Tuesday, October 25, 2011

AG#6 All Grain Everards Tiger (ish)

I brewed this beer during the same weekend as my previously posted All Grain Winter Warmer. This recipe is based on the all grain Everards Tiger recipe taken from page 145 of Graham Walker's Brew Your Own British Real Ale. If you don't already have this book, I highly recommend it!!!

I say that this brew is based on the recipe as I chose to replace the 12g of Black malt in the recipe with some Amber malt instead. Why? I found that the addition of the black malt in my all grain, home brew Banks Bitter made the finished beer a little too dark. I also have a surplus of amber malt and so I thought I could kill two birds with one stone and use up some of my amber malt whilst adding some darker colour but not too much. I also like the subtle, biscuity flavours the amber malt brings to the beer.

I also (accidentally) added more Crystal malt and Torrefied wheat than the recipe required, I was getting some weight fluctuations that I didn't spot initially and had to put new batteries in my scales. Too late to remove and reweigh as I had already tipped the grains into the bulk of the pale malt... Next time I shall weigh the grains into separate containers before mixing.

Brewday, Sunday16th October, target volume 23l.

The grain bill:

  • Pale malt: 3400g
  • Crystal malt: 386g
  • Amber malt: 200g
  • Torrefied wheat: 197g
The hops:
  • 31g Challenger in at start of boil (90 mins)
  • 20g Fuggles in during the last 10 minutes of the boil.
200g white sugar to go in approx half way through the boil and as with my last couple of brews I rehydrated the Irish Moss which was added in the last 10 minutes of the boil.

Before bottling I will also be dry hopping with a few cones of Goldings.

Again, the brewday went without any major problems, my equipment is behaving and performing well.

The mash schedule: 10 litres of liquor at 66C for 90 minutes - again my mash tun didn't lose a single degree :) HLT temp was 75C giving me a strike temp in the pre heated mash tun (kettle of boiling water for 20 minutes) of 72C. After the addition of the grains and doughing in I hit the target of 66C bang on.

Unfortunately the yeast starter I had made from some yeast reclaimed from a previous brew didn't appear to get going and so I chose to bin it rather than risk using it. I had one pack of Wyeast 1968 London that I was saving for an ESB I plan to brew soon so I used that.

Target gravity was 1041 but I got 1045. I'm still not up to speed with calculating efficiency but I keep achieving higher gravities. I can only put this down to my mash tun being very efficient and extracting more fermentable sugars from the malted grains. I'm not overly concerned at this point, I'm far from being ready to consider selling my brews, as a slightly stronger beer isn't really a bad thing.

Here are the piccies.

First run off from the mash tun, I'm liking the colour. Note, I ran a couple of litres off into a jug first until the grain bed settled and the wort began to run clearer.

From the initial 10 litres of hot liquor for the mash I extracted about 7 litres of wort prior to sparging.

I heated the hot liquor tank to 80C for the sparge and slowly sparged the grain bed to end up with 25 litres of wort with a gravity around 1039 bearing in mind this lower gravity is pre boil and pre addition of 200g of sugar during the boil. Unable to calculate exactly what the boil and sugar was going to add to the gravity I wasn't sure how much water to add to the wort pre boil.

From previous experience of the evaporation losses, in order to end up with my target of 23 litres I'd need to start the boil with around 30 to 31 litres... I topped up to 30 litres and hoped the gravity would climb to the target 1041 with the evaporation losses and sugar taken into account.

Approaching boil, the hot break material begins to form. As before I skimmed the surface froth away as it formed prior to reaching the rolling boil.

Some of the skimmed surface break material... nice isn't it?

Getting down to business now with a vigorous boil, in go the bittering hops - 31g Challenger. This is my first brew using Challenger and the smell was very nice indeed. I have yet to find hops I don't love the smell of when they go in the boil.

As this was quite an uneventful, other than ending up with 23l of lovely beer, I haven't gone mad on photos. they are all beginning to look a bit samey. You can see the cold break material starting to clump together in the photo above as my home made wort chiller brings the temp down to 30C after the boil. The aroma hops, 20g Fuggles, went into the brew ten minutes before end of boil.

This addition of hops towards the end or after the boil is to me a bit of a pain when using an immersion chiller like above. As the chiller has to go into the boiling wort 15 or so minutes before then end of boil to be sterilized, the (end of boil) hops go in afterwards and tend to get all caught up in the coils of the chiller as they roll around. Not bad to begin with but they gradually collect together and rise up out of the boiling wort. I keep tapping them back in with my brewing spoon but, it's a bit of a pain in the ass.

The hopped sweet wort has been chilled and can be seen running off from the copper into the fermenter.

I pitched the yeast and as with my previous use of wyeast smack pack yeasts, nothing bloody happened for two days! I was beginning to worry the pack had not been viable - I followed the instructions to the T - when finally the brew burst into life and began to ferment.

A day or so later my order of bottles arrived along with some airlocks and grommets so I drilled the fermenter lid and fitted an airlock to it. As I write this, it's still glugging away like a goodun and the gravity is taking longer than normal to drop. This might be due to the slightly lower temperatures now or it might just be the yeast was struggling to get going. So even with my delayed posting, there's no photos of the finished beer just yet.

On the subject of temperatures I am looking to, in the not too distant future, convert and old fridge by way of an external controller with a probe in the beer and a tube heater fitted internally into a temperature controlled fermenting cabinet. More on that soon...

I am about to open a bottle of my Banks Bitter that I have been enjoying recently and, weather permitting, take a nice photo to post later on.

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