SUBP Let's Brew Wednesday thread
Are there any fans of Ron Pattinson's beer history blog http://barclayperkins.blogspot.ca and the "Let's Brew Wednesday" recipes?
I've brewed a few of the recipes and I often have questions but unless you jump on a post when its still new, any discussion quickly fizzles out so I thought I'd start this thread.
What recipes have you brewed?
So far I've brewed:
-was alright but nothing great. used wy1469 which I didn't like and resolved to use wy1968 on all future English beers.
-overshot OG and finished low, almost an entire percent abv too strong. Amazing summer session beer
-brewed last Easter weekend, came in high at 1.102, fermented with nottingham. I bottled half with bret C. Opened a bottle of each at xmas, promising (especially the bret infected) but still too young
-turned out really really nice despite finishing a little too dry. I used a couple oz of carafa sp 2 in place of the caramel colourant.
-I mashed a little hotter and tried to make my own caramel colourant. fermentation issues and finished high.
-Brewed on Saturday and kegged tonight. I had some mild malt and wanted to brew something from WW2 (the url is a mistype of 1943). Gravity sample was yummy!
Considering the 1848 Imperial Brown Stout from Ron's Porter! book or something from the IPA book
...here is the full list of "Let's Brew" recipes
These are on my brew to do list. Thanks for the thread and the easy to access Let's brew blog listing.
How did the Lees Mild turn out? I thought that looked a cracking recipe with all the coloured malts.
Mild's are hard style, it seems easy to do an "ok" mild but something magical has to happen in the fermentation for it to be great and I'm not able to consistently reproduce that. The ELM mild had it and was fantastic but the Lees Mild was just alright. I think its a good recipe and any shortcomings in the brew were my own fault. I tried to mash a little warmer to hit the finishing gravity but that combined with the first pitch of wy1469 west yorkshire (i'm not a big fan of the style of fruitiness it puts out) and it finished at 1.015 - too chewy for a session beer. I drank about about 2/3rds of the keg and then soured the rest with roeselare dregs which turned out awesome :) One of my friends brewed it using wy1318 and homemade invert (i used golden syrup). His turned out better but it was one of his early attempts at cask conditioning and wasn't "magical" either. I'll ask him to post to this thread. He has brewed a lot of your recipes (recently ive had his fuller's OBE, youngers xxps, BP EI porter)
I've also brewed a few things inspired by your blog:
I did what started as a 100% modern brown malt mash and I added pale malt until it converted. I wanted something as close to 100% brown as possible but it ended up being 1.060 and approximately 60% brown, 40% pale. Its got a grape kinda fruitiness. Its sitting on bret C with hopes it will age into something cool.
I also did the 1883 guinness that was done on the brewing TV stout episode but I used mfb sp aromatic for the amber malt (as recommended by kristen as a sub for historic diastatic amber malt) and cut the black malt with 50% chocolate malt. Its sitting on bret C until st. patricks day.
...and caramel colourant? It must have added some flavour to the beer or why would they add it to some of the porters that were already dark? I've tried making it but its scary and I didn't like the flavour (a chemical burnt odour and taste), I've tried using small amounts of carafa special but it definitely affects the flavour. I haven't been able to get any of the commercial stuff but is modern caramel the same as what they were using 50+ years ago?
I've made a bunch of the Let's Brew beers... porters, milds, stouts, although I've been dreaming of one day brewing that 1914 Courage RIS... and the Youngers No 1.
I was all set and ready to brew a 3 gallon batch of the RIS, until it occurred to me that a batch that small would require water as hard as diamonds for proper PH, considering the huge amount of dark grains. Even if I used my tap water undiluted, I would still have a mash ph of around 4.6! Crazy stuff.
Don't tell anyone, but I've been sneaking the odd half-pint of Ron's East India Porter. And for having only been in the keg for a month, it tastes amazing. I even caught my friends trying to sneak pints of the stuff.
Rereading that post brought back the horror of that brew day. That was the biggest beer I'd ever brewed. I've since worked out a better system for doing huge beers by splitting the mash in half, BIAB with a thick mash in the kettle and then running in the 1st runnings of the other half. It worked really well for a 5gal 1.095 baltic porter - very quick to lauter, overshot the OG and didn't blow out the mashtun. ...the only thing i really need to work out is a better system for milling grain - hand cranking through anything more than 12 lbs is murder.
