Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Kingsland Black IPA Brewday

I approached this brewday with some trepidation. Underlying currents tell me that the beer i wanted to brew might turn out to be too close to Porter for comfort. Another part of me speaks out about the mouthfeel of massive RIS's and how exactly do i go about balancing Roast Barley against Big Hops.

At this point i realised that 'It's only beer' so i chilled out and cracked on with the final recipe tweaks. I'd love to claim that there is an underlying subtlety going on within this recipe. Sadly there isn't! The recipe has been driven by my experience of darker grains & Mouthfeel within RIS's and experience of hopping regimes within IPA's Anthing else is either luck, blithe disregard for brewing tradition & style or possibly the fact that on opening my grain bins the realisation hit that i was short on Munich & Wheat malt.........

Kingsland Black IPA

Type: All Grain
Batch Size: 9.00 gal
Boil Size: 10.75 gal 
Boil Time: 110 min
Brewhouse Efficiency: 70.00
20ltrs mash liquor @79 degrees followed by 39ltrs sparge liquor @ 85 deg
Total Grain Weight: 7.05 kg


2.25 kg Pale Malt (2 Row) UK (3.0 SRM) Grain 28.30 %
1.50 kg Caramunich Malt (56.0 SRM) Grain 18.87 %
1.00 kg Munich Malt - 10L (10.0 SRM) Grain 12.58 %
1.00 kg Wheat, Torrified (1.7 SRM) Grain 12.58 %
0.50 kg Caramel/Crystal Malt - 40L (40.0 SRM) Grain 6.29 %
0.20 kg Black Barley (Stout) (500.0 SRM) Grain 2.52 %
0.20 kg Chocolate Malt (450.0 SRM) Grain 2.52 %
0.20 kg Oats, Flaked (1.0 SRM) Grain 2.52 %
0.20 kg Roasted Barley (300.0 SRM) Grain 2.52 %
50 grmms Gypsum

4.00 oz Hallertauer [6.80 %] (90 min) (First Wort Hop 66.0 IBU
2.00 oz Amarillo Gold [8.50 %] (120 minutes) (Aroma Hop-Steep) 
2.00 oz Simcoe [13.00 %] (120 minutes) (Aroma Hop-Steep) 
0.90 kg Candi Sugar, Amber 11.32 %
3rd generation repitch US-05
Measured Original Gravity: 1.050 SG
Est Final Gravity: 1.014 SG
Estimated Alcohol  4.95 %

1.50 oz Simcoe [13.00 %] (Dry Hop 14 days)
1.50 oz Amarillo Gold [8.50 %] (Dry Hop 14 days)

Bitterness: 66.0 IBU
Est Color: 37.0 SRM 

I have excluded one ingredient from the list. While checking the fridge/freezer unit this morning i found a 9oz weight frozen box of chinook/simcoe,amarillo hops. My guess is that these hops would be around 4 oz when dry. They have been used as a dry hop for a few days(5) and then removed and frozen. I know of no way to calculate what they bring to the party but since we are going off piste with regard to beer style anyway i thought we'd bring them along for the ride.

Rather chilly in the garage this morning with 5 degrees showing on the HLT after running the elements for a couple of minutes.

I made up a stein full of Black, Choc & Roast Malt

This was added to a collection of lighter grains in the mash tun for no more reason that the photogenic opportunity that it offered!

It really is Baltic today, had to up the Liquor temp to a shade under 80 degrees to settle at 65ish for the rest.

I went for 65 degree mash to try and thin the body out slightly, this has been offset by my schizo grain bill but should come back into line with the use of Belgian Candi Sugar!

While waiting for the 90 minute rest to complete i weighed out the 4oz of Hallertau bittering hops.

These along with the frozen Chinook,Amarillo & Simcoe hops went into the kettle as the first wort hops

The recirculation of the first runnings went well with a Jet black hydro sample taken.

Love the smell off of these Hallertau Tradition Hops, i will have to use them in a single hop lager through the Winter.
I finished the sparge and run off quite quickly(45 minutes).

I then brought the wort up to the boil for 110 minutes. Sadly no pictures, too much steam as i go for a hard rolling lid off boil in dark beers. In the last fifteen minutes i pitched in two protafloc tablets and the Belgian Candi. I hope to retain some of the orange zest through to the finished product by minimising boil time on the candi.

I pitched in the 4 oz of steep hops and left to cool/settle for two hours. After that i transfered to the Conical.

I noticed an immediate difference in the head retention generated by the drop to the FV. The head dropped back into the wort quickly. This is i assume caused by the Oats fats. This is the first time i have used oats, we will see how it goes. Mouthfeel will have to be outstanding or this is their last time in this brewhouse!

