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AG#69 – Northdown IPA

Posted on: December 3, 2011

Northdown IPA – hopefully this will be a well bittered beer, I’m going easy on the late hops as I want the flavour to be balanced with the bitterness, the dry hopping will hopefully add some lighter flavour and aroma too.
My 69th All Grain brewday, ‘nudge nudge, wink wink’….
This brew is part of my research into brewing a good English IPA for the forthcoming NCB meeting / Competition at Saltaire Brewery in March next year, I may or may not enter the competition but either way I’ll be brewing for charity for the bar.
The Malt bill is a little off piste as I’m using Lager Malt as the base with some Munich to add back some maltiness to create a Faux-Pale-Malt with a touch of Dark Crystal for colour. I’ve currently got more Lager Malt, hence the reason for using it over Pale Malt.
It seems I have a mouse in the garage who has been nibbling the corner of my malt sack so its now been sealed up safely away from it in my usual blue HDPE bins.

Fermentables:
Lager Malt – 4620g – 75%
Munich Malt – 920g – 15%
Wheat Malt – 490g – 8%
Crystal Malt, Extra Dark – 120g – 2%

Hops:
First Gold – 7.9 % @ 60 mins – 55g (FWH)
First Gold – 7.9 % @ 30 mins – 55g
Northdown – 7.5 % @ 15 mins – 20g
Northdown – 7.5 % @ 0 mins – 30g (20-30min steep)

Dry Hops:
Northdown – 50g after initial fermentation has settled down and the beer is being cooled to 17°c

Final Volume: 23 Litres
Original Gravity: 1.060
Final Gravity: 1.014
Alcohol Content: 6% ABV
Total Liquor: 34.5 Litres
Mash Liquor: 14.8 Litres
Mash Efficiency: 75 %
Bitterness: 83 EBU
Colour: 26 EBC

I’m not taking any photos today, they are bound to look identical to a lot of other brewdays.

Post brew:
I mashed for 60 minutes at 66°c, sparge liquor at 77°c with 2 batches each time recirculating between 4-6 litres to attain a nice clear wort flow into the copper. Apparently I got 72% Mash efficiency, Bairds malt seems to be getting consistently worse at work so it follows that it will at home too (Maybe when I’ve got some spare cash I’ll buy a sack from another Maltster).
Boiled for 60 minutes with hop charges as First Wort, 30mins, 15mins and Flameout steep hops for 28mins.
Cooled to 20°c and let stand for 20 minutes for the hops and trub to settle before recirculating about 1 litre to get a nice clear wort. Wort looking a good  fairly deep colour.
Actually got about 1058 so probably missed out on the 6% mark slightly depending on how the yeast ferments out.
Pitched Safale US-05.

OK, just a couple of photos of the FV in the Fermentation fridge:
AG#69 - Northdown IPA
Temperature sensor taped on with a piece of insulating foam:
AG#69 - Northdown IPA
I’ve set the fridge to 20°c and will raise it 1 degree each day to no higher than 23°c

*9th Dec ’11 Dry Hopped with 49g Northdown, OG 1014-1016-ish, this should give me a good idea what the hop is like dry :)

*13th Dec ’11 – Northdown Dry hopping is currently tasting rather bland, I may well add a similar amount of First Gold.

*14th Dec ’11 – More dry hopping done, First Gold 49g + East Kent Goldings 46g

*Bottled 24th Dec ’11 with 70g White Sugar – and having a bit of a taste…
Its not bad, the dry hopping has worked and although not as in-yer-face as US/NZ hops its still very present, it has the grassy notes that a German Dry-hopped beer would have and I know will settle down in a couple of weeks.
I’m sure the Northdown didn’t contribute much to the dry hopping so its the First Gold and EKGs that have added the mouth-coating hoppiness. This might be a good beer, which has surprised me after the initial Northdown hopping.
Note to self: Pellet dry hops would probably add to the intensity (Skim yeast and dry hop bit by bit for a week while cooled?).

*4th Jan ’12 – Taster bottle, carbonation is right, Bitterness is nice and smooth, flavour & aroma remind me of Bobek / Styrian and what-dry-sawdust might taste like, I’m bot a huge Bobek fan, not my best effort. For the amount of dry hops I had thrown at this I would have expected much more intensity, some grassiness is just there, alcohol is fairly noticable in the finish, it gets better as you go down the glass and your taste buds realign, I’m going to need an expert second opinion on this… who knows it might improve with a couple more weeks or a month.

*31st Mar ’12 – This just took 3rd place in the Northern Craft Brewers / Saltaire Brewery English IPA competition.
We had a busy but brilliant day of running the bar and tasting some excellent home-brewed beer both from Cask on the bar and bottle tastings. It was great to see some familiar faces and lots of new faces from Twitter & the home brewing forums. We had almost 40 entries to the English IPA competition and it took the beer judges a great deal of deliberation to pick the top three and further Highly Commended beers.

*12th Jun ’12 – This is ‘Smooth as’ and chilled from the fridge is really hitting the mark, I dare say I’ll brew a big English IPA again, with even more dry Hops ;)

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1 Response to "AG#69 – Northdown IPA"

[…] an experiment and I may not like it but thats no reason not to try! And its a while since I made a British IPA. The Dextrose will go in with the Protafloc in the last 10 minutes so as not to effect the hop […]

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