Apr 29, 2008

For Real ESB


Target Gravity = 1.055
Target IBU = 44
Original Gravity = 1.055
IBU = 42.65

Wannabe Special Bitter was a very nice beer, but it certainly was not a real bitter since I used Cry Havoc yeast, which was originally collected by Charlie Papazian from a keg of Budweiser, which makes it a lager yeast. Supposedly, Budweiser uses a different strain of yeast today. The yeast was advertised as a lager / ale hybrid, but I think they meant that it was more resistant to high temperatures than other lager yeasts.

This time I am going to use London ale yeast, and I have also tweaked the recipe a little to try to get a more complex malt taste as well as achieving the color I want without adding Carafa at the end. I am hoping the Crystal, Chocolate, and Roast malts will get me what I want.

The Malt:
8 lbs Pearl Pale Malt (66%)
2.66 lbs Crystal 60L (20%)
1.63 lbs Munich II (13%)
2.5 oz Roasted Malt (1%)

The Hops:
.5oz Challenger (7% AA) -- First Wort Runnings
.5oz Challenger (7% AA) -- 60 minutes
1 oz East Kent Goldings (5.5% AA) -- 45 Minutes
.5oz Challenger (7% AA) -- 15 minutes
.5oz East Kent Goldings (5.5% AA) -- End

The Mash:
12.45 pounds of grain x 1.3 quarts = 4.05 gallons of strike water. Strike water will be 165 degrees hoping for a 155 degree mash. I seem to be losing around ten degrees when I treat the tun with boiling water and then cover it up with blankets -- at least for the first while before I have to make adjustments later.

20 Minutes In -- The temp was not much more than 145, but I do not think the mash is really that cool. I am going to wait ten more minutes and see if the thermometer catches up a little.

30 Minutes In -- The temp was around 146, which makes little sense to me. It is warmer than the last few times I brewed, I primed the tun with boiling water, and I have blankets over it. The last couple of times, I was only losing around ten degrees. I am nuking some water to throw in there now.

37 Minutes In -- Added one pint of boiling water. I will wait five minutes to check temp.

45 Minutes In -- The temperature is still the same; I don't get it. I am nuking more water.

50 Minutes In -- Added another pint of boiling water, and noticed that the valve on the empty hot liquor tank I have connected to the tun was open. This may be the reason for the heat loss.

57 Minutes In -- Temperature has climbed to around 150. Meanwhile, I am nuking more water. This is getting ridiculous.

64 Minutes In -- The temperature is STILL FUCKING LOW after adding a quart and a half of extra boiling water. Nuking more water.

70 Minutes In -- Temperature was up near 154. I added about a half pint more of boiling water (I really do not know why). I also added thirty minutes to the clock since the temp has not been up to 150 yet. I am not going to fuck around with this any more until it is time to run off.


12.45 pounds of grain x .125 absorption = 1.56 gallons. 4 gallons - 1.56 = 2.44. 6 gallons - 2.44 = 3.56 gallons of 170 degree sparge water needed.


-- Transferred to the secondary. Fermentation stayed around 73 degrees all week. London III yeast is a lot more active than I thought it would be. Maybe I just got a really fresh batch.

5.23.08 -- It is getting hot outside, so I put the carboy in the fridge. It will stay there until one of the two kegs in there (IPA and Schwartz) is empty.

6.15.08 -- I kegged this beer and put it back into the fridge. The final gravity is 1.019. ABV will be around 4.7%.

6.23.08 -- First Impressions: The yeast really does it to this beer. The difference between this and the Wannabe is large. In short, this is a great fuckin beer, and since I have so many EKG and Challenger hops, I will make more soon.

7.25.08 -- This is a most solid ESB. The color is on, and it is very drinkable. I am not sure of changes I would make to this beer, but I may still compare it to examples like Samuel Smith's Old Brewery Pale Ale or Bombardier. Like this says above, this beer will be made again, but I am concerned about the temperature I have been losing lately. I think next time I am going to wrap the tun with a 0 degree rated sleeping bag.

8.15.08 -- A session beer par exelance . . . Nice and clean now; could drink them all night. Might be my next brew. . . oh, and the sleeping bag turned out to be a good idea.

8.28.08 -- This blew tonight. I got about a 4oz farewell.

Apr 2, 2008


Target Gravity = 1.050 (6 gallons x 50 = 300)
Original Gravity = 1.051

50% Munich II x 300 = 150
42% Pilsner Malt x 300 = 126
4% Carahel x 300 = 12
4% Carafa x 300 = 12

(Potential Gravity / 75% efficiency)
150 / (36 / .75) = 5.55 Lbs Munich II
126 / (36 / .75) = 4.66 Lbs Pilsner
12 / (36 / .75) = .44 lbs Carahel
12 / (35 / .75) = .46 lbs Carafa

*Additional .5 lb carafa in sparge*

1 oz Tettnanger (4% AA) 90 minutes = 16.16 IBU
1 oz Tettnanger (4% AA) 30 minutes = 11.41 IBU
1 0z Tettnanger (4% AA) End = 2.85 IBU

Total IBU = 30.42

The Mash:

11.11 Pounds of grain x 1.3 quarts = 3.61 gallons strike water.
Strike Water will be 160 degrees aiming for a 150 degree mash. Like the last time I brewed, I am priming the tun with boiling water, and will be covering it with blankets through the mash.

Calculating Absorption and the needed amount of sparge water:
I have been debating on the necessity of this step, thinking I may just fill the hot liquor tank with sparge water, and then use all I need to collect six gallons. I am resisting the
temptation to do this now, but think there must be some reason for doing this. So, here it goes:

11.11 pounds of grain (x .125) = 1.38 gallons of water absorbed.
3.61 gallons strike water - 1.38 = 2.25 gallons
6 - 2.25 gallons = 3.75 gallons of sparge water needed.

40 minutes in: Temperature reads 148 degrees. I will check again in about 20 minutes to see if it drops.
60 minutes in: Temperature was down near 140 degrees. I added 2 cups boiling water, and started another two cups. I will check again in about ten minutes.
About five minutes later: Temperature was back up to 150.

4.20.08 -- Transferred to secondary.
4.27.08 -- Since it is getting warmer outside, I kegged this beer and stuck it in the back of the fridge. I am not force carbonating it yet; just pressurized it up to around 20 lbs and put it out of the way so it can stay cold. I will hook it up to more gas when one of the other kegs are empty.
5.10.08 -- I should have checked the keg sooner. When I checked, it had no pressure left, so I hope it had not been that way for a while. I imagine the pressure inside and outside the keg were equal, so I should not worry about oxygen getting in. Anyhow, I plugged it up to the gas, and it should be ready to serve in less than a week.
6.15.08 -- This schwartz has prooved to be a very solid beer. It is very black, but light with a smokey aroma and taste. This is a nice black beer for the summer time, and this example shows exactly what the original brewers of this style had in mind (if I do say so myself). Picture soon.
6.23.08 -- There is the picture. Doncha just love my cock?