Something like an APA

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Kev888
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Something like an APA

Post by Kev888 » Sat Oct 20, 2018 2:45 pm

I'm doing some brews ahead of Christmas, so for once decided to take and post a few photos of yesterday's. The brew is something like a modest APA, except not intended to be especially pale and has more of a British (mineral-laden) water profile, so I don't really know what that makes it. However, whatever the style name, the recipe was:
65L APA: OG=1.051, IBU=45, Estimated 5.5%ABV
Maris Otter 13kg (75%)
Caramalt 1.5kg (8.7%)
Munich Malt 1.5kg (8.7%)
Wheat Malt 0.9kg (5.2%)
Crystal Malt 0.35kg (2%)

90mins Magnum 100g 10.2%AA (32 IBUs)
15mins Cascade 66g 8.3%AA (8 IBUs)
15mins Willamette 50g 5.5%AA (4 IBUs)
80c Steep Cascade 66g 8.3%AA
80c Steep Willamette 50g 5.5%AA
Dry Hop @ 24hrs Centennial 50g 9.2%AA
Dry Hop @ 24hrs Cascade 33g 8.3%AA
Dry Hop >FG Centennial 50g 9.2%AA
Dry Hop >FG Cascade 33g 8.3%AA

CRS (to achieve the alkalinity)
Gypsum/Calcium-Sulphate (to achieve calcium and sulphate levels)
Calcium Chloride (to achieve calcium and chloride levels)
Brewbrite kettle finings
Yeast 3x sachets of Mangrove Jacks M44 West Coast (rehydrated)
Normally I prefer wlp002 (or wlp001), but here I'm trying Mangrove Jack's M44 West Coast yeast for the first time; supposedly it works well for hops and I'm not looking for any great yeast character so it should be OK. But its a fairly high attenuator for my taste, so I've used more Munich and have mashed warm in order to (hopefully) balance the hops with a beer of better body and maltyness.

The current flat's kitchen is a bit small for the brewing kit, so it gets entirely taken over for the day.
Image
By the sink is the CFC, the kettle is on the floor at the back, the HLT is in front of it (and gets wheeled away after sparging), the MT is up on the left and the black thing just peeking into the bottom left of the picture is the FV, stationed partly behind the door.

HLT heating the mash liquor, Alkalinity 50ppm (as CaCO3), Calcium 214ppm, Sulphate 220ppm, Chloride 220ppm:
Image[/url]

The mash at 69c for 90mins @ 2.5L/kg:
Image
(a lid was put on after the photo)

Measuring the pH at 15mins in and 20c; it looks like pH 5.42 but was really about pH 5.27, as I'd not calibrated the meter :lol: :
Image

Batch sparging, 2x batches run off, of equal amounts. Sparge liquor was at 77c, Alkalinity 15ppm (as CaCO3), Calcium 140ppm, Sulphate 157ppm, Chloride 157ppm
Image

Recirculation of the first runnings to clear (I recirculated about a dozen jug loads for each batch, before redirecting to the kettle):
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(a pump is planned for the future!)

The boil starting. Boiled for 90mins with hops at 90mins, 15mins and 80c. Also brewbrite finings at 10mins
Image

Meanwhile, some residual sugars were rinsed out of the mash - I often do this to make wort for future starters:
Image

Running through the CFC en-route to the conical fermenter (the CFC had previously been disinfected by recirculating boiling wort through it for 30mins):
Image
The bits of string on the kettle are just holding the hop bags; I prefer whole hops in the kettle, but had some pellets to use up on this brew.

There was extra wort allowed, to compensate for dumping and sampling etc, so about 68L went into the FV. Its quite full so a blow-off tube will be used in case of spills:
Image
The M44 yeast were rehydrated and pitched before closing.

The efficiency was better than predicted, so the post-boil wort was liquored back to the intended gravity of 1.051:
Image

Which meant a few litres extra. The additional runnings I took (intending them for starters) were rendered down - darkening them considerably in the process - and combined to make enough for another 8L. It won't be such good quality as the main batch, but waste not want not and all that. I'm also trying windsor in this one:
Image

So that was it, bar all the cleaning up and putting away. Seemed to go quite well on the whole. Activity has started fairly convincingly in the FV, so fingers crossed it will be ready for christmas.
Last edited by Kev888 on Sat Oct 20, 2018 3:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Something like an APA

Post by HTH1975 » Sat Oct 20, 2018 2:50 pm

Love your brewing kit - truly in the spirit of homebrew.

