Check out the website for further details, this has always been an excellent event and good value when you factor in potential freebies! It would be great to get a good sized contingent down on the train (assuming they actually run this year!)
Hello folks, just a quick one to let you know that unfortunately there will not be an edited version of the Overtone episode going up on the website/podcast platforms due to some unresolvable issues with the guests audio recording. You can still listen to the live version via the YouTube channel of course. Episodes 70 & 71 are on the cutting table and will be with you soon…..
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A smooth creamy moreish stout with a velvety mouthfeel and a nice fruity finish from the London Ale yeast. This was based on the recipe from Brewing Classic Styles.
Batch size: 19 Litres
Brewhouse efficiency: 75%
3.45 kg Maris Otter
0.50 kg Oats (Toasted)
0.25 kg Golden Naked Oats
0.22 kg Biscuit Malt
0.22 kg Chocolate Malt
0.17 kg Cara 75
0.17 kg Roasted Barley
Mash @ 67c for 60m
HOPS & ADDITIONS SCHEDULE
40g EKG 60 minutes
Wyeast 1318 London Ale 3
Ferment at 19c for 2 week
This brew was based on a clone recipe that I found for Brooklyn Lager, I am not a massive fan of the original (its decent just not one of my favourites) but I really liked the look of the recipe. Malty Vienna style grain bill and a hefty hop schedule mixing US and Noble hops. I made a few alterations, the original recipe used 2 row pale as the base malt, I opted for a blend of pilsner and vienna. Hops I used Hersbrucker in place of Mittlefruh and subbed Perle for Saphir but kept the quantities the same. I decided to use Munich Lager yeast as it has worked very well in malty lagers for me before. This beer came out really well and I actually prefer it to the real thing as it has a bit more body and depth, plus as expected with a homemade beer versus an import the hops and aroma are a bit fresher. Anyway heres the recipe if you fancy giving it a go.
Batch size: 21 Litres
Brewhouse efficiency: 78%
2 kg Pilsner Malt
2 kg Vienna Malt
0.4 kg Munich Malt
0.24 kg Crystal 60L
HOPS & ADDITIONS SCHEDULE
28g Willamette 60 minutes
10g Cascade at 30 minutes
10g Perle at 30 minutes
14g Cascade at 2 minutes
14g Hallertau Hersbrucker at 2 minutes
42g Hallertau Hersbrucker Dry Hop 5 days
22g Cascade Dry Hop 5 days
Wyeast Munich Lager 2308
Mash at 67c
Ferment at 11c for 1 week
Step up Temperature to 18c over next week
Cold crash and Lager in Keg or Bottle
So December just gone myself and the (much) better half celebrated our first wedding anniversary and being the romantic sort I decided to spend half the day hiding in the shed brewing! Not to worry I’m not a complete bastard she was at work during this time and the beer being brewed was her favourite style, a Hefeweizen, so it actually was a romantic gesture! Anyway my aim was a fairly traditional hefe with a slight twist in the form of some Summer hops from Australia to add a little fruity lift to the aroma and flavour. Summer seemed like a good option as they are quite mild compared to more pungent new world hops like Galaxy or Nelson and also have Noble heritage being a derivative of Czech Saaz so in theory would work well blended with the more traditional Tettnang hops that I was using without overpowering them and turning it into an American Wheat.
I like my wheat beers to have a decent body to them so in the grain bill I used some Pale Ale Malt, Munich and a dash of Melanoidin in addition to roughly 50% Pale Wheat, this also helped bring the colour up to a slightly more golden yellow hue. Yeast was an easy choice with the Mangrove Jacks M20 being my go to, I haven’t tried many different hefe yeasts and would like to explore the liquid options but out of the dry ones I have used this one has never failed me so in it went. The finished beer came out really well and the wife is happily ploughing through it! I also got some good feedback from Chris whose review I have included below (just incase you’re not convinced by Mrs Dudes endorsement!). So heres the full recipe and video…
Anniversary Wheat (Summer Hefeweizen)
Batch size: 20 Litres
Brewhouse efficiency: 78%
2.25 kg Pale Wheat Malt
1.74 kg Pale Ale Malt
0.47 kg Munich Malt
0.15 kg Melanoidin
HOPS & ADDITIONS SCHEDULE
15g Tettnang FWH
15g Summer at 30 minutes
25g Summer at 5 minutes
10g Tettnang at 5 minutes
Mangrove Jacks M20
Mash at 66c
Ferment at 24c
A few months back I was kindly sent a sample of Vermont Ale yeast by a fellow brewer (Cheers Timmi!) and was keen to try it in a big hoppy ale. For those that aren’t familiar with this yeast it is reputed to be the yeast strain used in ‘Heady Topper’ one of the commercial American beers that helped start the trend for juicy hazy New England IPAs (NEIPAs), now I am not particularly excited by this style of beer for various reasons but I am excited about yeast strains that enhance the fruity flavours from hops and bring their own specific flavour profiles and from what I had heard about Vermont it is a real ‘character’ yeast in this sense.
