Posts Tagged ‘EKG’

Fermentation all seems to be going well. We’re using SafAle US-05 to make a clean golden ale with hops cutting through the finish. The downside is that fermentation is never particularly spectacular with this particular yeast strain, and it isn’t highly flocculant, so not the best for bottling. Worth the extra care and a period in secondary for the crisper taste though.

We named it Boxshed Snow Drop for a few reasons. Outside the Boxshed the actual snow has now gone but the snowdrops are all coming through. We also have a little white Pekin hen called Snowdrop who is the only one of our birds to have laid through the cold Winter. But mainly, it should prove to be a nice Drop to have while watching the next deluge of Snow!

It’s a pretty selfish recipe, to be honest designed to be drunk by a motivated brewer! It’s over 90% pale malt and uses Target and Northdown as copper hops, with favourites East Kent Goldings and Mount Hood as aroma and steeping additions, all in large measures.

We went for a shorter brew length this time to enable a more vigorous boil without too much mess. A three stage batch sparge began with a cool mash and ended with a hot mash out. Sadly we lost a few litres to the copper when the pelleted hops swamped the hopstopper completely, but still managed to stow away 40 litres or so at the target gravity of 1.047. We’re hoping for a brew in the 4.4 – 4.6 ABV range.

Fermentation is taking place at the cooler end of the recommended scale at around 66-68 degrees, and we’ll test for progress towards 1.012 on Monday.

Really looking forward to drinking this one!

*EDIT: Checked progress on Monday after a pretty unspectacular fermentation to discover that both bins are already down to 1.013. That US-05 is a strange old yeast, but very effective! Brew looks pale and cloudy. We’ll leave it a little while longer and then transfer into secondary fermenters later this week to get rid of some of that yeast and trub and give it a chance to drop a bit clearer.

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Blimey, the Boxshed is finally brewing again!

It’s been quite some time but this first brewday of 2010 will be a premium pale ale with plenty of hops, just how we like it.

Quite exciting really, so there’ll be more updates later, and hopefully a beer or two to fuel the brewer in the cold old shed…

It was really difficult to get a brew on after such a long hiatus and such a disappointment last time out. There was also Christmas and all those snow days to contend with between brews, which made it seem even longer (and the Boxshed colder and less inviting). Remember back when you were small and you spent the whole summer holidays riding bikes, climbing trees and making mud pies only to discover when back in school in September that you couldn’t even remember how to hold a pen? Well it’s a bit like that. Only with snowballs not mud pies. And a brewer’s paddle not a pencil.

But look, it really is happening – here’s the evidence! More updates on the actual recipe another day.

*Late night update : Sheer volume of pellet hops blocked up the hopstopper. We dropped a few litres short to avoid recirculating the fine hop powder, but still took enough for a couple of cornies in two FVs at 1.047

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The main point of this brewday was just to get us thinking about brewing again, hence the name. It was a good opportunity to make a fresh session bitter while clearing out The Boxshed, cleaning all my vessels, and taking stock of, well, stocks. We wanted to create an easy drinking bitter with a hoppy finish and layered malts that used up a few reserves along the way. All in all it went pretty well.

After an APA and a stout in recent brews, it was a bit of a shock to mash such a lightweight grist, but it did smell cracking thanks to the small additions of Munich, Crystal and Roast Barley. Run off and returns all passed without incident using a two-stage batch sparge. It was only once the sweet wort was on the boil and we had added a chunk of nice garden Fuggles into the copper that I realised the sachet of ‘S-04’ I had been relying on was actually a wheat beer yeast and no good in this recipe at all.

A quick phone call later and I was picking up my mate Tom who was open to a bribe of a pint of Winter Ale in exchange for a nice scoop of Nottingham from a large vac pack in his brewery. I managed to get them in at the local and get home in time to add the WGV, Protafloc and chiller. The last of my favourite EKGs went in at flameout and then it was just a matter of chilling and pitching. We achieved 25L at the target 1.036, which was on target for a 3.4% beer.

After 24 hours safely in the fermenter, very little was happening with the Thinking Bitter, and as I partly suspected I had rehydrated the Nottingham in >30c water, I decided to skim the break and repitch the rest of Tom’s yeast. It all took off like a rocket and fermented out to 1.010 in another 72hrs. We now have 24L clearing up nicely in a secondary, and have already had a few shots of the stuff just to see how it’s getting on. Very nice it is too. Here are the few photos we managed:

Just chillin

Just chillin'

..and maxin

..and maxin'

Solid seive shot

Solid seive shot



Fermenting (well, it wasnlt actually, but...)

