Jeff Longland

Relax, don't worry – have a home brew!

Apollo Pale Ale

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Apollo Pale AleContinuing with my effort to catch-up on recipes and tasting notes. Going back to January 5, 2013 with this beer. I was planning on brewing a barley wine, but rather than making a huge starter, I decided to make a pale ale. For a simple beer that started out as a means to another, bigger, maltier beer – I was shocked by the result. Keeping the recipe simple was definitely the way to go:  Golden Promise + Crystal 70-80 + Apollo + Wyeast 1968 = an easy going pale ale. It was so tasty that I don’t seem to have any tasting notes. I do have 21 checkins on Untappd, thankfully, to inform the tasting notes below.

Appearance – Copper colour and clear, clear, clear!  Between the highly flocculant Wyeast 1968 and my transition to kegs, this beer cleared spectacularly well after ~2 weeks of cold-conditioning.

Aroma – It’s been a few months, but I can still recall the smell of this beer: clean malts, some citrus, and that English ale yeast aroma.

Taste  Slight English esters w/ light, clean bitterness from Apollo hops on finish. Can easily identify the sweetness from the Golden Promise malt.  Malt tastes very fresh.  Hops flavours are earthy, spicy with slight citrus.

Mouthfeel  Light and easy-drinking.  At 4.4% ABV that’s to be expected.  Tasted back-to-back with Powell Street’s Old Jalopy Pale Ale, I found this beer to be much thinner.  The next batch could use a little more mouthfeel.

Drinkability/Notes  Very pleasant English Pale Ale.  I wish I had saved a few bottles to enter in competitions, but it was too tasty and far too tempting when I got home from work in the evening.  A refreshing, low ABV pale ale.  Will definitely brew again, but with some adjustments to get better mouthfeel.

Apollo Pale Ale Recipe

Specifics
Wort Volume Before Boil: 7.00 US gals
Wort Volume After Boil: 6.10 US gals
Volume Transferred: 6.00 US gals
Volume At Pitching: 6.00 US gals
Final Batch Volume: 5.00 US gals
Expected Pre-Boil Gravity: 1.045 SG
Actual Pre-Boil Gravity: 1.045 SG
Expected OG: 1.051 SG
Actual OG: 1.048 SG
Expected FG: 1.015 SG
Actual FG: 1.015 SG
Expected Efficiency: 65.0%
Actual Efficiency: 65.7%
Expected ABV: 4.7 %
Actual ABV: 4.4 %
Expected IBU: 75
Expected Color: 11.1 SRM
Boil Duration: 60.0 mins

Fermentables
UK Golden Promise 12.00 lb – 92.3%
UK Dark Crystal (70-80L) – 1.00 lb – 7.7%

Hops
Apollo (18% alpha) 14 g – First wort hopped
Apollo (18% alpha) 14 g – 15 mins
Apollo (18% alpha) 28 g – 0 mins

Other Ingredients
Yeast: Wyeast 1968 London ESB Ale
Mashed at 152F

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Written by jlongland

August 13, 2013 at 12:23 pm

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West Coast Amber Ale

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West Coast Amber AleGenerally, I don’t brew much in the summer.  That’s largely because I have no fermentation temperature control and while it isn’t particularly hot in the summer in Vancouver, a few 24C days will create a lot more esters than I like.  So it’s weird that I wanted to brew in early July (2012).  But the weather was great and I was out of homebrew.  A few weeks earlier, I attended the National Homebrewers Conference and sampled some awesome amber ales (not to mention, every other style).  Having never brewed an amber, I figured a good place to start would be the West Coast Blaster in Brewing Classic Styles.  To keep fermentation temperatures in some semblance of control, I used a swamp cooler for the first time.  It worked relatively well and didn’t require much effort, so I may give it a try this summer.  Though, I recently re-purposed my ‘keezer’ as a fermentation chamber and I think I could be convinced to invest in a mini-fridge for fermentation.  The alternate plan is to brew Saisons until cooler weather returns.

