Improving English Ales

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dave_h
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Improving English Ales

Post by dave_h » Fri Sep 07, 2018 1:37 pm

Some of the ales I love are, Doombar, Scrum down (heard mixed reviews but what I had was great), old Ruddles, old Tetley, old Green king etc. When I say old I mean the late 90s.

I cant however quite get the taste right in my beers, admittedly I have not brewed too many of them as I used to no chill and could not get the flavors right so I concentrated on other styles. I chill now and as its getting to winter would like to have some good real ale on tap (kegs, no brew engine :( ).

Ive been making improvements such as adjusting the pH of the mash, adding gypsum and calcium choride, not over sparging. I have very soft water.

Originally I tried what I would describe as traditional recipes with most of the hops as bittering (60mins) and a small amount of flavor/aroma (10 or 0mins). But these seemed to just be bitter and lacked flavor/aroma (I cant remember if I was dry hopping then, but I was not adjusting my water then).

I thought that was what I was missing was late hops (especailly after reading Doombar has 85% of the hops at or near flame out. But they use a huge kettle it takes a long time to chill it so the remain hot for a long time.....) so tried the following recipes.

4.00 kg Maris Otter (Crisp) (7.9 EBC) Grain 1 85.5 %
0.30 kg Avangard Wheat Malt (4.5 EBC) Grain 2 6.4 %
0.15 kg Crystal 150 (170.0 EBC) Grain 3 3.2 %
0.03 kg Carafa III (Weyermann) (1034.3 EBC) Grain 4 0.6 %
0.20 kg Sugar, Table (Sucrose) (2.0 EBC) Sugar 5 4.3 %
35.00 g Challenger 6.1 [6.10 %] - Boil 60.0 min Hop 6 21.6 IBUs
0.32 tsp Irish Moss (Boil 10.0 mins) Fining 7 -
20.00 g Fuggles 5.7 [5.70 %] - Boil 10.0 min Hop 8 4.0 IBUs
15.00 g Challenger 6.1 [6.10 %] - Boil 10.0 min Hop 9 3.6 IBUs
15.00 g Challenger 6.1 [6.10 %] - Boil 0.0 min Hop 10 0.3 IBUs
15.00 g Fuggles 5.7 [5.70 %] - Boil 0.0 min Hop 11 0.3 IBUs
1.0 pkg Windsor Yeast (Lallemand #-) [23.66 ml] Yeast 12

My notes say "kegged, tastes ok, a little grainy maybe, seems to lack bitterness and hop aroma, need to dry hop more and late hop more?"

Then trying whirlpool hopping (80c for 30mins)

40.00 l Brew N water Pale Ale Based on MY WATER Water 1 -
19.11 g Gypsum (Calcium Sulfate) (Mash 60.0 mins) Water Agent 2 -
2.30 ml Calcium Chloride (Mash 60.0 mins) Water Agent 3 -
1.53 g Epsom Salt (MgSO4) (Mash 60.0 mins) Water Agent 4 -
4.00 kg Maris Otter (Crisp) (7.9 EBC) Grain 5 83.0 %
0.30 kg Wheat Malt, Pale (Weyermann) (3.9 EBC) Grain 6 6.2 %
0.28 kg Crystal 150 (100.0 EBC) Grain 7 5.8 %
0.20 kg Caramunich II (Weyermann) (124.1 EBC) Grain 8 4.1 %
0.04 kg Carafa III (Weyermann) (1034.3 EBC) Grain 9 0.8 %
30.00 g Challenger 6.1 [6.10 %] - Boil 60.0 min Hop 10 18.2 IBUs
0.30 tsp Irish Moss (Boil 10.0 mins) Fining 11 -
30.00 g Goldings, East Kent 5.1 [5.10 %] - Steep/Wh… Hop 12 3.5 IBUs
20.00 g Challenger 6.1 [6.10 %] - Steep/Whirlpool 30… Hop 13 2.8 IBUs
20.00 g Challenger 6.1 [6.10 %] - Boil 0.0 min Hop 14 0.5 IBUs
20.00 g Goldings, East Kent 5.1 [5.10 %] - Boil 0.0 min Hop 15 0.4 IBUs
1.0 pkg SafAle English Ale (DCL/Fermentis #S-04) [… Yeast 16 -
1.22 tsp Yeast Nutrient (Primary 3.0 days) Other 17 -
20.00 g Goldings, East Kent 5.1 [5.10 %] - Dry Hop 0… Hop 18 0.0 IBUs

