Saturday, October 31, 2015

Golden Sour - Recipe & Brew Day

Brewery: Old North Brewing
Style: Mixed-Fermentation Sour Beer
Date Brewed: 10.11.2015

Well, I've finally got a real sour beer in the pipeline. Two actually.

I managed to get my hands on Bootleg Biology's Sour Solera Blend late this summer, and was plotting what to brew with it. Then East Coast Yeast showed up online two weeks ago and I managed to snag a vial of BugCountry. I couldn't choose which one to start first! So I decided to brew a double batch.


Theoretically my system can make a double batch of beer, but I had never tried it. Now I know it can. Barely. Fermcap S saved my boil from being an unmitigated disaster. 5 drops and the dreaded huge hot break never happened, and all the wort stayed safely in the kettle.

This brew did show me a few problems in my process, which show up as really low efficiency. My actual mash efficiency was incredible! I managed 89% efficiency with a batch sparge! But I definitely have some problems elsewhere. My boil-off rate is really off and I ended up having to add water back to the boiling wort to correct for that, and I need to figure out some way to filter hop debris and hot and cold break from my kettle. The attempts at whirlpooling aren't cutting it, and this batch ended up with a ton of trub sitting in the bottom of the kettle. I ended up siphoning as little as possible out, but still getting some in order to be even close on my final volumes. I might have to install a hop blocker and a dip tube in my boil kettle.

The recipe itself is based on Rare Barrel's Golden Sour base recipe from the Sour Hour podcast, and posted on the Milk the Funk wiki.

Now the fermentors are tucked away for their long journey.

Recipe
--------------------
Batch Size: 11.0 gallons into fermentor
Measured OG: 1.048
Anticipated IBUs: 3.0
Anticipated SRM: 4.4
Actual Brewhouse Efficiency: 69.9%
Boil Time: 130 mins


Malt
--------------------
71% [14.25#] - Pale 2-Row Malt (2 SRM)
12% [2.44#] - Wheat Malt (2 SRM)
6% [1.25#] - Flaked Spelt (1.6 SRM)
6% [1.25#] - Flaked Oats (1.0 SRM)
5% [15 oz] - Vienna Malt (3.5 SRM)
Hops
--------------------
6.0 oz of aged Willamette hops (120 mins) - Estimated IBUs: 3

Extras
--------------------
1 Whirlfloc tablets @ 15 mins
2 tsp Yeast Nutrient @ 15 mins


Yeast
--------------------
5.5 gallons: Bootleg Biology Sour Solera Blend
- 1 Liter starter of 1.038 wort aerated for 36 hours then cold-crashed and decanted
5.5 gallons: East Coast Yeast BugCountry
Water
--------------------
Winston Salem, NC municipal water treated with 1 potassium metabisulfite tab and brewing salts added to achieve the following ion content:
81.4 ppm Ca, 5.0 ppm Mg, 25.5 ppm Na, 75.2 ppm Cl, 80.3 ppm SO4, 92.95 ppm HCO

Mash treated with 88% lactic acid to lower mash pH to 5.4

Mash

--------------------

Sacchrification Rest - 157 F for 75 minutes
Drained mash tun and then sparged with 170 F water.

Notes
--------------------
10.11.2015 - Brewed.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Der Kaiser - Brewday & Recipe

Brewery: Old North Brewing
Style: Altbier
Date Brewed: 10.8.2015


I am seriously the absolute worst at brewing seasonally. I love drinking seasonally appropriate beers, but I am absolutely terrible at planning far enough in advance to actually have a beer ready in time for it's prime season. 

Such is the case with this Altbier. It took the first cold snap of the autumn to convince me to actually brew this beer. As soon as the temperature dips below 60 F, my desire to drink huge hoppy IPAs and other pale beers basically vanishes. Instead I crave more complex malty flavors - North English Milds (stay tuned for one coming up soon), German dark lagers, rye beers, and stouts. This beer was my attempt to brew something malty as fast as possible.

Since speed was of the essence (only so many gorgeous autumn days ahead before the winter sets in) I decided a German ale rather than a lager was in order. I've been dying to brew an alt since I first saw Brau Kaiser's Kaiser Alt recipe. I've been wanting to try another decoction mash since I flubbed one in my New Zealand Pilsner this past summer.

