Monthly Archives: March 2013

Bagshot Pale 3.0 – APA

APA_3.0

I spoke to the first and second iteration of this recipe in this post so I’ll keep this post brief. Obviously this is the third iteration of this recipe – I brewed this one with NHC in mind. I liked the previous versions a lot, but I think I nailed exactly what I was going for the third time.

I entered both previous versions in 3 competitions each and ended up with some pretty good results. In one competition it was dinged for high diacetyl, which I think was probably from another beer in that flight because the same batch did well in 2 other competitions and I never picked up any diacetyl. I took the feedback from all the scoresheets giving more weight to the 2nd version as well as my notes and decided on a few changes:

  • The hop flavor seemed a bit muddled so I decided to move the Amarillo from the Dry Hop and use it all in the hopstand while moving the Centennial from the hopstand to dry hop. I really liked the aroma of Janet’s Brown Ale which was dry hopped with 2 oz Centennial. I also thought having Cascade and Amarillo in the hopstand without Centennial would focus the flavors a bit more.
  • I thought the bitterness could be a bit higher and some scoresheets more or less concurred, but I didn’t want to add a large bittering addition – in an attempt to preserve the integrity of the original recipe (which focuses on the “whirlpool” hop stand for nearly all bitterness) I decided to use the water profile I use for all my other hoppy beers, which is the one Tasty McDole uses (I had previously used Firestone Walker’s profile for this recipe). I do not know much about water chemistry, but I know this profile works and accentuates bitterness so I figured this was a pretty safe change without modifying the hopping schedule.
  • A couple of scoresheets mentioned malt aroma as being a bit low. The style guideline says low-moderate for both malt aroma and flavor so I opted to increase the Victory from 3.6% to 5.8%. I’m hoping that gets me a hint of malty/toasty aroma as it was pretty much all hop aroma before – hopefully the 2.2% increase was enough to be noticed. I modified the grist percentage for everything to accommodate this change, but only slightly from version 2.0.

Bagshot Pale 3.0:

5 finished gallons (6.5 gallon batch size – 1.25 left in kettle, 5.25 into carboy)

90 minute boil

1.054 OG

1.014 FG

73% Rahr 2 Row

15.4% Weyermann Munich (8L)

5.8% Briess CaraPils

5.8% Briess Victory Malt

5 grams Cascade 5.6% 90 mins

5 grams Cascade 5.6% 30 mins

46.8 grams Cascade 5.6% 0 mins – 30 minute hot steep

56.8 grams Amarillo 9.2% 0 mins – 30 minute hot steep

28.4 grams Cascade 5.6% Dry hop for 6 days

56.8 grams Centennial 8.7% Dry hop for 6 days

WLP002

Pitch at 63, let rise to 66F. As fermentation wraps up increase temp to 68F. When within about .002 gravity points of target final gravity add dry hops. After 3 days cold crash for 3 days before packaging.

I have found that this beer is very drinkable after a week in the keg, but even better if you wait until about 6 weeks from brew day. This particular version has an intensely citrusy and spicy aroma with hints of orange,  grapefruit and some clean malt character. The spiciness is a bit higher than in 2.0 and I’m really liking it – overall the aroma screams American C hops, and more importantly it screams American Pale Ale. The color is golden with a hint of orange – brilliantly clear (it’s lighter than the picture above shows – had trouble with lighting). The bitterness and moderate carbonation hit you first, but the flavor quickly shifts to citrus/grapefruit with some breadiness and orange flavor. I don’t pick up any toastiness still, that is one thing I’d consider trying to increase, but it’s just so drinkable as is I think any more malt character might detract from the beer overall. The finish is dry by design with a hint of lingering bitterness and even hop flavor. The older it gets the more the malt flavor comes through (as the hops fade).

I entered this in NHC, but category 10 is never easy so I’m not holding my breath.

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New Small Batch Brew Setup

stovetop

As a true northerner I’ve always embraced winter brewing outside/in the garage, however when your hoses to your immersion chiller freeze up and you’re forced to carry a 15 gallon kettle with 6.5 gallons of wort from the garage down to the basement to chill you start to think about what could be done differently.

As I was thinking about winter brewing I also thought about summer brewing in the garage – here in MN it gets fairly hot (90*+) and humid from June – August, which is more unappealing to me than brewing at 0* or below, but at least I can run water through my chiller. This basically means that with my unattached garage and no plumbing there I end up with about 5-6 months of decent outdoor brewing – not good enough.

It was clear to me at this point that I needed to figure out an indoor setup. I thought about trying to make a basement setup, but with no dedicated area and the prospect of ventilation and gas plumbing it just wasn’t feasible (for me). I thought about an electric setup, but opted not to risk killing myself since I know nothing about electrical engineering and it would still mean figuring out a dedicated space and ventilation. This left the stove-top, which luckily we had just replaced and happened to get a stove with a pretty powerful burner (what a coincidence, right?).

burner

Knowing what I had to work with it was time to choose a batch size – shooting for 5 gallons of finished beer isn’t ideal on a stove top. I also want to branch out a bit and experiment with recipe formulation as I mostly stick to brewing established recipes – albeit with significant tweaks at times – so I wanted to keep the batch size around 2-3 gallons. Applying the KISS methodology the clear winner was 2.5 gallon batches since those scale pretty much linearly to my normal 5 gallon batch size.

In a typical 5 gallon batch I aim to produce 6.5 gallons of wort and leave 1.25 gallons of wort/trub in the kettle while transferring 5.25 gallons into the fermenter. For the 2.5 gallon batches I’m producing 3.25 gallons of wort and leaving .5 gallons in the kettle. Both batch sizes leave .25 gallons in the fermenter. I’ll have to increase batch size for beers that use a ton of hops or for beers I plan to secondary.

I really wanted my process to be as identical as possible between the 2 setups as I’ll still brew 5 gallon batches and want to be able to brew the same beer on either setup. I ferment in 6 gallon better bottles now so 3 gallon seemed like the logical choice for the half-sized batches, but I also hate dealing with blowoff tubes and losing beer to blowoff so I opted for the 5 gallon better bottles. I end up with a lot of headspace, but I do fairly short primaries anyway and don’t think I introduce much oxygen after pitching (I mostly rack to kegs with CO2 in a closed environment, etc.). I’ll probably secondary in 3 gallon better bottles (and up my batch size a bit) when I brew bigger beers unless I break them into 1 gallon jugs and maybe oak half or something.

For a kettle I ended up going with the Morebeer 8 gallon Heavy Duty Brew Kettle. I have the 15 gallon version and love it (welded fittings, retains heat well, solid) so that was an easy choice. There is also basically no chance of a boilover with if I leave the lid off and I am not about to risk that on our new stove (I would never hear the end of it and probably be kicked back out to the garage).

I plan to bottle a lot of these batches, but will also likely get a couple 2.5 gallon kegs. I’m sure 5 gallon kegs will work fine, but it’d be nice to have a couple 2.5 gallon kegs.

I’ll get a brew sesh post up soon – stay tuned.

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