Monday, 30 January 2012

Scottish SteamPunk Imperial Pale Ale part 2

Hi all,
As seems to be my habit, the major changes were made during the hop introductions. This was partly driven by cost (using the Pioneer & Libery FW hops to clear them for the hop bin) but mostly by nose! The final recipe looks like this.

SteamPunk Imperial Scottish Pale Ale

10.00 kg Pale Malt, Maris Otter
4.00 kg Munich Malt
3.00 kg Wheat Malt,
1.00 kg Caramel/Crystal Malt - 20L
0.50 kg Oats, Flaked
3.50 oz Pioneer (120 min) (First Wort Hop)
3.50 oz Liberty (120 min) (First Wort Hop)
3.50 oz Cascade (120 min) (First Wort Hop)
3.50 oz Simcoe (5 min)
10.50 oz Cascade (5 min)
3.50 oz Green Bullet (120 min) (Aroma Hop-Steep) 
3.50 oz Simcoe (120 min) (Aroma Hop-Steep) 
2.50 oz Nelson Sauvin (120 min) (Aroma Hop-Steep)
Big Starter Burton Ale (White Labs #WLP023)

Batch Size: 15 Imp gallon
Boil Time: 120 min
Brewhouse Efficiency: 73.00%
Measured Original Gravity: 1.062 SG
Est Final Gravity: 1.017 SG(Non bretted portion) 
Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 5.94 %
Bitterness: 102.8 IBU
Est Color: 7.9 SRM

The brew fermented well, albeit at a sedate pace due to the cool brewhouse temperatures. I later gave a part of the brew the chance to do its thing at higher temperatures and i can say that WLP023 Burton yeast IS an explosive beastie (more on that later)! I can't believe i've used a kilo of hops in a 15 gallon brew. Ah well, my own fault for hopping by nose and enthusiasm!

The batch was 60 ltrs in total. 20 ltrs of this was decanted at a gravity of 1.022 to a better bottle for the introduction of Brett C. I was interested to see if there would be much further activity in the Better bottle at raised indoor temperatures. The Burton yeast did not disappoint and leapt into action with the temperature change from the garage to the house. Albeit for a very limited period of time. The beer hit its FG at 1.019 but was eventful up to that point..

While this was going on i  had been culturing some of my WLP645 Brett C. The plan being to send a couple of phials of it through the post to other interested brewers. This i duly did and was left with a MASSIVE 400ml culture of Brett C. Even after storage of back up phials for myself i still had a huge amount. What to do?

Obviously the only thing to do was a massive overpitch of Brett C into 20ltrs of The SteamPunk! The smell off the airlock is sweet and tropical with slight zing of sherbety funk, a true Big IPA! This batch will if all goes to plan achive a FG of 1.003. It may go lower due to the overpitch. As i am still learning my way around Brett C i'll have to wait for the outcome and make random predictions as it goes. If it achieves 1.003 we will have an IPA fit for the 'Hop Loft' at Delerium Tremens in Brussels af 7.75% ABV. Only time will tell.

The 40 ltr  remainder of SteamPunk was ran through HopThang on 2 oz's of Nelson Sauvins for Six hours.

It was fascinating to watch a piece of equipment i had designed and built come alive and do its thing(Thang). The video is on YouTube, link below.

  I was in Dubai on the 23rd December and was lucky enough to find my way to the spice market ( truly you can just follow your nose). I bought a few different spices for use in cooking and some specifically for brewing. In use through this beer will be two flowers of star anise, an Omani dried Lemon and an Omani dried Black lemon (both crushed).

I have also prepared 20 grmms of Whiskey barrel oak shavings to complete this potpourri!. These shavings were boiled three times to sterilise and reduce their oakness and then soaked for 10 days in a huge belt of Asbach Brandy. This heady combination will be used in HopThang today along with a further handful of Nelson's and will be circulated for a number of hours.

