House Session Pale Ale v1 - v4

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donchiquon
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House Session Pale Ale v1 - v4

Post by donchiquon » Tue May 30, 2017 7:53 pm

One of my goals for 2017 is to get a full bodied hoppy session ale of 3-4% dialled in as a house brew. Something I can drink a few of and still mow the lawn without losing toes.

My first attempt a couple of weeks ago was @Seymours El Rey APA. I mashed at 70 to try and give it some fuller body. Mashed out at 76 for 10 mins. At this point things went awry as my HLT temp controller wasn't set right and my sparge was too warm @68. The rest of the brew day went well, hit an OG of 1044, and I pitched a decanted starter of ~250bn cells, versus the 190bn MrMalty recommeded (as I've had WLP090 stall on me before).

Following fermentation at 18.5 for primary, and then rising to 21.5 to clean up, the FG dropped to 1006, lower than any beer I've brewed before. I guess I over-pitched, or maybe the mash went on with my warm sparge (although I had thought that the 76 deg mashout permanently knackered the enzymes).

I also used a combo of a little Galaxy and a lot of Summer. The Summer has turned out way too subtle for my liking....I was looking forward to an Aussie fruit-bomb, but it's very european in flavour. Hopefully it will get better as the days roll on.

This week I tried again and brewed with Tasty McD's Session Pale Ale grain bill. Mashed high again at 70, ph 5.2, mashed out for 15 mins and sparged at 76. I hopped with Mosaic, Amarillo, and Citra and used a new mesh pan for whirlpooling the Citra which were leaf, the others were pellets.

Pumped in the the fermenter and aerated with a compressor. Pitched a starter of 230bn cells of WLP002 (vs 200bn) I think I'm paranoid about under pitching - maybe I need to see someone about this 8-[

Fingers crossed for this version.
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Hop filter set up:
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Whirlpool with leaf and pellet:
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Pumped into fermenter:
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Last edited by donchiquon on Tue Mar 13, 2018 2:35 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: Session Pale Ale V2

Post by monkeyboy » Tue May 30, 2017 9:16 pm

Looks looks a good one.
Out of curiosity, what size/model fermenter is that (looks like a chronical), and what size fridge? I'm about to build my first fermentation fridge, and thinking that I'll eventually want to go down the shiny route. One thing that worries me slightly is that the conical FV won't fit into an small larder fridge.
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Re: Session Pale Ale V2

Post by donchiquon » Wed May 31, 2017 10:38 am

The fermenter is a 14 gallon (most of my batches are 24 litres but I wanted to future proof a bit and have occasionally tested with 45L batches).

I'll measure the fridge when I'm back home, but it's pretty narrow. I have to shuffle/tilt the fermenter a bit to undo two of the side lid catches when I dry hop or sneak a peek.

I'm trying to source a 60cm wide one with a glass front so that I can ogle whilst I sample!

I'll check the current fridge dimensions later and let you know.
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Re: Session Pale Ale V2

Post by donchiquon » Wed May 31, 2017 11:53 am

Fridge is 55x143 cm exterior and 44x126 cm internal
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Re: Session Pale Ale V2

Post by donchiquon » Wed May 31, 2017 11:54 am

Here's a couple more pics to give you an idea of size and fit

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Re: House Session Pale Ale v1 & v2

Post by alexe » Wed May 31, 2017 12:47 pm

Did you have to drill the hole for the temperature probe, or does the FV come pre-drilled? Looking at the SS website, there appears to be a temperature gauge thin that position, so it would seem that there is a hole there already, but I can't see for certain.

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Re: House Session Pale Ale v1 & v2

Post by donchiquon » Wed May 31, 2017 1:16 pm

alexe wrote:Did you have to drill the hole for the temperature probe, or does the FV come pre-drilled?
The SS conicals come with a hole and thermowell ready to go
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Re: House Session Pale Ale v1 & v2

Post by donchiquon » Wed May 31, 2017 1:21 pm

Only 48 hours underway - Captain Overpitch strikes again #-o

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Re: House Session Pale Ale v1 & v2

Post by donchiquon » Wed May 31, 2017 1:27 pm

I've just rechecked my numbers and because I undershot my OG (1040 vs 1044 - another first, I normally overshoot!) my 230bn cells were a 35% overpitch vs Mr Malty's recommended 170bn cells (@ .75bn/ml).