The brew day didn’t go particularly well – efficiency was terrible!  It was the first batch where I used my Monster Mill to crush the grains.  I didn’t crush the grains enough and efficiency suffered.  I decided to boil for an extended time, acknowledging that I would undershoot my target volume.  The only problem was that I made the decision after adding the 60 min hops – so they were more like 120 min hops, which made this beer quite bitter.  But it was a gorgeous sunny day, so I didn’t really care at the time.

Fermentation went well.  The swamp cooler kept temperatures around 18 C.   But getting it to carbonate (in bottles) took a long, long time.  There was some carbonation after a month, but it was 3-4 months before it was carbonated to style.  Which worked out in the end, because this beer was far too bitter until it was at least 6 months old.  Age also rounded out a tartness that I noticed in this beer.  Some tasters noticed it, but others didn’t.  I found a message board thread discussing tartness when using Wyeast 1322, but I know that Will from The Perfect Pint uses this yeast regularly and I’ve never seen him mention tartness in his tasting notes.  Personally, I wasn’t a fan of the tartness.  It will be a while before I try this yeast again.

Appearance – Nice and clear, can see through it and read newsprint.  One of the clearest bottle-conditioned beers that I’ve made.  Colour is a nice amber.

Aroma – Light malt aroma, some sweetness and a slight tart smell.

Taste  Toasted malt at start. Tartness, presumably from the yeast, blending into a strong bitterness from the Magnum hops. Light malt sweetness on finish with dryness from the bitter.

Mouthfeel  Kind of thin.  Carbonation has always been a little lacking, it never carbonated quite right.

Drinkability/Notes  I wasn’t fond of this beer until it began to carbonate around 3-4 months.  Even then, I wasn’t a big fan.  But at 8 months, the last bottle of this beer was rather tasty. I felt dumb for having wasted so many bottles in the first 3-4 months.  I’ll definitely brew this beer again, but I think I’ll use a different yeast.

West Coast Amber Ale Recipe

Specifics
Wort Volume Before Boil: 7.00 US gals
Wort Volume After Boil: 6.10 US gals
Volume Transferred: 6.00 US gals
Volume At Pitching: 6.00 US gals
Final Batch Volume: 5.00 US gals
Expected Pre-Boil Gravity: 1.057 SG
Actual Pre-Boil Gravity: 1.042 SG
Expected OG: 1.066 SG
Actual OG: 1.052 SG
Expected FG: 1.020 SG
Actual FG: 1.014 SG
Expected Efficiency: 70.0%
Actual Efficiency: 51.9%
Expected ABV: 6.2 %
Actual ABV: 5.0 %
Expected IBU: 49.2
Expected Color: 12.2 SRM
Boil Duration: 60.0 mins (but boiled much longer to offset poor mash efficiency)

Fermentables
Maris Otter 12.75 lb – 83.1%
Munich 1.00 l.00 lb – 6.5%
Carastan 1.00 lb – 6.5%
Victory 0.50 lb – 3.3%
Chocolate 0.10 lb – 0.7%

Hops
Magnum (14.2% alpha) 28 g – 60 mins
Cascade (6.5% alpha) 28 g – 10 mins
Simcoe (14.1% alpha) 21 g – 10 mins
Cascade (6.5% alpha) 28 g – 0 mins
Simcoe (14.1% alpha) 21 g – 0 mins

Other Ingredients
Yeast: Wyeast 1322 Northwest Ale
Mashed at 152F

Written by jlongland

June 8, 2013 at 2:28 pm

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Wookey Jack Clone Attempt

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Wookey Jack Clone Attempt I’ve never had Firestone Walker’s Wookey Jack, but I’ve wanted to brew a Black IPA for quite some time.  I also have a fondness for Rye IPAs, so I started looking for a good example to work from.  Reviews on Beer Advocate quickly lead me to Wookey Jack, with a rating of 94 across 1000+ reviews.  Being such a popular beer, it was easy to find a recipe on Home Brew Talk.  I had to make a few changes, given lack of access to ingredients – e.g. Cara Rye, Carafa III, and Midnight Wheat.  Also, not having Magnum handy, I substituted Apollo.

