The Pipeline

The Pipeline

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Ordinary Greatness

It's always nice to keep a beer on tap that you can drink more than a few pints of and still remember to feed the dogs. English bitters are a great beer for that. For a long time I would never order an ordinary bitter or extra special bitter off of a beer menu because I always thought they were going to be, well...bitter. In fact they are usually much less bitter than a standard American pale ale having an average IBU of 25-35.

Since trying a few I thought it was time to throw one on tap. My plan was to shoot for a beer on the high end of the ordinary bitter style range but after hitting some really good efficiency on my new system I ended up with a wort more resembling a premium bitter, clocking in at 1.045.

Gregg and I made 10 gallons of this beer using imported ingredients that will resemble a beer that would get served to you in England. Although these are typically served from a cask, which I don't currently have, I plan to keep the carbonation low at around 1-1.5 volumes.

Brew day went well and we ended up with exactly 10 gallons of wort. To make things more interesting Gregg decided to pitch WLP 001 and I pitched S-04 English Ale yeast so that we could taste how each yeast effected the flavor of the final product.

Fermentation started within a few hours and was churning strongly by morning sitting right at 68*, ambient temps of 65*. One day into fermenting I slowly lowered the temps down to 65* to keep esters at a minimum. It was done within 3 days and had already flocullated and dropped out, S-04 is a workhorse!

Brewed 3/5/11

3/13/11 - FG 1.010 Tasted some diacetyl but it was very clear.

3/22/11 - Diacetyl was gone, Kegged.

Ordinary Greatness

13.3 LBS Maris Otter
8 oz Crystal 120L
4 oz Special B
1.5 oz Fuggles 60 min
.7 oz Fuggles 30 min
.6 oz East Kent Goldings 30 min
.4 oz East Kent Goldings 10 min
Irish moss 10 min
Yeast nutrient 10 min

Thursday, March 3, 2011


My obsession to find a good deal on brewing equipment on craigslist lead me on a two hour drive, in a blizzard, driving a rear wheel drive box truck with bald tires to pick up a boat load of goodies for a steal. I was able to grab 3 SS 10 gal. pots with ball valves and thermometers, 4 propane burners, a 3 tier gravity brew stand, kegerater, some carboys, corney keg, 2 CO2 tanks and regulator, 2 propane tanks, wort chiller, as well as a bunch of other misc. stuff. Luckily for me this guy used the system once then decided (or someone decided for him) to quit drinking. Quitter.

So anyways, I was very excited to give my newly acquired system a test drive, and my buddy Gregg got to brew his first all-grain batch with my old pots. I had just tasted a very good rye IPA and wanted to take a shot at my own.

The brew day got off to a rough start with one of my new pots having a leak and Gregg missing his mash-in temps...3 times! Its OK Gregg your Mom still loves you. Once we got rolling though everything went smooth. We smoked a good cigar and drank some good home brews. I had just kegged my French Saison which turned out really well, so we got to sample that for the first time. That might end up being one of my standard house beers.

Rye IPA: Brewed 3/3/11

10.5 #s 2 row
1 # rye
1 # wheat
.5 # crystal 60L

1 oz centennial first wort hops
.5 oz simcoe 10 min.
1 oz citra 2 min.
.5 oz simcoe flame out
.5 oz each simco, centennial, citra dry hops

irish moss, yeast nutrient 10 min

wlp001 1500 ml starter on stir plate 2 days before

3/30/11 If you like a face full of hops, this beer is for you! Real good, hoppy but not real bitter. Could prob use a bump up in the early hop additions to balance it out just a bit.