Was this a case of third time lucky with this Brewers Gold clone? Actually it’s more that I needed a reasonably straight forward recipe using whatever hops I had in stock so I could get on with the inaugural brew for my shiny new Grainfather! To take advantage of the PID controlled heating element this recipe used a stepped mash and again I varied the hop addition timings from previous versions of this Brewers Gold to put more weight on the late additions to really try to boost that hop flavour!
The recipe for the Brewers Gold:
- 4.5kg Maris Otter Malt
- 300g CaraPils Malt
- 30g Brewers Gold hops @ 60 minutes
- 30g Brewers Gold hops @ 15 minutes
- 40g Brewers Gold hops @ 5 minute
- 40g Brewers Gold hops @ flameout
- 1 tsp Irish Moss
- 1 packet Mangrove Jacks M36 Liberty Bell yeast
Learning how to use the new brewery meant that I was far too distracted to take any photos! Next time… I promise!
The stepped mash worked really well and wasn’t that complicated to program however due to me trying to setup a Grainfather equipment profile on Beersmith I somehow managed to over-sparge with nearly 2 litres of extra water. As a result the preboil and postboil OG’s for this brew were much lower than expected at 1.040 instead of the target OG of 1.054. Luckily for me the Liberty Bell yeast managed to go a couple of points lower than planned too so the FG finished up at 1.012 meaning the final ABV was 3.7%. Off target however not too dramatically in the end. Phew!
It’s that time of year again to set this years resolutions but first I have to review what I set myself last year.
2016’s resolutions were set as:
- Brewery Upgrades [COMPLETE]: while my initial plans to expand to 56l have been scrapped I have bought a Grainfather to replace my old 3 vessel setup.
- Brew once per month [FAIL]: Unfortunately the realities of life got in the way of brewing a lot last year and while I prevaricated about the brewery build there was no brewing happening!
- Yeast Harvesting [FAIL]: With no working brewery there was no yeast and therefore no harvesting!
- Competitions [COMPLETE]: My beers were entered into 5 competitions in 2016! The Cheshire Brew Crew kicked the year off with a Recipe Roulette competition into which I entered the Amarillo & Orange Saison and finished 1st place! The same beer was then entered into Brewdog Liverpool’s Homebrew competition however by that point it wasn’t as fresh as it had once been and the impact of the flavours had lessened. It got an honourable mention from the judge but didn’t stand a chance against some of the other beers entered! Over the summer the Jasmine IPA was entered into the National Home Brew Competition where it scored a disappointing 20 out of 50, and the Waitrose/BrewUK Homebrew Competition however there are no results given from that other than it didn’t win! Finally the Smoked Chipotle Porter was entered into #homebrewdog but was in 500ml bottles and was disqualified as a result – next time I will read the small print better!
Overall not a bad year, and although it wasn’t plan A (or B) for the Brewery Upgrades, I do now have a fully functioned brewery again! On to 2017!
For 2017 I will set a more modest set of resolutions:
- I have a new brewing process to learn with the Grainfather so again for this year I will aiming to have one Brewday per month. January’s is already arranged for the 4th, this time I need to keep the momentum going!
- Over the last year I have compiled a pretty extensive collection of brewing books and so far have only managed to read around half of them! This year I will be completing my reading assignments I trying to put the theory into practice with this years brews.
- Other than the strong start to 2016’s competition entries the others fell a little flat! Not to worry though, for 2017 I will be tweaking recipes and processes and hopefully improve the overall quality of all the beers I produce and return better results in the competitions I enter!