Appearance – Body is black, pretty much opaque.  Pours with an inch of tan head, which diminishes quickly to a solid layer of bubbles.  Slight lacing as I finished the pint.

Aroma – Smells like lightly roasted malts.  Can pickup hints of spice alongside mango and light grapefruit.  Hop aroma has quickly dissipated in the 4 weeks it’s been in the keg.

Taste – Starts with spice, roasted malts and slight sweetness.  Hop fruitiness in the middle, fading into a bitterness that finishes sweet.  After taste is roasty and sweet.  Alcohol is well-hidden.

Mouthfeel – Although it feels thin, it has a certain thickness that’s particularly noticeable as you swallow.  Carbonation could be slightly higher, might improve the mouthfeel.

Drinkability/Notes – I have no idea if it’s anything like Wookey Jack, but I doubt it.  Nonetheless, it’s a good beer.  But it’s not great.  In future batches, I’ll dial back the rye and maybe drop the Carafa II in lieu of a bit more Blackprinz.  Although I’ve enjoyed having it on tap, I’m happy to be near the end of the keg.  A half pint is enjoyable, but a full pint can be a bit much.

Wookey Jack Clone Recipe

Specifics
Wort Volume Before Boil: 7.00 US gals
Wort Volume After Boil: 6.10 US gals
Volume Transferred: 6.00 US gals
Volume At Pitching: 6.00 US gals
Final Batch Volume: 5.00 US gals
Expected Pre-Boil Gravity: 1.055 SG
Actual Pre-Boil Gravity: 1.057 SG
Expected OG: 1.063 SG
Actual OG: 1.072 SG
Expected FG: 1.016 SG
Actual FG: 1.020 SG
Expected Efficiency: 60.0%
Actual Efficiency: 62.0%
Expected ABV: 6.3 %
Actual ABV: 6.7 %
Expected IBU: 75
Expected Color: 33.8 SRM
Boil Duration: 60.0 mins

Fermentables
UK Maris Otter Malt 14.50 lb – 81.7%
UK Rye – 2.00 lb – 11.3%
Carafa II Special – 0.50 lb – 2.8%
Briess Blackprinz – 0.5 lb – 2.8%
Chocolate Rye – 0.25 lb – 1.4%

Hops
Apollo (18% alpha) 14 g – First wort hopped
Amarillo (10.4% alpha) 57 g – 15 mins
Citra (13.4% alpha) 28 g – 15 mins
Amarillo (10.4% alpha) 57 g – 0 mins
Citra (13.4% alpha) 28 g – 0 mins
Amarillo (10.4% alpha) 57 g – Dry hopped
Citra (13.4% alpha) 57 g – Dry hopped

Other Ingredients
Yeast: Wyeast 1450 Denny’s Favorite 50
Mashed at 152F

Written by jlongland

February 3, 2013 at 4:21 pm

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Smash Bomb Atomic IPA Clone Attempt

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Flying Monkeys Smash Bomb Atomic IPA Clone AttemptAs we were selling all of our belongings and preparing to move to Vancouver in the summer of 2010, I was aware of Flying Monkeys Craft Brewery in Barrie, Ontario (and the preceding Robert Simpson Brewing Co).  I was surprised to see a craft brewery trying to survive in what I thought was lager territory.  Having grown up in the area, almost everyone I knew drank macro lager (myself included in those days).  Prior to moving out west,  I had a chance to try their Netherworld – a Cascadian Dark Ale – a style unbeknownst to me.  I was suitably impressed, both by the beer and the style.

After arriving in Vancouver, I read rave reviews about Flying Monkeys Smash Bomb Atomic IPA.  A few months later, I returned to Ontario to visit family and get our cat.  I picked up a few bottles of Smashbomb and was absolutely blown away.  At the time, I thought Black Oak Brewing was the reigning IPA king of Ontario with their 10 Bitter Years Double IPA.  But Smash Bomb is a serious challenger, albeit a different beast.  Whereas 10 Bitter Years has intense bitterness with lots of grapefruit and pine, Smash Bomb is a bit sweeter with lots of tropical fruit flavours.  I was really impressed.  On a subsequent trip back to Ontario for a family wedding, I drank as much Smashbomb as possible and brought back 2 bottles for future enjoyment (long since gone, in case you’re wondering).