I have a lot of these on my "want to brew list".
I did 1952 Lee's best Mild. As gbx posted, "was alright but nothing great".
A lot of these recipes call for really thick mashes, long boil times, and monitoring the gravity, and cold crashing to stop fermentation.
How close do you stick to those procedures when doing thee recipes?
Another question, when they call for 1lb of invert sugar, do you use a pound of sugar to make the invert and then add whatever volume of syrup you end up with? Or do make the syrup and the add 1 lb of that?
I am brewing a modified version of the 1843 Whitbread Oat Mild on Monday.
Here is what I came up with, it is quite a bit different from the original.
I try to get the grist and hops as close as possible but as the goal is to still make a drinkable product, I generally don't adjust my process. I do the long boil times, I don't do the mashes. I even no sparged BIABed the 1943 Oat Mild.
I try to hit the OG and FG but I usually go over. On the micro-mashes like the oat mild, even no sparging I over shot the expected of 1.028 by 4pts. On the RIS, I ended up boiling off more than I anticipated but I got the right high level of attenuation by mashing low and pitching 3 packs of nottingham.
On the low attenuators, i haven't had any success hitting the FG that resulted in a decent beer. I've been using wy1968 because I like the flavour profile and its a relatively low attenuator but it still blows past the high FGs. Any I've cold crashed could be used as an example of diacetyl and acetaldhyde in a seibel off flavours kit.
I've had the same questions about homemade invert sugar and didn't get an answers. Lately if the recipe calls for 1lb of invert, I use 1lb of raw sugar to make it and add the entire volume of finished invert. What do other people do? And the clear invert that can be purchased at wine making stores? Has anyone had any success by adding black strap to get the right colour?
As per the invert syrup, I've done it both ways. Made the invert from the 1lb of sugar and added everything and weighed out the final product and added it like that. It doesn't seem to make much of a difference and now I generally just make up a large batch of the stuff and add it by the lb to the beer.
Also, while I've not tried adding blackstrap to "wine-store" clear invert, I will say that diluting your sugar solution with molasses does not give the same flavor as starting with a pure sugar and reducing it slowly over time. They are completely different in flavor, although similar in color. I know the dilution method saves time and is probably 'close enough' for most people - I recently made some No.3 with this method - but the dilution method retains some of its molasses character and doesn't develop the same intensity of porty/cocao/liquorice flavors as the pure sugar stuff. Does it really matter? Probably no...
Lastly, I'm very surprised to see your data about brewing the 1914 with such soft water. I've been using a lab grade PH meter for my adjustments (actually, WAS, since I had to give the meter back to the lab I "borrowed" it from. :D) and found that my PH was dropping very low when I tried brewing small batch, high gravity beers that contained lots of dark malts. Even with my water bicarb at 360 (!), with some of these beers containing 30% roasted malts, the mash PH was venturing close to 4.8-5.0. I now use a middle of the road PH meter and Bru'N Water and have found the estimated PH numbers to be pretty close... usually no more than 1/2 point off. However, his acid malt usage estimate has not been accurate.
The whole water adjustment thing is sort of a moot point for most brewers, I'm not nearly as OCD about it as I used to be, although I do brew from RO water and adjust for certain sulfate and chloride levels; it seems to make a difference in the final beer. Most breweries around me brew with very soft water and don't make any adjustment what so ever, and they make 'decent' enough beer. Although there is an equal number of breweries making beer from super hard water and wondering why they have problems.
Also, about the Lets Brew recipes, I rarely do the complex step mashes and all that but I do the long boils. I have plans to make the Youngers No. 1, though I'll be needing a new mash tun for that.
I made the 1914 Courage. The only change I made to my water was to add about 1g of baking soda per drinkable gallon, an idea I got from http://www.themadfermentationist.com/2007/11/courage-russian-imperial-stout.html. It was fantastic at a mere 2 months, rivalling any well-rated commercial Imperial Stout. I knew I should have brewed a bigger batch. I definitely have plans for the 1987 Oldham Mild from the OP, as well as these:
the 1948 Royal Soldier http://barclayperkins.blogspot.com/2012/06/lets-brew-wednesday-1948-portsmouth-and.html
the 1859 East India Porter bierhaus mentioned http://barclayperkins.blogspot.com/2012/11/lets-brew-special-1859-barclay-perkins.html
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