Sunday, August 28, 2011

Second Runnings Beer - Thomas Hardy barleywine

For the second runnings beer from my Thomas Hardy inspired barleywine, I capped the mash with a bit more grain. Unfortunately, it ended up picking up an infection from the dry hops (I don't know why I bothered using a bag on this one when I usually don't for pellets.) I'm 100% sure it came from the nylon hop bag. It was a bland beer anyway, so no huge loss. I've got a Brett Blend #9 pitch from East Coast Yeast on its way, which I may pitch to see what happens, but I'm not expecting much. By the time the bugs are done I'll have a beer that had little malt character, old hops (by that time) and a bunch of brett. Doesn't soundvery good, or balanced, to me. Anyway, for the sake of recording recipes, I capped the mash with the following:

12 oz Crystal 60L
6 oz Crystal 120L
6 oz Pale Chocolate malt

0.9 oz Nugget @ 13% - 60 minutes
0.5 oz Challenger @ 5.3% - 15 minutes
0.5 oz Challenger @ 5.3% - flameout

WY London ESB - half slurry from English Mild

Thomas Hardy inspired Barleywine

Although I didn't brew much over the summer, as usual, I've brewed a few beers since my last post and really slacked about recording them! I've intended to do an all-base grain barleywine, inspired by the delicious Thomas Hardy's Ale. A few friends and I each picked up a sack of Marris Otter in preparation. I was considering using a Bavarian Lager yeast for awhile, after reading a report that that's what Eldridge Pope brewery used to use, but went with a combination of Wyeast London ESB yeast (the Fuller's strain) and Nottingham. I love the character of the Fuller's yeast, and added the Notty since I know it can handle high gravity well.

I made this brew using first-runnings only, and had a tough time hitting my mid-1.120s OG I was shooting for. In the end I topped it off with 3 lbs of DME. I used the yeast slurry from my English Mild, split it in 2, and used half for the second runnings beer. The pack of Notty was pitched into the primary along with the slurry.


brewed on: 8/28/11
OG: 1.127
IBUs: 64
SRM: 10
mash temp: 150F


35 lbs Marris Otter
Hops (all loose pellets):
2.5 oz Nugget @ 13% - 60 minutes
1 oz Fuggles - 10 minutes

WY 1968 London ESB- 1/2 yeast cake from English Mild
1 pack Nottingham

5/2/12 - I tasted a sample of this the other day out of the secondary and it is tasting amazing! The malt character is just what I'd hoped for with a sweetness level right around the actual Thomas Hardy beers I've tried! I'm thinking about bottling it soon!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

English Mild

I haven't brewed very many English inspired beers, and the majority of those have been along the lines of an Old ale here and Barleywine there. There was a bretted brown porter awhile back that is coming along nicely, and there was a pretty bad attempt at an ESB-esque creation with whatever I had on hand at one point. With that in mind, I picked up a pack of WY 1968 ESB yeast. This is the Fuller's strain and I love Fuller's. I plan to use it along with a pitch of stronger yeast to do a strong barleywine along the lines of Thomas Hardy next week. To get a big enough pitch of yeast ready, I brewed a dark Mild today. Here is my recipe:

English Mild

brewed on: 8/21/11
OG: 1.036
IBUs: 21.8 IBUs
SRM:  supposedly 16.7, but I think mine looks a little darker than that. We'll have to wait and see.
mash temp: 156F


6 lbs Marris Otter
1 lb Carastan (30-35L)
8 oz Pale Chocolate malt (200L)
6 oz Brown malt
4 oz Crystal 120L

Hops (all loose pellets):
0.9 oz Fuggles @ 5.1%  - 60 minutes
1 oz Fuggles @ 5.1% - 10 minutes

WY 1968 ESB - 1.6 liter starter, decanted.

Rum Barrel Aged Black Currant Melomel

My first attempt at an oak aged mead turned out great when I put it in my peach brandy barrel this past spring. On the heels of that tasty batch, I decided to try another melomel in the 5 gallon rum barrel I recently acquired. I've been curious about black currants in mead since watching the Brew TV episode where Curt Stock is interviewed. Apparently that is a favorite fruit addition of his. Here is my recipe:

Rum Barrel Aged Black Currant Melomel

brewed on: 8/6/11
Batch size: 5 gallons

15 lbs Wildflower honey

96oz. black currant juice (Vintner's Harvest)

25g - 71B Narbonne dry yeast, rehydrated and fed using the Minnesota Speed Mead method.

11/28/11 - bottled