Smash Bomb IPA Recipe

So when I drafted a brewing schedule for fall/winter 2012-2013, I was eager to try cloning Smash Bomb.  Thankfully, someone else had ventured down this path and I was able to put together a recipe fairly easily.  The brew day was pretty smooth, aside from the on-going efficiency issues I was experiencing at the time.  Thankfully I had some malt extract and used it to boost my original gravity.  Though in reviewing this recipe, my target original gravity appears too high for this beer.  A peak at the Flying Monkeys website also suggests my hop schedule is incorrect – and I certainly don’t own a Hoppapotamus…  though that does sound like fun.

This batch is an important homebrew milestone for me – my first kegged beer.  From a process perspective, it’s much easier than bottling.  Sanitize one giant container, rack the beer into it, hook up the CO2, carbonate, then drink.  The turn-around time from brewing to drinking is shorter, especially if you apply high-pressure (~30psi) for 24 hours, vent the pressure, and adjust to serving pressure (~5 psi).  But I’m already discovering that the patience I learned as ‘a bottler’ will be needed as ‘a kegger’:

I have also noticed that it typically takes two-three weeks after kegging for the flavor profile of my beers to come around. Going into the keg they taste great, but once in the keg and under pressure they get hazy and sort of ‘twangy,’ before clearing up and tasting great. Similarly the same can be said for hop character. Often times I’ve noticed the hop character and flavor of my beers to be temporarily diminished while the beer is carbonating, before everything is back to normal a week or two later. — The Perfect Pint

Even in the week that this beer has been in the keg, I’ve found that the taste has improved – so I think there is a lot of truth in Will’s observation.  If I can stop tasting this beer every day, maybe I’ll see what it’s like fter 2-3 weeks… though that seems unlikely.  I hope to let future batches condition for a few weeks before drinking.  In the end, it comes back to scheduling your brewing such that you have a ready pipeline of well-conditioned homebrew 🙂

Appearance – Colour is light amber, bordering on copper.  Pours with ~ 1.5″ of head that slowly diminishes to a light layer of bubbles.  Lacing all the way down the glass.  Some hop matter floating down at the bottom.  As you can see in the picture, it’s quite clear – I think the clearest beer I’ve made.

Aroma – Tropical fruits, with hints of grapefruit.

Taste – Similar to the aroma, lots of tropical fruit flavours. Fruitiness fades to grapefruit bitterness.  Bitterness is relatively clean.  Malt flavours are light.  Finish is bitter and dry, with lingering fruitiness.

Mouthfeel – Body is average, slightly thin.  Carbonation could be slightly higher, might improve the mouthfeel.

Drinkability/Notes – You really can’t go wrong with Citra and Centennial when you’re making an IPA.  There’s a slight vegetal flavour because I dry-hopped for 4 weeks, but no other noticeable flaws.  Is it cloned?  I don’t have a bottle handy for comparison – so I’m going entirely off memory.  The clone has more alcohol and is drier – the Wyeast 1056 took the final gravity down to 1.009, 9 points below the target of 1.018.  Will mash a littler warmer next time, likely 154F.  Otherwise, I’m pretty happy with this beer.  It’ll taste better in a week…  if there’s any left.

Smash Bomb Clone IPA Recipe

Specifics
Wort Volume Before Boil: 7.00 US gals
Wort Volume After Boil: 6.10 US gals
Volume Transferred: 6.00 US gals
Volume At Pitching: 6.00 US gals
Final Batch Volume: 5.00 US gals
Expected Pre-Boil Gravity: 1.057 SG
Actual Pre-Boil Gravity: 1.037 SG
Expected OG: 1.075 SG
Actual OG: 1.060 SG
Expected FG: 1.018 SG
Actual FG: 1.009 SG
Expected Efficiency: 60.0%
Actual Efficiency: 48.5%
Expected ABV: 7.7 %
Actual ABV: 6.8 %
Expected IBU: 52
Expected Color: 13.1 SRM
Boil Duration: 60.0 mins

