Friday, July 15, 2016

Pints: Extra Special Bitter #2

I've wanted to revisit the ESB ever since the (relative) success of the first on.  And given how pleased I have been with using Wyeast 1318 in my last few brews, I wanted to try brewing this English style beer again with this yeast.  I changed pretty much everything about the recipe; different specialty malts, different hops, different yeast.  My hope is that this will be a very flavorful ale; medium bitterness, some fruity hops flavor,
Ingredients for 2.5 gallon batch, 70% efficiency
4 Lbs Maris Otter
.25 Lbs Acid Malt
.25 Lbs Caramel 20L
.25 Lbs Special B
~.5 (7oz) Lbs Clear candi syrup
1 oz East Kent Goldings (5.1%AA)
1 oz Challenger (9.6% AA)
Wyeast 1318 yeast (something like a vitality starter...)
Treat 3.5 gallons water with campden and a little bit of leftover burton salts
Single Infusion BIAB, 148F for 60 minutes
Mash out at 170F and squeeze the bag
45 minute boil
.5 oz EKG @ FWH
.5 oz Challenger @ 20 minutes remaining
.5 oz EKG and Challenger each @ 5 minutes remaining
Finishing and Fermentation:
Dump into fermentor and add yeast psuedo-starter.  Start fermentation @ 65F and allow to ramp up.  Finish at room temperature for a few days and cold crash.
6/11/2016: brew day.  Tried using recirculation, but it was sucking air.  Stupid pump finally starts working on demand and the mesh of the bag is probably too fine now, lol.  Started at 8:30am.  Remembered mash out this time.  Going into the boil the gravity was around 12-13 brix.  Added the syrup at the beginning of the boil.  Yeast starter was about half a quart of water, boiled, with about 2 TBSP of extra light DME added.  Two TBSP of stored slurry from the last 1318 batches added after it was cooled and it was left at room temperature.  Came to life pretty quick, so yeast vitality must be pretty good.  Finished at 12:15PM.  Gravity going into fermentor was about 1.056.  Aerated with the blender and added a few drops of fermcap.  Airlock started bubbling within an hour.
I really wish this worked better
6/14/2016:. Still bubbling pretty good.  Checked gravity and gave it a stir to knock the yeast back down.  They picked back up and are threatening a blowout.  Gravity is still pretty high.  Couldn't get a good reading.  Had a blowout.  Lid was unscrewed so it wasn't too much of an issue.

6/16/2016:. Gravity is about 1.017.  Pretty much done I think, but it still is bubbling a bit and has the usual thick krausen.

6/20/2016: gravity is 1.014.  cold crashed.

6/21/2016: Dissolved .25 tsp of gelatin in a bit of water, heated to near boiling, and stirred in.

6/23/2016:. Put on gas to force carb for 12 hours at 35psi.

6/27/2016:. Tasting.  Carbonation is about perfect.  Color is a clear light brown, head is thin an white.  Smells of burnt sugar and something I can't define.  Mouthfeel is almost creamy, but there is some astringency as well.  Flavor cold is not great; a touch of the fruit I was hoping for, but there is a skunkiness as well.  Fairly balanced flavors from the malt; burnt sugar, toastiness, touch of plum and caramel.  As it warms the skunky flavor fades a bit and the whole thing smooths together.  True to style, I think it ends up tasting better as it warms up.
At least it looks nice

7/12/2016:. Tasting.  Head is still perfect.  Has a somewhat malty smell with a touch of fruit.  Warm it still has kind of a skunky taste.  Not great...maybe the Candi sugar had a negative impact on it, maybe the Challenger hops are kind of gross.  I don't know, but it's just not that good.

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