Tag Archives: 4 litre batch

So pale, extra pale 2 bottled

Monday was Australia Day and doubled as bottling day for the Extra Pale Ale #2. It was a very quick session and I knocked it over myself in a bit over half an hour.

Extra Pale Ale 2 bottled

Extra Pale Ale 2 freshly bottled and all cloudy

Skipped the bulk priming and put a tablespoon of white sugar to prime each bottle. Should have done it with the Extra Pale Ale #1 as it was much quicker than the bulk priming for small batches. Ended up with twelve bottles and a gravity sample as well.

Extra Pale Ale 2 FG

Extra Pale Ale 2 final gravity reading

Gravity came in at 1.025 which means the beer will sit at about 8.7% alcohol after bottle conditioning. Was a bit surprised the gravity wasn’t lower, much lower. I realised the Malto Dextrin had a bit of effect, plus it was probably a bit much to ask that kit yeast to chomp through so much sugar. That said, I was hoping to get down to the 1.009 calculated, or at least around 1.015. Not to be.

As usual I tasted the gravity sample. First up it was bad. Lots of apple sweet flavour and not nice yeast. After it sat for about 20 or so minutes the taste was a lot better. Still not great, but I could finish drinking the small sample. This one will take a while to condition properly probably a month or more.

Nothing brewing at the moment. Thinking of doing a couple really small batches. Maybe cider with the brewing caps. Maybe finally getting around to those ‘not beers’. Will keep you posted.

-Mikey

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New year brew, extra pale two

Hello and happy new year. Apologies for the break between posts, nearly four weeks! Back on board and, more importantly, back to brewing. Sunday the 11th was the first brew for the year and Chas came over to lend a hand. Always a fun day when Chas makes it.

Extra Pale Ale 1 bottled

Extra Pale Ale 1 all bottled and capped

There was some tasting of the Pale Trial Zwei beers and bottling of the Extra Pale Ale #1. Although only four litres, we still bulk primed. In hindsight that might have been a bit over the top for 10 bottles.

Gravity reading came in at 1.010 pretty much smack bang on what I was aiming for. Alcohol calculated at exactly 8% after bottle conditioning. Nice and strong.

The flavour was a bit of a mix. There was some some apple aroma and other fruit. Taste was much the same with a slight round, but clear, yeast flavour. Quite possible there’s some acetaldehyde and the yeast was stressed out by being forced to work so hard. Plus it was kit yeast, and that’s not usually good.

Extra Pale Ale 2 OG

Extra Pale Ale 2 original gravity reading

The brew for the day was straight forward. Almost identical to Extra Pale Ale #1. This time added more sugar and some malto dextrin. The sugar should push up the alcohol towards the 10% region, while the malto dextrin should help it hold together.

  • 4 litre boil
  • 300 grams Pilsen Light DME @ 40 mins
  • 200 grams Malto Dextrin @ 5 mins
  • 500 grams raw sugar @ 5 mins
  • 2 grams Warrior hops @ 30 mins
  • 3 grams Amarillo hops @ flame out
Extra Pale Ale 2 ready to go

Extra Pale Ale 2 in the fermenter in the pot and ready to go

Ice was dumped directly into the pot during the ice bath. That helped cool the brew and topped up for water lost in the boil. In the end it was a bit too much liquid and the fermentation vessel was fuller than I would have liked. And, yes, it did cause a blow out in the air lock.

The wort was dumped straight onto the yeast cake of the last brew. There should be plenty of yeast to eat through the large amounts of sugars there. Gave it a very good shake up, going to need all the oxygen it can get.

The gravity reading came in at 1.087 which is exactly what I calculated. Nice to finally hit a target OG for the first time ever, even if there was to much water.

It’s been nearly two weeks already. Bottling will be soon, maybe end of the long weekend. Should get some idea how it will taste. Hoping that the Malto Dextrin gives it some body to help balance out the large amount of sugar added.

For the next brew? Not sure yet, but likely this year will continue the experimentations and small batches. Temperatures are still pretty hot in Melbourne and it’s hard keeping fermentation vessels cool enough.

-Mikey

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A little Christmas, extra pale ale

I couldn’t let December go by without doing a brew. So, decided to brew up a nice dry light body pale ale. Really simple and really easy. Knocked it over in about an hour.

Extra Pale Ale OG

Extra Pale Ale original gravity reading

After the Summer Ale turned out to be bigger than expected, I wanted to go basic. The best option was a simple malt base, simple hops and simple yeast. I deliberately aimed for something that would be dry and low in flavour. Welcome the Extra Pale Ale. In theory this will be the Summer beer that the Summer Ale wasn’t.

Recipe

  • 2.5 litre boil, topped up to 4 litres at end.
  • 300 grams of Pilsen Light dry malt extract @ 30 mins
  • 300 grams or raw sugar @ 10 mins
  • 2 grams Warrior hops @ 30 mins
  • 3 grams Amarillo hops @ flame out
  • Bit over a teaspoon of kit yeast
  • Teaspoon of yeast nutrient

The original gravity came in at 1.069 which is a fair bit higher than the 1.059 calculated. Most likely due to loss of water / not adding enough water at the end. That doesn’t worry me.

The colour turned out a lot closer to what I wanted than the Summer Ale did. Very light straw colour. Hope it thins out a bit more. Will be fine if there’s very little body in this.

Extra Pale Ale staying cool

Extra Pale Ale carboy in pot of water staying cool

The sample tasted pretty good. Yep, there was a lot of sugar in there but that doesn’t take anything away from the yummy Amarillo flavours. IBU should be around 16 which should help make this drinkable. I have seen a few of my beers turn out a lot bitter than planned. I’m hoping I’ve gone low enough on this one.

