Category Archives: Bitter

Ivy Bush Bitter 1.0

Ivy_Bush_Bitter_1.0

We’ve had glimmers of Spring here in MN, but as I write this it’s snowing outside on May 1st… Back in late March I thought it would be nice to have a nice malty low ABV pale ale to drink to ring in Spring. I also needed to build up some yeast (WLP002) for a few upcoming batches so an Ordinary Bitter seemed to fit the bill. I had just spent a weekend in Wisconsin drinking New Glarus beers so I decided on a Spotted Cow type Bitter since that’s nice and drinkable – exactly what I’m looking for here. In addition to that I knew I could be drinking it inside 2 weeks.

I stuck with my go-to English base malt in Warminster Floor Malted Marris Otter and decided to just use one specialty malt, in this case Baird’s Carastan (37L). I had some Northern Brewer hops in the freezer and knew they’d be perfect for this one.

Ivy Bush Bitter 1.0

2.5 finished gallons (3.5 gallon batch size – .75 left in kettle, .25 left in fermenter)

Brewed 3/28

Kegged 4/7

60 min boil

Mash @ 150*

1.038 OG

1.011 FG

90% Warminster Floor Malted Marris Otter (4.5L)

10% Baird’s Carastan (37L)

60 Min Northern Brewer (German) 8% to 30 IBU

15 Min Northern Brewer (German) 8% to 4 IBU

0 Min Northern Brewer (German) 8% equal amount from 15 min addition

 

The aroma is quite malty, there is a bit of fruity esters, caramel and a hint of toast as well. There is some hop character, but not a lot. The caramel and toast qualities are more pronounced now at about the 5 week mark than they were even a week ago. In short, it smells like an English Beer. The bitterness dominates the flavor until you swallow when you are hit with malt/bread and caramel. There is, again, some fruitiness, but I don’t get a lot of toasty flavors (would like some). There is some hop flavor as well – it hits me as EKG with a hing of noble hops. The finish is dry with no lingering bitterness – just leaves you craving the next sip. As expected the color is pale gold, very clear (no finings needed) with great head retention and small bubbles. Remember to serve these around 50* and keep the carbonation low with these delicate English ales. I probably would not brew this exact recipe again for a MN spring, but this would make a great beer on a hot summer day. This would be a great beer to serve on cask.

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Hamfast the Gaffer (Pliny clone) take 2.0

pliny_2.0

Good Day readers,

Brewed up another pliny clone on 12/13/12. Instead of following the same recipe from the Zymurgy article as I did last time I came across another blogger that believed he had a more accurate and up to date clone recipe and decided to tweak my recipe a bit. I want to compete with this beer and I’m not looking to make an exact clone at this point so I didn’t make all of the changes, but here’s the updated recipe and thanks to Scott for posting the info on his blog (which, if you like beer blogs you should check out):

Hamfast the Gaffer 2.0

Tasty McDole’s “hoppy” water profile

5 finished gallons (6.75 gallon batch size – 1.5 left in kettle, 5.25 into carboy, 5 into keg)

90 minute boil

Mash at 150* F for 90 minutes

1.072 OG (ended up at 1.073)

1.010 FG (measured)

88% Rahr 2 Row

5% Corn Sugar

4% Briess Carapils

3% Briess Crystal 40

110 grams CTZ 17% 90 minutes

24 grams CTZ 13.9% 45 minutes

32 grams Simcoe 13% 30 minutes

1/2 tablet Whirlfloc 5 minutes

74.5 grams Simcoe 12.2% 0 minutes (hot steep for 15 minutes before chilling)

32 grams Centennial 11.6% 0 minutes (hot steep for 15 minutes before chilling)

Servomyces added prior to chilling

After chilling whirlpooled with a spoon and let kettle sit for 2 hours before racking to Better Bottle, transferred only a small amount of pellet hop material – left the rest behind with 1.5 gallons of wort/trub.

60 seconds pure 02

WLP001 pitched at 65* F, allowed to free rise to 67* F for fermentation, ramped up to 70* F as fermentation slowed down. Racked to secondary at 1.013 onto 10 day dry hops – second dose also added in secondary.

