Sunday, March 18, 2007

Double Brew for St. Pattys Day

Rather than be a part of the demand side of beer this St. Pattys day, I contributed to the supply side by brewing two beers on Saturday.

The first, by style, was somewhere between and American IPA and and Imperial IPA. It should be 7% alc/vol and 64 IBUs. Here is the recipe:

Condescension IPA
Size: 46.36 L
Efficiency: 86.98%
Attenuation: 75.0%
Calories: 315.37 per 1 pt

Original Gravity: 1.071 (1.056 - 1.075)
Terminal Gravity: 1.018 (1.010 - 1.018)
Color: 15.0 (6.0 - 15.0)
Alcohol: 6.99% (5.5% - 7.5%)
Bitterness: 66.6 (40.0 - 60.0)

5.9 kg Standard 2-Row
5.5 kg Maris Otter Pale
0.7 kg Toasted Pale Malt
0.5 kg Crystal 75
0.1 kg Chocolate Malt
73.1 g Centennial (9.5%) - added during boil, boiled 90 min
37.2 g Cascade (5.8%) - added during boil, boiled 30 min
36.5 g Centennial (9.5%) - added during boil, boiled 20 min
37.2 g Cascade (5.8%) - added during boil, boiled 10 min
20.7 g Centennial (9.5%) - steeped after boil
26.3 g Cascade (5.8%) - steeped after boil
26.3 g Fuggle (4.8%) - steeped after boil
500.0 mL Alley Kat ale yeast

Mash in at 60 C, raise temp to 68 C and hold for 1 hour.
Mash out at 78 C

Toasted malt: soak malt in water for ~ 1 hr, then put in oven at 350 F for 1 hr

The second beer I made was a smaller batch of a brown ale I've been working on several times before, I just can't seem to get the flavour I want... I'm looking for a complex malty beer with a sweet and chocolatey start with a dry finish. I'm using the WYeast 1928 London ESB yeast for this which does have a distinct dry finish I noted on the last beer I made with it. I had some problems with the extract calculations on this one, so this recipe doesn't make sense on paper...

Brownrock Brown Ale I
Size: 32 L
Efficiency: 103.9% (obviously this is wrong)
Attenuation: 74.0%
Calories: 190.19 per 12.0 fl oz

Original Gravity: 1.057
Terminal Gravity: 1.015
Color: 22.4
Alcohol: 5.54%
Bitterness: 29.26

5.0 kg Mild Ale (Dextrin Malt)
0.5 kg Victory® Malt
0.4 kg German Dark Munich
0.3 kg Crystal Malt 120°L
0.2 kg German CaraAroma
0.2 kg Chocolate Malt
0.07 kg Roasted Barley
30.4 g East Kent Goldings (5.5%) - added during boil, boiled 65 min
30.4 g East Kent Goldings (5.5%) - added during boil, boiled 30 min
10 g Fuggle (4.8%) - added during boil, boiled 5 min
10 g Cascade (5.5%) - added during boil, boiled 5 min
500 mL WYeast 1968 London ESB Ale from starter

Mash for 60 min at 67 C, mashout at 78.

Yep, thats it!

Thursday, March 15, 2007

2007 Old Deuteronomy

Yes, thats right, we've released the 2007 Old Deuteronomy Barley Wine. Its quite a good vintage this year, and I had the pleasure of taking care of pretty much the whole thing from brewing to filtering, the only thing I didn't do was bottle it. So I'm quite proud of this, since we only do this once per year!
This years is 9.9% alc/vol and about 100 IBU in bitterness. I really like the flavour myself, the hoppiness lasts for almost half an hour in your mouth!

The bottle I'm holding in the picture isn't the size we sell it in, we just happened to have that cool bottle and filled it for ourselves :)

Come by the brewery and pick some up.


Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Heriot-Watt Campus

I was thinking I'd show some of you where I'll be going to school in October for my MSc in brewing in Scotland.
The university is called Heriot-Watt, and its located at the google maps link below:,-3.277702&spn=0.088286,0.279808&om=1&iwloc=A

So the school isn't really in Edinburgh, its actually just outside. Which isn't quite as fun as being in the city. But its not too far of a bike ride or bus to pubs in the city. I was thinking about living in the city, but staying on campus has the advantage of being able to walk to classes without having to bike or bus in. And I'm pretty lazy in the morning. Plus I'll be living with other post-grads, who are in the same situation as me most likely, which makes people easy to meet.

