Thursday, 24 February 2011

Oceania IPA, the aftermath. Or, how much do you recycle?

I finished bottling the Oceania(formely Devacpactastic) IPA this morning. Continued my theme of using honey as priming sugar and stayed at 2.8 carb volumes. Ended up with somewhere in the region of 120 bottles. Didn't do a final count as no real need to. I'll be alright for a beer for a while and that's all i really need to know!

Once bottling was completed i decided to have a look in the FV.

Never liking to miss a trick, i immediately spotted the chance to knock down the costs on my next brew.The FV was drained of its final 1.25 ltrs of beer and yeast. The dry hops were removed at the same time.

I gave the beer/yeast a half hour to settle out the heavier debris then transfered a ltr to a flask. Pictures below of the heavy debris.

The yeast flask is continuing to settle and will be decanted again later today before i take 2 samples for next brews.

The aroma coming off of the dry hops is sensational. There's no way i am going to throw them out so i transfered them to plastic tubs. They are now in the freezer and will be used as 5 minute aroma/slight bitterness hops in my next brew. The only disadvantage to doing this is that the freezing process bursts the hop cell walls and as a result the hops disintegrate in the kettle. If you use a decent amount of whole hops during boil and have a good kettle filter this does not become a problem.

Cost saved for next brew

Yeast X 3 of 11.5grmm = £5.55
Hops X 8oz = £6.40
Total not spent on next brew = £11.95

So there we have it,  a way to save almost 12 pounds Sterling on the next brew before i've even started on the recipe. Hope you guys get something out of this. Cheers. :)

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Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Devacpactastic Scottish India Pale Ale

I had the chance to get a brew on so i thought it was time to check the hop store(shed fridge) levels. The good news is that i have loads of hops for future brews. The even better news is that a few of the hop packs had lost their vacuum. I don't need much excuse to brew so without further ado i threw together a little recipe based on the devac'd hop packs. A simple grain bill aiming to showcase the hops and be at a low enough ABV that i can have a few and still hold a discussion! Hopefully the lowish ABV still allows this beer to be an India Pale Ale.

Devacpacktastic Scottish IPA
Batch Size: 15.00 gal
10.00 kg Marris Otter
2.00 kg Wheat Malt,
0.50 kg Caramel/Crystal Malt
1.00 oz Pacific Gem (90 min) (First Wort Hop)
1.00 oz Columbus (Tomahawk) (90 min) (First Wort Hop)
1.00 oz Amarillo Gold (90 min) (First Wort Hop)

1.00 oz Amarillo Gold (10 min)
1.00 oz Cascade (10 min)
1.00 oz Columbus (Tomahawk) (10 min)
1.00 oz Pacific Gem (10 min)

2.50 oz Columbus (Tomahawk) (120 min) (Aroma Hop-Steep)
1.00 oz Amarillo Gold (120 min) (Aroma Hop-Steep)
1.00 oz Pacific Gem (120 min) (Aroma Hop-Steep)
1.00 oz Cascade (120 min) (Aroma Hop-Steep)
1.00 oz Simcoe (120 min) (Aroma Hop-Steep)
3.50 oz Columbus (Tomahawk) (Dry Hop 14 days)
2.50 oz Simcoe (Dry Hop 14 days)
2 oz Pacific Gem (Dry Hop 14 days)
0.50 oz Amarillo Gold (Dry Hop 14 days)
3.00 items Whirlfloc Tablet (Boil 15.0 min) Misc
60.00 gm Gypsum (Calcium Sulfate) (Mash 60.0 min) Misc
7th Gen US-05 Culture

Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 4.17 %
Bitterness: 82.6 IBU
Est Color: 6.2 SRM

The recipe changed to the above from the original as the smell from hops drove me to increase the volume of hops used and planned to be used in the beer! The Columbus and in particular the Pacific Gem hops which were very kindly sent to me by one of the guys(Mattypower) at Jim's Beer Kit are totally off the scale for smell and the Pacific Gem are massively resinous. Huge odour of spicy limes and Oak off of the Pacific Gem and the Columbus are giving Estery boiled sweets. In the rest of the hops we have mangoes, grapefruit, passion fruit and a general hoppy dankness! Great, eh?

Most of us as brewers see our hobby or calling as art. To silence any naysayers who would dare to argue with the rightousness of this world view look no further than the Picasso of Scottish brewing art below.

Oh yes, now we're talking! Sadly it was transitory art (magnificent though it was) and the mash started. Now a tad more Dali than Picasso.

I have went a little further in my timings on this brew than normal. The rest ran for four hours.

The first running came through at an outstandingly high 1.090!

I recirculated through the grain bed and filter for just over half an hour.

Then started my run off.

And sparge

Completed runoff with 1.016 still showing on hydrometer. The sample below was taken towards the end of the sparge for colour comparison with first runnings.

The sparge took around ninety minutes to complete. I then went completely off-piste and left the wort sitting on top of the first wort hops overnight.

Next morning i commenced the boil which ran for two hours.