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Kev888
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Re: Something like an APA

Post by Kev888 » Sat Oct 20, 2018 3:05 pm

Thanks, the kit was great fun to build. There have been several over the years leading up to the current setup; when I first started it was more necessary to build your own, but I'm very pleased to have had the opportunity.
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Re: Something like an APA

Post by chefgage » Sat Oct 20, 2018 4:58 pm

Love the wooden set up :) I seem to remember reading a thread about you creating that setup.

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Re: Something like an APA

Post by Kev888 » Sat Oct 20, 2018 6:39 pm

Thanks, yes it was made relatively recently. It packs away much more compactly than when in use!
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Re: Something like an APA

Post by MTW » Sat Oct 20, 2018 9:53 pm

Cracking kit. I remember seeing a build thread a while back too.

As for mineral laden american styles over here, there are probably a 1000-odd micros in the UK producing them like that every week, many using Murphy's broad brush recommended treatments.

That's a much higher proportion of IBUs from the bittering charge than I would go for, even allowing for some unknown IBUs in the steep, but each to their own, and you know your kit!

I love the sound of the smaller beer you ran off too.
Busy in the Summer House Brewery

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Kev888
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Re: Something like an APA

Post by Kev888 » Sat Oct 20, 2018 11:54 pm

Thanks, yes I guess Murphy's approach to liquor is fairly UK-centric too. Its certainly by choice in my case, since I mostly brew and prefer British styles. So, really this one is a hybrid between that approach and a US-hopped APA.

I agree that the hops are a bit uncertain, they're essentially a test (to compare with a previous version). Here, the previous quota of late boil hops have been spread also into 80c steeping and increased dry hopping (and, as you spotted, the bittering hops then used to make up the IBUs). My hope is that this will get better value from the late hops in terms of flavour and especially aroma, but time will tell. The hybrid thing continues here too though, so there may be a chance - I want more hop aroma than a traditional IPA but not the hop dominance of some APAs, the malts will hopefully hold their own as well.

I'm also trying some of the dry hops at only 24hrs into fermentation, which is new for me so I don't know how that will work out at all. For years I've quite strongly advocated adding them after FG so that the aromas aren't dissipated with the CO2 given off (and I've never been paranoid about the oxygen they introduce)... But theres a theory that interaction with active yeast can result in beneficial biotransformations (that helps preserve the aroma for longer), so thought i'd give it a try.
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Re: Something like an APA

Post by Kev888 » Sun Oct 21, 2018 12:31 am

24hrs after pitching, and the Mangrove Jack's yeast are going well, though not a massive krausen by any means
Image
The first dry hops have just been added, and the kitchen is starting to smell quite nice already.

The 'spare' wort being fermented with Windsor is quite entertaining. The glass vessel has no heating or agitation, but it is about 3c over ambient temperature due to the yeast activity, and the currents going on are almost mesmerising

(the background noise is unrelated)
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Re: Something like an APA

Post by LeeH » Sun Oct 21, 2018 7:00 am

Great brew day thread and kit Kev, thanks for posting.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk Pro
To monitor my latest fermentation 27/10 click here
To view my new AG build click here
Keg 1: Berliner Weisse
Keg 2: APA
Keg 3: Stout (Nitro)
Keg 4: Empty

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Re: Something like an APA

Post by sbond10 » Sun Oct 21, 2018 7:15 am

Loving the kit and recipe, can't remember if I asked can you describe how you clean the cfc

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Re: Something like an APA

Post by Kev888 » Sun Oct 21, 2018 10:15 am

Thanks both, it was quite a fun day. I had a few months without brewing and its good to get back into it.
sbond10 wrote:
Sun Oct 21, 2018 7:15 am
..can't remember if I asked can you describe how you clean the cfc
After the kettle is emptied, I put a bit of PBW-like cleaner in the bottom to recirculate (heated) through the CFC for 20mins, then flush through with clean water before blowing out what I can.

Before use, boiling wort is run into it and allowed to sit for a little while before being pushed out and discarded (just in case the initial fill has collected anything undesirable). Then the outlet is redirected into the kettle and boiling wort recirculated for half an hour.

