Sunday, 3 October 2010

The continuing ongoing IPA slide

 I was in the Glasgow area a few days ago. While there my Dad & I tried a few beers at his house. Some were shop bought and some from myself. The stand out beer was the White Star IPA.  I mention this is as when i brewed the White Star IPA i realised it was the most complicated beer i had made to date. This is now(thankfully) reflected in the complexity present in the glass. Everyone who likes good beer deserves to be drinking beer like this!

Anyway, getting back on point. I mentioned in a previous blog post that my next IPA would be my 'stand against the corporate dilution' of this most excellent beer style and we are on the way to that beer now.

 While in the Glasgow area I popped into the Fox and Hounds in Houston which is the brewpub and restaurant attached to the Houston Brewing Company brewery.I went with the intention of having a drink and to ask if i could buy a sack of crushed Malt (brew geek, remember)?. Not only did i get a sack of malt i was also given an impromptu brewery tour by owner Carl Wengel.

The guys were in the middle of brewing and casking but still found the time to speak to a brewing geek like myself(and my Mum). There were four full fermenters on the go while i was there. Peter's Well was building up fermenting steam in one while Warlock Stout was finishing in another.
There was also a 10 barrel batch chilling and being transfered to an empty FV while i was there. If any of you reading this are on The West coast of Scotland you really should take yourself to the Fox and Hounds. I've been going there for the past 25 years ( The brewery has been there for fourteen years) and in my never humble opinion its one of the best pubs in Scotland.

Now you may think i've went off on a tangent but that's not the case (honest). The sack of malt that Carl so kindly sold me is destined to be the malt that will provide the backbone to my next Uber IPA. I did think for a moment about asking for two sacks but there's only really enough room for one sack in my boot whilst not risking denting the boot.

 In the interest of advancing brewing science i brought the grain North at a brisk pace. We'll see if speed has a positive effect on the final product!

In order to get my hands on the yeast for this IPA i  bottled the training beer that was sitting on it. This is a 'normal' 4.4% beer brewed with Harviestouns Schiehallion and Bitter and twisted in mind as they were before the brewery was bought out.

I was ably assisted by my son Martin in the bottling process. This is one of the things i really like about brewing. Its a hobby that CAN involve the family. Its especially good for boys as they learn about engineering, bio chemistry, work processes and a whole load of other stuff. My boys 15 and knows a huge amount about beermaking already. Somehow i don't think he'll start off on kits when its his turn!

In the end we had 53 capped bottles and just under a litre of beer, yeast and debris.

I am guilty of not properly washing my yeast. Sorry but at the end of the day i find that drawing off a litre from the bottom of the fermenter swirling it to break up the clumps and leaving it to settle works fine for me.

Once i see the clean creamy yeast layer has some of the larger debris in it i stop and call it complete. Buying an Erlenemyer flask made for a much cleaner yeast harvest. Well worth the money and it does look great!

Once its settled(normally an hour or so) i pour off the majority of the beer and stop just as the yeast layer starts to shift off the top of the heavier debris layer. I then introduce the bottle for the clean yeast.

The hops and yeast are in the fridge, the grain is in the brewery and the final part is the remainder tweaking of the recipe below to work out final volume, IBU and Strength. I will be keeping the Historic brewers Roberts(Scotland) and Amsinck (England) in mind while making the final decisons.  I have read about and admire massively the principles behind Meantime Brewery at Greenwich and its beers. Nonetheless Its IPA is firmly in my sights and i am set on blowing it out the water (in a nice way) in a side by side blind taste test in 2011.
IPA's totally rock!

Hop Paradigm Shift IPA
Type: All Grain Scottish IPA
Batch Size: 11.00 gal
Boil Time: 120 min

17.00 kg Pale Malt (2 Row) UK (2.0 SRM)
4.50 oz Goldings, East Kent [4.50 %] (120 min) (First Wort Hop)
4.50 oz Fuggles [3.80 %] (120 min) (First Wort Hop)
3.50 oz Northdown [8.50 %] (120 min) (First Wort Hop)
7.00 oz Challenger [7.60 %] (120 min) (First Wort Hop)

1.50 oz Goldings, East Kent [4.50 %] (5 min)
1.50 oz Fuggles [3.80 %] (5 min)
2.00 oz Goldings, East Kent [4.50 %] (3 min)
2.00 oz Fuggles [3.80 %] (3 min)

4.00 oz Goldings, East Kent [4.50 %] (60 min) (Aroma Hop-Steep)
4.00 oz Fuggles [3.80 %] (60 min) (Aroma Hop-Steep)

1.00 oz Bramling Cross [6.00 %] (Dry Hop 14 to 21 days)
2.00 oz Goldings, East Kent [4.50 %] (Dry Hop 14 to 21 days)
2.00 oz Fuggles [3.80 %] (Dry Hop 14 to 21 days)
16.00 oz Whisky barrel Oak Chips (Secondary 14 to 21 days)

2.00 items Whirlfloc Tablet (Boil 15.0 min)
60.00 gm Gypsum (Calcium Sulfate) (Mash 120 min)
Liquid US-05 Yeast-Ale

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