I did a long cool down and recirculation of the wort through the hop bed filter to maximise the aroma off of the steep hops.  The steep hops were amazing as the brewhouse odour was totally grainbased at this time and then BANG a nose full of hopexoticry! This took a little over two hours.

Once the cool-down/filtration completed it looked like Christmas inside my kettle. I think i can safely say that the wort is Oxygenated!

I then transfered the wort to the FV with another 2 foot + drop to oxygenate further.

A bit over 68 litres in total into the FV. 2 bottles of 7th generation US-05 yeast in as well.

For those where the above beergeekery is not quite enough here are a before and after shot of the wort pre and post hop bed recirculation. Can you tell which is which?

The next day i realised that there will be no head retention problems with this beer when i moved to clean out the kettle. This gives me the ecxuse i was looking for to present another before and after.

Night before.

Next morning!

I genuinely had a fantastic time doing this brew. Even the clean up was fun! Doing the brew over two day and allowing huge amounts of time to do it in made it feel very luxurious(apart from one hose blowing off, there's nothing very luxurious about that)! Nonetheless, that's the clean up done, the bucket of spent hops has been tipped onto the composter. I am out of the country for a couple of weeks on Thursday so the dry hop bag will be made up tomorrow and into the FV it will go.

I will update Wednesday afternoon on whether the FV has exploded with all the extra Oxygen in the wort and on how the dry hopping goes.


Edit 01/02/11

More Art, Working Title- Sculptures by Yeast. I'm sure Damien Hirst is missing a trick here.Why use dead lifeforms for art when live ones do this!

Edit 02/02/11

I continue to try and dry hop at the end of the fermentation, sadly i am beaten once more as i depart for Turkey tomorrow morning. As a result the dry hops went into the fv today.

Hop bags & marbles ballast sterilised with a 10 minute boil.

Nine Oz weight which comprises of
0.5 oz Amarillo
2 oz Pacific Gem
2.5 oz Simco
3.5 oz Columbus
1 oz Hop bags

As The Beatles once sang 'All together now'.

Yes, i know!

I am away for at least two weeks so all the dry hops can give should be imparted by then.

So there we have it, Brewing, Art, Music and a Suggestive dry hopping arrangement all in one blog, what more do you want! Next time we'll also try and draw in Literature with some feeble brewing analogy. With a bit of luck the beer might even be decent.

Boring cost bit

12.5 KG grain £11.20
19 Oz Hops £15.20
Misc(heat,protofloc, bottle cap etc) £4.00
Total £30.40

£30.40/130= 23p per pint

A couple of points about the figures above. My last grain was bought directly from Houston Brewing Company in Houston Renfrewshire and my Hops are priced at £2.80 per 100grmms. Not everybody is buying at these prices. They could if they made the effort and shopped around. Maybe even cheaper?

That's some imbalance between the grain price and the hop price! It just goes to show how incredibly lucky we are as small scale brewers with little overhead that we can venture into beer style territory that only the most dedicated microbreweries will attempt. The Big brewers of course won't even entertain this as they are totally accountant driven and would rather spend the money on advertising to get the unwary public to buy their lowest common denominator fizzypop pish than on a decent hop bill.

Oh dear, i have just read my last paragraph and realised that i come across as an online mental person. I'm not really (honest) i just loathe the thought of billions of pint of pish beer being consumed across the globe at inflated prices with not a single thought given to the end consumer experience apart from making it as bland, inoffensive and broad spectrum appealing as possible.

Anyway,if my above rant has struck a chord with you please have a look at the link below. The more techsavvy will i am sure find the film in many many places. I thought we had it bad in the U.K
I can see why microbreweries have taken off in America. Good for them.

Edit 03/02/11

I drew a couple of hundred Ml's off of the bottom of the conical fermenter this morning. Excellent citrus hops with the unfermented sugars sweetness. Some yeast as well but no grain particles or other dross. I depart for Turkey this morning. I expect to be away for two weeks or so. The beer will be ready for a quick invigorate and bottle when i return.

Edit 24/02/11

I returned from Turkey on the 22nd. A nice 3 week long cold Scottish Winter ferment had just came to a close by the look of the krausen settling. Mostly bottled yesterday. I will finish the remainder today. The initial taste is sweet fruit with limes on the nose. Quite fantastic. Carbonation is to 2.8 vols using honey. Name change as well but that's art for you! 

My wife and i tried the Kingsland Dark IPA last night along with a Hop Paradigm Shift IPA.

The Hop Paradigm Shift is woody and refreshing with a bitterness that is still quite high but nice. The Kingsland is sweet, heavy hop aroma with coffee coming through from the Roast. Not a million miles from a liquid Tirimasu but with a lot less body! Different and gorgeous. The chill haze in the Hop Paradigm shift dropped out nicely as the beer warmed. Anybody see the irony in the glass choices? :)
I am off to Saudi Arabia on Sunday so that will give the time for Oceania IPA to carbonate and mature for early April testing, what a hobby, cheers!

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