This was one of those brew days where nothing goes quite right. I forgot to check the amount of propane I had left in my tank, and ran out right after I started my protein rest. I managed to boil enough water inside on my stovetop in time to make my Sacchrification rest, and then ran to the hardware store to switch out my tank for a fresh one. Then my decoction mash was a bit short, and I only hit a mash-out temperature of 165 F. I was batch sparging anyways, so I wasn't too worried. Then my sparge got a bit stuck as I got a little overzealous with my draining speed and compacted my grain bed. Then my pre-boil gravity was a bit too low and I forgot to take my pre-boil volume measurements, so I decided to boil for 5 minutes longer than originally planned (for 75 minutes instead of 70 minutes). Then my OG ended up being a few points high and my volume a little bit short. I ended up racing a ton of trub into my fermentor on accident, and then my WLP 029 refused to do their job...

I think you get the point. If it could go wrong on brewday, it probably did.

Hopefully this is a lesson in Relax, Don't Worry, Have a Homebrew. Hopefully.

Recipe
--------------------
Batch Size: 5.0 gallons into fermentor (5.6 gallons overall)
Measured OG: 1.050
Anticipated IBUs: 27
Anticipated SRM: 13.3+
Actual Brewhouse Efficiency: 71.4%
Boil Time: 75 mins

Malt
--------------------
89% [8.28#] - Weyermann Munich I (7.1 SRM)
10% [10.04#] -Weyermann Caramunich I (51 SRM)
1% [0.09#] - Carafa Special II (415 SRM)

Hops
--------------------
1.43 AAU [1.66 oz, 4.6%] - Liberty @ 60 mins (27 IBUs)
Extras
--------------------
1 Whirlfloc tablets @ 15 mins
1 tsp Yeast Nutrient @ 15 mins

Yeast
--------------------
WLP029 - German Ale/K├Âlsch Yeast

Water
--------------------
Winston Salem, NC municipal water treated with 1/2 of a potassium metabisulfite tab and brewing salts added to achieve the following ion content:

Mash

--------------------
Protein Rest - 14.27 qt @ 131 F for 20 minutes
Sacchrification Rest - Add 5.5 qt of boiling water to raise mash to 151 F for 45 minutes
Mash Out - Decoct 7.25 qt of thin mash and boil for 20 minutes. Add back to mash
Drain Mash/Lauter Tun and Batch Sparge with 4.43 gallons @ 170 F


Fermentation
--------------------
3 days at 65 F. 24 hour ramp to 69 F. Hold for 5 days. 48 ramp to 33 F to cold crash.
Notes

--------------------
9.27.2015 - Started some old WLP 029 yeast in a 1 L starter on my stirplate. They seemed to wake up well, and I pitched those yeast into a second 1 L starter some days later. I cold crashed in my fridge and held them there until I found the time to brew.

10.08.2015 - Brewday. Snafus detailed above.

10.10.2015 - Still no yeast activity, so I pitched a fresh vial of WLP 029 and restarted the fermentation program. Hopefully the yeast were just being lazy, and this gives them the numbers to really get started.

10.24.2015 - Dropped the temp down to 33 F as fermentation had finished. Dosed with some gelatin to fine (Bad german brewer! Bad! No reinheitsgebot for you!)

10.30.2015 - Amazing. I love this beer. Tasting notes will be up soon.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Heretic Abbey Ale - Recipe From the Archives



Brewery: Old North Brewing
Style: Belgian-Style Dubbel

Brewed On: 12.27.2014 (best guess)
Bottled On: 01.24.2015
ABV: 6.5%


This was the first beer I brewed on my current setup. I was really excited to be able to perform multi-step mashes with no risk of scorching grain, but I might have gone a bit overboard with this mash schedule. I don't have my notes of the day of brewing, but I remember having quite a bit of difficulty with this process. Part of the problem was definitely from failing to pre-heat my mash tun. I learned my lesson and always heat my mash tun with about a gallon of boiling water while I bring my brewing water up to strike temperature.

Despite struggling to hit most of my mash numbers, this beer came out quite well. The recipe was lifted from BYO's clone of the Spencer Trappist Ale but with some modifications based on the availability of ingredients and to reflect some of the peculiarities of my system. I enjoyed the concept of this beer as an American take (with many American ingredients) on an age-old Belgian tradition.

