Friday, March 21, 2008

Round 1 - ESB vs. American 2

This is the first round of a number of split brew sessions. London ESB is going head-to-head with American Ale 2 to win my preference as a good pale ale yeast strain. It will be a lot of fun finding out how they perform over a few rounds. Read about the break down of this experiment here.

For the first round, the beer style and hopping is a session-like English style bitter/amber. It may be a little light on the bittering hops, but should allow the yeast's fermentation characteristics to be more noticeable. The next rounds will either be higher OG's and/or higher IBU's. Below there is a list of grains for the main mash, then separate listings of hop schedules, followed by brewday stats. Check back in about 1-1.5 months for the final results, or there may be a special post highlighting the results of all these brews.

A couple challenges added almost 2 hours to the day. The lid was on tight during the first sparge. This caused a strange vacuum, that compacted the grains and stopped the flow. We added about a gallon of the second sparge water to mix the grains, vorlaufed, and we were on track again. Then, while adding the first hop addition to the 2nd batch...American 2 ale, Matt mistakenly added the 2nd addition at the beginning. So I made an adjustment, and added only half the original 1/2 ounce of Pheonix bittering hops. Other than that, it was a good brew day, and the OG's were just a couple points above target.

11. lb. Organic 2-row Pale
1.0 lb. Victory Malt
0.8 lb. Crystal 80L
0.6 lb. Crystal 120L
0.6 lb. CaraPils

London ESB

Hops (IBU 39)
.50 oz. Pheonix, 10%, pellet, 60min
.40 oz. Kent Goldings, 6.3%, whole, 25min
.40 oz. Kent Goldings, 6.3%, whole, 12min
.20 oz. Kent Goldings, 6.3%, whole, KO

American 2

Hops (IBU 40)
.25 oz. Pheonix, 10%, pellet, 60min
.35 oz. Glacier, 6%, pellet, 60min
.10 oz. Saaz, 2.3%, pellet, 60min
.35 oz. Glacier, 6%, pellet, 25min
.10 oz. Saaz, 2.3%, pellet, 25min
.40 oz. Glacier, 6%, pellet, 12min
.10 oz. Saaz, 2.3%, pellet, 12min
.25 oz. Glacier, 6%, pellet, KO

Brew Day Stats

Brewed: 3/20/08
Racked: just primary
Bottled: 3/30/08

Water Adjustment:
.5 tsp acid blend & 2.25 tsp gypsum in strike water
2.25 tsp gypsum in 2nd sparge water

H2O/Grain Ratio: 1.3 qt/lb
Mash Ph: 5.5-5.6
Sacch. Rest Temp/Time: 154°F/1hr
Mash Out Temp/Time: 172°F/10min

2nd Batch Sparge Vol/Temp: 4-4.5gal/172°F

Pre-Boil Vol: 5 gal each
Boil Time: 60min
Post-Boil Vol: 4 gallons each
Mash Efficiency: approx. 80%

Color/SRM: pale-amber/13
Ferment Temp: 68-72°F

OG: 1.052
IBU: 39
FG: 1.015
ABW: 3.9%
ABV: 4.86%

Amer. 2
OG: 1.052
IBU: 40
FG: 1.013
ABW: 4.1%
ABV: 5.1%

Navigate to
the other posts
in this series...

Round 2
Round 3


Jason said...

Ted...Can't wait to find out how they come out. I'm thinking I might steal/borrow your idea and do a session like this myself.

Ted Danyluk said...

Thanks jason,

Go for it. Running a split batch is really a great way to go. Get more experiments in one brewday. Explore yeast strains, or hopping rates, or what ever.

These beers should be interesting. As they have fermented, I've noticed they may be a bit too light with bittering hops, so make sure to add enough. I may have needed to add another 1/3-1/2 to the amount in the recipe. The next round will be different.

Adam said...

What a great way to control the variables. I am really interested to see how it turns out. Thanks!