The pump and kettle elements are up to this (without affecting the boil much), if they weren't I'd probably do things differently. TBH I'm not a huge fan of copper post-boil because it precludes my favourite disinfecting potions. But this method seems to work well enough, no infections or the like.
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Re: Something like an APA

Post by MTW » Sun Oct 21, 2018 10:39 am

Kev888 wrote:
Sat Oct 20, 2018 11:54 pm
Thanks, yes I guess Murphy's approach to liquor is fairly UK-centric too. Its certainly by choice in my case, since I mostly brew and prefer British styles. So, really this one is a hybrid between that approach and a US-hopped APA.

I agree that the hops are a bit uncertain, they're essentially a test (to compare with a previous version). Here, the previous quota of late boil hops have been spread also into 80c steeping and increased dry hopping (and, as you spotted, the bittering hops then used to make up the IBUs). My hope is that this will get better value from the late hops in terms of flavour and especially aroma, but time will tell. The hybrid thing continues here too though, so there may be a chance - I want more hop aroma than a traditional IPA but not the hop dominance of some APAs, the malts will hopefully hold their own as well.

I'm also trying some of the dry hops at only 24hrs into fermentation, which is new for me so I don't know how that will work out at all. For years I've quite strongly advocated adding them after FG so that the aromas aren't dissipated with the CO2 given off (and I've never been paranoid about the oxygen they introduce)... But theres a theory that interaction with active yeast can result in beneficial biotransformations (that helps preserve the aroma for longer), so thought i'd give it a try.
Cheers for explaining. I've ended up putting all the hops in later and later, and increasing the amounts. Expensive brews! I still think there's a place for early hops though, and there's a scale of diminishing returns later on.

Slightly in awe of that kit. :shock:

Staying tuned for results!
Busy in the Summer House Brewery

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Re: Something like an APA

Post by Kev888 » Sun Oct 21, 2018 11:43 am

Yes, lots of late hops can be seductive, and with good reason sometimes. Even with normal bitters and relatively subtle hops I've had good results making up more of the IBUs with late ones. But for very hoppy beers it can indeed start to get expensive, both in hops and in retained wort, so this was an attempt at moderation.

TBH I'm beginning to get slightly jaded with very hop-dominant pale beers at the mo, especially the overtly citrus-like types. They seem to be everywhere and I'm starting to miss the malt flavours. This is an attempt (yet to be judged) to achieve more of a balance between the two (the other pre-christmas brews will be darker styles).
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Re: Something like an APA

Post by sbond10 » Sun Oct 21, 2018 12:09 pm

Kev888 wrote:
Sun Oct 21, 2018 10:15 am
Thanks both, it was quite a fun day. I had a few months without brewing and its good to get back into it.
sbond10 wrote:
Sun Oct 21, 2018 7:15 am
..can't remember if I asked can you describe how you clean the cfc
After the kettle is emptied, I put a bit of PBW-like cleaner in the bottom to recirculate (heated) through the CFC for 20mins, then flush through with clean water before blowing out what I can.


Before use, boiling wort is run into it and allowed to sit for a little while before being pushed out and discarded (just in case the initial fill has collected anything undesirable). Then the outlet is redirected into the kettle and boiling wort recirculated for half an hour.

The pump and kettle elements are up to this (without affecting the boil much), if they weren't I'd probably do things differently. TBH I'm not a huge fan of copper post-boil because it precludes my favourite disinfecting potions. But this method seems to work well enough, no infections or the like.

Cheers what do before brewday or does the clean do until you next run boiling work thru

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Re: Something like an APA

Post by Kev888 » Sun Oct 21, 2018 9:02 pm

In theory the CFC doesn't get dirty again during storage, so it just needs disinfecting on brew day (in my case using boiling wort during the boil). In practice I can't fully dry the CFC after use, so potentially something could grow in the moisture during storage. But if so then it seems to be nothing the boiling wort can't deal with satisfactorily.

Were it stainless then I might be tempted to run peracetic acid or iodophore through it beforehand, or were it small and robust enough to be autoclaved then I'd do so. Unfortunately it isn't, and that did worry me for a while. But the boiling wort has always been enough, so I'm far more relaxed about it these days.
Kev

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