Well, over a month since my last post – always late but there you go.
So – what have I been up to? Well I have been busy brewing (and drinking of course). On my last blog I had mentioned that I had 3 brews on the go – Summer Ale, Hob Goblin Ruby Ale clone and Oatmeal Stout (that I will add a cherry enhancer to from Mangrove Jacks). Well, as I type all 3 have been “produced” and lie in various states of Fermentation, Cold Crash or indeed Consumption. The first produced (and hence the consumption piece) is the Summer Ale from the Bible. This [from the Bible description] was a light easy drinking beer for the summer – and indeed it is. I had done my usual scale up to 5% on the grain bill [and accounted for my efficiency factor] so resulted in a +5% beer which is indeed light and refreshing. In contrast to my London Bitter, this does carry more flavour and is definitively caramel on the nose. Interestingly this is also the first beer that once post cold crash and force carbonation (15 mins rocking on 40 psi) – was drinkable immediately; which I did test a few times whilst brewing … at 10am in the morning 🙂 I seem to remember that brew day being hazy.
With the Summer Ale in the keg I moved on the the Hob Goblin Clone Ruby Ale variant. This is currently in cold crash and I will Keg either later today or after work tomorrow. I shall again use the force carbonation method only this time I won’t make the mistake of not bleeding the keg properly before re-connecting the other kegs and forcing a keg to keg transfer – DOPE ! There’s more, I also have finished the Oatmeal Stout (well finished fermenting) that I am now giving a few days for the yeast to clean up; I will cold crash this even though clarity isn’t that important on a Stout – it does aid in a decent force carbonation. I should get to the crash chilling either today or tomorrow once I have kegged the Ruby Ale [I need the space in the cold crash chamber aka fridge].
I did brew again this weekend; opting for a split brew day – Friday night after work I mashed in with a Kolsch (again a recipe from the Bible) then Saturday morning I carried on the brew – went really well all things considered, though I did get a stuck transfer of chilled wort to fermentation bucket – I have subsequently ordered some hop socks to aid the brew process as I got a lot of trube on this brew. I have recently also moved to a Super Fine Crush for my grain (I buy all from Malt Miller) – as I use a BIAB method my efficiencies are not great but are increasing with experience – the fine crush and longer mash times really help here. This on top of the hops has caused this issue twice – let’s see if the hop socks work I guess. I may have a lot of suspension [trube] in the last few litres into the FV for the Kolsch but I am confident that she will drop enough to give clarity, though this isn’t concerning for me – taste, taste and more taste is what counts.
On order I have another brew kit coming. I have ordered the grain for a Weizenbock which is pitched at about 6.4% – one to be savoured as opposed to session I guess. I’m sure I will have help. I am trying to get 6 on tap with additional beer conditioning. Nothing attracts a visitor or 3 like free (hopefully good) beer.
In terms of equipment I have made couple of changes – for the Summer Ale, I switched to kegging via the Beer Out stalk of the Corny Keg having purged the keg first. This is in practice for my Oatmeal Stout – here I want to avoid any intrusion of Oxygen, which will turn the beer stale. I also added a tap to the fermentation bucket, again improving the transfer as I need not even take off the lid (just remove the airlock) and open the tap straight into a purged keg – simples. I will let you know how I get on.
Finally I have bought a controller. Some of the Brew Tubers had been buying a controller from eBay and I wanted in on the action. It needs a little tampering but it will give me decent option to control temperature of the mash and allow me to re-circulate – again leading to an improved mash efficiency (fingers crossed). I have all what I need – just need to build a shelf and make the small modifications and give it a whirl. See below for some funky pictures.
That is it for now. Check out my Gallery for pictures of my beers – as I get more time I will post better pictures. The aim of this section of the website is to show off my works but also to reference back to should I remake any. I may introduce some testing notes to the beers too, watch this space.
Oh an exciting news … I now have a family of 5 !!!
See you later all – brewing to do !!!
Stewart (aka Drunk Delilah Brewery)