My notes say "Tasted great when it went into the keg. In the keg it tasted VERY metallic and possibly like tannins although not during fermentation." This might have been because I over forced carbonated it (shaking method).

I assume people are having success with the traditional hopping methods otherwise I would have read about it.

Am I wrong to keep going down the whirlpool hopping? Maybe I should be dry hopping more ( I normally 1g/L)?

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

Im planning on trying something like an old Ruddles and have Brambling Cross ready to go

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PeeBee
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Re: Improving English Ales

Post by PeeBee » Fri Sep 07, 2018 4:13 pm

What style? Cask or keg?

You are wanting a "English" style beer, yet are messing with "American" like recipes: Loads of hops and "craft beer" type approach; going off on a bit of a tangent I think. British approach is very much more simple. For some while I was brewing British style bitter with no dry hops at all and not much in the way of late hops. I'm back to messing with some dry hopping now - with good results - but they are not essential for British style beer which tend to have hop flavours perhaps (from late hops generally) but often little hop "aroma".

Overly cold, highly carbonated beer can have a "metallic" twang. "Forced carbonated it (shaking method)" combined with "have some good real ale on tap" troubles me somewhat.
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Re: Improving English Ales

Post by gobuchul » Fri Sep 07, 2018 4:43 pm

I think your recipes are a bit too complicated.

Most English Ale recipes tend to have pale with a bit of crystal, some bittering hops with 1, maybe 2, late additions.

I have done the 2 recipes below with a lot of success (IMO!)


London Pride
Pale Malt 3750g
Crystal Malt 370g

60 mins
Target 13g
Challenger 7g
Northdown 6g
10 mins
Golding 10g


Taylors Landlord
Pale Malt 4250g
Black Malt 30g

60 mins
Goldings 34g
Styrian Goldings 26g
10 mins
Styrian Goldings 18g

Very simple and work really well.

Also, English Ale should not be carbonated. I use polypins, and transfer after about 5 to 7 days in the fermenter and allow a bit of natural carbonation to develop. Then serve with a beer engine for a bit of "sparkle".

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Re: Improving English Ales

Post by Robwalkeragain » Sat Sep 08, 2018 9:51 am

If you're brewing English then yeast is king. No dry yeast on the UK market will net you anything more than a reasonable result if you're going with the pale/crystal/UK hops combo, you need one of the awesome regional wet yeasts to make something with true character imo. Probably 3 of the best round here are Bathams, Holden's and Hobson's and all 3 have their own strain.
Your recipes look perfectly fine to me so I doubt they're the issue. Nothing American about heavy hopping too, we invented the IPA, they merely adopted it!

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Re: Improving English Ales

Post by dave_h » Sat Sep 08, 2018 10:34 am

Thank you both PeeBee and gobuchul.

PeeBee

"What style? Cask or keg?"

Ideally Im chasing Cask but understand that wont be fully possible using a keg and not having a beer engine.

I fully agree that Ive gone off at tangent, drawing what has worked for me with the more American styles, hence my post.

I think you both have hit the nail on the head regarding serving too cold and having too much carbonation. I will see how I get on using the lowest level of carbonation to get the beer out of the tap (and keeping a good seal on the keg), short /wide beer lines might help. Ive also had some success using a syringe to knock the carbonation out of some bottled beer, makes quite a difference.

gobuchul

Agree ive made things too complicated. Your example recipes were exactly like what has made me question mine and my methods.....

