Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Elizabeth II

Here it is folks. I finally got round to the remake to hopefully compensate for the disaster that was operation Elizabeth I. After dwelling on the various ideas of what to brew I decided to stick to my guns and keep with a similar but different old school formulation than the last (IPA's, Belgian strong ales, Imperial Stouts and experimental spiced ales can all wait, I want to get this one right first). Here is the new formulation.

OG 1084.5.

I'm hoping to bring it down to around 1018 with the Daleside house strain for an 8.8% abv.


Optic pale malt 83.5%
Torrified wheat 4%
Crystal malt 9%
Black malt 3.5%

(all percentages refer to the percentages of fermentables each malt accounted for)

Mash stand was 1 hour at 65.5oC.

                                                   The mighty Elizabeth II mash

In Copper boil.

90min: Challenger hops (7.78% alpha) for 25IBU

45min:  Challenger hops (7.78% alpha) for 21IBU

5min: Fuggles 5.26% 5IBU
5min: Goldings 8.6% 7IBU

(Lots of hops!)
                                        The copper boil in action next to the spent mash

In theory the hops are left to settle at the bottom after the boil. In this case the hops were the bottom.

Runoffs (no pumps involved, as my kit is a simple thing) were slow and sparging took nearly two and a quarter hours. An anomaly also occurred during the runoff to fermenter. Sadly, because this was the first of a double brew, I needed the copper emptied of Elizabeth and ready sharpish for the next brew. Usually I can get it all into the fermenter inside of 15 minutes, but not this time.

The copper to fermenter transfer was about as fast paced and dramatic as a world championship staring competition, so me and co-worker Matt had to adopt the old school, rather crude method of lifting and slowly decanting the hot wort from the copper through a series of sieves held above the fermentation bucket (kind of like in extract brewing). The sieves worked well but some small fragments of spent hops ended up in the fermenter with (probably) excess trub. Apart from this all is going well so far. I awoke the following morning to a fermenting tub brimming with a mighty head of yeast and kicking off heaps of wonderful aroma. I learned from Elizabeth not to over pitch so this time instead of quadrupling my usual pitching rate I doubled it. It's going strong and fermenting at about the rate I want. So far so good.


Mark N said...

Nice work Rob. I love challenger hops and the late additions of fuggles and goldings have got me salivating - I can almost smell it from here. Hope it turns out well.

Ed said...

Good luck with this one mate!

Rob said...

Cheers. Up to now it's still fermenting steadily away and should be ready to barrel up within a week or two.