So I decided to try it in pretty simple Pale Ale recipe with a big dose of Mosaic hops, their big tropical flavours and aroma seemed a natural fit for the Vermont not to mention the fact that they are featured heavily in many NEIPA recipes that use this yeast. I wasn’t interested in trying to create haze or anything like that so steered clear of any use of wheat or oats and started with a pretty standard mix of pale malt and crystals totalling about 7% of the grist. I had read that Vermont likes a bit of sugar in the grist to help it attenuate fully so I added a small amount of Dextrose and finally on a bit of a whim decided to chuck in a little Biscuit Malt to hopefully add a bit of depth to the malt bill so it might have some chance of being noticed underneath the big flavour of Mosaic. The final recipe came out as follows, as you may have noticed it also includes some Falconers Flight in the dry hop, this wasn’t originally in the recipe but when I weighed out the dry hops I realised some of the Mosaic I thought I had was AWOL so I subbed in some FF. This was a quick experimental brew so I was also using the 30 minute mash and boil method so I could get the batch done quickly.
Batch size: 10 Litres (Stovetop BIAB 30/30 Method)
Brewhouse efficiency: 70%
2 kg Pale Malt
0.1 kg Biscuit Malt
0.1 kg CaraHell
0.06 kg Crystal 60L
0.08 kg Dextrose (Added at 10 minute in boil)
HOPS & ADDITIONS SCHEDULE
5g Apollo at 30 minutes
10g Mosaic at 10 minutes
15g Mosaic at 5 minutes
15g Mosaic at 0 minutes
20g Falconers Flight Dry Hop 3 days
17g Mosaic Dry Hop 3 days
Mash at 67c
Ferment at 20c
The result well it is probably one of the best beers I have made, hop flavour and aroma was fruitier than anything I have done before and the Mosaic was absolutely screaming out of the glass! Now Mosaic will make a great pale ale with most yeasts but the Vermont compliments it so well and really brought out the Mango character in this hop, the yeast has a lovely soft fruity ester character which really emphasises the ‘juicy’ qualities of a hop like Mosaic, I’m looking forward to using it with other ‘tropical’ hops like Galaxy etc. Vermont is definitely a unique strain and in my opinion you cant really substitute it and get a similar result, I highly recommend you try it out.
So during our post Christmas discussions of what 2018 held for our respective brewing myself, Chris and Jamie all agreed that it was time to stop dicking about with extravagant recipes and crazy experiments (mostly anyway!) and to try and nail down some rock solid house recipes. While we have all knocked out some great brews I think the general consensus was that we wanted to try and establish some baseline recipes and lock down our processes so that consistency and repeatability can become more than just an abstract concept when it comes to our brewing!
I know from my own experience recently that trying to repeat brews and get the same result or even just a similar result is bloody hard which isn’t much of a concern when you are brewing something new almost every time but what about when you get a beer just where you want it and would like to brew it again? This is where the idea for the ‘house’ recipes came from.
So what is it that gets in the way of being able to consistently repeat a brew, well for me at least it probably comes down to the following:
- Tinkering – In order to develop a recipe you need to change things but if you are changing several things at once it becomes very difficult to keep track of whether you are improving a recipe or not and if so what changes were actually a benefit. I find it very difficult to make minor changes and leave it at that when repeating a brew and will often change several variables at once not always to good effect!
- Insufficient data – Software like beersmith makes it very easy to keep detailed and extensive notes on all aspects of a brew but do I make use of it, do I fuck! So inevitably many brews where I look back and try and find key information it just isn’t there, probably because I was too pissed at the end of the brew to remember to log it! When I first started all grain brewing I kept loads of written notes on everything and was able to develop my technique and ideas fairly rapidly as a result but once you become comfortable with the process and start relying on software to direct you its easy to neglect recording this information which is really going to be key for repeating brews consistently.
