stout, which had been lurking in secondary for long enough at 1.010 waiting for a clean keg. This dry Irish stout tasted superb out of secondary FV and frankly could be drunk with a nice port and a chunk of blue cheese without ever seeing a tap! So we have high hopes for this one, which also stretched to seven swing-top bottles for future sampling. Both the bottles and the keg were naturally primed with neutral glucose. They’ll now sit in the warm for a week before being shipped out to the Boxshed for conditioning, and tapping on Christmas Eve.

**  I found my camera – sadly a little late – but here are two resting shots anyway!


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There are lots of photos to share from yesterday’s Premium APA brewday. It took a little while to sift out the least steam affected images and upload them all, which is why they didn’t make the original post. I’m also aware that brewday photos get a bit samey after a while, unless something spectacularly bad happens, but hey ho, I’ll keep taking them and posting them for now, plus,just for a laugh, I’ve added a couple of blurry little videos of bubbling liquid!

The brewday all went to plan – it took under five hours from mashing in to pitching in, and was relaxed enough to allow me dash out for hops, get a few chores done and run some errands – not bad. I’d even factored in a pint of mild at my local, but the bar was being smashed up by chippies building a new stillage area for guest ale firkins – can’t argue with that!

When our stout was knocked up recently, a return to batch sparging saw my efficiency plummet below 75 percent, so in order to compensate for this recipe I asked BrewSmith to assume 65 percent instead. As a result I managed to get 24L into the FV at 1.058, which is actually great news and will afford a half dozen or so swingtop bottles for Christmas presents in addition to a full Corni. At 48 or so IBUs, stacks of aroma and around 5.9% ABV (if the gravity stops at 1.018) this APA will take a while to mature and won’t be easy to ignore.

Anyway, as promised, here are some very short, low-res, blurry videos showing the hops in the rolling boil and the yeast and trub whirling in the FV (ignore the rambling radio in the background). There’s also a gallery of the day with captions. Cheers!



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Just ten years ago it seemed that a trip to America meant drinking a lot of low-grade, fizzy, rice-filled lager, seeking out a few bottles of Anchor Steam or Sierra Nevada Pale Ale if you were lucky enough to be on the West Coast, or plumping for some form of Sam Adams as the best of the rest if you were weren’t. Now of course things are very different, and I’d have to say that along with Belgium, Germany and of course good ol’ Blighty, the US of A stands out for me as one of the very finest beer producing nations on Earth. If you’re fortunate enough to pitch up in Boston, San Francisco or any enlightened city in between these days, chances are you won’t just find a pub serving great ale – you’ll find dozens of brewpubs,  serving dozens of great ales, all on draught and all as hoppy as your head can handle.

As you’ve probably guessed by now, I’m very definitely an American Pale Ale convert. I was even among the grinning fools stumping up £4.50 a pint for the stuff at the Great British Beer Festival despite the many hundreds of perfectly decent British beers on offer at much more reasonable prices. It’s not hard for me to work out why I like them so much, but some of the reasons aren’t exactly, well, CAMRA. I like Pale Ales that are more golden than just plain pale. I seem to love any pint that packs American aroma and dual purpose hops such as Mount Hood, Amarillo, Centennial, Sterling, Liberty and of course Cascade. And, except when within shouting distance of St. Albans, I quite like my Pale Ales served colder than your average British cellar. Not much colder – but a keg in a shed in early November is about right for me.

Anyway, enough of the paff- here’s the recipe brewed today. It’s basically a stronger, more bitter, hoppier version of Ollosson’s famed Townes IPA, but I’ve allowed plenty of headroom for inefficiencies resulting from batch sparging. It’s stronger than my usual brews because it uses a larger grain bill than I normal would opt for. But it’s main charecteristics will stem from some stonking fresh 7.3%AA green Cascade hops, pulled from a large foil pocket when the mash was already on, thanks to my friend Tom, who brews his ales on an altogether higher plane than me in his own purpose-built micro.


Boxshed Premium APA
Date: 20/11/2008
Style: American Pale Ale
Batch Size: 23.00 L
Boil Volume: 32.00 L
Boil Time: 90 min
Brewhouse Efficiency: 65.0 % (well… …it’s higher really, but I was allowing myself to batch lazily)

6.5Kg Pale Malt (2 Row) UK (5.9 EBC) 96.3%
250g Wheat Malt (3.9 EBC) 3.7%
Protofloc Tablet (15 min)
1 Pkgs S-05

Hop profile
Cascade, 7.3%AA, 45g at 90 min
Cascade, 7.3%AA, 25g at 15 min
Cascade, 60g at flame out

Batch Sparge
Mash Grain Weight: 6.75kg Mash PH: 5.4 PH
Grain Temperature: 13.0 C
Mash In Add 17.5L of water at 71.3C (65C) 90 min
Step Add 14L of water at 77.1 (70C) 10 min
Step Add 10L of water at 87.1C (75C) 10 min

Beer Profile
Estimated Original Gravity: 1.057 SG
Estimated Final Gravity: 1.017 (yeah, right)
Estimated Color: 11.4 EBC
Bitterness: 47.8 IBU
Alpha Acid Units: 3.0 AAU
Estimated Alcohol by Volume: 5.3%

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