The main website is and the site for my program (with all the courses, etc) is


Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Ordinary Bitter Review

So as of tonight (Monday) my Ordinary Bitter has been in existence for exactly two weeks. This is a great style to brew quickly, as I cracked the keg open at the monthly meeting for the Edmonton Homebrewer's Guild and it tasted great! Its definately a lighter beer (only 3.3% alcohol) but has a decent but not overpowering bitterness with some hop flavour on the finish. I received many positive comments on the beer, even from experienced beer judge gurus, which makes me quite happy.

I think I'm going to try to brew one of these per month, as its a great quaff beer... I can get home from work, have a couple of pints, and its only really like having a pint of beer. Plus I get the health benefits from moderate alcohol consumption, the vitamin B + a bazillion other nutrients & minerals in the yeast and beer mixture.

Yep, stop by and try some!

Friday, March 02, 2007

English Premium Bitter Brew Night

Well, since I was off Thursday and Friday this week I decided to do a homebrew batch in the evening. I got a little busy... so I didn't actually end up starting the brew until midnight... which means I didn't get out of there until 6 am! But I'm kind of a night owl.

I've always really liked Fuller's London Pride, so I wanted to make something similar (but not the same). I found a clone on BYO, but I didn't really like the recipe. The recipe I used is below. Unfortunately, when I used the BeerTools recipe generator I left the mash efficiency at 75%, when I usually get 85% or so... thus, I had a hell of a lot more extract than I expected. I had to stop the runnings at 7.6 P and top up with a lot of water. I could have made a barley wine out of this! But thats not what I wanted. So I just got a very full boil kettle :)

I've decided to call this "London Self-Esteem"... ;)


Brian's "London Self-Esteem"
8-B Special/Best/Premium Bitter

BeerTools Pro Color Graphic

Size: 48 L
223.44 per 500 mL

Original Gravity:
1.048 (1.040 - 1.048)
Terminal Gravity: 1.013 (1.008 - 1.012)
Color: 13.6 (5.0 - 16.0)
4.56% (3.8% - 4.6%)
Bitterness: 31.27 (25.0 - 40.0)


7.6 kg Maris Otter Pale
0.8 kg Carastan 25
0.4 kg Crystal Malt 120°L
0.2 kg Carawheat®
0.2 kg Honey Malt

70.5 g East Kent Goldings (5.5%) - added during boil, boiled 60 min
64.5 g East Kent Goldings (5.5%) - added during boil, boiled 20 min
22.5 g East Kent Goldings (5.5%) - steeped after boil
45.5 g Fuggle (4.8%) - steeped after boil

600 mL WYeast 1968 London ESB Ale

So as you may be able to see its just barely within the style guidelines, but I don't really care. I've also decided to not use the standard Alley Kat Ale yeast and try the London ESB yeast that is apparently used by Fuller's. Its very highly flocculant, so apparently it needs rousing now and then.

Anyway, the brew went pretty good otherwise. Just a couple of pictures below. Cheers!

Running into the kettle... nice and clear!

English Bitters

I've been more fascinated with the concept of the low alcohol, high flavour style of traditional English bitters of late. A week and a half ago I brewed an ordinary bitter (link to recipe), which ended up being 3.4% alcohol by vol. Its got very little malt flavour (its kind of "aqueous" actually, which is like being watery but a little better), but decent bitterness and hop flavour. Next time I'll probably up the flavour and aroma hop additions.

But why drink a low alcohol beer?? Doesn't that not get you drunk as fast?? It sure doesn't. But thats the point. At 3.4% having 2 pints of beer is like having one pint of strong beer... you get a good amount of flavour, plus the healthy aspects of beer, without getting drunk. I can come home from work, have a pint or two, and not be half drunk like I would be drinking a 8% Belgian.

So the ordinary bitter should be on tap here by the weekend, just waiting for it to carbonate in its "cask" (just a 20L sankey keg).

I'm now developing a recipe for a 4.5% premium bitter... I want to get a lot more body and malt flavour into it so as to get away from the aqueousness possible with a lower alcohol beer, so I'll be putting a bunch of carastan and dextrinous malts into it. I'm also going to try the Wyeast 1968 London ESB yeast. I'll post the recipe later when I finalize it.

Anybody want to try and ordinary bitter?