28.4 grams Centennial Dry Hop 10 days

28.4 grams CTZ Dry Hop 10 days

28.4 Simcoe Dry Hop 10 days

21 grams Amarillo Dry Hop 10 days

7.1  grams Centennial Dry Hop 5 days

7.1 grams CTZ Dry Hop 5 days

10.7 Simcoe Dry Hop 5 days

10.2 grams Amarillo Dry Hop 5 days

Kegged/fined with gelatin on 1/2

1/8 pours crystal clear, tastes really great, still a bit harsh (always find that beers need at least 1-2 weeks in the keg to mellow out).

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After 2 weeks in the keg this beer tastes really good. The flavors have mellowed and the harshness has faded. The addition of amarillo is very evident surprisingly enough, the aroma is pine, resin, floral citrus, a bit of earthiness/dankness and maybe a hint of fruitiness (from hops, not yeast). The flavor is all of the above with a bit more pine/resin. The mouthfeel is great, the hop oil lingers on your tongue – this is obviously from the large amounts of oily hops, but the 15 minute hot-steep before chilling increases this dramatically – and in a very good way. The bitterness is perfect and the malt flavor is right where I want it. I don’t think I’d tweak the recipe at all for the next batch. The color is lighter than the first batch and I like where it’s at. The gelatin didn’t seem to strip aroma/flavor and I wouldn’t hesitate to use it again (previously I had refrained from using it in hoppier beers, but I think I’ll use it in all beers going forward).

This is a great recipe and every IPA/IIPA lover should brew it at least once. This will be entered alongside Bagshot Pale and maybe some other beers in Upper Mississippi Mashout, Great Northern BrewHaHa and MMXIII Midwinter Home Brew Contest. I’ll get some results posts up afterwards. The first attempt of this recipe got 1st, 2nd, 3rd in the three competitions I sent it to – I know that the competition will likely be stiffer in UMMO at least though.

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Beer Engine Caskegerator – Butterbur’s Bitter

I really really love English beers through a handpump, but I wasn’t about to spend $400 on a beer engine until I had at least tried this out at home. I saw a BYO article about building a beer engine out of an RV hand pump and a pretty cool build on HBT so I decided to cannablize a wine-cooler that was collecting dust and build a beer engine/caskegerator (hand pump, swan neck, sparkler tip, cooling unit, corny kegs = Beer Engine Caskegerator).

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It’s cooled by the peltier cooling unit from the wine cooler, and an additional PC fan. My basement isn’t quite cool enough yet so I am supplementing the cooling with some frozen 2 liter jugs which allows the setup to hover around 52-53F.

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I had a swan neck fabricated by Zach at stainlessbrewing.com and added a compression fitting to 3/8″ MPT, I then jammed a sparkler tip on there and turned it to basically create new threads. After flushing the system a few times all the plastic chunks were purged out.

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The pump is a Valtera Rocket Hand Pump that I got on Amazon for $28 – took off the stock spout and used a keg dip tube and o ring fastened on by the plastic nut that was holding the stock spout on.

I brewed an ordinary bitter for the Beer Engine Caskegerator’s maiden voyage:

Butterbur’s Bitter

OG 1.037

FG 1.009

Mash at 151

60 Minute Boil

90% Floor Malted Marris Otter (Warminster)

5% English Dark Crystal (Simpson’s)

5% Corn Sugar

54g Styrian Goldings 4%AA 60 minutes

17g Styrian Goldings 4%AA 20 minutes

17g Styrian Goldings 4%AA 5 minutes

WLP002, pitched at 62F, let free rise to 66F, kegged at 1.010 and let fermentation finish out while carbonating the beer. Gelatin finings.

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Tastes perfect, bitterness is definitely there, but not in your face, has some hop flavor and a tiny bit of English yeast fruitiness, but finishes clean and dry with a hint of honey and breadiness that I think comes from the floor malted MO. Aroma is pretty much all malt/bread with a hint of sweetness/earthiness from the Styrian Goldings, the recipe might benefit from a late addition, but I wanted to brew a traditional ordinary bitter and I don’t think I’ll change a thing next time.

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Filed under Bitter, Brewing, Cask, Homebrew