Last thing to do was a yeast pitch. I have used a 3rd generation US-05 yeast. This is my favourite yeast as it consistently hits 1.012FG at 70deg mash temp. Pretty neutral in character but does bring a small something to the table. Drops out of suspension quickly and can be clear within 10 days in the bottle.

I'll leave it here until i can get a picture of the yeast in action in the morning. I enjoyed the brewday and think this beer will work out well. I could smell liqourice and coffee off of the wort so that's a good start. I'll leave you with a picture from the brewhouse this morning.

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Monday, 29 November 2010

Belgian Candi Sugar at home.

I am continuing to plan my Kingsland Black IPA. In the pursuit of a lighter mouthfeel & body in this dark beer i have decided to make up a batch of Belgian Candi Sugar to supply some of the fermentable sugars.

 Enter stage left Home made Belgian style Candi sugar supplied by 2 kgs of Cane sugar, a dash of Lemon juice and a couple of oranges for a twist.

2kgs of T&L cane sugar in a pan.

 A small volume of preboiled water added to liquify the sugar. The heat is applied along with a few squirts from a Lemon to supply the Glucose & Fructose debonding acid.

While the sugar/water/acid solution is heating i cut and squeezed the juice from a couple of oranges.

I obtained a decent cup of fresh OJ. That wasn't quite enough zing for me, i also grated a good amount of orange peel zest off of the squeezed oranges.

Both were added to the heating and liquifying sugar solution.

Preboil, there was a nice colour change imparted by the orange juice and zest.

After that it was full steam ahead to a rolling boil at 200 Deg F.

I then increased the heat to 300 Deg F quickly to achieve full 'Hard Crack' with minimal colouring.

 I poured off the first 900ml into a baking tray and placed it outside to set in the very early Scottish Winter.

I returned the pan to the boil for 5 minutes to further darken the fermentables and then poured it into a tray for Winter cooling.

I returned the final few hundred Ml's to the heat for a further 5 minutes. Sadly this remainder took on a burnt flavour(too little liquid and too much heat). I won't use it as the caramelisation is too extreme in flavour for my next couple of beers.

So there we have it. A one hour candy sugar session that has supplied me with a shade under 2 kg's of candy aimed directly at two of the beers circling in my head. The light one below will go into my future Lager type beer which is next on the cards after Kingsland Black IPA.

The Darker Brother is heading towards Kingsland Black IPA.

Overcooked brother is there only to show just how much difference a couple of minutes makes at 300 deg!

I really enjoyed making this today and i am very happy with the taste layer added from the orange juice and zest. A good way to be brewing without brewing if you see what i mean.

Boring cost bit
2kg's cane sugar £1.38
2 oranges £0.60
Gas £1.00
Total 1.49 per Kilo

Graham Sanders over at Franklinbrew has put together a nice guide to making various Belgian fermentable products. I won't reiterate his well written guide.


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Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Thinking about New Beer and how i get from here to there.

In the interest of getting 'in character' we decided to pop the top on a couple of my 2nd darkest beers. They are the 3rd version of an Imperial Russian Stout recipe i have been working on for a couple of years. This version is is one year in the bottle. The recipe is below and i will say that if you brew this as AG you will be biting on the heels of certain Belgian Beers that go by Numbers.

Dead Czar Imperial Russian Stout Mk III
5 gallon batch
3.50 kg Lager Malt
1.50 kg Barley, Flaked
0.50 kg Vienna Malt
0.40 kg Crystal Malt
0.40 kg Chocolate Malt
0.40 kg Wheat, Torrified
0.25 kg Amber Malt
0.25 kg Roasted Barley
0.15 kg Black (Patent) Malt
3.00 oz Northdown [8.50 %] (90 min) Hops 64.0 IBU
1.00 kg Dark Liquid Extract
1.00 kg Sugar, Table (Sucrose)
3 Pkgs Nottingham (Danstar #-) Yeast-Ale
Beer Profile
Measured Original Gravity: 1.077 SG
Bitterness: 64.0 IBU Calories: 344 cal/pint
Est Color: 41.3
60 min Mash/ 90 Min boil
Caramelise 1st runnings(3 ltrs) 10 minutes full burn
Repitch yeast slurry(Nottingham 3 pkts) from previous batch

Myself and my wife forged ahead in the interest of better beer for us and our mates. Turns out that this is a really nice beer but it's a BIG beer for sipping and not quaffing! The mouthfeel is HUGE and could be improved (reduced) with more brewing sugar in the kettle and less malt.

Impressions are as follows. Lots of Tiramasu with orange overtones along with  dark chocolate thrown in for good measure. This beer is a cracker but it does show/highlight the differences between this beer and the beer i wish to Brew next. At least they share something in common,....... a colour!

