Sunday, 2 October 2011

Hopping Lord Moley

I got bored and decided to make more beer.

Yesterday I acquired a brew-fridge, and the temperature control unit I ordered from ebay has also turned up. At the post office :( It's apparently a mains-switching thermostat used by two types of people - homebrewers and lizard owners. In homebrew mode the power comes on if the temperature gets too high. In lizard mode the power goes on if the temperature goes too low. Presumably lizard-people have heaters attached.

Golden Mole, my last effort, (which is making absolutely delicious smells at the moment) seems a little darker than I meant to make it, so I decided to go even lighter this time, and looked at some recipes for clones of Timothy Taylor's Landlord type beers. The main idea seemed to be that you only use one malt variety, Golden Promise. Then you hop with Fuggles, EKG and masses and masses of Styrian Goldings. Hence "Hopping Lord Moley", although "One-Legged" also works as a name. See what I did there?

There's also a long, 90-minute boil, which is in progress as I write this. There's also a small preboil - take 2l of sweet wort and boil it hard until down to 1l, giving colour and flavour in the result. This is instead of using Crystal or other malt types to darken and flavour the thing. Unfortunately, when I went to the brew shop, five minutes after closing time (and thanks to TWOC for staying open for me), they didn't have an open sack of GP that they could mill for me, so I went with Maris Otter again. If I get my own mill sometime then I can work around that, but a mill isn't all that high in my list of priorities at the moment. The recipe followed this time was -

  • 5kg Maris Otter

Simple huh?

This was mashed with 12.5 litres at 69 degrees. But by the time everything had been mixed in, and to a cold mash tun at that, we were down to 59. 1.6l of freshly boiled water from the kettle put the mash back up to 64-68 depending on where I stuck the temperature probe. 90 minutes later and I followed the usual technique of passing the sweet wort back through three times. At this point I did the special extra step, measuring out two litres of sweet wort and boiling them down in two pans. While they were boiling I started the sparge with 20l of Sparge Water at 70C, and cleanup of some of the other bits. Now, I usually let the tun output drain into a fermentation vessel, and the vessel tap is used to fill my 3 litre jugs so I can recirculate everything once or twice. Unfortunately I got a bit involved in cleaning and sterilising this time around and let the jug overflow, for quite a while, until the kitchen floor and my feet(!) were covered in sticky spargewater. I must have lost at least 2 litres there. Pay attention!

Sparging done I put the 1l of reduced wort back in the big pot with the rest of the sweet wort and spargings. Then I began to measure out the hops. This week's hop schedule is as follows -

  • 15g Fuggles at 90 minutes
  • 35g Styrian Goldings at 90 minutes
  • 24g East Kent Goldings at 15 minutes, with Irish moss and yeast nutrient.
  • and because it has bucket loads of hop flavour - 250g Styrian Goldings at flame-out

This last enormous amount is because TT apparently use an enormous hop-back and this is the closest I can get at the moment. A Hop-back is a way of getting all the hop flavour and aroma into the beer just before cooling, so you get zero bittering effect from them, but capture all the aroma. I'll be doing things slightly differently, but I guess I'll be adding them as close as possible to my own rapid cooling, and if I'm lucky that will do the trick. Probably by putting them in the gauze bag I pour all the wort through to filter out the hop matter, and letting it sit as I pour everything through the heat exchanger.

With such an enormously long boil I've also had time to grind up what was left of the Saaz from last time and feed them to Golden Mole, as a dry-hopping experiment. Golden Mole took two days to show any activity, to the extent that it actually sucked some air backwards in the first day as it cooled, and I went to buy more yeast on day two in case it was needed. But it had started by the time I got home, and by the time I went to bed on Tuesday night was really going for it. Today I'll be using that extra yeast I bought (two sachets of Safale 04, English Ale yeast). Apparently it is possible to get the TT variety, or something very close, from Wyeast, but I haven't the patience to order it and wait. Safale 04 will have to do. Hopefully we'll avoid the two day lag time with that.

With the brew now complete I measured this stuff at 11 Brix, 1.041 ish SG. I have 22.5 litres. I have no idea of the efficiency, I lost a load of spargewater and the evaporation in a 90 minute boil was massive - I only ended up with 17 litres before topping up. Also (And I don't know if this is just because of the cooling or what) there is an ENORMOUS amount of trub at the bottom of the fermentation vessel, almost 5 litres worth!

No pictures today, they were getting a bit repetitive anyway. Maybe next time.