I’ve sort of finalized my list of beers I want to brew for NHC 2016 and I think Ordinary or Best Bitter is on the list so I wanted to give one a try and see how I want to tweek it. I went back through all my standard books and past NHC winners and melded it all together and came up with:
Beer Name: bitter
Style: Ordinary Bitter
Original Gravity: 1.039
Final Gravity: 1.012
Alcohol: 3.6 %
Bitterness: 37.8 IBUs
Mash Fermentable Weight: 8.25 Pounds
Mash Thickness: 2.0 Quarts per Pound
Grain Temp: 72 F
Strike Water Qty: 6.13 Gallons
Mash Volume: 6.79 Gallons
Strike Water Temp: 160.2 F
Mash Temp: 152 F
Kettle Gravity (start of boil): 1.032
Starting Boil Volume: 6.75
Boil Duration: 60 Minutes
Evaporation Rate: 1.25 Gallons per Hour
Final Boil Volume: 5.5
|Weight (Lbs)||% by Weight||Name||Yield||SRM|
|7.5||90.9||Bairds Maris Otter||82.0||3.0|
|.25||3.0||Bairds Dark Crystal||74.0||120.0|
|Weight (ozs)||Name||AAU||Time (mins)||Use||IBUs / Addition|
Yeast and Friends
|1 vial||White Labs WLP002 English Ale|
|tsp||Yeast Nutrient (Wyeast)||10|
Quantity of Yeast: 1 vials / pouches (100B cells per)
Quantity of DME: 43 grams
Starter Size: 0.4 liters
Salt and Acid adjustments:
Gypsum: 3.0 gram
Calcium Chloride: 3.0 gram
Gypsum: 2.0 gram
Predicted Mash pH of: 5.24
Mash Ions (ppm):
Ca: 72.3 Mg: 3.0 Na: 21.0 Cl: 73.4 So: 96.1
Boil Ions (ppm):
Ca: 70.2 Mg: 3.0 Na: 21.0 Cl: 38.9 So: 137.7
Ferment @ 68F for 2 weeks
Rack to keg and force carb to 2.3 volumes
Keg Temperature: 40 F
Volumes of CO2: 2.3
Set Keg Pressure to: 10.1 psi
I had some recipe variance due to Homebrew shop limitations 🙂 they had maris otter and carastan but no dark crystal so i tasted a bunch of dark caramel malts (caramunich, special B) but settled on briess 120 which I think was a mistake. Briess seems to have a very toffee like flavor to there caramel malts that always tasted like diacetyl to me. OK in this beer but I would stick with british crystal malts. also, they did not have US goldings so I went for EKG.
10/11/15 made 0.5L starter (I only pitched 200mL) of WLP002 English Ale in the new packaging with 9.11.15 date so pretty fresh.
10/13/15 brew day. normal. pitched at 11:30am and bubbling by 10pm that night
10/14/15 strong steady bubbling with 1/2 inch kreusen
10/15/15 very vigorous fermentation by started to slow by the end of the day
10/16/15 kreusen fully dropped. starting to clear. ~1sec apart.
10/18/15 ~4 sec
10/23/15 no bubbling. weird. kegged and dropped to 40F. 20psi overnight.
10/24/15 put on draft @ 40F 12psi
10/29/15 starting to clear but still hazy. carb getting close.
10/31/15 carb is really good. maybe a tinge high but pretty close. flavor profile is spot on other than caramel/diacetyl note that I think is briess caramel malt.
11/6/15 still hazy. definitely will gelatin next time. not super hazy but not getting clear.
aroma: nice low bready, toasty and caramelly notes. low berry esters. low floral hops with earthy edge. all in all not great. malt is muddled. hops aren’t appealing. ester character is nice.
appearance: low head w/ OK retention. amber color is good. clarity is OK but not brilliant.
flavor: better than aroma. nice bready, toasty and caramelly notes. nice cherry & berry esters. moderate bitterness is spot on. hop flavor is low earthy.
mouthfeel: body is medium – light. good.
overall: in the ballpark but needs better clarity, better head and retention. more malt and hop pop in the aroma. close but not quite right. possible adjustments:
+some head+ malts -> wheat or carapils
+more late hops and maybe change up hops a bit
+change dark malt to british (simpsons)
+change to crisp MO and simpson caramel malts