Friday, April 11, 2008

Round 3 - ESB vs. American 2

Here is the third and final round of split batch amber ales fermented with competing yeast strains. In round 1, the beers remained somewhat understated to see how the yeast strains effect the malts. In round 2, the hops were kicked up a full ounce and the 60 minute bittering units increased about 10 points. In round 3, the beers will resemble round 2, but present a more American hop feel.

This recipe has the largest percentage of base organic 2-row pale malt at 86%. Though the base is larger, the color will be slightly darker from a very small addition of black malt. I'm hoping for a more pure malt taste with an almost sharp quality. I love using the word "accurate" to describe simple and direct flavors (mostly for hops). The way to get accuracy, is to really simplify and focus in on what makes that flavor more pronounced. I suppose many things can contribute to "sharpness" of the simple malt profile, but in this recipe, the accent malts are scaled back, the base percentage is boosted, and the black malt may provide a slight astringency (maybe like crushed black pepper on the top of tomato soup...or something like that) that further accentuates the base malt. Water conditions may also play a role in this equation.

Until now, the hops I've been playing with were blends using German, Czech and English varieties. Here I look forward to smelling and tasting some good old American hoppiness. After tasting the first round, I think the bittering units can be scaled back to a place between Round 1 & 2. Also, the hopping schedules for these are the most similar, compared to the first two rounds. Chinook is the bitter base, and Nugget Cluster is the 1 ounce foundation of aroma. Cascades are more fresh with good citrus notes going into the American 2. For the ESB, Challenger will provide a good herbal fragrance and flavor.

Pretty soon we shall see the outcome of all of this. I will be posting all the results in the Final post. Stay tuned.

13. lb. Organic 2-row Pale
1.0 lb. Crystal 80L
0.4 lb. Crystal 120L
.25 lb. Victory Malt
.25 lb. CaraPils
.20 lb. Black Patent

London ESB

.50 oz. Chinook, 12.9%, pellet, 75min+
.80 oz. Challenger, 6.3%, pellet, 15min
1.0 oz. Cluster, 7.9%, pellet, KO
.20 oz. Challenger, 6.3%, pellet, KO

American 2

.50 oz. Chinook, 12.9%, pellet, 75min
.80 oz. Cascade, 6.9%, pellet, 15min
1.0 oz. Cluster, 7.9%, pellet, KO
.20 oz. Cascade, 6.9%, pellet, KO

Brew Day Stats

Brewed: 4/11/08
Racked: just primary
Bottled: 4/20/08

Water Adjustment:
.5 tsp acid blend, .5 tsp gypsum, .5 tsp CaCl in strike water
1 tsp gypsum in 2nd sparge water

H2O/Grain Ratio: 1.3 qt/lb
Mash Ph: 5.4-5.5
Sacch. Rest Temp/Time: 154-2°F/1hr
Mash Out Temp/Time: 171°F/15min

2nd Batch Sparge Vol/Temp: 5 gal @ 182°F/173°F

Pre-Boil Vol: 5.75 gal each
Boil Time: 90+min
Post-Boil Vol: approx. 4 gallons each

Color/SRM: amber/16+
Ferment Temp: 68-72°F

OG: 1.061
IBU: 47
FG: 1.014
ABW: 4.9%
ABV: 6.1%

Amer. 2
OG: 1.061
IBU: 47
FG: 1.014
ABW: 4.9%
ABV: 6.1%

Navigate to
the other posts
in this series...

Round 1
Round 2

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