Tag Archives: low-gravity

Double Brewday: Ordinary Bitter & American Amber Ales

march-301-dbl-brewdayThis past Saturday, I brewed two batches in a single day, back to back. While this did make for a very long day, I was able to gain some overlap without any additional equipment.

The way I did it, was that as I was running off the second runnings of the first batch, I was heating the strike water for the second batch. This gave me the ability to mash my second batch while boiling my first. Not a huge gain, but I imagine that I gained at least an hour.

These batches were fun, experimental batches. The first was a substatial change to my bitter recipe, a regular in my keezer. The two major changes were that I used Ringwood yeast instead of London Ale III, hoping to really boost the malt profile of a very low-gravity beer. I also replaced a pound of base malt with Victory, in hopes of getting a profile somewhat closer to Maris Otter.

Recipe Overview

Volume At Pitching: 5.25 US gals
Expected OG: 1.039 SG
Expected ABV: 3.6 %

Fermentables
UK Pale Ale Malt 5lb 0oz (71.1 %) In Mash/Steeped
US Victory Malt 1lb 0oz (14.2 %) In Mash/Steeped
UK Dark Crystal 8.00 oz (7.1 %) In Mash/Steeped
German Wheat Malt 4.00 oz (3.6 %) In Mash/Steeped
UK Medium Crystal 4.00 oz (3.6 %) In Mash/Steeped
UK Chocolate Malt 0.50 oz (0.4 %) In Mash/Steeped

Hops
US Willamette (4.5 % alpha) 1.00 oz Loose Pellet Hops used First Wort Hopped
UK Golding (4.9 % alpha) 0.50 oz Loose Pellet Hops used 25 Min From End
UK Golding (4.9 % alpha) 0.28 oz Loose Pellet Hops used At turn off

Other Ingredients

Yeast: Wyeast 1187-Ringwood Ale

Mash Schedule
Mash Type: Full Mash
Schedule Name:Single Step Infusion (66C/151F)
Step: Rest at 151 degF for 60 mins

The second recipe was a repeat, albeit with further modifications, of a low-gravity version of Gordon, an Oskar Blues beer. It’s now called G’Knight Imperial Red due to a lawsuit over the name Gordon, ridiculous, but so it is. It’s a bit big, but one of my favorite big hoppy beers, so I enjoy trying to make a 5% version. It’s mostly about the Amarillo hops in the finish, so the basic beer recipe isn’t that critical.

Recipe Overview

Final Batch Volume: 5.02 US gals
Expected Pre-Boil Gravity: 1.042 SG
Expected OG: 1.045 SG
Expected FG: 1.011 SG
Expected ABV: 4.5 %
Expected ABW: 3.6 %
Expected IBU (using Daniels): 33.7
Expected Color: 12.0 SRM
Apparent Attenuation: 74.9 %
Mash Efficiency: 78.0 %
Boil Duration: 60.0 mins
Fermentation Temperature: 64 degF

Fermentables
UK Pale Ale Malt 7lb 0oz (71.7 %) In Mash/Steeped
US Victory Malt 2lb 0oz (20.5 %) In Mash/Steeped
Breiss Crystal 20 12.00 oz (7.7 %) In Mash/Steeped
UK Chocolate Malt 0.20 oz (0.1 %) In Mash/Steeped

Hops
US Centennial (9.0 % alpha) 0.50 oz Loose Pellet Hops used First Wort Hopped
US Columbus(Tomahawk) (13.0 % alpha) 2.00 oz Loose Pellet Hops used 5 Min From End
US Amarillo (8.0 % alpha) 2.00 oz Loose Pellet Hops used Dry-Hopped

Other Ingredients

Yeast: Wyeast 1056-American Ale

Mash Schedule
Mash Type: Full Mash
Schedule Name:Single Step Infusion (69C-156F)
Step: Rest at 150 degF for 75 mins

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Table Saison

OK, so, I’ve learned some lessons now after doing two saisons. First, Saison yeasts are highly attenuative. If you build a recipe like you would for an American yeast, or even worse, an English yeast, and then use a Saison yeast, you’re in for a shocker when it comes to ABV. Second, due to the really high level of attenuation, you need to watch your bitterness ratio. Bittering like an IPA is unnecessary, there’s no need for it. Keep the hops in the back end, and go easy on the bitterness.

Now that I’ve solidly learned (read: violated) those guidelines, my intention was to formulate a Saison as a table beer. Something between 3-4% alcohol, easy to drink, but lots of flavor from the Saison yeast and from the hops. The Saison strain that I’ve been using comes from East Coast Yeast, and has a brettanomyces strain as well. This is now the 4th generation, so it’s hard to say what the culture balance is, but it still tasted great on the last batch.

