Brew Two

Never one to rest on my laurels, I took advantage of an afternoon at home yesterday to get a second brew done. I thought the chance had gone when we went out for the morning and lunchtime, but I managed to squeeze enough time out of the afternoon to brew and look after RAR. After mashing-in you leave it alone for ninety minutes, so as long as you’re well-organised there’s still plenty of time for playing, feeding and other general baby duties.

The recipe I decided on is based on one from the BrewUk forums, a citrussy Pale Ale. The grain bill for this one was a lot of Maris Otter, and a little bit of CaraMalt for head retention and mouthfeel.

malted grain

5500gm of Maris Otter pale malt and 350gm of CaraMalt

There’s not much to report from the day to be honest, it all went according to plan, and my one-shot fly sparge imitation seemed to work well. The foil cover I made this time around to slow down the speed of the sparge and prevent any channels in the grist was much better than the first time around, so I’ll be doing the same again.

foil cover for sparging

Foil punched with holes to slow down and spread the sparge water.

This time around I used a lot more hops, and all one variety, namely Citra. So-called because they apparently have very citrussy aromas and flavours, I guess I’ll find out just how much when I get to try it in a few weeks time. I took the amount of bittering hops down from 40 to 20 grams because the quoted 55 IBU is probably just too bitter for me.

citra hops

30 grams of Citra hops ready for the 10 minute addition for flavour.

Speaking of hops, it’s amazing just how much water they absorb and how much they swell up in the boil! The 100gm vacuum packed pouch was small and light, but when i cleaned the boiler out this morning I nearly filled a carrier bag.

For the record, for future versions of me reading this, remember that bringing the wort to the boil takes ages! I was watching the boiler for ages for it to come to a rolling boil, because the first time I did this I took my eyes off it for a minute or two and it foamed and went everywhere! There’s a really weird foamy scum that comes to the surface just before it boils, and by keeping an eye on it I was able to break it down and mix it back in. Whether I should be doing that or skimming it out, I’m not sure, it’s something more for me to research.

boiling wort scum

The foam is about half-an-inch deep and really thick. You don’t want to be cleaning it up after.

All in all, a good brew I think. The proto-beer is sat in the no-chill now, all I have to do is transfer it to the FV, aerate it well and pitch the yeast (S-05). I can’t wait to see if it has the described subtle taste of orange and pineapple.

Next up: Spiced and/or vanilla Christmas porter, and a wheat beer.

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