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Tuesday, 23 July 2019

I've moved!

I've moved my blog and all posts here.

Hope to see you at the new place!

Wednesday, 8 May 2019

House Mild (Not Mild!)

Today was my first attempt at creating a house mild. I wanted something that wasn't pale, but not stout like in colour. I was aiming for a 'post war' strength, that is sub 4%, nearer 3. My original recipe is in this post, but on the day I subbed out the pale for lager malt (as I had a bag open that I wanted to use up), and changed the sugars slightly as per below;

Lager Malt         2270g
Chocolate Malt 121g
Pale Crystal Malt 121g
Amber Malt         61g
Black Malt         61g

Demerara sugar       200g 
Golden Syrup          150g

The mash didn't go to plan at all. I had wanted to mash at 67°, batch sparge at 77°. I over heated the strike water, then let it cool to much, so the mash was at 65°. Additionally, something went wrong with the sparge and it kept sticking; once I fixed this, I only managed to get 18L after the boil. I suspect I didn't measure out the sparge water correctly. The end result was that the final gravity was 1040°, much higher than the 1033° I was aiming for. Obviously, this will result in a much stronger beer than planned. The sample looked good, and tasted very promising, so we will just have to see how we get on. I pitched Fermentis S04, which is a yeast I haven't used since my kit brewing days, with the FV sat in a water bath at 17.5° +/- 0.5°.

Monday, 6 May 2019

House lager update & House Mild

First off, a quick update on my house lager. This weekend, as it had been fermenting for a week, I though I would check how close to final gravity it was, as I was wondering if it was time to ramp up the temp for a diacetyl rest. All I can say is that this yeast (M76 Bavarian Lager Yeast) must be a slow burner, as it had only dropped to around 1030. At this rate, it will need 3 weeks or so to hit FG. Blimey! It was very active, so I don't think it had stalled. I'll check it again at the end of the week.

Next up, I'm going to have a shot at developing a house dark(ish) mild. My recipie at present is as below, which I ope to get on Weds or Thursday this week.

Title: Meadow View JDL Mild

Brew Method: All Grain
Style Name: Dark Mild
Boil Time: 60 min
Batch Size: 20 liters (fermentor volume)
Boil Size: 26 liters
Boil Gravity: 1.022
Efficiency: 70% (brew house)

Original Gravity: 1.034
Final Gravity: 1.008
ABV (standard): 3.45%
IBU (tinseth): 27.76
SRM (morey): 18.83
Mash pH: 5.75

2.27 kg - Maris Otter Pale (76.2%)
0.12 kg - Crystal 45L (4%)
0.12 kg - Chocolate (4%)
0.06 kg - Amber (2%)
0.06 kg - Black Malt (2%)
0.35 kg - Golden Syrup - (late addition)  (11.7%)

25 g - Fuggles, Type: Pellet, AA: 4.5, Use: Boil for 60 min, IBU: 18.35
15 g - East Kent Goldings, Type: Pellet, AA: 5, Use: Boil for 30 min, IBU: 9.4

1) Infusion, Temp: 67 C, Time: 60 min, Amount: 10.5 L
2) Sparge, Temp: 77 C, Time: 15 min, Amount: 20.1 L
Starting Mash Thickness: 4 L/kg

Mangrove Jack - New World Strong Ale M42

Tuesday, 30 April 2019

House Lager update

Having been away working all weekend, I wasn't able to check on the lager. When I returned on Sunday, nothing seemed to be happening, so as this was 48 hours later (almost) I bottled it and increased the temp in the fermenting fridge to 12°. Today (Tuesday) it's fermenting away happily. I don't know if the MJ yeast has a long lag time, perhaps I should have been more patient. I'll test the gravity at the weekend to see how far is got and if it's ready for its diactyl rest. Then crash cool, bottle, carb up and lager.

Up next will either be a Belgian golden , double or and English light mild.