I also wanted to go for more of a rustic grain character on this batch, so I used unmalted wheat and munich malt, in addition to 2-row barley, malted wheat, and a small addition of C20.
table-saisonFor the hop bill, I opted to try a hop-bursting technique, which consisted of only a 20 minute, 5 minute and flameout addition. Despite the low utilization rate on these hops, they were all high-alpha hops (Nugget and Columbus), so I was able to achieve a respectably high bittering ratio with no more than an ounce at each addition.

My plans were all well and good, but I achieved an unexpected level of efficiency on this batch (87%), for which I was able to cut out a planned sugar addition, but I still overshot my gravity by 10 points. So, if it attenuates as planned, I’ll be looking at about a 5% saison. Not too bad, but I’m going to have to take my very high level of efficiency into account when formulating the next batch. My efficiency seems to increase with lower grain bill volumes.

Style: 16C-Belgian And French Ale-Saison

Recipe Overview

Wort Volume Before Boil: 7.75 US gals
Wort Volume After Boil: 6.00 US gals
Volume Transferred: 5.50 US gals
Water Added: 0.00 US gals
Volume At Pitching: 5.50 US gals
Final Batch Volume: 5.02 US gals
Expected Pre-Boil Gravity: 1.027 SG
Expected OG: 1.035 SG
Expected FG: 1.008 SG
Expected ABV: 3.6 %
Expected ABW: 2.9 %
Expected IBU (using Daniels): 32.7
Expected Color: 4.7 SRM
Apparent Attenuation: 77.9 %
Mash Efficiency: 75.0 %
Boil Duration: 90.0 mins
Fermentation Temperature: 77 degF

Fermentables
UK Pale Ale Malt 4lb 0oz (51.7 %) In Mash/Steeped
US Soft White Winter Wheat 1lb 4oz (15.9 %) In Mash/Steeped
UK Wheat Malt 1lb 0oz (12.9 %) In Mash/Steeped
German Munich Malt 1lb 0oz (12.9 %) In Mash/Steeped
US Caramel 20L Malt 8.00 oz (6.5 %) In Mash/Steeped

Hops
US Nugget (13.0 % alpha) 0.75 oz Loose Pellet Hops used 20 Min From End
US Nugget (13.0 % alpha) 1.00 oz Loose Pellet Hops used 5 Min From End
US Columbus(Tomahawk) (15.5 % alpha) 1.00 oz Loose Pellet Hops used At turn off

Other Ingredients

Yeast: ECY03 Farmhouse Brett

Mash Type: Full Mash
Step: Rest at 148 degF for 90 mins

Session beer weekend: American Pale and ESB

I brewed two quick and easy beers a few weeks back: a pale ale and an ESB. The pale ale was designed specifically to grow up some Cal Ale yeast, and the ESB is just because I like bitters, and I wanted another one in the pipeline.

Recipe: 2012 Pale Ale w/Victory
Style: 10A-American Ale-American Pale Ale

Recipe Overview

Wort Volume Before Boil: 6.08 US gals
Wort Volume After Boil: 5.28 US gals
Volume Transferred: 5.28 US gals
Water Added: 0.00 US gals
Volume At Pitching: 5.28 US gals
Final Batch Volume: 5.02 US gals
Expected Pre-Boil Gravity: 1.045 SG
Expected OG: 1.052 SG
Expected FG: 1.013 SG
Expected ABV: 5.3 %
Expected ABW: 4.1 %
Expected IBU (using Daniels): 35.2
Expected Color: 7.3 SRM
Apparent Attenuation: 74.9 %
Mash Efficiency: 75.0 %
Boil Duration: 90.0 mins
Fermentation Temperature: 64 degF

Fermentables
UK Pale Ale Malt 8lb 0oz (80.0 %) In Mash/Steeped
German Wheat Malt 1lb 0oz (10.0 %) In Mash/Steeped
US Victory Malt 1lb 0oz (10.0 %) In Mash/Steeped

Hops
US Columbus(Tomahawk) (13.0 % alpha) 0.50 oz Loose Pellet Hops used First Wort Hopped
US Cascade (4.5 % alpha) 2.00 oz Loose Pellet Hops used 1 Min From End

Other Ingredients

Yeast: Wyeast 1056-American Ale

Mash Schedule
Mash Type: Full Mash
Schedule Name:Stepped Infusion (35-50-65C/95-122-149F) w/Mash Out
Step: Rest at 95 degF for 30 mins
Step: Raise by direct heating to 122 degF for 20 mins
Step: Rest at 122 degF for 30 mins
Step: Raise by direct heating to 149 degF for 20 mins
Step: Rest at 149 degF for 30 mins
Step: Raise to and Mash out at 165 degF for 10 mins