Does anyone have any idea what level (very roughly) of over pitch will result in issues?....such as over attenuation
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Re: House Session Pale Ale v1 & v2

Post by monkeyboy » Wed May 31, 2017 4:11 pm

Thanks for the info - much appreciated. That's a pretty cool-looking setup you have there. I completely agree with the glass-fronted fridge idea - I saw a photo on the web recently of a guy with two fermenters like yours behind glass-fronted fridges and it looked awesome. Not sure I've got room in my garage for one, never mind two...
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Re: House Session Pale Ale v1 & v2

Post by donchiquon » Wed May 31, 2017 9:05 pm

monkeyboy wrote:Thanks for the info - much appreciated. That's a pretty cool-looking setup you have there.
....I just need to get better at the brewing bit now! :oops:
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Re: House Session Pale Ale v1 & v2

Post by donchiquon » Wed May 31, 2017 9:11 pm

Tried v1 again tonight, which has been in the keg a week. This has now mellowed nicely, and much less dry than I would have thought at 1006. It actually has decent body and mouthfeel, and the subtle hopping will make a decent thirst quencher on a hot day.

Perhaps I don't understand the relationship between FG and body/mouthfeel very well - I thought this was going to taste very watery and dry. Maybe the 70 deg mash did the trick after all.

36 hours in, v2 is now down to 1014, and fermentation has slowed right down. I'm going to dry hop tonight with 40g each Mosaic, Amarillo, Citra. Yum.

I had a sneaky taste when I dumped off the yeast today....already love the taste. Is it so wrong to drink directly from the fermenter mid-fermentation?....
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Re: House Session Pale Ale v1 & v2

Post by AFewTooMany » Fri Jun 02, 2017 5:43 am

donchiquon wrote:I've just rechecked my numbers and because I undershot my OG (1040 vs 1044 - another first, I normally overshoot!) my 230bn cells were a 35% overpitch vs Mr Malty's recommended 170bn cells (@ .75bn/ml).

Does anyone have any idea what level (very roughly) of over pitch will result in issues?....such as over attenuation
Don't worry about it. Over pitching to any deprement would require 4 or 5 times the yeast recommended. You will get slightly more waste to trub as you increase the amount of yeast and fermentation will speed up slightly but you'll still end up with a tasty beer. Remember the calculators only give a very vague idea of how much yeast needed as you really have no idea of viability or cell count. Similarly I think you can get away with under pitching a little if you have temperature control, or at least it will make less impact on flavour anyway

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Re: House Session Pale Ale v1 & v2

Post by UpTheToon » Fri Jun 02, 2017 9:58 am

donchiquon wrote:Only 48 hours underway - Captain Overpitch strikes again #-o

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How do you find the tilt? It's a sexy bit of kit :)

Easy to clean? Battery lasts a while? Connectivity solid?

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Re: House Session Pale Ale v1 & v2

Post by donchiquon » Sat Jun 03, 2017 5:42 pm

AFewTooMany wrote:
donchiquon wrote:I've just rechecked my numbers and because I undershot my OG (1040 vs 1044 - another first, I normally overshoot!) my 230bn cells were a 35% overpitch vs Mr Malty's recommended 170bn cells (@ .75bn/ml).

Does anyone have any idea what level (very roughly) of over pitch will result in issues?....such as over attenuation
Don't worry about it. Over pitching to any deprement would require 4 or 5 times the yeast recommended. You will get slightly more waste to trub as you increase the amount of yeast and fermentation will speed up slightly but you'll still end up with a tasty beer. Remember the calculators only give a very vague idea of how much yeast needed as you really have no idea of viability or cell count. Similarly I think you can get away with under pitching a little if you have temperature control, or at least it will make less impact on flavour anyway
That's good to know. I wonder what made it attenuate to 1006 then? I've never had a beer go that low, although I have never brewed a 3-4% beer with WLP090 though.

EDIT: Just been doing a load more reading on brewing low gravity session beers, and discovered some sources saying that a high temperature mash also needs a thin mash in order to support/enable the high temperatures to work properly.

"It is hard to say that beta-amylase activity will be expected to drop off at a particular temperature, because the thickness will determine what temperature activates maximum beta-amylase activity. Thicker mashes tend to retain more beta-amylase activity at high mash temperatures than do thin mashes."

This could explain why my v1 70 degree mash failed to produce the unfermentable high-body wort that I was hoping for. For v3 I am going to try mashing at 71 deg, and using a 3.4l/kg mash ratio and see if this works better.
Last edited by donchiquon on Sun Jun 04, 2017 8:28 am, edited 1 time in total.
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