Fermentables
UK Maris Otter Malt 13.00 lb – 81 %
UK Crystal 80 Malt – 0.75 lb – 4.7%
US Victory Malt – 0.75 lb – 4.7 %
Pale Extract Malt – 1.5 lb – 9.6%

Hops
Citra (14.4% alpha) 28 g – First wort hopped
Citra (14.4% alpha) 28 g – 10 mins
Centennial (8.5% alpha) 28 g – 5 mins
Citra (14.4% alpha) 28 g – 0 mins
Centennial (8.5% alpha) 28 g – 0 mins
Centennial (8.5% alpha) 28 g – dry-hopped
Citra (14.4% alpha) 28 g – dry-hopped

Other Ingredients
Yeast: Wyeast 1056 American Ale
Mashed at 150F

Written by jlongland

January 7, 2013 at 9:19 pm

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Vista IPA

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Vista IPAI’ve been relaxing this evening, drinking Swan’s Extra IPA and Driftwood Fat Tug – both 5 star beers in my opinion.  So it may not be a fair time to write this review of Vista IPA…  but I know this batch has some flaws and this review has been on my mind for a few weeks.  Vista IPA is a recipe that I’ve been playing with for most of my homebrewing ‘career’.  It started around Christmas 2010, an extract and partial mash beer based on Dan’s Grapefruit Bitter.  I cranked up the hops, but mostly kept the ratio of pale malt, carastan and wheat.  I entered the beer in the VanBrewers 2011 competition as JLo’s Jolly IPA and it did quite well, with 40/50 and 35/50 scores.

I eventually renamed the recipe in honour of the LMS that I have spent a decade supporting – Blackboard Learn Vista (nee WebCT Vista).  The name change came as I brewed one September evening.  While the grains were mashing, I was reviewing logs and graphs, trying to identify the cause of a recent outage.  It struck me that my struggle to find the root cause was similar to my quest for a well-balanced homebrew IPA – elusive.  But to call Vista IPA a recipe…  the term doesn’t fit.  It’s constantly changing.  It’s a project where I change something with every batch: adjust the ratio of the malts, substitute different hops, try a different yeast, etc.  Since it’s inception, I’ve transitioned to all-grain brewing and now use Maris Otter malt as the base of this beer.  With some Wyeast 1968, a batch of Vista IPA took 3rd place in the IPA category at the VanBrewers 2012 competition.  Possibly my proudest moment as a homebrewer!

Sadly, this batch doesn’t live up to that award winning batch.  Worse still, I shared it with a bunch of colleagues.  Nobody seemed too bothered by it, and some even asked for bottles to take home.  But Joe has tasted a number of the Vista IPA batches and commented that this one was off.  I really appreciate that sort of feedback…  because it’s how I feel about this batch.  So what’s different?

  • Well, the efficiency was lower than expected and the boil was rather long.
  • Fermentation wasn’t as temperature-controlled as I would like, but it was always below 20C.
  • I added dextrose and that likely drove the final gravity down, making it a bit dry.   Bottles have likely dropped a few points below the final gravity of 1.010 when it was bottled, further drying the beer.
  • The sourness suggests an infection – which is supported by the extreme carbonation in every bottle. There was a comment that the beer was more like a hoppy saison – dry, highly carbonated, and light.  But I’m not really sure where the infection originated.  I’ve recently bought new fermenter buckets and recent batches aren’t infected (fingers crossed I won’t run into this problem again).
  • Inattentive brew?  I had some assistant brewers (and BBQers..  and beer drinkers).

Appearance – Deep gold, hazy.  Very carbonated. Head is big bubbles, supported by many finer bubbles constantly bubbling.

Aroma – Hops and slight sourness.

Taste –  Fruity hops, grapefruit, spice and sourness. Harsh bitter finish, some spicy notes.

Mouthfeel – Very light and carbonated.  Very carbonated.  Dry finish.