I remember this being an excellent, malty beer, having a nice dry finish (FG was 1.008!). There was slightly more hop presence in this beer than many other Dubbels, but it seemed that the first wort hopping kept the bitterness well integrated (or does it?) and as none of the hops were outrageously citrusy and instead reflected the herbal, grassy, spicy characteristics of hops traditionally used in trappist and trappist-style beers, it worked quite well. The aroma of the Abbey Ale yeast used came through as a mild stone fruitiness and white pepper notes. I don't recall much more about this beer, but will likely brew again sometime near the end of this upcoming winter.

As a wink towards the religious affiliation of the brewers, as well as the "heretical" use of many American ingredients in this beer, we named it Heretic, and often referred to it as our Protestant abbey ale. 

Recipe
--------------------
Batch Size: 5 gallons into fermentor
Measured OG: 1.058
Anticipated IBUs: 25
Anticipated SRM: 5.3
Actual Brewhouse Efficiency: 71.5%
Boil Time: 90 mins

Malt
--------------------
80% [9.0#] - Avangard Pilsner Malt
18% [2.0#] - American Pale Malt (2-row)
2% [0.25#] - Caramel 60L


Hops
--------------------
6.65 AAU [0.50 oz, 13.3%] - Nugget - First Wort Hop
1.18 AAU [0.25 oz, 4.70%] - Willamete @ 10 mins

Extras
--------------------
0.5 Whirlfloc tablets @ 15 mins
0.5 tsp Yeast Nutrient @ 15 mins

Yeast
--------------------
1 package of White Labs WLP5300 "Abbey Ale"

Water
--------------------
Winston Salem, NC municipal water
1 tsp Calcium Chloride

Mash
--------------------
Step-Infusion Mash (Adding hot water)
148 F for 75 minutes w/ 12.2 qt of water @ 166.5F
162 F for 15 minutes by adding 9 qt of water @ 185.5 F
Mash out at 168 F by adding 10.12 qt of water @ 182.5 F

Fly-Sparge with 2.26 gallons of water @ 168 F

Notes
--------------------
Fermented in a soft-sided cooler with frozen bottles to hold down temperature. Averaged 72 F through the fermentation.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

American Farmhouse Ale - Brewday & Recipe

Brewery: Old North Brewing
Style: American Wild Ale / Mixed Fermentation Sour Beer
Date Brewed: 09.07.2015




This is my first attempt at brewing one of my very favorite styles - the slightly tart, funky Farmhouse Ale. I've brewed several clean Farmhouse Ales, and done some fermentations with oddball yeasts, but this is my first time deliberately infecting my wort with lactic acid bacteria (LAB). 

The recipe for this beer was completely on the fly. I realized that my local home-brew store was closing in less than an hour and I wasn't going to be able to get in before my Labor Day brew day. So I ran in sans recipe and threw together a quick saison grain bill. It is close to my old favorite saison grain bill, but I wish it had about a pound more rye malt in it. The torrified wheat is for head retention. I also decided to add 5 IBUs of Willamette (a hop hiding in my freezer since I brewed a Belgian abbey beer at the end of last year) to give myself just a little protection against major spoilage-causing bacteria.

I followed most of the best-practices I've developed for my system over the last year, including a simple batch spare, frequently stirring the mash, and preheating the mash tun with about a gallon of boiling water. This let me hit my target mash temperature spot on with only a few seconds of stirring.


The only glitch I ran into was that I added too much lactic acid, and dropped the mash pH all the way to 5.0! I sprinkled a bit of baking soda in to counteract this mistake, and the mash pH settled at 5.4 within the first 10 minutes of the 75 minute mash. Thankful that my water has such a low residual alkalinity.


In addition to the Saccharomyces and Brettanomyces in WLP670, I pitched the dregs of Prairie Artisan Ale's Americana, a really great American farmhouse, conditioned with Brett and dry-hopped. I'm hoping that the extra biodiversity helps create some extra layers of complexity and funk. I avoided pitching any sour farmhouse ales (even though that is what I was shooting for) to try and avoid accidentally picking up some Pediococcus. I want to keep the turn-around for this beer down to 4-6 months and avoid the extended aging Pedio fermentations require to hit their stride (that is coming up soon, stay tuned).

