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Showing posts from September, 2018

BrewDog "IPA is Dead" Mandarina IPA

Despite having had the DIY Dog book of BrewDog's recipes for a while, I've never taken the time to make one of their beers. I decided to change that today, selecting the "IPA is Dead" Mandarina IPA since I had plenty of Mandarina Bavaria hops and (what I thought was) enough Maris Otter malt. As it turned out, I was a little shy on the Maris Otter and had to fill in with some Belgian Pale Ale malt I wanted to use up.

Ingredients (as Brewed)
5 pounds plus 5 ounces Maris Otter Malt (6 pounds 4 ounces was the original recipe)
15 ounces Belgian Pale Ale Malt (not included in the original Brew Dog recipe)
0.75 ounces Mandarina Bavaria Hops pellets @ 9.2% AA (60 min.)
0.80 ounces Mandarina Bavaria Hops pellets @ 9.2% AA (20 min.)
0.85 ounces Mandarina Bavaria Hops pellets @ 9.2% AA (5 min.)
1/4 tsp. Brewtan B in the mash
1.5 tsp. pH 5.2 Mash Stabilizer in the mash
1/4 tsp. Brewtab B in the boil (20 min.)
1 packet Safale US-05 yeast
1/2 vial White Labs Clarity ferm for gluten…

Extra Strong Bitter 1.4

I've been trying to work out an Extra Strong Bitter (ESB) recipe for about a year now. My three previous versions did not do all that well with the judges who tried them, for differing reasons. Some felt I had the right bitterness but no "malt complexity" while others felt I had too much hop bitterness. A few even commented that there seemed to be "no hops" in the beer (the same version the two other judges felt had too much hops bitterness).

For this fourth version, I've removed Victory Malt from the recipe. I've also removed the Caramel 10L that I used in the previous version. I've added Special B Malt into the mix, dialing back the Caramel 40L and Caramel 65-70L a little. I added some corn to give it some sweetness against the hops. I stuck with Lallemand ESB yeast for this version because I liked the two earlier iterations of this recipe that used it, and disliked the one that didn't. I also decided to go with East Kent Goldings in this ver…

Ordinary English Bitter 1.0

Another style I've never brewed, but always wanted to, is the standard English Bitter. This is a low-alcohol, slightly bitter, session beer enjoyed in many British pubs.

I started with a bit of research on the style. I found two good articles, one in Craft Beer and Brewing Magazine, and one from BYO Magazine.  From these articles, I got some recommendations for formulating my own recipe:
For the grist:Maris Otter should be the base maltVictory MaltCrystal Malt (up to 10% of the grist, 40L to 150L, use less if it's darker)Crystal 80-90L is commonSpecial Roast MaltBiscuit MaltSpecialty malts are what differentiate one brewer's bitter from anotherSimple sugars are not recommended, as they will thin out and dry the beerFor hops:East Kent GoldingsFugglesChallengerWillametteNorthdownBU/GU ratio from 0.7 to 0.930 IBUs is about rightThe bulk of the hopping should occur at the 60-minute markAdding hops at 20 minutes and flame-out will "add interest" to the beerYeast:WLP00…

Old Man Ale Clone v3

My two previous attempts at cloning Coniston's Old Man Ale resulted in very tasty brews, but beers that had no real resemblance to the original. Both were extremely dark, nearly black in color, while Coniston's beer is a nice reddish brown. Both of my attempts tasted more (to me) like a Foreign Export Stout than a brown ale. I believe that's due to including too much roasted barley in the grist. This time around, I'm going with a little less than a third of an ounce in a 2.5 gallon batch. I'm hoping that will achieve the right color profile, and allow me to begin focusing on adjusting the flavor.

Ingredients
4.25 pounds Maris Otter Pale Malt
8 ounces British Crystal 60-75L Malt
0.30 ounces Roasted Barley
0.55 ounces Mount Hood hops pellets @ 4.2% AA (60 min.)
0.45 ounces Challenger hops @ 7.8% AA (10 min.)
1/4 tsp. Brewtan B in the mash
1/4 tsp. Gypsum in the mash water
1/4 tsp. Brewtan B in the boil (15 min.)
1/8 tsp. Yeast nutrient in the boil (10 min.)
3 gallons…

English Dark Mild 1.0

Where Have I Been?
If you're noticing that it's been a while since I brewed a batch of beer (July 29, 2018 was the last one), that's primarily because I'd been having issues with the PicoBrew Zymatic. Specifically, any time it had to heat water or wort more than about 30 degrees Fahrenheit, it would shut down with an error. The PicoBrew support folks were responsive and nice, but it was a time-consuming process. They would email me to request photos or to suggest a course of action. I would have to wait until I got home to try the action or get the photos, and send a response. Sometimes I couldn't answer right away. Other times I'd contacted them outside their normal work hours or on a weekend. In the end, we think we've got the issue sorted out. (It basically took several intense soaking, cleaning, and rinsing cycles to clear residue from the heat exchanger.)

My wife and I have also been doing a bit of "beer tourism" lately, too. We attended Brew…