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!