Instead, I got the souring organisms from the grains themselves. I made a 1 L starter of unhooked 1.038 gravity wort in a 2 L erlenmeyer flask and pitched in a cup of 2-row pale malt. This sat on a heating pad for 2 days, and smelled like strong greek yogurt or sour cream when I pitched in into my wort. This got a 5 hour head start on the rest of the yeasts, so I'm hoping it turns out a subtle acidity. I want tart, not melt-yo-face.

I dropped the pH of the wort to 4.4 before pitching the LAB in the hopes of slowing down the proteolytic activity of the Lactobacillus and keep the bacteria from breaking down all of the head-causing proteins in the wort. For more information see here.

Recipe
--------------------
Batch Size: 5.5 gallons into fermentor (6.60 gallons overall)
Measured OG: 1.048
Anticipated IBUs: 5
Anticipated SRM: 3.8
Actual Brewhouse Efficiency: 85.1%
Boil Time: 90 mins


Malt
--------------------
75% [7.5#] - Pilsner Malt
10% [1#] - Rye Malt
10% [1#] - Munich I 
5% [0.5#] - Torrified Wheat


Hops
--------------------
1.43 AAU [0.26 oz, 5.5%] - Willamette @ 60 mins (5 IBUs)
Dry Hop - ?


Extras
--------------------
1 Whirlfloc tablets @ 15 mins
1 tsp Yeast Nutrient @ 15 mins


Yeast
--------------------
WLP670 - American Farmhouse Blend
1 L starter of Lactobacillus cultured from 2-row malt

Bottle Dregs from Prairie Artisan Ales Americana Batch 1


Water
--------------------
Winston Salem, NC municipal water treated with 1/2 of a potassium metabisulfite tab and brewing salts added to achieve the following ion content:
48.8 ppm Calcium, 13.9 ppm Magnesium, 104.0 ppm Sulfate, 33.7 ppm Sodium, 55.3 ppm Chloride, and an alkalinity of 47.3 ppm Bicarbonate

This was my attempt to approximate the Saison water profile given in Farmhouse Ales by Phil Markowski.


Mash water treated with 6 mL of 88% Lactic Acid to achieve mash pH of 5.4Sparge water treated with 0.5 mL of 88% Lactic Acid to achieve pH of 5.4


Mash

--------------------
Saccharification Rest - 15.70 qt @ 148 F for 75 minutes
Mash Out - 8.00 qt @ 212 F to raise grain bed to 165 F for 10 minutes
Drain Mash/Lauter Tun and Batch Sparge with 3.82 gallons @ 170 F


Fermentation
--------------------
Fermented at room temperature: approximately 72 F.


Notes

--------------------
09.05.2015 - Flushed a sanitized 2L Erlenmeyer flask with CO2. Added 1 L of 1.038 starter wort (unhooked) and 1 cup of uncrushed 2-row grain. Capped with an airlock. Placed on a heating pad set on low.

09.07.2015 - Brew Day. Overshot mash pH to 5.0. Added 1/4 tsp more Baking Soda to raise mash pH to 5.4. Stirred mash every 15 minutes to maximize efficiency. After boil, chilled to 100 F and dropped the wort pH to a pH of 4.4 using 88% lactic acid. Pitched starter of lactic acid bacteria. Placed in fermentation chamber to slowly drop to 68 F over the next 5 hours. Removed from fermentation chamber and pitched WLP670 and bottle dregs.

09.21.2015 - Two weeks out I decided to take my first sample. pH has dropped to 4.0 and gravity is down to 1.003. No pellicle has formed and signs of visible fermentation have disappeared. Aromatically the sample has some pilsen grainy-ness and a subtle lemon aroma. Hits the palate with some juiciness from the lactic acid, and a bit of belgian farmhouse earthiness. Not much else going on with this beer so far, not that I expected a ton. Time to settle down for a long wait.

10.07.2015 - One month out. The brett character is just starting to show up  as a subtle strawberry flavor that goes really nicely with the lactic tartness of this beer. It's really starting to develop nicely, and I'm starting to get really excited about where this beer is going. I rescued a vial of WLP645 Brettanomyces claussenii from my local home-brew store's bin of old vials, and pitched that in too. There should still be enough active cells going in there to make a difference in the beer. I'm hoping that the Brett c. together with the Americana dregs and whatever species of Brett is in the WLP670 combine forces to bring a nice blanket of funk. I won't be disappointed if the claussenii brings some nice fruity pineapple aromas to the show.

