Thursday, January 28, 2010

#30 AmSA (Amarillo Summer Ale)

Brewed: 10th January, 2010

The eight batch of beer in the Summer Ale Series, this time using Amarillo for the hopping component. This was a bit of a last-minute batch to accompany the Oz Pale Ale for our firend's party this Saturday. As I write this, the beer has just finished carbonating and will get a couple of days rest at about 3°C. The hydrometer samples I've tasted so far have been very promising and I look forward to tasting the final product!

In terms of recipe formulation, I used Beer Alchemy to determine how to adjust the hop bittering addition based on the lower Alpha Acid content of the Amarillo hops (as compared to Nelson Sauvin or Galaxy). Based on the advice of another brewer, I left the weights for the flavour and aroma additions the same as the base recipe.

As far as the brew day was concerned, I was pretty close to my target mash temperature, starting fractionally high and ending up only losing less than two degrees over the hour. First runnings were a little low, but I managed to compensate well with the second volume of sparge water added. In a major oversight on my behalf, I didn't record the original gravity anywhere (or I did but forgot to save it), so I'm only going by memory on that one. There also may have been a little bit of precipitated hot-break material that made its way into the fermenter, as my kettle filter came off at some point during draining. Not that I'm worried it will have any impact on flavour, but if it does, I have something that I might be able to trace it back to.

The recipe:

JW Pale Malt: 4500g
Torrified Wheat: 400g

Amarillo pellets (8.6% AA): 20g @ -80 mins ~19 IBU
Amarillo pellets (8.6% AA): 25g @ -20 mins ~ 14 IBU
Amarillo pellets (8.6% AA): 20g @ -5 mins ~ 4 IBU
Amarillo pellets (8.6% AA): 25g in no-chill cube < 1 IBU

Mash time: 60 minutes
Target mash temperature: 64C
Start: 64.3C End: 62.5C

Runoff: 30L

Pre-boil SG: 1039
Boil time: 90 mins

Target OG: 1047 Actual: 1047

Volume in fermenter: 22.5L
Yeast: WLP001 - California Ale (harvested from #26 XMAS)
Ferment temperature: 19C

Actual FG: 1011
ABV: 4.7%

Friday, January 8, 2010

#28 NSSA (Nelson Sauvin Summer Ale)

Brewed: 2nd January, 2010

First brew of the new year! This is for my sister's birthday party in a few weeks time and is the seventh batch in the series of Summer Ales I am brewing. This time, I tried using malted wheat instead of unmalted torrified wheat. If anything, I expect the body of this one to be slightly thinner in comparison to the summer ales I've made with torrified wheat.

The brewday went well with most of my targets within acceptable ranges. I actually had an extra litre of sweet wort from my second sparge runnings, which I intentionally left out of the boil, as I wanted to see what the gravity of the remaining liquid was out of interest. It was a bit of an eye opener to me to see that the gravity was 1019; a lot less than the rest of the wort in the kettle at 1042, so it was probably a good thing that I stopped when I did, because otherwise it would have brought my pre-boil gravity down without significantly contributing to the malt level.

I went with a 60 minute bittering addition again (as opposed to 80 minutes in the original recipe) to play it safe for the party. I still haven't done a blind side-by-side tasting to see if it makes much of a difference, though I've got that planned for the near future and will report back here.

The recipe:

JW Pale Malt: 4500g
Wheat Malt: 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: 64C End: 62.5C

Runoff: 30L

Pre-boil SG: 1042
Boil time: 90 mins

Target OG: 1052 Actual: 1048

Volume in fermenter: 21.5L
Yeast: WLP001 - California Ale (harvested from #26 XMAS)
Ferment temperature: 19C

#29 OPA (Oz Pale Ale)

Brewed: 7th January, 2010
Time to catch up on a few recipes!

I brewed this one for a friend's party at the end of the month, and I've still got one more to do for that party so I'll be cutting it fine. On the plus side, if it comes out any good, I'll can take a few samples of it to enter into the first club competition of the year in February where the styles contended are Australian Pale Ale and English Bitters.

I've brewed the recipe a couple of times before. It's a pretty easy drinking pale ale; not over hopped and fairly dry. Think of a slightly lighter Coopers Pale Ale.

The previous times I've made this recipe, I've been a little unhappy with a sulphur taste that was present in the bottles. I think I've since narrowed that down to the old bottle cleaner I was using (sodium metabisulphate), so I'll be interested to see if my current cleaner (iodophor) leaves the beer tasting, well, cleaner. I also noticed when looking at the previous two batches that I made, I added double the amount of hops that was required (copy & paste mistake), so perhaps that had an impact on the undesirable flavour as well. Mind you, it didn't appear to be over-bitter so here's hoping this one comes out bitter enough.

The original recipe calls for 95% Australian ale malt and 5% wheat malt, but because I didn't have enough ale malt, I ended up substituting the missing amount with Australian pils malt. Aside from that lapse in preparation, the brew day went very well with most of the numbers falling well into place.

Actually, just as I write this, I'm thinking that perhaps I should have boiled for longer to account for the pils malt in the bill. I've seen in passing a number of references to doing a 90 minute boil for pils malt, but I'm not sure if that's more for doing lagers, or because of the malt itself. It's something I'll need to look up on for the future.

The recipe (based on this one):

JW Pale Malt: 2700g
Aus Pils Malt: 1100g
Wheat Malt: 200g

Pride of Ringwood flowers (9.6% AA): 10g @ 60 mins
Pride of Ringwood pellets (8.3% AA): 15g @ 45 mins

Mash time: 60 mins
Target mash temperature: 65C
Start: 65C Middle: 63.5C End: 62.5C

Runoff: 26L

Pre-boil SG: 1037
Boil time: 60 minutes

Target OG: 1043
Actual OG: 1042