Thursday, 25 April 2019

First brew in ages - House Lager - version 1

It been a while since I blogged. Due to work commitments, brewing time has been non existent. That changed today with a quick cheeky lager. Here is the recipe;

 Meadow View Lager

Boil Time: 60 min
Batch Size: 20L (fermentor volume)
Boil Size: 26.2L
Boil Gravity: 1.034
Efficiency: 70% (brew house)

Original Gravity: 1.044
Final Gravity: 1.009
ABV (standard): 4.67%
IBU (tinseth): 40.91
SRM (morey): 4.15
Mash pH: 5.92

2.5 kg - Pale 2-Row (62.5%)
1 kg - Lager (25%)
0.5 kg - Munich (12.5%)

15 g - Magnum, Type: Leaf/Whole, AA: 15, Use: Boil for 60 min, IBU: 30.03
15 g - Magnum, Type: Leaf/Whole, AA: 15, Use: Boil for 10 min, IBU: 10.89

1) Infusion, Temp: 66 C, Time: 60 min, Amount: 16 L
2) Sparge, Temp: 75 C, Time: 15 min, Amount: 16.1 L
Starting Mash Thickness: 4 L/kg

Mangrove Jack - Bohemian Lager Yeast M84 x2 (Edit - that was a mistake, it was M76 Bavarian Lager Yeast)

Fermentation Temp: 10 - 15 C

The thin mash was an experiment. I brought my mash tun from a chap on eBay - and he had said it benefited from a slightly thin mash, so I thought I'd give it a go. Certainly,  the actual pre-boil gravity of 1.038 against 1034 predicted suggests it doesn't harm efficiency.

I used of Magnum instead of a more traditional German hops because I got some cheap hops (and yeasts, and a few other bits and bobs) from a home brew shop that was closing down. Magnum was one of them, so I wanted to give them a spin in something, and I have read about lagers that use them so it seemed like a good idea. They certainly smell fantastic. They are mainly a bittering hop, but I really liked their aroma.

The MJ M76 Bavarian Lager Yeast was one of the yeasts I got cheap - 50p a pack! I decided to use 2 and ferment at the bottom end of the recommended range. That is 9-14°, so I chose  10° as it gives me a bit of wiggle room.

Everything went really well. The brew day was worked around a day working from home, so things like mash times might have been a few mins over if I was in the middle of something. Which I was, a lot, but they were there or there about. One thing I did for the first time was to whirlpool the wort after cooling to try and gather the trub in the middle of the boiler and preventing its transfer to the FV. I am astounded how well this worked ~ the wort entering the FV was almost totally clear / bright. Now, if you don't do this, this trub falls to the bottom of the FV anyway, so you could argue whats the point? Well, I want to get into liquid yeasts / re-culturing yeasts from the FV trub, so the less muck in there the better.

The immersion chiller got the wort down to low 20's°, it was then put in the fermentation fridge, which  was bringing it down about  2° an hour, so the yeast was pitched at 15.5° which means it will be around 10° by the time it has re-hydrated and got going.

I am now away for work for 3 days, so I'll just have to hope it starts and ferments away happily at this temp, as I won't be there to change anything!

Monday, 11 March 2019

Brews update

The Barklay Perkins Sparkling Beer is carbed up and ready. It tastes really promising already, which might suggest that the CML California Common yeast needs less lagering / cold conditioning than their K├Âlsch yeast. It's an interesting beer.

The Barkley Perkins IPA is also ready, and looks and tastes absolutely amazing (see pic). I'm only drinking at the weekends, so I'm just having a few every week, and it will be interesting to see how this improves. The over attenuating MJ New World Strong yeast hasn't appeared to ruin this at all; but it would be very interesting to brew this with a yeast that doesn't attenuate as much to see how it differs.

I now have nothing brewing or conditioning (well, apart from 2 more WOW's ~ Apple, Grape & Raspberry and Apple, Grape and Cranberry), so I'm planning my next 2 brews. Both will be some kind of lager, as I got a job lot of Mangrove Jack lager yeast from a store that was closing down, and want to take advantage of the last of the cold conditioning weather!

Friday, 22 February 2019

1934 Barkley Perkins Draught Lager update

This is how it looks after just over 14 weeks. It tastes great, you can taste the Saaz, but it's as clear as a bell and very, very moreish.

I also bottled my WOW's, and the next day knocked up two more, one double grape and apple, one grape, apple and cranberry.