10.12.2015 - Pitched some dregs from Green Bench's Saison De Banc Vert for good measure. 

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Orange Drank - Tasting Notes


Brewery: Old North Brewing
Style: India Pale Ale 
Brewed On: 08.16.2015
Kegged On: 09.01.2015
OG: 1.060 (after dilution from 1.063)
FG: 1.009
ABV: 6.7%

Appearance: Completely opaque. Ridiculously so. Big, sticky off-white head hang around for quite a while. Nice tight bubble structure. When not in good light, the beer appears a bit brown. In good light it's nice and orange.

Smell: My wife said "This smells like sunshine!" when I handed her a sample. I'm inclined to agree. Huge citrus aroma. Layers of mandarin, tangerine, meyer lemon, starfruit, mango, and a hint of pine. Just layers of tasty citrusy hops.
Taste: The caramel 40 gives this a bit too much of a malt flavor for my preferences. Other than that, this is a great beer. Bitterness stands nicely among a storm of hop flavors. As the beer warms the flavors evolve from orange juice to mangoes and tangerines. Oatmeal flavor is present as well, but in the background.
Mouthfeel: Thick. Like so thick. Nearly milkshake thick. This beer is thicker than some stout's I've had. Also super creamy. Carbonation (at 2.2 vols) is nice. 
Overall: Great beer. Next time I brew, there will certainly be a few tweaks to the malt bill to rebalance some flavors. But I really like this IPA.

Wow. So in some ways this beer completely blew away my expectations. In fact, some things ended up being a bit too much. I didn't know that was possible.

The mouthfeel of this body rivals many stouts I've had. It's ridiculous. I love it, and at the same time I think I might have gone a bit overboard. It's like a hoppy, citrusy milkshake. When I brew this beer again, I plan to reduce the oatmeal content to something like 0.5-1 # (still around 5-10 % of the grain bill) and add in around 0.5 # of wheat malt as well. The caramel 40 is a bit too much as well, and I think I will go with caramel 20 or carared next time around. I think this will bring the body a little more inline with what I had in mind. I definitely will have to refine the malt bill of this recipe in the next few iterations to really nail my vision of this beer.


The water chemistry seems to have been a huge success. There is a certain creaminess about this beer that can't be attributed solely to the flaked oats. The hop aromas are way more in-your-face and the flavors are really nice, but the bitterness melds nicely into the background, supporting but not overwhelming.


I think with a few tweaks this beer will be absolutely amazing. 


Recipe and brew log may be found here.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Feral IPA - Recipe From the Archives


Brewery: Old North Brewing
Style: India Wild Ale
Date Brewed: 04.26.2014
Date Bottled: 06.02.2014
OG: 1.061
FG: 1.007 (estimated)
ABV: 7.1%

AppearanceSuper pale yellow, with a heavy cloudiness. Wheat + a yeast that just doesn't want to flocc. Almost looks like a berliner weisse with a huge head of foam.

Smell: Originally this beer had an absurdly huge nose of fresh tropical fruit and juicy citrus. The aged version developed much more of an over-ripe fruit aroma, stopping just short of full on funky. This is similar to, but far milder than many Brett beers I've had, and lets you know that this yeast is definitely not tame.
Taste: Again, very juicy. with a firm bitterness and dry finish. The aged version has evolved into something with less bitterness, and more of a funky/juicy finish that lingers for days. I get spicey clove notes, something that is almost horse-blanket esque without actually smelling like a horse (if that makes any sense at all), and tons of overripe mangoes, bananas, starfruit, meyer lemon, and mandarins.
Mouthfeel: Dry and crisp. I nailed the carbonation level of this one, with a hug billowy head that settles into a nice prickly carbonation that isn't too much, but makes this beer feel like a lot less than 7.3% abv.
Overall: A delicious beer, new or aged. I loved the evolution this beer went through over the last year.

In order to flesh out my blog just a bit more, I've decided to post some of my old favorite beers. The brew notes might not be as complete as some more recent beers, and the tasting notes will often be from memory, but these are some of my favorite beers I've ever brewed.