- Inconsistent process – This follows on from the previous point, did I rehydrate my yeast last time, what temp did I ferment at, what was the actual mash temp versus the target, did I do a hop steep or just chill immediately etc etc. Without the full information you are bound to do things slightly differently and when lots of small changes are added together you can have a very different end result.
- KISS – Keep It Simple Stupid! Its easy to get carried away with concocting recipes and often I will throw in odds and ends that need using up but this creates very difficult brews to repeat, nobody wants to buy whole bags of grain or hops for tiny additions and the more ingredients you have the more you are at the mercy of variations in the ingredients themselves. This cant be avoided but if you have a hugely complex grain and hop bill it makes it much harder to isolate where these changes are coming from and make considered changes to repeat brews.
- Yeast – As an ingredient this is already covered by several of the points above BUT a saying that I like to remember is that ‘yeast makes beer, brewers make wort’. The point is even if you use the same yeast, in the same recipe, with the same process if it isn’t delivered in the correct state for fermenting successfully you can have radically different outcomes, especially when using liquid yeast and starters. Yeast health and vitality is not just critical to consistency it is key to making good beer full stop, so all of the above is even more important when it comes to managing yeast and fermentation.
So with all that in mind I started to think about my first ‘house’ recipe, having just done the KBS brew I fancied doing something dark that I wouldn’t have to wait the best part of a year to reach its peak so I settled on a dry stout. I have only brewed 1 dry stout before and that ended up with rye and various other unusual things in it so I went back to a basic recipe and thought about what I wanted from my brew and came up with the following:
First off its 10L, a small enough batch for repeat brews to be less of a chore and not a massive loss if its not a great first effort. A basic stout can be made with just Pale Malt, Flaked Barley and Roast Barley with a single bittering addition for the hops, now as much as I want to keep it fairly simple I also want a bit of depth to the flavour and a grist that balances the roast notes with some smoother flavour and a bit of body. So in addition to the typical trio of stout ingredients I added some pale chocolate malt hopefully to lighten the roast flavour and bring in some nutty coffee notes, munich for a bit of extra body and a bit of aromatic malt to add a touch of malty sweetness. For the hops I chose Northdown as an alternative to the more obvious options like EKG or Fuggles, its woody and berry notes should complement a dark beer well, I also brought in a small 10 minute addition for a bit of hop aroma and flavour late on. Yeast choice was Nottingham (Gervin Ale), a great attenuator with relatively clean character, I didn’t want to complicate the flavour with too much in the way of esters at this stage so this was a pretty easy choice, US05 or similar would also have been a good option.
So that will be the first edition of my house stout, it has been brewed already and is sat in the brewfridge throwing up a krausen as I type this so fingers crossed it will be close to what I had in mind and wont require too much alteration. If it does though I made sure I recorded as much information as possible and will hopefully be better prepared to make considered changes as a result! Updates will follow……Cheers 🙂
This was my take on the Founders KBS clone, it was a mighty long brewday and one of the messiest beers I have done so far but it was a good experience to dip my toe into the Imperial beer pond and hopefully the results will be worth the effort!
My recipe was fairly true to the original on the AHA website but with some substitutions for grain and hops, I also went slightly higher with the target OG at 1.096, in the end it came out at 1.098 but a touch under volume, I could have liquored back to target but I couldn’t be arsed so left it as it was. The wort tasted like a chocolate coffee pudding and was very thick and syrupy, once the bourbon is added this one should be pushing past 10% ABV! Cant wait to try it and to compare the brews from Jamie and Chris
Watch how the brew went here and see me try to give some useful info on brewing big beers as well!
This batch was brewed using the 30 minute mash and boil method doing a 10L BIAB on the stovetop. It worked out really well and didn’t have any of the issues that some might expect from cutting time off the mash and boil length, check out the review at the end where I compare this and Jamies brew using the same method.
Batch size: 10 Litres
Brewhouse efficiency: 72%
2.1 kg Pale Malt
0.14 kg Crystal 40L
0.08 kg CaraPils
HOPS & ADDITIONS SCHEDULE
10g Challenger at 30 minutes
8g Magnum at 30 minutes
10g Cascade at 10 minutes
30g Cascade at 0 minutes
20g Cascade Dry Hop 5 Days
Crossmyloof US Pale Ale
Mash at 65c
Ferment at 19c