Posts Tagged ‘Mount Hood’

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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This is a desperate post created to relieve the tedium of a crawling train journey back from That London. I’m probably chugging past Witham or some other hell hole right now…

Anyway! Apologies for the grumpiness and iPhone-ness, but yesterday I moved this brew into secondary and thought it might be worth posting as the colour is so cool.

*Some good progress on the new stainless setup by the way. On the plus side, I have all the vessels and bits and pieces I need assembled, including new staging. On the downside I don’t have a working brewery in the meantime, so don’t expect much brewday action in the near future (although the last three brews still need to condition for drinking anyway!)

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Here’s the usual gripping array of brewday photos! This time they’re from last night’s BHJ. There was no opportunity until this lunchtime to post I’m afraid:

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I’m writing this report up in stages during a brew evening, so if you’re really lucky, it’ll start of all optimistic and cocky yet end in disaster and woe. However if I’m lucky, it’ll go largely to plan, with just a few fun obstacles along the way.

This evening’s brew is Boxshed Hop Juggler (BHJ), a completely new recipe for the Boxshed, loosely inspired by Oakham Ale’s excellent Jeffrey Hudson Bitter (JHB). I say loosely because noone has managed to come up with a satisfactory recipe to ‘clone’ this beer as yet. Marc Ollosson gave me the basic IBU strength and the tip to use Challenger for bittering, but the feedback from craft brewers having a stab at his recipe, always suggests that it doesn’t hit the right aroma hop notes with the stated small addition of Mount Hood.

Oakham’s recipe history was inspired by a lack of available English hop varieties during a time of low yield in this country, as well as a surge of interest for American hops. The brewery’s own website mentions the following: “The choice of varieties was influenced by the scarcity of Goldings and Fuggles at the time and the suggestion by Mr Paul Corr-Bett of Charles Faram and company that the American varieties of Mount hood and Willamette might be used instead.” We’ve taken this information on board and decided that a few more IBUs are needed from those copper Challenger hops, more Mount Hood need to bump flavour towards the end of the boil and contribute to the bitterness as well as the aroma, while a bunch of Willamette at flameout might just steep in the missing citrus and spicey highlights. I guess time will tell!

The mash is currently underway at just 65c to ensure the required dryness.

All good so far. After a 90 minute mash held at 65 degrees in the thermobox, I took around a half dozen jugs of runnings in turn and returned them into the mash before draining. These pale brews always look a little cloudy and thin, but once the turgid bits and pieces were out of the flow, it all ran into the boiler looking fine enough. It also tasted very sweet and pleasant. I’ve now topped up the mashtun with 9.5 litres at 77c for the first of two bath sparges and given the thing a good stir. I’ll check back in ten minutes or so. In the meantime I’m going to have a pint of mystery beer that I found in the Boxshed – a swingtop with no labels on it. I hope it’s a good ‘un…

Think it’s our own Best Bitter. Last of the stout next. Right, second batch coming to the end, copper nearly at boil, Challenger pellets all measured out. Better get with it…

Slight stuck mash with five litres or so still in the tun. I was at the end of a sack of grain, so suspect undue flouriness. Restirring, waiting ten, taking runnings and going again…

Okay, that worked out just fine, must have been flour as I’d guessed. Challenger pellets in, boil on in anger. Man, I’m so cold. Need to warm hands over the copper.

Good stuff – all rolling nicely, Willamette and Protofloc going in now. Nice 6Music accompaniment! ‘Dr Strangely Strange’ – sixties band from Kerry.

All hops in, Protofloc, chiller on – it’s all down to the Acme Hop Thingy next. I find using pellets really odd and not as satisfying as whole flowers, but if they filter out fine, then the proof will be in the tasting!

Excellent – nothing untoward in the end – 25L in the fermenter at 1.041. The flow from the copper was slower I guess, but the makeshift Hop Stopper wotsit worked a treat thankfully! Left a strange mound of green slop in the boiler like no hop bed I’ve ever seen before, and the cold break is a much more granular cloud, but the wort ran into the FV pretty clear (more bits in the seive though). Pitched US-05 half way through the run-off, and it’s all now indoors. I’ll rouse this brew 24hrs into the ferment, because that worked a treat last time out with this yeast.

Right, everything cleared up apart from the tun and copper! Time for some sleep and a Lemsip.


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