Another brew: Krispy Golden Hoppy ale…
Well I thought I’d be able to squeeze one more brew in before Xmas.. and bizarrely, I thought I’d try a ‘summer ale’ – as I might as well try and nail a good session ale.. plus I’ve now got two very strong beers bottled and maturing, so I need a lighter session ale to wash em down with.
I’ve not boiled yet – just made up the yeast starter tonight. My planned ingredients are;
- 1.5kg light malt extract (liquid)
- 1kg (2x 500g) light malt extract (dry)
- 500g wheat extract (dry – that’s a barley/wheat mix)
- 500g Carapils malt (very light grains)
- Wyeast American ale yeast
- Challenger and Cascade hops
I had in mind a hoppy and light gold ale such as Oakham Ales Bishops Farewell. If anyone from Oakham ever reads this – please feel free to contact me and correct my mistake 🙂 (I live local, happy to accept some of your yeast 🙂 )
I plan to dry hop some of the cascade – I’ve read that it’s a very distinctive and very strong aroma hop.. we shall see! The recipe below is approx what I’ll try… (click on it to read. Free web calculator I use found HERE)
UPDATE 21/11/2009: Well I didn’t make the beer when I thought – as the yeast starter never really took off as I wanted – so I didn’t trust the beer to the yeast which looked possibly dead (I left the start 3 1/2 days.. and no real activty.. plus after 2-3 days you can usually smell the alcohol and yeast, but I had nothing other than malt).
So I ordered some cheaper dry yeast (American style) – and did my boil today, while listening to my local footy team lose yet again on the radio.
All in the fermenter now – I will dry hop (* see latest update about hop tea!) with 25 grams cascade once the main fermentation is through (3 days.. depending on how it goes). I’ve read that you can add the hops to the fermenter straight away – but I thought I’d wait until there is alcohol in the mix to kill any stray germs – and also I’ve read that the heavy CO2 production etc can lose some of the hop oils and aroma’s if you add during primary fermentation. So I’ll boil up a muslin bag and add my 25g hops to it, and get it in the fermenter on tues/weds night, and leave it there until I bottle. What I might do is thread the bag with nylon thread, so I can pull it out just before I bottle, so it doesn’t disturb the yeast sediment (it will float, rather than sink).
The colour looks spot on – a nice golden colour, and the taste wasn’t bad – I can definitely taste a fair bit of hop, but still missing that aroma I’m looking for, so hoping the dry hopping does it. Also about spot on OG too, about 1052, so I’ll probably get about 4.6-5% with the yeast I’m using.
The fermentation is going very nicely now 2 days in I have a 2-3 inch krausen formed, and the yeast is the usual very active swirly snowstorm (the best way I can describe it) – see through fermenters are great 🙂
I have decided to try a ‘hop tea’ for this beer, and if that works well, go with it every beer where I want strong hop flavour and aroma. I will take a picture when I do it, but a hop tea is another way to add hop – I guess wet dry hopping (if that makes sense). So instead of adding the hops to my fermenter (in a muslin bag), I may instead (or as well as…), take my 1-2 ounces of hops, add to recently boiled water, and steep for 10-15 mins. Then take this tea and add to the fermenter (and the beer obviously!). I’ll do this once it’s calmed down, as some of the oils and aroma will be driven off by the CO2 being expelled during the yeast’s busy period.
To help keep the hop leaf from the beer, I’m going to use a coffee cafetiere (American’s call them a ‘French Press’) – those glass jars with a fine metal mesh you push down on to strain coffee grounds from the water. I can use the same idea to strain and squeeze the hops out of the ‘tea’, getting all the goodness and flavour without the bits. That’s the theory.
Even using the hop tea method, I MIGHT add hops directly too – just to make fully sure 🙂