Drinkability/Notes – Normally, a batch of IPA doesn’t last long in my household – it’s my favourite style.  Even when I have a batch that’s flawed (I’ve had a long-running oxidation issue), I’ve finished the batches without problem.  This…  I still have a few bottles and will opt to drink pretty much anything else.  The sourness and lingering, dry bitterness is off-putting.  Nonetheless, I’ll re-attempt this soon – especially since I have some rare Amarillo – a hop that I used in both of my competition batches of this beer.  It adds a great fruity taste and smell.

Vista IPA Recipe

Specifics
Wort Volume Before Boil: 7.00 US gals
Wort Volume After Boil: 6.10 US gals
Volume Transferred: 6.00 US gals
Volume At Pitching: 6.00 US gals
Final Batch Volume: 5.00 US gals
Expected Pre-Boil Gravity: 1.046 SG
Actual Pre-Boil Gravity: 1.040 SG
Expected OG: 1.059 SG
Actual OG: 1.055 SG
Expected FG: 1.015 SG
Actual FG: 1.010 SG
Expected Efficiency: 60.0%
Actual Efficiency: 52.0%
Expected ABV: 5.9 %
Actual ABV: 6.0 %
Expected IBU: 66
Expected Color: 8.3 SRM
Boil Duration: 60.0 mins

Fermentables
UK Maris Otter Malt 12.00 lb – 78.7 %
Wheat Malt – 1.50 lb – 9.8%
Carastan Malt – 1.00 lb – 6.6%
Dextrose – 0.75 lb – 4.9%

Hops
Zeus (15.9% alpha) 29 g – First wort hopped
Centennial (8.5% alpha) 14 g – 30 mins
Cascade (6.5% alpha) 14 g – 15 mins
Centennial (8.5% alpha) 14 g – 5 mins
Cascade (6.5% alpha) 14 g – 5 mins
Chinook (10.5% alpha) 14 g – 5 mins
Centennial (8.5% alpha) 28 g – 0 mins
Cascade (6.5% alpha) 28 g – 0 mins
Chinook (10.5% alpha) 28 g – 0 mins
Centennial (8.5% alpha) 42 g – dry-hopped
Zeus (15.9% alpha) 28 g – dry-hopped
Chinook (10.5% alpha) 18 g – dry-hopped

Other Ingredients
Yeast: Wyeast 1968 London ESB Ale
Mash started at 160F and dropped to 155F after 60 mins. (target was 155F)

Written by jlongland

January 4, 2013 at 9:13 pm

Posted in Homebrew, Uncategorized

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MoreBeer Interview with Vinnie Cilurzo

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Vinnie Cilurzo is the brewmaster for Russian River Brewing Company – a brewery with cult status. Famous for IPAs like Pliny the ElderPliny the Younger, Blind Pig, and increasingly their sour and barrel-aged beers.  I came across this interview on YouTube yesterday and put it into a playlist.  It’s largely unedited and a bit rough around the edges – but it’s a detailed history of how Vinnie got into brewing and how they make their beers today.  As a home brewer, a really informative view into the professional brewing world.  Really great to see MoreBeer providing this type of content – would be nice if they did a series profiling California brewers.

Written by jlongland

December 21, 2012 at 4:29 pm

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Zythos and Golden Promise SMaSH

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Zythos and Golden Promise SMaSHI first read about SMaSH beers on HomeBrewTalk and Northern Brewer forums.  I was intrigued by using a single malt (SM) and single hop (SH), but didn’t give it too much thought.  It was Drew Beechum’s session at the National Homebrewers Conference (NHC) that really got me thinking about SMaSH opportunities.  A few weeks ago, I planned to take my gear to Bob’s house for a brew day… but I didn’t know what to brew.  As I was packing up, I assessed what was at hand: Golden Promise malt, some Wyeast 1469, and a bunch of hops.  I quickly decided to attempt another ‘American bitter’.

