Thursday, 14 June 2012

Hosepipes, Phenolics and Pale Ales

As of today, the ban from our local water authority on drawing water from the mains supply, via a hosepipe, has finally been lifted. And about bloody time.

I've managed to get around the ban by employing some copper pipe via a tap connector to fill the brewing vessels and to chill the wort. But, to be honest, the clean-up without the use of a hose has been pretty painful and probably the worst part of the ban, so I'm glad we're now free to chuck as much water at it as we like.

As well as the hosepipe ban being a bit of a downer in recent months, my Citra Pale Ale, which I mentioned in this post as being one of the best brews I do, turned out to be phenolic. Or, at least the bottles did. I split the brew into two fermenters and bottled one and put the other in a cask. The cask version was unaffected. but the bottles were dumped.

On a subsequent brewday I noticed a bit of cleaning residue on the fermenter wall. It appeared there was a scratch in the plastic and the residue hadn't been washed away, so I'm guessing this may have caused the problem. New fermenters have been purchased.

Since my last post, I've also sampled the Aurora late-hopped Best Bitter. It's a bit harsh at present and will probably be a nice beer given a bit more time, but the upshot is, it's still not the beer I was after. I'm missing the soft flavour of the old Styrian Goldings and I'll have yet another crack at this brew soon, replacing the late hop with Celeia.

I did squeeze in another brew at the end of last month, which is currently conditioning. Early samples from the fermenter were very encouraging. It's a Pale Ale in which I've used Simcoe for the first time. I'll do a more detailed post on this beer separately.

As for the next brew, my local homebrew club have a schedule of beer styles and it's about time I applied myself properly and did one. I swerved the Mild Ale due to lack of time but will have a crack at the beer style for July, which is any beer containing at least 30% wheat.

I've put together a recipe, incorporating another hop I've yet to try and can't wait to get stuck in. Maybe next week, now that the hosepipe ban has been lifted.

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