Posts Tagged ‘us-05’

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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Possible brew evening in the offing…

Boxshed Hop Juggler (BHJ)

Style: English Pale
Batch Size: 25 L
Boil Time: 90 min
Brewhouse Efficiency: 75.0 %

4.35Kg Pale Malt (2 Row) UK (5.9 EBC) 94.6%
250g Torrified Wheat (3.3 EBC) 5.4%

Protofloc Tablet (15 min)
1 Pkgs US-05

Hop profile
Challenger, 7.5%AA, 35g at 90 min
Mount Hood, 6%AA, 25g at 15 min
Willamette, 35g at flame out

Bill and Batch
Mash Grain Weight: 4.6kg Mash PH: 5.4 PH
Grain Temperature: 13.0 C
Mash In Add 11.5L of water at 71.5C (65C) 90 min
Step Add 9.5L of water at 80.2 (72C) 10 min
Step Add 15.5L of water at 81.9C (76C) 10 min

Beer Profile
Estimated Original Gravity: 1.041
Estimated Final Gravity: 1.012
Estimated Color: 8.2 EBC
Bitterness: 38.3 IBU
Alpha Acid Units: 2.2 AAU
Estimated Alcohol by Volume: 3.8%

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A quick update on the progress of our latest two brews and some idea of what’s up next.

Thinking Bitter is so easy going and pleasant it tastes perfectly fine right out of the secondary fermenter. It’s finished, essentially, and is just sitting there dropping clear and waiting for me to get my finger out and clean a keg and some bottles for it to live in. I really hate the cleaning part of the brewing process, from mash tun to siphon, but especially Cornelius kegs. And bottles. In that order. These days I tend to use the tried and tested method of rinsing like crazy, soaking and scrubbing with odourless oxycleaner, soaking in sanitiser and then giving the thing a final spray of Iodophor. It’s mindless, takes forever and hurts my back (*grumble, moan, gnash teeth, swear…*). Needless to say though, I’ll get around to it at some point this week and get the Thinking Bitter (appropriate huh?) conditioning. As a Spring ‘supper’, I want it on tap sooner rather than later to glug while gardening.

On to Landlubber then – a completely different beast. Fermentation got off to a steady start then exploded into action after the brew was roused 24hrs in. I’ve always liked US-05 – it forms a spectacular krausen and makes for crisp finished beers that show off aroma hops to their full effect. This yeast isn’t everyone’s cup of beer, but it’s perfect for my own personal tastes, and therefore anyone else who dares to visit the Boxshed and who wants a second pint. Anyway, with 25L in the FV there was always going to be trouble after rousing. It took a couple of hours to look like toasted marshmallow, 24hrs to hit the lid and 36hrs to start spewing out through the airlock in beery ropes of foam. Great stuff! After the whole thing had settled down I swapped the goo encrusted lid and bubbler for nice clean sanitised ones and pushed the head aside to test the gravity – 1.014 and still fermenting well after about 100hrs. It will get its own secondary towards the end of this week.

Finally then, future plans. I realised that my hop stores of primarily English hops such as Goldings, Fuggles, Northdown and the like would probably steer me towards quite similar bitters, milds and goldens to past brews, so I decided to stick in a more unusual hop order. My existing freezer drawer of old reliables from Barley Bottom will soon be complemented by some more exotic hops from CraftBrewer down in Oz! Mount Hood, Simcoe, Willamette and Liberty should all arrive soon, together with some more standard fayre like Challenger and Target that I’ve been struggling to source consistently and in any quality from any UK HBS. When these arrive my immediate plans will turn to my own takes on some commercial brew styles including Fullers Discovery/Adnams Explorer, and various Oakham ales. I’ve also had a request to recreate Flowers Original for the summer, so the Target might come in handy there. Anyway, all good fun.

Here are a few pictures of the Landlubber ferment – sadly not exploding through the airlock though (my iPhone had gone AWOL):

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A nice brew evening this one, with everything going to plan as per the Landlubber recipe post. The very tiny amount of Black Malt did manage to raise that colour quite dramatically considering it was only 0.6% of the overall bill – very impressive.

We reduced the IBUs in the end by taking out around 6g of the copper hops and bringing both WGV and Bobek additions down to 30g each. Everything else went to plan and we managed to get 25L into the fermenter at a very respectable 1.043, which should produce a 4% brew not a million miles away from the taste of Timothy Taylor’s Landlord. Mind you, still couldn’t resisit throwing in some extra Bobek to steep! Today I roused the sluggish S-05, and it’s taking off very pleasingly now.

Here are some photos of the evening.

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