Last winter, I tried to brew an English bitter with citrusy American hops, but the bitterness was too overpowering for the style.  Even in small amounts, I found that any Falconer’s Flight bittering addition was too much.  Having previously read about hop bursting, I thought this might be a good opportunity to forgo the bittering addition in lieu of a big hop addition late in the boil.  To keep some consistency with my earlier attempts, Zythos seemed a good choice (and thanks to Bob for contributing his 28g sample from NHC).  My hope was to emphasize the hop flavours and minimize bitterness – a golden pale ale with subtle American hop citrus and light bitterness.

In many ways, this recipe was an experiment: single malt, single hop, and a single hop addition.  But it was also the first time I used yeast nutrient and oxygen.  As the boil came to an end, Bob brought out an oxygen tank and oxygenation system.  After 60 minutes of boiling, wort doesn’t have much oxygen left in it..  Injecting 1-2 minutes of oxygen prior to pitching the yeast helps to create the right environment for yeast reproduction.  Anecdotally, this batch had the most vigorous fermentation that I’ve observed in two years of homebrewing.  And given the results…  I’ve already purchased my own oxygen tank, oxygenation system, and a vial of yeast nutrient.

If you want to learn more about SMaSH, Drew was interviewed in a recent BeerSmith podcast. He also has an article ‘Brewing on the Ones’ in the November/December 2012 issue of Zymurgy (subscription required, unfortunately)

Appearance –  Straw. 1/2″ of foamy white head, diminishing to a ring of fine bubbles around the outside of the glass.  Minimal lacing. Quite clear!

Aroma – Not a whole lot of aroma.  Light malts and a very subtle pine note.  Maybe a little orange?

Taste – Sweet malts from start to finish, with stone fruit yeast esters.  Surprisingly earthy.  Is Zythos known for being earthy?  Mild orange and lemon hops arrive mid-taste and bitterness is on the finish.  The finish is a bit sweet – almost like honey – it nicely balances out the bitterness.  The after taste is dry, slightly bitter, with lingering fruitiness.  Slight spiciness throughout.

Mouthfeel – Carbonated exactly how I like my bitters.  Every sip brings a light layer of bubbles to the surface.  Just enough carbonation to offset the sweetness of the beer.  Wyeast 1469 is frequently said to create a ‘chewy beer’ and with a final gravity of 1.014, this has a nice mouthfeel.

Drinkability/Notes – Very, very drinkable.  I like the sweetness from the Golden Promise and the fruity esters from the West Yorkshire yeast – they’re well complimented by the restrained use of Zythos.  I’d prefer if this was about 4.5% ABV, but I won’t complain about a bit of extra alcohol.  I’ve read that Golden Promise can add a sweetness and I think that’s what I’m getting from this beer.  A wee bit of crystal or rye could take a beer like this in a very different, very good direction.  I’m really happy that I tried this experiment, especially the single hop addition at 15m.  It’s my first attempt at an American bitter that actually works.  Might mash slightly less, perhaps at 156F?  Otherwise, quite good.  As far as flaws, it may be the best beer that I’ve brewed.  A pleasant American Pale Ale, but I’m calling it Zythos Bitter for now.

Zythos and Golden Promise SMaSH Recipe

Specifics
Wort Volume Before Boil: 5.50 US gals
Wort Volume After Boil: 4.50 US gals
Volume Transferred: 4.50 US gals
Volume At Pitching: 4.00 US gals
Final Batch Volume: 4.00 US gals
Expected Pre-Boil Gravity: 1.040 SG
Actual Pre-Boil Gravity: 1.046 SG
Expected OG: 1.046 SG
Actual OG: 1.053 SG
Expected FG: 1.014 SG
Actual FG: 1.014 SG
Expected Efficiency: 60.0%
Actual Efficiency: 69.5%
Expected ABV: 4.2%
Actual ABV: 5.2%
Expected IBU: 34
Expected Color: 5.2 SRM
Boil Duration: 60.0 mins

Fermentables
UK Golden Promise Malt 12.50 lb – 100 %

Hops
Zythos (11 % alpha) 56 g – 15 Min From End

Other Ingredients
Yeast: Wyeast 1469 West Yorkshire
Mash started at 158F and dropped to 152F after 60 mins. (target was 154F)

Written by jlongland

December 19, 2012 at 9:06 pm

Posted in Homebrew

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