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Posts Tagged ‘pale ale’

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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No new brewday reports must signal that it’s time to start planning the next brew. We also need to plan keg and bottle capacity with the Christmas break in mind. It’s been a hectic year away from the Boxshed, and we’re looking forward to a nice chunk of downtime over the Christmas holiday. We’re plotting to get on a bit of a cooking and pickling buzz too, so we need a few beers on tap to offer anyone popping over for some seasonal cheer.

We’ll reserve our keg of Timmy’s Original for December, and perhaps some Dark Garden too, but will be tapping the Brown Corduroys this weekend and drinking it over forthcoming Bonfire nights. Ideally we’ll brew twice more over the next three weeks to create a Boxshed Dry Irish Stout ’09 (yummy with port!), plus an-all new Premium Pale Ale, maybe with a twist.

This means paying bills for old supplies and restocking with Marris Otter and one or two other speciality malts, ordering up some liquid yeast and preparing a starter for the stout, fixing two poppet valves in two faulty kegs, getting hold of some new sanitisers, cleaning a lot of bottles and other vessels, devising a new recipe for a fun pale, and seeing the Timmy’s Original safely into kegs.

All we’ve managed to do this weekend however is move the Timmy’s Original from primary fermenters to clean secondaries. It reached 1.012 with no problems, looks clear, smells great and just needs to be cared for this week prior to racking. Dry-hopping is also an (unlikely) option, but we’ll update if we go take that route.

In the meantime, for no good reason, here are a couple of photos of the Timmy’s transfer, leaving all that once-frenzied trub nicely behind.

PS – There’s an Autumn beer and cider festival going down every day this week at The White Horse, Edwardstone, Suffolk, culminating in a blue grass shindig on Hallloween itself. If you’re in the area, you really ought to pop over there for a pint or six. Here’s the brew list.

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