Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Brewday - Session Bitter 27/04/2012

Since brewing the American Brown, which incidentally didn't feature high in the Bristol Beer Factory competition , I've brewed another batch of my Citra Pale Ale. It was bottled last week and I'll report back. Until now I'd say it's probably the best beer I do.

Although the Brown Ale wasn't a knock-out, I do have some in the cask waiting to be tapped. And this one was dry-hopped with Columbus, so I'm hoping it might have a bit more about it then the bottled version.

On then, to to the next brew. This will be a session beer based on the recipe for my regular English Best Bitter. For this brew I'm looking to get the gravity down to 1.042 to make it really drinkable and I'm changing the late hop from Styrian Goldings to Nugget. I've seen a few recipes using Nugget as a bittering hop, but not so many for aroma. I'll be interested to see how it turns out.

The recipe is shown below, although it's subject to slight change as I'm a bit low on Crystal Malt and might be a bit shy of the required amount. I'll substitute any shortfall with Carahell.

Brewday is pencilled in for Friday 27th.

Session Ale

Type: All Grain
Date: 27/04/2012
Batch Size (fermenter): 50.00 l
Brewer: Mark
Boil Size: 62.19 l
Asst Brewer:
Boil Time: 90 min
Equipment: Elite Brewery
End of Boil Volume 56.16 l
Brewhouse Efficiency:   
Final Bottling Volume: 50.00 l
Est Mash Efficiency   
Fermentation: Ale, Two Stage
Taste Rating(out of 50):   
Taste Notes:
9000.00 g
Pale Malt, Maris Otter (5.9 EBC)
93.8 %
450.00 g
Crystal Malt - 60L (Thomas Fawcett) (118.2 EBC)
4.7 %
140.00 g
Wheat Malt, Bel (3.9 EBC)
1.5 %
35.00 g
Progress [7.50 %] - Boil 75.0 min
14.5 IBUs
35.00 g
Whitbread Golding Variety (WGV) [6.80 %] - Boil 75.0 min
13.1 IBUs
15.00 g
Nugget [15.00 %] - Boil 15.0 min
5.9 IBUs
1.00 Items
Whirlfloc Tablet (Boil 10.0 mins)
Beer Profile
Est Original Gravity: 1.042 SG
Measured Original Gravity:
Est Final Gravity: 1.010 SG
Measured Final Gravity:
Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 4.2 %
Actual Alcohol by Vol:
Bitterness: 33.5 IBUs
Est Color: 12.6 EBC

Friday, 20 April 2012

What's Killing My Head?

I’m losing my head.

It’s not gone unnoticed that several of my recent beers have lacked much in the way of head retention. And it’s not due to lack of condition, as the bottles have been nicely primed and pour with a decent head when serving. The problem is that it dissipates rather quickly and I’m not sure why this should be.

As far as I’m aware, very little has changed in my procedure. I do lubricate my sparging arm from time to time and have swapped to a food grade lubricant, so if anything, I’m presuming this should help matters. 

I know I can add adjuncts to assist with the head, but some of these beers are recipes I’ve done before and they’ve been fine previously. Same yeast and all.

My beer glasses are not subjected to the dishwasher either. So what’s killing the head? Could it be cleaning residue in the brewery? Residue in the bottles prior to bottling? If anyone has any bright ideas, please let me know. It’s doing my head in.