Monthly Archives: May 2017

IPA – John Company

It was long overdue for me to have a go at an IPA. If you’ve been watching the soi disant craft beer scene at all, you’ll know that they are everywhere just at present. In the US especially they seem to have adopted IPA as their own and, in many cases pushed the style to the very limits of its characteristics. This very specifically isn’t an American IPA, its a much more traditional British one with moderate hoppiness while trying to maintain a balance with the malt.

Assuming that you know the background to where IPAs come from (and why they are so named), you may also recall that “The John Company” was the nickname of the East India Company, responsible for (depending on your perspective) either opening up trade to the East Indies during the 17th – 19th centuries, or for being an agent of colonial oppression during that period.

John Company IPA.

Brewdate: 27/5/2017, All grain, BIAB, 6L.
Target: OG 1.056 / IBU 45 / ABV 5   Actual: OG 1056 / ABV 5.5

  • 1.9Kg Pale malt (92%)
  • 75g Crystal malt 60L (3.7%)
  • 75g Wheat malt
  • 12g East Kent Goldings (4.5% AA) – 60 min
  • 6g Fuggles (5% AA) – 60 min
  • 4g East Kent Goldings  – 30 min
  • 13g East Kent Goldings  – 10 min
  • 11g Target (5% AA) dry hop, 10 days
  • 1tsp Irish Moss (10 mins)
  • 5.5g Safale S04 yeast
  1. 6.2L strike water heated to 67°C, mashed for 90 mins (NB temp dropped in the last 30 mins)
  2. Mash out at 82°C for 10 minutes
  3. 4L of first runnings
  4. Dunk sparged bag in 7L cold water for 5 minutes
  5. Combined to make a preboil volume of just over 11L
  6. 60 minute boil
  7. Pitched 7.6L, fermented at 21°C for 2 weeks
  8. Bottled 6L, 3 weeks room temp conditioning then refridgerated.

Tasting notes.
Clean taste with a good hop/malt balance but slightly hop-heavy. Slight fuzziness on the tongue and quite cloudy at both cold & room temps. Reduce IBUs next batch and watch the mash temp!

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Summer Ale – Stormwatch

This time I actually planned to do a light summer beer and found a couple of different recipes for Hopback Summer Lightning (mostly tweaked versions of the Graham Wheeler recipe). I took these and tinkered with them a little further, more out of bloody-mindedness than anything else in particular.

I’m still getting lousy efficiencies (not sure why I don’t seem to be able to get much over 50%) so if you’re doing better then your overall grain bill will be too high and can be lowered, but the ratios came out very nicely. It’s also a really simple recipe.

Stormwatch Summer Ale.

Brewdate: 11/5/2017, All grain, BIAB, 4.5L.
Target: OG 1.046 / IBU 45 / ABV 4.2   Actual: OG 1045 / ABV 3.8

  • 1.2Kg Pale Malt (100%)
  • 9g Challenger hops (60 min)
  • 3g EKG (15 min)
  • 2g EKG (0 min)
  • 1tsp Irish Moss
  • 3g Ale Yeast (Muntons Premium Gold)
  1. Mash grains in the bag for 90 minutes at 66°C
  2. Mash out at 82°C for 10 minutes.
  3. 60 minute boil with three hop additions.
  4. Turn off the heat and allow to cool for 10 min.
  5. Remove the hop bags and cool in the sink  to about 20°C (about 20 mins)
  6. Check the OG, siphon into demijohn  and put in water bath at 20°C then pitch the yeast.
  7. Two weeks fermenting at 20°C then racked out into bottling bucket with priming sugar (26g sugar in 120ml water) , bottled and conditioned at room temp for 2 weeks.

Light Bitter – Go For It

First step into all-grain brewing and I’ve clearly got a few problems to sort out with efficiency as my OG fairly significantly failed to hit the mark.
That, of course, is why you do test batches at the 4.5 litre brew length so I don’t have an entire cupboard full to get through. As it turned out, what has emerged is something very light tasting and low alcohol – what some US brewers seem to be referring to as “lawnmower beer”.  I think I know what I did wrong (not enough bag squeezing and inconsistent mash temp) so I’ll give this one another go over the next couple of weeks. In the interim – it’s a running beer !!

Go For It Bitter.

Brewdate: 25/4/2017, All grain, BIAB, 4.5L.
Target: OG 1052 / IBU 36 / ABV 5.0 Actual: OG 1040 / ABV 3.1

  • 860g Pale Malt
  • 160g Crystal Malt
  • 60g Wheat Malt
  • 24g (12g + 6g + 6g) East Kent Goldings hops
  • 1tsp Irish Moss
  • 3g Ale Yeast (Muntons Premium Gold)
  1. Mash grains in the bag for 90 minutes at 67°C
  2. Mash out at 82°C for 10 minutes.
  3. 60 minute boil with hop additions at 60 (12g), 15 (6g + Irish Moss) and 0 (6g) minutes.
  4. Turn off the heat and allow to cool for 10 min.
  5. Remove the hop bags and cool in the sink  to about 20°C (about 20 mins)
  6. Check the OG, siphon into demijohn  and put in water bath at 20°C then pitch the yeast.
  7. Two weeks fermenting at 20°C then racked out into bottling bucket with priming sugar (26g sugar in 120ml water) , bottled and conditioned at room temp for 2 weeks.