What about the following?

Est Original Gravity: 1.044 SG
Est Final Gravity: 1.011 SG
Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 4.3 %
Bitterness: 32.2 IBUs
Est Color: 16.8 EBC

4.00 kg Maris Otter (Crisp) (7.9 EBC) Grain 5 90.9 %
0.20 kg Crystal Extra Dark - 120L (Crisp) (236.4 EBC) Grain 6 4.5 %
0.20 kg Wheat, Torrified (3.3 EBC) Grain 7 4.5 %
20.00 g Bramling Cross [6.00 %] - Boil 60.0 min Hop 8 13.0 IBUs
20.00 g Challenger 6.1 [6.10 %] - Boil 60.0 min Hop 9 13.2 IBUs
10.00 g Bramling Cross [6.00 %] - Boil 10.0 min Hop 10 3.2 IBUs
10.00 g Goldings, East Kent 5.1 [5.10 %] - Boil 10.0… Hop 11 2.7 IBUs

Yeast would be either WLP002 or WLP013 (forgot which one I had but they are similar)

Torrified wheat is to increase the mouthfeel and head but I can take it out.

Thanks

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Re: Improving English Ales

Post by dave_h » Sat Sep 08, 2018 10:45 am

Robwalkeragain wrote:
Sat Sep 08, 2018 9:51 am
If you're brewing English then yeast is king. No dry yeast on the UK market will net you anything more than a reasonable result if you're going with the pale/crystal/UK hops combo, you need one of the awesome regional wet yeasts to make something with true character imo. Probably 3 of the best round here are Bathams, Holden's and Hobson's and all 3 have their own strain.
Your recipes look perfectly fine to me so I doubt they're the issue. Nothing American about heavy hopping too, we invented the IPA, they merely adopted it!
Its a shame what you say about yeast, I have started to try to get back into the dry yeasts for the simple reason of their shelf life. Jumping between different styles leaves a long time and my liquid yeasts seem to lack in health.

I will use WLP002 or WLP013 (the packet was close to its use by date so I made a starter to refresh it but stupidly didnt write which one it was, I will hopefully find the receipt when I get home....).

Ive heard mostly positive results about Windsor dry yeast, whats your thoughts on this?

I think I will go back to the basics and try a more traditional recipe, then if im lacking dry hop or keg hop, then if its still lacking look into upping the late hops more. I think one of the reasons I went down this path was because I was leaving chilling too late (and/or cube hopping for no chill) and I lost the small late additions I had so everything was more to the bittering side.

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Re: Improving English Ales

Post by Jim » Sat Sep 08, 2018 11:01 am

Windsor is a good dried yeast for English bitters, though you have to be careful with it as it doesn't clear well and can stop early if you don't control the temperature.

I have a brew going at the moment (made on Normski's Braumeister) with Mangrove Jack Burton Union, and I have a feeling that one will give similar results to Windsor but is a better settler. I'll know in a few weeks!
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Re: Improving English Ales

Post by gobuchul » Sat Sep 08, 2018 11:20 am

Torrified wheat is to increase the mouthfeel and head but I can take it out.
Personally I tend to add Carapils rather than wheat, I have tried both and prefer it. Also, I find 2.5% certainly is enough for improved head retention.

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Re: Improving English Ales

Post by Jim » Sat Sep 08, 2018 11:30 am

Caramalt also works well.
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Robwalkeragain
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Re: Improving English Ales

Post by Robwalkeragain » Sat Sep 08, 2018 11:39 am

dave_h wrote:
Sat Sep 08, 2018 10:45 am
Robwalkeragain wrote:
Sat Sep 08, 2018 9:51 am
If you're brewing English then yeast is king. No dry yeast on the UK market will net you anything more than a reasonable result if you're going with the pale/crystal/UK hops combo, you need one of the awesome regional wet yeasts to make something with true character imo. Probably 3 of the best round here are Bathams, Holden's and Hobson's and all 3 have their own strain.
Your recipes look perfectly fine to me so I doubt they're the issue. Nothing American about heavy hopping too, we invented the IPA, they merely adopted it!
Its a shame what you say about yeast, I have started to try to get back into the dry yeasts for the simple reason of their shelf life. Jumping between different styles leaves a long time and my liquid yeasts seem to lack in health.