I am really enjoying this brew as i have taken myself off my own personal knowledge map and I am currently travelling in the bit where its says 'Here thyr by dragons'. Its a grand adventure! :)

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Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Scottish SteamPunk Imperial Pale Ale part 1

Hi all,
Today i brewed an 18 gallon batch of a Scottish style Imperial Pale Ale. I should qualify the Scottish side of the Name. Firstly, I am Scottish, my brewery is in Scotland, the brewhouse and thus fermentation temperature is VERY Scottish(4 degrees brewhouse temperature). The malt is malted in Scotland and is from Scotland and England along with some German Influence (Munich Malt). The hops are from Britain, America & New Zealand (Absolutely Wow to the smell of Nelson Sauvin hops). The yeast is English (Burton WL023). The later additions i will be making are from the Middle east, Iran in particular. The influences of the beer itself are West Coast American and Belgian and my own twist to it. So not really that Scottish! :)

One more important (but under-rated) ingredients, water. In my case it comes from the mains here in Winterstruck Inverurie. I treat the water with Campden tablets to dechlorinate and in this instance added 4 teaspoons of Calcium Sulphate(Gypsum to you & I) to reduce the PH of the liqour from 6.2 to 5.2(ish). I've always avoided getting into water treatment in a big way as i'm not a huge fan of things i can't see! These two steps are simple enough and i'm sure my beer is all the better for their inclusion in the process.

I ran the hot liquor on at 77 degrees aiming for a rest at 67 degrees. In this case i was not successful and the rest ran at 65.5 degrees. No matter as i am aiming to exract more convertable sugars from this mash.

I ran the mash overnight and carried out a mash recirculation the next morning. The first running were coming through at 1.090.

I have been on a bit of a Belgian beer brewing and drinking jag lately but i always come back to the IPA's. In this instance i have decided to go a bit darker and try for more depth of flavour from the malt to balance the quite ridicolous amout of hops i am using. Hence the use of crystal malt, a full rolling lid off boil and the reduction of the first runnings to caramelise.

Once the first runnings had been reduced......

I wondered what the gravity would be of the remaining volume? I am rather glad i checked as this is the first time i have not been able to take a hydrometer reading!

The boil ran for two hours with huge amounts of hops being added at flameout, just over a pound. The wort then sat for 6 hours. This was not to plan but the result of a blocked suction pipe. Up to my elbow in wort! All turned out ok and the beer (good to have that name change) is fermenting away on WL023 Burton yeast.

This brewday has a way to go yet as the initial fermentation(12 degrees) will be followed with an infusion of Nelson Sauvin hops and a combination of Middle Eastern fruit and spices hand picked by myself in Dubai in December. All through HopThang. This is THE best hobby in the world.

See you next week for HopThangs debut!

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Friday, 13 January 2012

HopThang bleach/water only test run

Hi All and a Happy New Year to you. I returned home a couple of days ago and decided to prioritise the work list. Firstly and most importantly, hooking up HopThang for a leak test.This picture is initial fill up, A mixture of hot water and thin bleach being used.

The arrangment is that beer will be drawn by the Speck mag coupled pump from the racking point on the conical. It is the pumped through the red handled valve (flow control) into the filter housing and down to the bottom of the filter housing.

The beer will then pass through the hops (but sadly not today) and up through the drilled screen.

Once through the drilled screen and hopefully picking up some hop influence and leaving behind some yeast the beer will exit the filter housing and return to the conical through a return pipe.

The pipe crosses over to a stainless tube and ends at the 20 ltr mark inside the conical. My minimal brew length these days is 10 Imperial gallons so we will have no oxygenation due to splashing.

The flow of water is quite something to behold. I expect to be able to circulate at least 1 GPM. The pump will do 5 GPM but i don't think i will run it at that rate in case of sticky accidents!

I am looking forward to brewing my New Zealand(thanks George) influenced IPA next week. HopThang will be used at the end of that fermentation. :)


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