First up out of the archives is my first attempt at a 100% Brett fernentation. Little did I know that WLP 644 was a wild Saccharomyces masquerading as Brettanomyces. No bother though, as this beer turned out excellent. I sat on a single bottle of this, which I recently opened and took some tasting notes of. The beer definitely evolved over its life, but it also seems this yeast has excellent oxygen scavenging characteristics, as some hop flavor (though sadly little aroma) has hung around for over a year in the bottle.


I layered in the Citra, Centennial, and Chinook, to get a complex hop aroma with lots of citrus, spice, and floral notes. The malt bill was designed to be a sort of "white" ipa - heavy on wheat malt to lend some body to what I anticipated would be a very dry beer. I designed the whole recipe hoping to stay out of the way of the aromas of the yeast, huge amounts of overripe tropical fruit.


This was my first "huge success" as a home brewer. Of course I have many tweaks to make to this beer, and it turns out it isn't 100% Brettanomyces but it was delicious, and it really got me excited about brewing with odd-ball yeasts and other bugs.


Recipe

--------------------
Batch Size: 5.25 gallons into fermentor
Measured OG: 1.061
Anticipated IBUs: 94.7
Anticipated SRM: 4.4
Actual Brewhouse Efficiency: 63%
Boil Time: 60 mins

Malt
--------------------
71.5% [10.15#] - Pale Malt (American 2-row)
23% [3.28#] - White Wheat Malt
3.5% [0.5#] - Carapils
2% [0.28#] - Acidulated Malt

Hops
--------------------
5mL [50 IBUs] of HopShot Extract @ 60 mins 
12.75 AAU [1.5 oz, 8.5%] - Centennial @ 60 mins
10.0 AAU [1.0 oz, 10.0%] - Citra - 15 minute hopstand
17.0 AAU [2.0 oz, 8.5%] - Centennial - 15 minute hopstand
13.0 AAU [1.0 oz, 13.0%] - Chinook - after hop stand, before chilling
10.0 AAU [1.0 oz, 10.0%] - Citra after hop stand, before chilling
2.5 oz Citra - dry hop for 7 days
1.0 oz Chinook - dry hop for 7 days
1.5 oz Centennial - dry hop for 7 days

Extras
--------------------
1 Whirlfloc tablets @ 15 mins
1 tsp Yeast Nutrient @ 15 mins

Yeast
--------------------
1.5 L starter of White Labs WLP 644 aka "'Brettanomyces' Bruxellis Trois"

Water
--------------------
RO water from Tampa, FL
1 tsp Calcium Chloride
1 tsp Gypsum

Mash
--------------------
Brew in a Bag
Saccharification Rest - Full Volume @ 152 F
Mashed Out to 168 F then grain bag removed and allowed to drain into wort

Notes
--------------------
Fermented in a soft-sided cooler with frozen bottles to hold down temperature. Averaged 72 F through the fermentation.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Orange Drank - Brewday & Recipe

Brewery: Old North Brewing
Style: India Pale Ale
Date Brewed: 08.16.2015


Over this summer I was fortunate enough to spend some time in Burlington, VT during the Vermont Brewer's Festival. In addition I visited Shaun Hill's magical brewery in Greensboro, VT, and I got lucky enough to bring two 4-packs of the fable Heady Topper back with me to North Carolina.

The pale ales, IPAs, and IIPAs of this region really stood out to me as something unique. They all shared a softer than usual mouthfeel, incredible aromatics, an interesting collaboration between yeast and hop aromas, and less-than flocculant yeast. This beer is my humble attempt to replicate some of these features. I am quite sure that this will be a long process to develop the skills and knowledge to brew a truly fantastic "North East style" IPA. But it's a process I am excited about.

I usually love IPAs with a huge citrus nose and flavor, so I went with Citra, Amarillo, and Galaxy hops. Originally I was going with 80% Citra, 20% Amarillo (to keep the Citra from becoming too overwhelming, or even catty as some have reported) but I decided to cut in some Galaxy to add some depth of flavor. I also decided to add some Simcoe to the dry hop in order to add a touch of pine and grapefruit and provide a little "seasoning" that I hope will add some pop to the citrus aromas.

The grain bill is designed to emphasize body, at the cost of clarity. So I went with flaked oats over wheat malt, hoping to get some of that slick stout-like feel to the beer. Crystal 40 is for color, more body, and head retention.

