Monday, May 21, 2012

East Kent Blonde - Own recipe all grain pale bitter

I fancied something simple and session-able with the summer coming up (I wish someone would remind the rain gods of this) but also with a bit of interest in the nose and taste. Something quaff-able but with a bit of, "hmmmm what's that?" about it.

Ooops, half way down the first sampler I remembered to take a piccy. Clearest pale beer I've brewed to date.
I went for pale malt, pale crystal and tried just using flaked wheat instead of torrified to see what sort of head retention it gave. I've been reading that flaked wheat behaves the same as torrified but without the flavours torrified can sometimes add. It was absolutely nothing to do with opening the wrong bag and not realising until it had been tipped into the malt bucket...

I also wanted the classic combination of East Kent Golding and Fuggle hops with some target chucked in for its higher alpha acid content for bitterness.

I also figured I'd have a go at caramelizing some of the first run sweet wort after reading a thread on Jim's Beer Kit about the toffee, caramel and vanilla notes this process can bring to a beer.

End result, v nice. Everything I'd aimed for pretty much but I ended up slightly over target OG so from what was meant to be 3.9% abv beer I ended up with a 4.1% - still a lot more session-able than the typical 5.5 to 7% brews.

This is also one I plan to have on hand pull for our summer garden party.

Target brew length: 25l (got 26l)
Mash liquor: 11l
Total liquor: 38l

Mash time: 90 minutes
Boil time: 90 minutes

Pale malt: 4,170g
Pale crystal: 100g
Flaked wheat (ahem): 150g

Bittering and Late Hops:
Target (12.6%AA) - 11g @ 90 minutes
Fuggles - 11g @ 90 minutes (old bag, pre MaltMiller supplier so %AA unknown)
Fuggles - 20g @ 30 minutes
East Kent Goldings (4.96%AA) - 15g @ 10 mins

Aroma Hops:
East Kent Goldings (4.96%AA): 20g @ 80C steep for 30 minutes
Fuggles (3.81% AA) - 25g @ 80C steep for 30 minutes

Not many pics, I was using my phone camera as my Mrs had pinched my camera to take photos of her handmade bags that she sells on Etsy.

As you can see (bottom left) flaked wheat looks nothing like torrified wheat... Not sure what I was thinking but it worked out ok in the end with a bloody nice, crisp pinter. Just need a bloody nice summer to finally appear now.

First runnings taken in my blurred foreground, sharp background photography style. FFS!

It was looking a little dark in the bucket even once I was sparging but it soon paled down/up.

1 litre of first run sweet wort boiling down next to the main boil...

Reduced to 250ml and a thick syrupy gloop. During this time the smells were absolute toffee and vanilla. Nice!

Chiller in and last hops etc etc yawn usual stuff

Shite heading for the compost bin.
Next time I brew this, all bittering hops in at 90 mins. Some additional EKG and Fuggles in at 10 minutes and then slightly more EKG and Fuggles in for the 80C steep.

It was bitter, it was hoppy but I think (possibly due to the caramel/vanilla notes) the bitterness and hop aroma can stand to go up a bit.

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