To further serve the interests of the upcoming Black IPA i am going on Wednesday with a few friends to Brewdog's new pub in Aberdeen. I will keep a beady eye open for any Dark IPA's on their keg system or menu. If none are present i will concentrate on the hops and the mouthfeel of their kegged beers.
 I know! Its a hard life but somebody has to do it. :) I might take my camera with me but TBH i'm not very good with it and my photography skills do not improve as the night goes on. Never know, might catch some luck and get a couple of good shots of the pub! My mate Robbie from Glasgow has done a wee review of Brewdog's latest venture in Aberdeen, see below.

I met Robbie through a beer related project in Glasgow. For one night only we (and many other fine brewers) gave away beer in the fairest City of them all! That night truly rocked and reaffirmed why i do what i do. :)

So there we have it, a quick 'stream of consciousness' as to what goes on in my head while i'm thinking about a new beer, what goes on in yours? I am REALLY interested in what flicks your switches when it comes to brewing beer. It might be as simple as the smell off of pine trees when you go for a walk. It might be the smell of something rotting down, who know's? Could even be something visual that flicks a switch and crosses the senses barrier into taste or smell?

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Sunday, 21 November 2010

Dark India Pale Ale Mk1( Kingsland Ale )

Is the title a Misnomer? I know its not a beer style so 'thank god, the freedom of brewing outwith style'!

 When i was around 14 years old or About a Thousand years ago(or so it seems). I read a book By Stephen King & Peter Straub Titled 'The Talisman'. Maybe you know it? It had a massive impact on my psyche and contributed towards my lifelong love of reading. There is a moment In the book where a wagonload of a fictional ale 'Kingsland Ale' is spilled across a mud road  much to the regret (albeit shortlived) of the cart driver.

 I have never forgotten the mind movie that unreeled in my brain through the words as all that beer spilled across the road and the nearest villagers became very drunk on the spilled barrels of beer with some bending to drink from horseshoe impressions in the muddy mire that the road had become. It's a powerful scene in the book and i would suppose that Stephen King or Peter Straub remembered it as well as they resurrected Kingsland ale in their next collaboration 'Black House' where it is brewed in this world  by a Biker gang who also happen to be the Brewers at the brewery at French landing, Wisconsin.

 If you are reading this and saying 'Eh?' i understand.

I am using the idea of Kingsland Ale as my inspiration for my next beer. In this instance i am going to dabble in the art of 'Dark IPA'. I could witter endlessly about the links in my head between the books Black House, Talisman, The Dark Tower series, Good Beer and many other apparently Randoms.

 I won't for two reasons. Firstly i might know some of you in the 'real world' so i wish to show no more of my mental instability than i absolutely have to and secondly, it would become boring quickly to all but a few of the scary people!

The bottom line is that i'd like to create a Dark IPA using the following ingredients and taking influence from the idea of a beer that never existed other than in two writers heads both of whom i have never met! Easy enough then, eh?

The idea is to end up with a beer that looks more like a stout than a pale IPA and it must have a decent but not overpowering malt backbone. I also wish to achieve a roast coffee element and huge tropical hop notes. If i can ferment the beer at the upper end of the scale i'll be happy with whatever esters i can get the yeast to throw The beer will have to keep its head to the bottom of the glass and it must be quaffable so it will be below 5%ABV.

Kingsland Dark Ale
Type: All Grain
Date: 21/11/2010
Batch Size: 8.00 gal
Boil Size: 9.63 gal
Boil Time: 90 min

2.00 kg Munich Malt
2.25 kg Pale Malt
1.25 kg Wheat Malt,
0.50 kg Caramel/Crystal Malt 
0.50 kg Caramunich Malt
0.20 kg Black Barley
0.20 kg Chocolate Malt
4.00 oz Hallertauer [6.80 %] (90 min) (First Wort Hop) 
2.00 oz Simcoe [13.00 %] (5 min) (Aroma Hop-Steep) 
2.00 oz Amarillo Gold [8.50 %] (5 min) (Aroma Hop-Steep)
1.50 oz Simcoe [13.00 %] (Dry Hop 7 days)
1.50 oz Amarillo Gold [8.50 %] (Dry Hop 7 days)
0.75 kg Sugar, Table (Sucrose)  10.14 %
2 Pkgs British Ale (White Labs #WLP005) Yeast-Ale

Est Original Gravity: 1.052 SG
Est Final Gravity: 1.015 SG 
Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 4.9 %
Bitterness: 73.3 IBU 
Est Color: 28.5 SRM

The above recipe is a first pass, i am deliberately keeping away from any Belgian influence in this beer tempting though it is with the wide range of grains and yeast available. I might throw in a couple of handfuls of naked oats as well to alter the mouthfeel.

While playing about in my head with the recipe i knocked up a first pass label. I'll post a bottle of the finished product to the person who can tell me the reference book for the label?

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