I selected Wyeast 1318 "London Ale III" to ferment this beer, as it is rumored to be the primogenitor of Shaun Hill's house yeast and Tired Hand's house yeast. Recently I've  seen this yeast pop up in a number of home-brew blogs that I follow, and thought it was worth a try. London Ale III is a very expressive yeast, but apparently a poor flocculator. 

Recipe

--------------------
Batch Size: 5.5 gallons into fermentor
Measured OG: 1.060
Anticipated IBUs: 60.8
Anticipated SRM: 5.9
Actual Brewhouse Efficiency: 72.3%
Boil Time: 60 mins

Malt
--------------------
75% [9.5#] - Pale Malt (American 2-row)
15% [1.88#] - Flaked Oats
10% [1.25#] - Crystal 40L

Hops
--------------------
5mL of HopShot Extract @ 60 mins (50 IBUs)
2.76 AAU [0.3 oz, 9.2%] - Amarillo @ 5 mins
8.4 AAU [0.6 oz, 14.0%] - Galaxy @ 5 mins
6.6 AAU [0.6 oz, 11.0%] - Citra @ 5 mins
4.6 AAU [0.5 oz, 9.2%] - Amarillo - 20 minute hopstand
14 AAU [1.0 oz, 14.0%] - Galaxy - 20 minute hopstand
11 AAU [1.0 oz, 11.0%] - Citra - 20 minute hopstand
1.0 oz - Amarillo - Dry hop
1.0 oz Simcoe - Dry hop
2.0 oz Galaxy - Dry hop
2.0 oz Citra - Dry hop

Extras
--------------------
1 Whirlfloc tablets @ 15 mins
0.5 tsp Yeast Nutrient @ 15 mins

Yeast
--------------------
2 packs of Wyeast 1318 London Ale III from 06.24.2015

Water
--------------------
Winston Salem, NC municipal water treated with 1/2 of a potassium metabisulfite tab and brewing salts added to achieve the following ion content:
75 ppm Calcium, 5 ppm Magnesium, 94 ppm Sulfate, 15 ppm Sodium, 93 ppm Chloride, and an alkalinity of 28 ppm Bicarbonate

Mash water treated with 5 mL of 88% Lactic Acid to achieve mash pH of 5.3
Sparge water treated with 0.5 mL of 88% Lactic Acid to achieve pH of 5.4

Mash
--------------------
Saccharification Rest - 18.75qt @ 150 F
Batch Sparge in 3 steps with 4.87 gallons total @ 170 F 

Notes
--------------------
08.16.2015 - Brewed with a friend from out of town. He actually handled much of the boil solo as I had a church event that I had forgotten about when planning when to brew. Chilled to 75 F quickly but warm groundwater meant it wasn't getting much cooler, so the beer was racked to a 6 gallon Better Bottle and placed in my fermentation fridge with my SC-1000+ set to 62 F. Once cool the two packs of yeast were pitched.

08.19.2015 - Ramped up to 68 F over 12 hours to keep fermentation moving.


08.23.2015 - Half of the dry-hop was added. I'm hoping that the still somewhat active fermentation hoping to allow for some interaction between the hops and yeast (inspired by Michael Tonsmeire's  recent use of the same technique)


08.26.2015 - Ramped up to 72 F over 12 hours to ensure complete attenuation. Took a small sample and measured the SG with my refractometer and the handy Beer Smith refractometry tool to be 1.007, which puts my ABV higher than I anticipated. Might have to recheck with my hydrometer when I rack to the keg. Sample tastes great! Piney and grapefruit aroma, nice malt flavor without being sweet or actually all that malty. Mandarin oranges and star fruit abound. Psyched to get this in a keg.

08.28.2015 - A second sample measured today had the same SG of 1.007. Began slowly ramping temperature down to 33 F to encourage the yeast to flocculate quickly. Again, I'm  not 100% convinced that my refractometer is calibrated correctly as I anticipated a higher final gravity, so when I keg I will double check the gravity with a hydrometer.

09.01.2015 - Moved to a CO2 flushed keg with the remaining half of the dry hops in a hop bag. While transferring, beer appeared cloudy but free from yeast, and a pleasant malty orange color. Cranked the regulator to 30 psi for the next 24 hours and then down to 54 F and 16 psi to hit a nice serving temperature and carbonation of 2.2 volumes of CO2, a little low for this style, but I'm looking for the soft mouthfeel I think this will give me.

09.05.2015 - Tasting notes may be found here.