Feb 15, 2008

Wannabe Special Bitter

O.G = 1.050 IBU = 36.8

This is an attempt to create something close to something between Samuel Smith's Old Brewery Pale Ale
and Wells Bombardier. Many recipes recommend adding flaked maize and not making cultural references to the Spice Girls, but that is where I am different. I am calling this Special Bitter since regular bitter, or "mild", the 3% or so session beer designed to allow you to chill at the pub for a couple of hours is not very available, nor is that very desirable for me right now. I am aiming for somewhere around 5.5%. Let's hope I remember to take a hydrometer reading.

Wannabe Special Bitter
The Grain:

8 lbs Marris Otter (66.6%)
2 lbs British Crystal Malt (50-60L) (16.7%)
2 oz Carafa III (16.7%)

The Hops:

.5 oz Challenger (8% AAU) First Wort Runnings
.5 oz Challenger (8% AAU) -60 minutes
.5 oz Kent Goldings (5% AAU) -15 minutes (along with one clearfloc tab)
.5 oz Kent Goldings (5% AAU) End

Cry Havoc Yeast

The Mash:

10 lbs grain x 1.3 quarts water = 3.25 gallons strike water (165 degrees hoping for a 155 degree mash)
Absorption = 10 lbs x .125 = 1.25 gallons / 3.25 - 1.25 = 2 gallons
Add four gallons sparge water to equal a six gallon boil.

Fifteen minutes in: Temperature low (around 140something). I do not know why this is happening since I treated the tun with hot water before mashing since it is in the winter. I added about a quart of 200 degree water, and now I am waiting a few minutes . . .
Twenty-five minutes in: The temperature was around 160, so I threw in one ice cube, and that dropped it down to around 155.
Seventy minutes in: The temp was back down to 150, which is acceptable, but not exactly what I want. I
added another 8oz or so of hot ass water. I am beginning to be concerned that this mash is going to be way thin because of all the extra water I have added. From the quick research I just did, it looks like I may want to look into learning how to calculate brewing efficiency and putting a thick blanket over the tun next time.

O.G. = 1.050
F.G. = 1.016
4.4% Alcohol by Volume

Oh, and then there is this, which has become obligatory. . .


2.17.08 -- Fermentation has begun. The temperature seems to be hanging in there at 65 or so.

2.28.08 -- Using Ray Daniels' Designing Great Beers as a guide, I calculated the brewing efficiency of this batch with the following formula. The factors are pounds, simplified gravity readings (1.050 becomes 50, etc.), and the potential gravity of different grains according to a chart in his book:
8lbs Marris Otter x 38 = 304
2lbs British Crystal x 34 = 68
.125 lbs carafa III x 30 = 3.75
304+68+3.75 = 375.75 (Potential Gravity of Grains)

Original Gravity: 1.050 x 6 Gallons:
50 x 6 = 300 (Actual Gravity of Wort)

300 /375.75= .80
80% Efficiency
Can this be true?

2.29.08 -- Kegged. Seems to taste right -- the hops are not overpowering at all, yet they are there. The color could be just a pinch darker. It is red / brown, but not the ruby color I was shooting for.

3.14.08 -- First impression: this is a beer made for drinking. It has less body than Wells Bombardier and Samuel Smith's Pale Ale, and that is probably because of the choice in yeasts. Kegging it and letting it condition in the fridge for so long seems to have been a good idea.

4.06.08 -- Picture day!! I am also realizing that this beer is exactly what it was named as it was being brewed. With the lager yeast, it really is a Wannabe Special Bitter.

1 comment:

Mone said...

this dude needs to watch his bellie so it doesnt blow up, hahaha