Fermenting (well, it wasnlt actually, but...)

Drinking out of the FV is v.classy

Drinking out of the FV is v.classy

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This golden ale was brewed back at the end of April and was an experiment in making a pale malt only, single hop beer for summer supping. It turned out very succesful and was probably the most popular beer I have made to date. Consequently it didn’t last very long at all! The East Kent Goldings were a bargain from Barley Bottom and were the making of the brew. So here’s the rather long winded recipe, as recorded by me at the time:

EKG Sunray
Brew Type: All Grain
Date: 23/04/2008
Style: English Special
Batch Size: 23.00 L
Boil Volume: 32.00 L
Boil Time: 120 min
Brewhouse Efficiency: 75.0 %

4.50 kg Pale Malt (2 Row) UK (5.9 EBC) Grain 94.7 %
0.25 kg Wheat, Torrified (3.3 EBC) Grain 5.3 %

65.00 gm Goldings, East Kent [4.60%] (120 min) Hops 38.6 IBU
35.00 gm Goldings, East Kent [4.60%] (15 min) (Aroma Hop-Steep)

Whirlfloc Tablet (15 min)
1 Pkgs SafAle US (Fermentis #US-05) Yeast

Batch Sparge
Mash Grain Weight: 4.75 kg Mash PH: 5.4 PH
Grain Temperature: 13.0 C
Mash In Add 11.75 L of water at 75.0 C 65.6 C 90 min
Step Add 9.95 L of water at 80.1 C 71.6 C 10 min
Step Add 16.00 L of water at 80.1 C 75.0 C 10 min

Beer Profile
Estimated Original Gravity: 1.043 SG (1.039-1.045 SG)
Estimated Final Gravity: 1.013 SG (1.009-1.014 SG)
Estimated Color: 8.9 EBC (11.8-27.6 EBC)
Bitterness: 38.6 IBU (20.0-45.0 IBU)
Alpha Acid Units: 1.7 AAU
Estimated Alcohol by Volume: 4.0 % (3.7-4.8 %)

Carbonation and Storage
Carbonation Type: Kegged (Forced CO2)
Kegging Temperature: 13.0 C
Age for: 4.0 Weeks
Storage Temperature: 11.0 C

I doubt I’ll be rushing to do a two hour boil anytime soon, but Marc Ollosson had reccomended so in his similar recipes like Premium Pale, 100% Satisfaction and Styrian Stunner and I like his book a lot. Apparently a longer boil can give the beer better keeping qualities, but I don’t know that it makes much difference in a 4% ale, really.

It all went very well , although it was a bit epic. I managed to collect 24 litres at 1.044 with no mishaps, and the boiler in which I had just replaced the element worked just perfectly with a new hop strainer despite a lot of seeds.

I even had enough time to mess about filming the boil while 6Music played a favourite track:



I chilled to 25c then transferred immediately. Ideally I now know I should have let the bed settle for a while longer, but I figured I would skim any dirty break over the US-05 after a couple of days anyway, and that turned out to be the case. It got down to just over 1.010 after a week, although it was supposed to finish around 1.013. So having flown past the expected FG I decided to move this into secondary on its eighth day of fermentation. My plan was to give it a full week to settle out and then take another look. It smelled fresh and hoppy and was a glowing pale amber colour which went very well with its Sunray name.

I managed to get 19L of good bright beer into my last and most battered Corni unprimed and purged with CO2, plus five full bottles, also nice and bright but primed with half a tsp glucose each for gentle carbonation. A friend gave me nine really sturdy 660ml swingtop Fischer bottles he had been storing for some years in his chicken shed. I gave them several rounds of thorough cleaning and sanitising and they came up really nicely with good seals. One of the bottles stayed with me as a control, the other four went back to the original owner full up, as thanks for the donation! I was quite jealous actually, the bottles looked really promising and could be chilled more readily than a keg.

This brew turned out very well and tasted as good as any of the new commercial golden ales I drank over the summer, so I was very pleased. Here are a trillion photos:


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