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Archive for March 2012

http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/29664 Basically, get your local Landlord to put a Laptop on the bar and get punters to sign the petition, get your mum and dad to sign it, get your Granny to sign up with Granddad and tell your work mates and colleagues to sign up… send that annoying CC’d and Forwarded email around your place of work.

Go on… Go..On….. Go on go on go on go on… go on!

Stop the beer duty escalator

Responsible department: Her Majesty’s Treasury

Every year, the beer tax escalator increases the tax on beer by 2% above the rate of inflation, thus adding considerably more pressure on the British pub, the cornerstone of many of our communities. Removing the beer duty escalator at the next budget will help keep beer more affordable and go a long way to supporting the institution that is – the great British pub.

Going to the pub is a core British tradition and so is enjoying great beer. If you want to continue enjoying your fresh pint in your local pub then it’s crucial that you support our campaign to grind the beer duty tax escalator to a halt.
If we don’t show our support for the great British pub, we risk losing more pubs and more jobs within our local communities.

Support great beer in the great British pub and sign our e-petition now….. British Pubs Need You.

Also have a read of this, the British Demonisation of beer http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/mar/23/beer-britain-liver-disease by Pete Brown

Don’t forget if you feel strongly about the issues surrounding the cost of beer and brewing its really easy to write to your MP to give your personal thoughts – www.writetothem.com pop your postcode in to find your local one.

Brown and Sticky – brewing again today because I want to test out my new Mesh-Hop-Stopper after yesterday’s fiasco with my US-Brown Ale, so today I’m doing another American Brown and throwing a shed load of Columbus at it again and a further shed load of pellet hops just to try and screw it up. This could lead to another crappy end to an otherwise good brewday, we shall see… fingers crossed!

I’m worried that the stainless mesh resting on the base of the Gas-fired copper is going to have a damping effect on the rolling action of the boil, it certainly does when tested with boiling water, so this brew is also to see if it kills the roll with wort too.

Seeing as this is a very impromptu brewday I might even throw in 2 packs Safelager W-34/70 and make it a Steam Beer, so instead of being called ‘Brown & Sticky’ it would be ‘Steaming Brown & Sticky’ 😉 I quite like the latter naming option 😉  Its obviously going to be a cross-over style American Brown vs Steam Beer.

Fermentables:
Lager Malt – 74%
Flaked Barley – 10%
Caramalt – 9%
Crystal Malt, Extra Dark – 3%
Chocolate Malt – 2%
Chocolate Wheat Malt – 1%
Chocolate Malt, Pale – 1%

Hops:
Columbus (Tomahawk) Whole – 16.5 % @ 60 mins – 10g (First Wort Hop)
Columbus (Tomahawk) Whole – 16.5 % @ 30 mins – 25g
Chinook Pellet – 12.9 % @ 0 mins – 20g
Cascade Pellet – 5.9 % @ 0 mins – 20g
Columbus (Tomahawk) Whole – 16.5 % @ 0 mins – 80g
Rakau (Organic) Pellet – 11.5 % @ 0 mins – 89g (all Late hops will have a 20-30min steep)

Dry Hops:
Maybe…

Final Volume: 23 Litres
Original Gravity: 1.045
Final Gravity: 1.012
Alcohol Content: 4.3% ABV
Total Liquor: 33.4 Litres
Mash Liquor: 12.3 Litres
Mash Efficiency: 70 % (reduced as I only just hit 75% yesterday)
Bitterness: 47 EBU (25% Utilisation)
Colour: 75 EBC

Malt & Temp:
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Lots of Pellet hops:
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New mesh Hop-Stopper with first wort hops:
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First batch spargings running onto the new Hop-stopper and First Wort Columbus hops:
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Its an altered boil alright, it rumbles around to its self and splatters occasionally, seems active enough:
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In go 80g of Whole Columbus and 129g of Pellet hops:
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OG: 1043/44, Refractometer said I was right on the money at 1045:
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Torch held at the back of the trial jar, wort was nice and clear in comparrison to some of the wort I’ve had lately:
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Loads of sludge in the copper, the new Mesh Hop-Stopper worked a treat and drained right down with the syphon effect sucking loads of wort out of the pellet sludge:
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Maybe not the nicest looking soldering but it blooming well worked:
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The Mash was on at 12:25 and I was all cleaned up by about 17:00, it all went rather smoothly.  Maybe its time to start using my Plate Chiller as leedsbrew suggested! 2 packs of Saflager W34/70 Yeast pitched at 19-20c I’ll leave it on the cold garage floor to cool down overnight and let it go from there.