Recipe Notes

========

Recipe: 2012 Extra Special Bitter

Recipe Overview

Wort Volume Before Boil: 7.75 US gals
Wort Volume After Boil: 5.50 US gals
Volume Transferred: 5.00 US gals
Water Added: 0.00 US gals
Volume At Pitching: 5.00 US gals
Final Batch Volume: 5.00 US gals
Expected Pre-Boil Gravity: 1.041 SG
Expected OG: 1.058 SG
Expected FG: 1.015 SG
Expected ABV: 5.7 %
Expected ABW: 4.5 %
Expected IBU (using Daniels): 27.5
Expected Color: 11.6 SRM
Apparent Attenuation: 73.0 %
Mash Efficiency: 80.0 %
Boil Duration: 60.0 mins
Fermentation Temperature: 64 degF

Fermentables
UK Pale Ale Malt 8lb 0oz (74.0 %) In Mash/Steeped
German Wheat Malt 2lb 0oz (18.5 %) In Mash/Steeped
UK Dark Crystal 8.00 oz (4.6 %) In Mash/Steeped
UK Medium Crystal 4.00 oz (2.3 %) In Mash/Steeped
UK Chocolate Malt 1.00 oz (0.6 %) In Mash/Steeped

Hops
US Willamette (4.5 % alpha) 1.00 oz Loose Pellet Hops used First Wort Hopped
US Willamette (4.5 % alpha) 1.00 oz Loose Pellet Hops used 25 Min From End
US Willamette (4.5 % alpha) 2.00 oz Loose Pellet Hops used At turn off
US Nugget (11.5 % alpha) 1.00 oz Loose Pellet Hops used At turn off

 

Other Ingredients

Yeast: Wyeast 1318-London Ale III
Mash Schedule
Mash Type: Full Mash
Schedule Name:Single Step Infusion (66C/151F)
Step: Rest at 151 degF for 60 mins

Recipe Notes

Extra-Ordinary Bitter

extra-ordinary-bitter

Just a quick write-up on yesterday’s brew…

Since last year’s vow of small beers (under 5%), I’ve become a little obsessed with a good English bitter, something that’s a bit of a rarity this side of the Atlantic. Yesterday’s was the lowest grain volume I’ve used, and also the 3rd batch in a row with really excellent efficiency (I hit 80% on this batch). I’ve achieved this by stirring thoroughly part-way through the mash, at the mash-out infusion, and at the second batch sparge infusion, not by adjusting my grind or increasing my sparge rate, which feels like a good way to go about doing it.

Pretty simple recipe, the only variation is that I subbed part of the 2-row base with wheat malt, just so that I could brew it with ingredients I had on-hand. I’ve become enamored with this particular combination of crystal malts in a bitter, just scaling up and down the base malt.

Style: 8A-English Pale Ale-Standard/Ordinary Bitter
Recipe Overview

Wort Volume Before Boil: 6.60 US gals
Wort Volume After Boil: 5.25 US gals
Final Batch Volume: 5.02 US gals
Expected Pre-Boil Gravity: 1.030 SG
Expected OG: 1.038 SG
Expected FG: 1.010 SG
Expected ABV: 3.7 %
Expected ABW: 2.9 %
Expected IBU (using Daniels): 26.8
Expected Color: 11.1 SRM
Apparent Attenuation: 72.9 %
Mash Efficiency: 80.0 %
Boil Duration: 60.0 mins
Fermentation Temperature: 64 degF

Fermentables
UK Pale Ale Malt 5lb 0oz (73.4 %) In Mash/Steeped
German Wheat Malt 1lb 0oz (14.7 %) In Mash/Steeped
UK Dark Crystal 8.00 oz (7.3 %) In Mash/Steeped
UK Medium Crystal 4.00 oz (3.7 %) In Mash/Steeped
UK Chocolate Malt 1.00 oz (0.9 %) In Mash/Steeped

Hops
UK Golding (4.9 % alpha) 1.00 oz Loose Pellet Hops used First Wort Hopped
UK Golding (4.9 % alpha) 0.50 oz Loose Pellet Hops used 25 Min From End
UK Golding (4.9 % alpha) 1.00 oz Loose Pellet Hops used At turn off

Yeast: Wyeast 1318-London Ale III

Mash Schedule
Mash Type: Full Mash
Schedule Name:Single Step Infusion (66C/151F)
Step: Rest at 151 degF for 60 mins