Big challenge now is keeping it cool. The carboy is sitting in water and the next couple days I can keep replacing ice packs in there. Fingers crossed. Will find out in the New Year.

-Mikey

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Something easy for winter, brown ale

A few days ago I made a mistake with bottling the Super Stout. There’s a chance that it won’t taste good. I want to have something darkish to enjoy over the rest of winter. So it was time to do a back up brew, something a bit basic and small. Enter the idea of doing a brown ale.

I spent a while playing around with a recipe ideas. In the end I decided to go with a really quick 30 minute boil and only two hop additions. Plus to keep the length of time down I wanted to do just four litres. Another factor keeping it simple and quick is to only use malt extract, in this case it was dry malt extract (DME).

American Brown Ale

American Brown Ale in the carboy

With the ingredients I had at home I couldn’t do an English style brown ale. Therefore I went with creating an American Brown Ale. Ingredients listed below.

  • 600 grams of Dark DME
  • 3 grams Warrior hops (30 mins in boil)
  • 2 grams Crystal hops (flame out)
  • 1 teaspoon of kit yeast
  • 1 teaspoon of yeast nutrient

Some people really don’t like using kit yeast. For me it was easy because (1) I had some at home and (2) it’s a very basic darker beer. The darkness of the malt will help hide some of the less desirable flavours of the yeast, I hope.

This was a three litre boil. First in went 400 grams of the DME. After the hot break went in the Warrior hops. Twenty minutes later the rest of the DME went in. Ten minutes after that flame out. Crystal hops went in. The pot was moved to sink to chill in cold water. About three trays of ice dropped directly into the wort. Only had to replace the water once for chilling. I was happy that it got down to about 22 degrees Celsius quite quickly. Then poured the wort through a sieve into the glass carboy which was then topped up to four litres.

While all that was happening the yeast and nutrient was re-hydrated in some water on the side. Before pitching in the yeast took a hydrometer reading which came in at 1.054. This should come in around 5.8% after bottling. That’s going to be stronger than the Super Stout!

This was a very quick brew and only took about two hours to do. Was done by myself and I like that it was so quick. The wort tasted basic as expected. There’s not a lot of hops in there and plan was to keep bitterness down. Fingers crossed that this one turns out well. Will know in about a month.

Keep an eye out as I’m going to be doing a lager style ale in the next few days.

-Mikey

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Bulk and Pale, finally there

Whoops, this was meant to go up a couple days ago! Anyway, here it is…

Last Sunday was another brew day at my place. It was a bit of a milestone date as I finally got around to doing bulk priming. Was also able to kick off what I hope is a series of pale ales. Chas made it over and we did a number if tastings through the arvo.

First up was bottling the Baltic Porter #2. As I promised, this was to be my first bulk priming attempt. There was about 15 litres of useable beer. Problem was that I didn’t have another vessel that could hold that much. Ended up using the 9 litre pot that’s normally reserved for the boil. Did two lots of 6 litres and one lot of 3 litres.

Bulk priming set up

First attempt at bulk priming with fermenter, scales, pot and sample in the back.

Used an online calculator to work out how much sugar to add. Sugar was put direct into the pot and beer was released over the top. Then stirred slowly to dissolve the sugar completely. In hindsight it would of been good to dissolve the sugar in some water first. Having just one vessel with one transfer would of been a lot easier. Bottling 15 litres with a syphon wasn’t fun. Most was done into 500 ml bottles which saved a fair bit of time.

The final gravity came in at 1.032 which is a lot higher than expected. After bottle conditioning it should be 5.6% alcohol. That’s a lower than was hoping for. Really wanted this to be above 6%. That said it tasted pretty good when we sampled it. Time will tell.

After bottling was finally done it was on to the brew. Plus there was a few brews up for tasting. The Aussie Wattle Pale Ale, Hoppy Heart IPA 2 and the two apple ciders I made. Chas will be posting about those over the next few days.

I’ve been wanting to build out a range of lighter beers that can be enjoyed on the warmer days coming up. Not everyone in the house likes IPA’s and I’m not ready for doing a proper lager. Pale ale was the only good option. Given the failure of the last attempt I decided to avoid using liquid malt. So, dry malt was used and hops kept tame. As I used up a few things last brew this ended up as a single hop beer. That’s pretty exciting and will be a great benchmark, if it ferments out well.

Before the brew started the yeast and a teaspoon of dry malt extract were thrown into a cup of water for rehydration. Realised after that should have waited before putting in the DME. Hopefully that doesn’t make much if a difference.

Basic brew this one. Only a thirty minute boil.

Australian Pale Ale #2
Boil size 3 litres
500 grams of Light Dry Malt Extract
3 grams Galaxy hops at 30 mins
2 grams Galaxy hops at 15 mins
2 grams Galaxy hops at 1 min /flameout.
1 & 1/2 teaspoons if US 05 yeast.

Australian Pale Ale #2

Australian Pale Ale 2 in the carboy after one week.

As this was a small boil it was a lot easier to lower the temperature. Three trays of ice and some half frozen water went into the wort while sitting in the water bath. In less than 20 mins we were already down to 24°C and ready to pitch yeast. Last bit of water put in to get it up to four litres then given a good shake before gravity reading done. Original Gravity came in at 1.044. Airlock on, and done.

Day was a good one. Had a late start and didn’t think it would be a long one. Turns out the bulk priming and bottling took a fair bit longer than I thought. Looks like I’ll need a proper vessel for the priming when I do it again.

Really happy to finally get around to these two things. Next few brews will also be pale ales. But might need to slow down as we come into Christmas.

-Mikey

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