Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Vintage 2009 ale brewing

Last Saturday I home brewed what I consider to be the most important brew of the year, my annual Vintage ale. Last years vintage (Panda & Frog home brewery 2008 reserve) was designed as an English style barley wine, coming out at a whopping 1.112 original gravity and abv of 12%. It was matured for 4 months before bottling and I consider it one of my finest brews of all time. This year I have gone for a considerably lower 1.087 OG and aim for around 80% attenuation bringing it to around 9%abv using a yeast strain I have only read about but read good things. The strain in question is White labs own California ale strain, and this was chosen to suit the style being brewed, which is and American style barley wine, mid bronze in color from the use of Marris otter pale malt, Munich, Vienna, Cara and cara vienne malts with 75IBU’s coming from decent quantities of Chinook and Centennial hops.

Another interesting thing about these vintage ales, are that for them I only take the first runnings from the mash and thus only brew 10 liters at a time and bottle into tiny 330ml bottles. This time the run off from the copper was tediously slow with the large amount of hop and trub material in such a small volume. I shall let all know how this one goes.



On a different note, a big congratulations to my Local the John Bull in Alnwick for winning the CAMRA North Northumberland pub of the year last weekend. And this weekend I shall be assisting host a BBQ for a few of my mates and family try my new Autumn Leaves beer as from the previous post. It also appears that by a very close victory, you the readers have voted Hopback Summer Lightning as the beer for the summer, a solid choice.

8 comments:

Ian Beer said...

The John Bull very much deserves its award

Ian Beer said...

Rob - did you see that the 'Hop & Grape' got a mention in the Beers of the World magazine - issue 24, page 45.

Ed said...

You should do a 'small beer' from you mash as well mate.

Rob said...

Ah yes Ed it could be done, I thought of maybe using a large stockpot as a second copper i.e having 2 coppers on at the same time. Just thought it would be a bit awkward. Maybe next year or when I do my imperial stout this winter hopefully.

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