I will use WLP002 or WLP013 (the packet was close to its use by date so I made a starter to refresh it but stupidly didnt write which one it was, I will hopefully find the receipt when I get home....).

Ive heard mostly positive results about Windsor dry yeast, whats your thoughts on this?

I think I will go back to the basics and try a more traditional recipe, then if im lacking dry hop or keg hop, then if its still lacking look into upping the late hops more. I think one of the reasons I went down this path was because I was leaving chilling too late (and/or cube hopping for no chill) and I lost the small late additions I had so everything was more to the bittering side.
I'm not saying dried English yeasts are bad at all, but it applies to basically all yeasts (wheat/wit bier, saison Etc) where the style is heavily driven by yeast flavours. You can make a decent beer, you probably won't be making the top tier without using a really good quality yeast. I too use dry, I like Windsor, I don't like Nottingham or s-04 at all, but that's just me. In the brewery I use us-05 in my best selling English pale, it's nice and clean and lets the bobek supply the flavour. Losing the hop aroma is something to work on though, a small dose of Goldings at the end tastes awesome in an english bitter.

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Re: Improving English Ales

Post by PeeBee » Sat Sep 08, 2018 1:06 pm

dave_h wrote:
Sat Sep 08, 2018 10:34 am
… Ideally Im chasing Cask but understand that wont be fully possible using a keg and not having a beer engine. ...
That's enough invitation for me to post you my article on creating and maintaining "cask" style beers (in "kegs"!). It rabbits on about getting the "carbonation" right, which is pretty tricky when trying to emulate something that has no extraneous CO2 addition. British cask beers don't keep long in a Pub, they don't have to 'cos they get drunk quick, so serving methods must be a bit "inventive" if we are to emulate this beer with home-brew.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BwzEv5 ... V1bWc/view

You are picking up lots of advice on head creation, "exotic" grain additions, hops and so-forth. My advice is don't run before you can walk. Keep things simple (pale malt, maybe some crystal, and only one or two hop varieties) and start messing with the tweaks when confident things are going your way (and if you think the beer will benefit from the tweak). Hops: You are after something recent and British; sure we had a different idea about hopping a couple of centuries ago, sure there are a lot of new foreign varieties to mess with (if you are like me you'll despise them in a British bitter), all fun to mess with in future. Modern British cask beer can be quite subtle with hopping - a bitter may have 28-30 IBU give or take 5 IBU. Yeast: Dry is fine, dried yeast is still yeast, there is less choice and those selected for drying are likely to be not too "characterful" so they appeal to as large an audience as possible to get payback for the effort that goes into preparing them. Stick to British yeast styles for starters like S-04, Windsor, etc. which tend to be a little less attenuating than some (although some British beers are very attenuated, like some around Manchester, but I was never a "Boddies" fan anyway).
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Re: Improving English Ales

Post by dave_h » Sat Sep 08, 2018 2:07 pm

Thanks for all the input
gobuchul wrote:
Sat Sep 08, 2018 11:20 am
Personally I tend to add Carapils rather than wheat, I have tried both and prefer it. Also, I find 2.5% certainly is enough for improved head retention.
Ive got quite a bit of torrified wheat but not much carapils, so will save that for other things. But will reduce my wheat.
Jim wrote:
Sat Sep 08, 2018 11:01 am
Windsor is a good dried yeast for English bitters, though you have to be careful with it as it doesn't clear well and can stop early if you don't control the temperature.
I think ive read similar to what you are saying, Ive got temp control (STC 1000) and Im in the final stages of putting a BrewPi together. I will save the dry yeast as a back up for now.
PeeBee wrote:
Sat Sep 08, 2018 1:06 pm

