Sunday, 18 December 2016

Werthers Original

Out of the fermenter this Citra didn't taste great, however tonight had too bottles.

One seems to have diacetyl, the other whilst not what I wanted was out of a brew with Citra was at least drinkable.

I think it makes sense to make sure these bottles are in the garage over Christmas holidays whilst I'm away - just in case the worst happens and there is a bottle bomb around.

I'm hoping it's just a badly sterilised bottl and the diacetyl isn't systemic in the brewing process.

Reflecting on the chornical  fermenter, I think I'm going to move back to Safale-S04 and avoid US-05 as I'm not entirely happy with US-05 failing to drop. Perhaps (I'm bloody well hoping) after getting some consistency back with S-04  I'll reconsider to US-05.

Saturday, 10 December 2016

Citra 2016

Having 200g of Citra, 90g went into the Hop Burst Session Ale which left 110g to go into this Citra.

50g went to dry-hop, 60g starting from the last 15 minutes through to whirlpool.

It's the first time that I've re-used Safale US-05, I much prefer S-04 as that does at least drop during fermentation. The conical fermenter is less useful if the yeast never drops. Tasting it from the fermenter there is a good dose of hop aroma, but there may be a bit of an off flavour.

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

new fermentation vessel

A new shiny fermentation vessel a fridge with it's top cut off and reassembled with a collar.... and a new approach to hop's - hop bursting.

270gm of hops split as...
11% of hops for bittering
11% of hops at flameout
15% of hops in the hopback
63% of hops for dry hopping

The hop profile was based on what was available in freezer, and the recipe for Brew Dog's Dead Pony Club. I'm not really looking to cloning the brew, but getting close to the hop character would be a massive success.

The brewday itself had a few teething problems - even with the collar on the fridge there wasn't enough room to tip the rehydrated yeast into the fermenter.

Monday, 10 October 2016

wheat beer

A first attempt for a wheat beer, with Wheat Malt, Munich, Caragold, and a bit of pale malt... Safbrew WB-06 and Hallertau Hersbrucker.

Fermentation at 20deg for 2 days, followed by 23 for 2 days.

Probably was one of the smoothest brewdays for a long time

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

first Saison done and bottled - it was a bit of an ordeal as the boil kettle elements didn't really like it.
The final volume was a little bit of a disappointment but given the messing a bout with having to use the HLT as the boil kettle it's a wonder I ended up with any.

Saturday, 14 May 2016

Bang on Target

Pretty straightforward brewday, the only mishap was the thermometer going to the bottom of the boiler and an improtu run to the shops to get rubber gloves.

PH of the mash and nice 5.6... the water treatment can't have been too bad.
OG bang on target at 1.050
Volume... bang on target at 23L (+ a bit for wastage in the FV)

even remembered to put the copper fining's in and the the hoprocket worked a treat.

I'll be over the moon if this turns out to be a good brew as I pretty much followed the process with some small tweaks to do some of the cleaning earlier.

Friday, 13 May 2016

Mixed Success... and adventures into water treatment

A bit of mixed success for the last few brews.

The Topaz turned out ok after spending a good while conditioning, however the Topaz/Columbus clearing out the stocks brew has turned out to be a stunner really trying to not drink the last few bottles as I know it's down hill from there.

Early this year I did a brew with Pacific Raku, but that is currently a little bit marginal, in hindsight it probably didn't quite finish fermenting (cold out the fridge it's less harsh).

A couple of weeks ago I did another Mosaic Pale Ale it was the first time using a plate chiller and hoprocket - however putting the hops in after the filter meant the plate chiller clogged quickly - so an improtu whirlpool. I also forgot the kettle finnings. The aroma does appear to have come through quite well. The question is does it clear before the aroma disappears altogether.  Given this is the only pale ale I've got other than pacific raku it will probably be looked upon more favourably.

Tomorrow (HLT is already filled up ready for the morning) is a brew of Super Goose. I sent off a sample of water for testing as got a profile back:

Alkalinity CaCO3 158.00 Residual Alkalinity 20
Calcium Magnesium Sodium Carbonates Sulphate Chloride
Ca Mg Na CO3 SO4 Cl
Water Composition 96.60 7.70 40.40 94.7302 78.70 73.00

However having tested with both a Salifert and API GH/KH test I currently make the alkalinity at more like 250. I'm not sure if the water has changed because the process with the last brew was to use 75% of the required CRS for 50ppm, and that was enough to get a bit below 50ppm.

I've decided to stick with the water profile test results that I've got, hopefully this will draw out if the salts Calcium Chloride, Calcium Sulphate and Magnesium Sulphate have a meaningful effect. Thinking back to some of the best brews in Wards View the one of the big changes (aside from temperature controllers over-reading) is that I used Burton Water Salts which were a blend of Magnesium + Calcuium Sulphate - so the overall water might have been more balanced.

If the Alkalinity is 250 rather than 158 I think the dosage of CRS that Graham Wheeler's water calculator comes out around 100ppm which is probably not a massive deal. In some of the brews with CRS treatment I was a little afraid of going too far so it's probably to be fairly close to previous brews.

I'm still trying to get my head around water stuff, but I think a bit later in the year I probably should go for another water treatment... but testing the alkalinity myself before sending it off would be good. It would be ideal if the water profile is mostly stable so I can just use a salifert kit to take a snapshot of where things are.

Saturday, 9 January 2016

Twitter Integration

A first of brewing in cold temperatures in a hope to get something hoppy ready for the end of Feb.

A mistake in the code for the reading the DS18B20 probes meant <10 degrees was getting read incorrectly. (Taking the first 3 digits and dividing by 10 was intended to give a decimal place - but instead that meant 8500 for 8.5 degrees was coming as 85 deg. Unfortunate as this is an error state for the probes).

I've also started to integrate with twitter:
 - approaching events such as HLT up to temperature gets tweeted @my main twitter account. If I've lost track of time this serves as a good reminder.
 - key recipe stats steps (#hopbill, #grainbill) and tweeted.

All tweets have #brewerslab hash tag.