Monday, 30 April 2012

Steam Punk IPA MkII first trial

Hi all,

I am sitting here this evening sipping the first bottle of SteamPunk IPA MKII.  Steam punk MkII is simply a four gallon batch of Steam Punk Mk I removed from the FV at 1.022 gravity and added Brett C. The beer continued to ferment down to a FG of 1.003 or thereabouts and sat there looking at me!

Don't know about you guys and your experience of Brett C but i am finding Brett C to be a tremendous tool to have in the brewers pallete. It has taken the SteamPunk Mk I (which i very much enjoy in a chewy complicated Big Ale kind of way) and massively cleaned it up. In the nose there is star anise and malt while on the tongue there is Omani lemons and they are both way brighter and clearer than in the Mk1! I am now a true believer in Brett C and will be unleashing a fresh culture on a part of The Ripper IPA before departing offshore.

Strange thing this brewing lark eh? One day you can be making a bog standard (mostly) Summer type beer with a tip of the hat towards Deuchars IPA and the next day you find yourself sampling a not fully carb'd off the map weird beer that doesn't exist anywhere else. In this particular case it tastes nothing like its 7.3% ABV so to my mind it qualifies as a Stealth Weird Wild Beer (try saying that after a few of them). I look forward to trying this again towards the end of  June once its fully carb'd and blended in the bottle. Have i said before? What a hobby! :)

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Sunday, 29 April 2012

Ripper IPA

Hi all,

Its been a while since i posted or indeed brewed. Life has been very busy and sadly the brewing was squeezed out for a while. I'm now back on track and received inspiration for my latest brew jus the other day when i stuck a nice big new kitchen knife into my hand! Hence the aptly named 'Ripper IPA'. It is a nice simple brew to match with a nice simple person.
Ripper IPA
20 imp gallon batch
60 minute boil
11kg marris Otter
2 kg Wheat malt
1 kg Munich malt
1 kg Crystal malt
13 oz hallertau FWH
3.5 oz First Gold FWH
8 oz Bobek 5 minute
11.5 oz bobek 60 minute aroma steep
3.5 oz Cascade 60 minute aroma steep
2.5 oz Apollo 60 minute aroma steep
2 kgs Table sugar( Shock horror) :)
Huge Burton yeast starter
100 grmms Gypsum, 4 campden tabs & 3 Protaflocs

I am aiming towards a 4.5% or below batch of slightly chewy but dryish and citrusy IPA. I have went for a full on rolling boil in the hope of a slight caramel coming through into the finished beer alongside the crystal.

As you can see there is a massive amount of Bobek hops in this beer, a mate from Jim's beerkit very kindly sold me a 1/2 kilo (540grmms actually, thats how generous he is)! Being a long term believer in less is more except when it comes to hop additions i went all out with the 1/2 kilo and used the lot in this brew. Continuing the citrus theme i included Apollo and cascade for their lemon/orange tones. I expect this to be a nice refreshing little beer, only time will tell!
Exploded garage

Enough hops to be going on with

Stainless Mesh wrapped copper pick up pipe to improve filtration and reduce blockages(it worked).

Excessive FWH'ing with Hallertau & First Gold.

A wee mash shot, great to be back at it!

1/2 KG Bobek( Cheers Pdtnc)

I love this shot! 5 min Bobek hops.

My burner in action

Nice rat brewery shot

Cane sugar, if its good enough for the Belgians...

I am currently crashcooling the brew and as is often the case i appear to be off in my calcs :) The hydro sample is sitting at 1.048 @ 50 degrees. Ah well skullsplitter here we come!

Edit, Later the same evening.

In the end i transfered just under 90 ltrs of wort with a final gravity of 1.052. This gave me a BHE of 82%, rather chuffed with that. I'm putting it down to my liquor to grain ratio change and improved heat retention with the ratio going from 2.5:1 to 4:1. A watery mash but the improved efficency is a nice bonus.

Anyway, the Burton yeast is smelling tremendous.

Its been pitched at 25 degrees into a 30 degree wort, i want the esters to come out on this yeast so i am playing with it a bit to see how it performs when stressed a bit.
One full FV.

I am expecting the Burton yeast to be climbing out of the FV in the morning as the headspace is small and i have done everything i can (heat/oxygenation) to get the yeast off to a flyer. Roll on the morning! :) Cheers.

Boring price bit

15 kilo grain £16.50
43 oz hops! £ 26.40
2kgs cane sugar £2.00
gas, cam&prota £5.00
Yeast FOC (reuse of a WLP023&US-05 pair of phials)

£49.90/150 bottles = 33p per pint bottle

For those that pay the price that is asked by the government via the man in the shop for beer this will appear to be a stupidly low price. For those that are like myself, driven to brew the best beer they can will see that this is an expensive homebrewed beer. As ever, its all about the hops in price & presence. Roll on July and first taste of this bad boy! :)

Further edit

After much phaffing about i now have all of the bottles ready for this beer. Luckily i had cracked through my jobs list this week so i had a some time this morning to finish and print out the labels. Not 100% comfortable about using the original No1 serial killer as the label but as its Ripper IPA for my handwound, what else could i do? :) Cool in a strangely disturbing way?

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