Monthly Archives: February 2014

Homebrew: Big Bad Barleywine

On Sunday we will be attempting to brew this monster of a beer. We are looking to make a really full-bodied, malty, hoppy and bitter Barleywine, that hopefully will be perfect for aging a couple of years. We are aiming for an OG of 1.109, which will result in an ABV of 11-12% if the yeast manages to take it down to 1.020-1.030. We are looking for some resiny hop tones to go with the maltiness, and chose the hop varieties based on that. For the yeast, we chose White Labs WLP007 Dry English, since it produces a really nice flavor profile, flocculates well and should tolerate up to 12% ABV. I prepared a 3 liter starter earlier this week, as we will need lots of yeast for this monster. After fermentation we will age it in a keg together with some oak cubes. When it is finally time to bottle the beer, we will still add in some dry hops to give it a dose of hop aroma (which will most likely have been lost from the 6+ months in the keg). Hopefully everything goes smooth on the brewday.

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Small homebrew update

It’s been a while since the previous post (I apologize for that!), so I thought I’d write a short update. Next Sunday it’s time for another brewday, when we will be attempting to brew a massive 1.100+ gravity Barleywine. I’m going to write a proper post on that (containing the recipe as well) later this week. Last week we bottled our K04 ESB (it is tasting quite promising, with a nice herby hoppiness and bitterness coupled with caramelly notes; a proper review coming up) and kegged the Brygg Öl Pale Ale (which was also very promising with a massive hop aroma and flavor, coupled with a surprisingly bitter finish). Out of curiosity I took some samples of both to the lab and did some standard beer analysis on them. I won’t bore you with details, but one thing that caught my attention was the relatively high pH of  both beers (4.70 for the K04 ESB and 4.73 for the Brygg Öl PA). A high beer pH can cause several issues, including: a higher risk for infections; decreased flavor stability; a more muddled flavor (especially in highly hopped beers); and lower total diacetyl removal rate (especially relevant for lagers because of the lower fermentation tempeatures). Generally you want to aim for a beer pH between 4.1-4.5. Because of this, I think I’ll invest in a proper pH meter and start monitoring the mash and wort pH more carefully, which will hopefully result in improved beer quality!

Homebrew: Brygg Öl Pale Ale

Today we helped a friend brew a 40-litre batch of ‘Pale Ale’ from Henok Fentie’s & Karl Grandin’s ‘Brygg öl’ (authors are of Omnipollo fame, who make some fantastic beers). We pretty much stuck to the recipe, but scaled it up four times and matched it to our equipment. We also pitched some WLP007, since I’ve been cultivating up huge amounts of it for upcoming brews. We had originally planned for a 50 liter batch, but somehow we must have screwed up some of the water volumes, since we ended up with 40 liters of 1.071-strength wort, instead of 50 liters of 1.057-strength wort. Well, I guess it will be more of an IPA instead.

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