That's enough invitation for me to post you my article on creating and maintaining "cask" style beers (in "kegs"!). It rabbits on about getting the "carbonation" right, which is pretty tricky when trying to emulate something that has no extraneous CO2 addition. British cask beers don't keep long in a Pub, they don't have to 'cos they get drunk quick, so serving methods must be a bit "inventive" if we are to emulate this beer with home-brew.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BwzEv5 ... V1bWc/view

You are picking up lots of advice on head creation, "exotic" grain additions, hops and so-forth. My advice is don't run before you can walk. Keep things simple (pale malt, maybe some crystal, and only one or two hop varieties) and start messing with the tweaks when confident things are going your way (and if you think the beer will benefit from the tweak). Hops: You are after something recent and British; sure we had a different idea about hopping a couple of centuries ago, sure there are a lot of new foreign varieties to mess with (if you are like me you'll despise them in a British bitter), all fun to mess with in future. Modern British cask beer can be quite subtle with hopping - a bitter may have 28-30 IBU give or take 5 IBU. Yeast: Dry is fine, dried yeast is still yeast, there is less choice and those selected for drying are likely to be not too "characterful" so they appeal to as large an audience as possible to get payback for the effort that goes into preparing them. Stick to British yeast styles for starters like S-04, Windsor, etc. which tend to be a little less attenuating than some (although some British beers are very attenuated, like some around Manchester, but I was never a "Boddies" fan anyway).

Fantastic document! I knew some of it but picked up lots of new stuff, thanks.

Ive got a spuding valve so that might help reduce a keg if its over carbed.

I will keep things simple, get back to the basics and get the carbonation and temp right. I will be serving from a fridge which will also have other beer in, I doubt I will be allowed to keep it at cellar temp. I will see how I get on with it being a bit colder than ideal and letting it warm up in the glass. This might also increase the amount of co2 in solution. As I said before ive used a syringe to knock some of the co2 out of a glass and its worked well. Time will tell.

Our of interest are you refering to a LPG regulator as in a bbq one?

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Re: Improving English Ales

Post by PeeBee » Sat Sep 08, 2018 2:46 pm

dave_h wrote:
Sat Sep 08, 2018 2:07 pm
… Our of interest are you refering to a LPG regulator as in a bbq one?
BBQ one? Could be used as one I suppose. I use these:

https://gasproducts.co.uk/50-150-mbar-c ... ooder.html

They have common BSP threads. You do not want to be stuck with "POL" connectors.

(EDIT: Spunging valves will not go off until the beer is already "over-carbonated".)
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Re: Improving English Ales

Post by PeeBee » Sat Sep 08, 2018 3:21 pm

PeeBee wrote:
Sat Sep 08, 2018 2:46 pm
https://gasproducts.co.uk/50-150-mbar-c ... ooder.html

They have common BSP threads. You do not want to be stuck with "POL" connectors.
WARNING! Don't connect these LPG regulators directly to a CO2 cylinder. They are only rated for 10BAR max (not the about 60BAR found in a CO2 cylinder). They are fitted as "secondary" regulators down stream of the bottle or cylinder regulator you might already have (the "primary" regulator).
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Re: Improving English Ales

Post by bitter_dave » Sat Sep 08, 2018 5:37 pm

Jim wrote:
Sat Sep 08, 2018 11:01 am

I have a brew going at the moment (made on Normski's Braumeister) with Mangrove Jack Burton Union, and I have a feeling that one will give similar results to Windsor but is a better settler. I'll know in a few weeks!
Is that the one renamed ‘liberty bell’? If so, I’ve made a couple of beers with this (one has been just a week in the barrel). I’ve not used Windsor, so can’t compare but I think the results with LB were pretty good. I thought it was a step up from S04, which I’ve used almost exclusively in the past (and I know has many detractors). Has similar attenuation to S04 and settles out nicely in the fermenter. Nice malt flavours. Interested to hear your results, assuming it is the same yeast

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