*24th Mar ’12 – FG 1011-12 put in fridge to warm up a little for a, probably un-needed, diacetyl rest. No dry hopping this tastes fantastic and clean as it is with a nice bit of bitterness coming through, I may actually transfer to a secondary FV and Lager this for a while (must ask a few Lagering questions on JBK).

*7th Apr ’12 – Bottled with 75g of White Sugar, tasting rather nice it has so far exceeded my expectations 🙂 I never bothered with any Dry hopping, I’ll be looking forward to this once its Carbonated up.

Mr Brown Hawk– A Columbus Hopped American Brown Ale (Brown IPA!) My first American brown, all Columbus hopping with a substantial Dry Hop in the FV with a bit of vague reference from the ‘Brewing Classic Styles’ book, the recipes in there use a heck of a lot of Crystal so I’ve sort of gone for the middle-ground as i don’t think a 6.3% beer needs all that. I’m using liquor treatment for ‘Sweet Pale Ale’ which will hopefully bring out the maltiness.

I started and realised I didn’t have enough Pale malt so some of it is sub’d with Vienna & Lager malts, I’ll give it at least a 90min mash to try compensate for a: crap Bairds Pale & Lager, b: the less convertibility of Vienna malt.

Fermentables:
Pale Malt – 36.2%
Vienna Malt – 17.2%
Wheat Malt – 17%
Lager Malt – 16.6%
Carapils (Weyermann) – 5%
Caramalt – 3%
Chocolate Malt, Pale – 3%
Crystal Malt, Extra Dark – 1%
Chocolate Malt – 1%

Hops:
Columbus (Tomahawk) – 16.5 % @ 60 mins – 25g (FWH)
Columbus (Tomahawk) – 16.5 % @ 10 mins – 29g
Columbus (Tomahawk) – 16.5 % @ 0 mins – 41g
Columbus (Tomahawk) – Dry Hop 84g

Final Volume: 20 Litres
Original Gravity: 1.065
Final Gravity: 1.017
Alcohol Content: 6.3% ABV
Total Liquor: 30.8 Litres
Mash Liquor: 14 Litres
Mash Efficiency: 75 % (actually got 75.8%)
Bitterness: 66 EBU (BeerEngine Hop Utilisation set to 25%)
Colour: 76 EBC
Mash: 90mins @66c
Boil: 60mins
Yeast: Safale US-05 (2 packs)

The usual malts shot:
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Checking for starch to see if fully converted, other than bits in the husks it was good after 2 hours:
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First Wort Hops:
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Flame-out hops steeped for about 20mins:
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1057-ish, should have been 1065:
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It was a total pain, running off to the FV it clogged up really quickly and I had to resort to a jug and a sieve, these Columbus hops have some fine particles! Pitched 2 packs of us-05 even though I didn’t hit my gravity 1058 vs 1065, the quicker the yeast gets going the better after all that sieve and jug malarkey!  It looks as though I got about the right volume in the fermenter even if some of it looks rather murky from break material and some hop debris. Another reminder that I should make a big mesh hop-stopper!
So… presuming I’ve not infected it with a shed load of extracurricular home brewing activity, I’ll be giving this a nice big dry hop once its got to FG.

*17th Mar ’12 – after reaching FG 1012 and being chilled in 2 stages (17c for 24hours then 11c for 24 hours) I had a 50mm thick layer of hop debris, trub and yeast at the bottom of the FV, I’ve racked the clear beer off the top into a 15L bucket and dry hopped with 84g Columbus, I gave the bucket a blast of co2 prior to racking onto the hops. This has been put back in the FV Fridge and I’m cooling to 5c, I’ll give the hops a stir in later on.

*Bottled 24th Mar ’12 with 30g sugar to 15 Litres of beer, this should be around 2 volumes of co2 @ 5°c tastes very Dry-Hopped, quite possibly too much flavour and Lovely colour.

*29th Mar ’12 – Very Early taster bottle 😉
A little under carbonated, its a Juicy fruit bomb maybe too too fruity as I’d actually like to taste some of the Choc malts underneath the hop flavour. Tiny bit of sweet alcohol on the nose, I’m surprised the dry-hop character seems to have mellowed out quite soon though this is my first time with a singled hopped Columbus beer. I’m thinking I should have reserved myself more than half a kilo from the 5kgs I had, I think I could have given it a bit more bitterness which would off-set the fruitiness a little.

*5th Apr ’12 – Just having a glass of this…  even though its carb’d pretty low, if i splash it into the glass it gives a lovely head that  clings down the glass and the carbonation actually fits pretty well with the beer.
Fruitiness is settling back, bitterness is starting to come through, tasty beer…. I’m happy with this 🙂


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