Friday, November 13, 2009

#21 RP (Robust Porter - Chocolate Jaffa Porter)

Brewed: 5th November, 2009

This was a variation of a Chocolate Porter that I made a few months ago. The original recipe turned out really well and a suggestion was made about the possibility of a choc-orange taste, which is where this brew idea came from. I'm going for more a citrus taste as opposed to straight up orange, but depending on how this one goes, some orange essence may be called up in the future. I'm using Cascade hops for flavour and aroma in this case to try to achieve the citrus notes. I also want to do a choc-vanilla take on this recipe one day, using vanilla beans for the flavour.

As far as the brew day went, it was reasonably uneventful. I did forget to close the tap on the mash tun after draining it the first time, which resulted in a bit of leakage when I went to fill it up the second time, but I caught it pretty quickly. I hit the mash temperature spot on and held it well over the hour.

An interesting thing I noted was that when I poured the wort into the primary fermenter, it didn't froth up at all (unlike nearly every other batch does). It corresponds a bit to the way the previous batch of chocolate porter is pouring out of the tap; ie. very little head on it. Remembering back to what food oils do to a head on a beer (transferred to the glass after eating such food), I put the lack of froth and head down to the fat content of the cocoa powder used in the recipe.

The recipe (based on this one):

JW Pale Malt: 4500g
Light Munich: 1000g
Crystal 135: 500g
Carafa Special II: 200g
Chocolate Malt: 200g
Roast Barley: 100g
Cocoa powder: 100g (added to boil @ -5 mins)

East Kent Goldings pellets (4.8% AA): 48g @ -45 mins
Cascade pellets (6.3% AA): 19g @ -10 mins
Cascade pellets (6.3% AA): 10g in no-chill cube

Mash time: 60 minutes
Target mash temperature: 68C
Start: 68C
Middle: 67.5C
End: 67.5C

Run-off: 30L

Target pre-boil SG: 1046
Actual Pre-boil SG: 1050
Boil Time: 60 minutes

Volume in fermenter: 23L
Yeast: Re-cultured Coopers Stout yeast (farmed from #19 MS)
Ferment temperature: 18C

Target OG: 1057
Actual OG: 1055

Monday, November 2, 2009

#20 NSSA (Nelson Sauvin Summer Ale)

Brewed: 29th October, 2009

This was the third batch in the series of Summer Ales I'm doing with slight tweaks between each recipe. Today, I only boiled the bittering hops for the last 60 minutes instead of the 80 minutes previously. This should have the effect of producing a slightly less bitter beer. I'll do a side-by-side taste when this one is ready to see if I can notice the difference. If not, I might try a 45 minute bittering addition some time in the future.

The brew-day was fairly uneventful for this one. I was slightly under the mash temperature target, but I only lost 2 degrees instead of the 3 I lost in the last batch. In hindsight, I could have added some boiling water at the start of the mash to bring it up to my target temperature, but I guess I didn't worry about it at the time because it was only half a degree off. I had slightly better efficiency, which I think would have been even higher if I had both elements running when heating up the kettle (the variable dial on one of the elements was off even though it looked like it was on). In all, there were no surprises, and no stuff ups so I certainly can't complain.

The next day, I transferred it to primary and pitched the yeast. This was sooner than the last two batches (two days for #18 and 3 days for #20) and adds another variable, as the cube hop addition wasn't in for as long, but I don't think it'll have much of an impact. I also decided to save the cube hops for a future batch of this recipe to see if they have enough bittering capacity left in them (I got the idea from this thread on AHB).

The recipe (based on this one):

JW Pale Malt: 4500g
Torrified Wheat: 400g

Nelson Sauvin pellets (11.5% AA): 15g @ -60 mins
Nelson Sauvin pellets (11.5% AA): 15g @-20 mins
Nelson Sauvin pellets (11.5% AA): 20g @ -5 mins
Nelson Sauvin pellets (11.5% AA): 25g in no-chill cube

Mash time: 60 minutes
Target mash temperature: 64C
Start: 63.5C
Middle: 62.5C
End: 61.5C

Run-off: 29.5L

Pre-boil SG: 1039
Boil Time: 90 minutes

Volume in fermenter: 21L
Yeast: WLP001 - California Ale (harvested from #18 NSSA)
Ferment temperature: 19C

Target OG: 1050
Actual OG: 1047