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Archive for October 2012

Big Malty Smoke Beer – The name says it all, this is what I want, it has to be Big, it has to be Malty, and it has to be Smokey 🙂
I should maybe give it a smokey German name like Rauchfaktor / KraftWort or something….

Rauch Malt (Weyermann) – 48.5%
Munich Malt – 20.8%
Munich Malt II (Weyermann – 13.4%
Oak-Smoked Pale Wheat Mal – 6.9%
Cara Munich Type I (Weyer – 6.9%
Melanoidin Malt – 3%
Carafa Special III – 0.4%

Hallertauer Mittlefruh – 4.2 % @ 60 mins – 43g
Tettnang – 3.8 % @ 60 mins – 43g
Hallertauer Mittlefruh – 4.2 % @ 0 mins – 22g – (30min Steep)
Tettnang – 3.8 % @ 0 mins – 9g – (30min Steep)

Final Volume: 23 Litres
Original Gravity: 1.065
Final Gravity: 1.016
Alcohol Content: 6.4% ABV
Total Liquor: 35.5 Litres
Mash Liquor: 17.3 Litres
Mash Efficiency: 70 % (Reduced from usual 75% as unknown malts)
Bitterness: 34 EBU
Colour: 53 EBC
Mash: 90mins @ 69°c I want to keep this Malty & Sweet which I hope will display the smoke well or at least create a background to carry it.
Boil: 60mins
Yeast: 2x Safale us-05 (It was going to be a Whitelabs Kölsch starter but it didn’t start!)

Quite a heap of malts going into this one, most are fresh from @TheMaltMiller the other week:
12°c in the garage today, a good temp for all the beer in there:
The colour of the mash run-off was a deep straw colour, there was no first sparge so I did a decoction to achieve a good Mashout temperature before running off:
This was the second sparge, i did a 30g carafa steep for 15mins to adjust for colour:
Start of boil hops:
Flameout hop steep of what remained in the two packs of hops:
1079 with temperature correction, 4 litre Liquor-back required to hi OG and final volume, I actually got almost 80% Mash efficiency, the decoction obviously had a bearing on this:
Put to bed in the fermentation fridge with it set to 18°c:

Fairly straight forward brewday, new fermenting bucket cleaned and tap fitted my older (original) buckets are getting a bit chalky looking inside I need to de-scale them at work.
I think I may have let a load of fine malt particles through into the copper as the run-off from the Mesh Hop-stopper was feeble at best, but the cold weather helped.
I managed to chill the wort down to 17°c and then after liquoring back from the HLT I got 18°c which is pretty much what I was aiming for as I want to ferment this cool to try and limit any possible ester production and keep it clean, I’ll warm it up towards the end to let the yeast clean up its bi-products.

*12th Nov ’12 – Looks to have finished at 1021.5 @22°c pretty high though not totally unexpected with a mash temp of 69°c (5.6% vs predicted 6.4% ABV).

*Bottled 24th Nov ’12 – Primed with 100g White Sugar in about 20 Litres of beer… should probably have been bottled a week ago, hopefully some time in bottle and carbonation will bring out the smoke, there is a very slight sourness in the finish though could it be the Rauch or maybe the Melanoidin??? I shall be reserving judgement until its had a week or two in bottle.

*30th Nov ’12 – I had a sneaky taster of this last night, I didn’t detect any of the previous sourness, its smokey but not that smokey more akin to a smoked Cheese than my desired “Stood Next to a Bonfire”, its actually quite light to drink with enough Body and Sweetness which I suppose is a Bready Maltiness… If I re-brew, more smoke!!! Maybe even a bit of bastardization with a touch of Peat Smoked Malt. Schlenkerla’s smoke hit really must be down to a rapid succession from Maltsters to Smoke House to Milled & Mashed with a cool fermented clean yeast. Safale US-05 has done an admirable job even if it wasn’t my first choice yeast, I should get more Whitelabs Kölsch yeast for the next attempt.
I think there is scope to reduce the amount of body and increase my carbonation and maybe a subtle alteration on the hopping for ‘Less is More’.

Will the 103,266 signatures be enough? Maybe we should all write to our MP’s its really easy to do 🙂

What follows is my my, probably somewhat badly written, bunch of thoughts on the matter to my MP… it took me 5 minutes to do this, do you think you can spare just 5 minutes of your time to tell your MP what you think to the government’s taxation of your beloved pint of beer… thanks 🙂

Dear Kris Hopkins,
Regarding the “Stop the beer duty escalator”
I really hope all these signatures make a difference, didn’t the Govt already say they were not going to change the Beer Duty Escalator? It seems very odd to keep whipping the cash-cow until there is no cow left to whip, thought that may be a worst case scenario! In the spirit of fairness the Beer Duty Escalator is out and out defective and must be challenged along with the whole of the alcohol industry to bring all its sectors into balance with one another. Beer is made a scape goat far too often and blamed for problem drinking, all the beer drinkers I know drink socially and responsibly… as do I! Should I really be taxed on my enjoyment of diversity in beer, should I pay over the odds for this variety that the British Brewing industry gives me, why must I be judged in the same way as an alcoholic trouble causer for the sakes of pleasing the Health-lobbying contingent????
I’m not happy with the way the Govt want to bleed a growth industry in these times of austerity, they need to nurture that growth and keep all Britain’s Microbreweries employing people… think further to the Barley Maltings and the Farmers that grow the barley, each step of the path to a pint of beer has a trail of employment.

I urge you to raise these matters and save our Pubs & brewing Industries from the extreme taxation that could drive them out of business.

Thank you for your time

Yours sincerely,

And here’s the ‘Dust me under the carpet’ reply…

Thank you for contacting me about beer duty.

The Government inherited the largest deficit in the G20 when it came to power in 2010 and the UK currently spends over £120 million every day on debt interest payments alone. This is clearly unsustainable and tough decisions are unavoidable. The revenues from alcohol excise duty make an important contribution to reducing the deficit we inherited, so the Chancellor had no room to change his Labour predecessor’s plans. We know that it would be unfair to place further burdens on pubs and on responsible drinkers, which is why we did not go further than the pre-announced duty increases at the Budget.

I recognise the vital role pubs play in community life and job creation. Ministers have already taken a number of steps to support British pubs. A community right to buy has been introduced, which will enable residents to save struggling pubs by taking them over rather than seeing them lie empty and derelict. We are also cutting red tape to make it is easier for pub owners to attract new business by putting on live music events.

As well as acting to reverse the last Government’s hike on cider tax, the Government has announced that it is going to introduce a new minimum unit price so for the first time it will be illegal for shops to sell alcohol for less than this set price per unit.

Groups such as the Campaign for Real Ale and the British Beer and Pub Association have welcomed the work that the Government has done to date, such as the review of alcohol taxation in November 2010. CAMRA’s figures also show that the net rate of pub closures has slowed dramatically over the past two years.

Please be assured that Treasury Ministers are aware of the broader concerns you raise.

Best wishes

Kris Hopkins

Do I reply…?

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