Your favourite AK recipe?

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Miraculix

Miraculix

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I would do a light touch on the dry hop in line with standard English practice.

Regardless, should be tasty.
I agree.

What's that in numbers? 1g/l? Or even below?

Btw. the OG came out at 1.042.

The homemade invert is so nice, I can't believe it. Just throw your sugar, a bit of water and a dash of lemon juice into a pot and let it simmer. Let it get really thick for some time, this is when the magic starts to happen. The lemon smell will completely diesappear and the smell and colour will start to change. From light and sweet to golden and caramelly/cotton candy like to darker tones. This takes about 45 minutes to one hour and can be easily done on the side when boiling the wort.

Add some water from time to time and be careful not to scorch it. But also not too little heat, it needs some heat for the mailard reaction. And use raw cane sugar! Not the white one, but also not the completely dark one. The one which just has been centrifuged works best. It has a light brown-ish, golden colour.

Be careful when adding water and before you throw it into the wort, add some more water to get it really liquid, otherwise it won't mix well with the wort and screw your readings.
 
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cyberbackpacker

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As kmark says, typical dry hopping rates should more in line towards .25 g/l to 1g/l at the high end-- again, this is as you say not a "modern hop bomb". Restraint is good.
 

cyberbackpacker

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I guess I'll use about 10g, which translates to about 0.7g per litre.
I think that is a good place to start-- you can always adjust in subsequent batches. I find the lower dry hopping rates are really critical in keeping the balance and moreish quality of a great bitter (or AK)
 
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I think that is a good place to start-- you can always adjust in subsequent batches. I find the lower dry hopping rates are really critical in keeping the balance and moreish quality of a great bitter (or AK)
I agree. My best bitter so far wasn't dry hopped at all.
 

Northern_Brewer

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I agree. My best bitter so far wasn't dry hopped at all.
There's very few British-style beers that aren't improved with some Goldings as a dry hop IMO - even better if they're green hops, but I know how privileged I am to be able to say that...
 
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There's very few British-style beers that aren't improved with some Goldings as a dry hop IMO - even better if they're green hops, but I know how privileged I am to be able to say that...
That is probably true, but first, you need to have some Golding's for that :D
 
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Btw. I am waiting since beginning of February for my parcel from maltmiller.... Brexit really destroyed DHL. The parcel is already in Germany, but doesn't move. Together with other parcels, going as far back as January.

This parcel includes two packs of Golding's.
 

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Checked Ron Pattinson's blog as I do every Wednesday for his weekly recipe post and found this AK from his 1878 records...
 
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Checked Ron Pattinson's blog as I do every Wednesday for his weekly recipe post and found this AK from his 1878 records...
Wow! 30% invert! This must bring the amount of actual fermentables close to 50% simple sugars.

And also, no corn! .... 79 ibus?!

A truly interesting one, and really simple as well.


And as a side note, I just have received the import tax bill for the malt I ordered in February and have not yet received.

About 40 euros taxes for 65 euros worth of malt and hops and yeast.

Lovely. Not that DHL only keeps my parcel now for over a month (poor Imperial pub yeast), no, they also managed to calculate the taxes wrong.

At least the guy on the telephone admitted the mistake promptly. I still have to pay if I want my parcel... But will be able to claim it back. Theoretically :D
 
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D.B.Moody

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FWIW: McMullen AK has been brewed since 1833. They describe it as using pale, crystal, and chocolate malts and Whitbread Goldings hops. Dark amber & 3.7%.
AK.png
 
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Northern_Brewer

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You can bet the farm and your first born that what they list on the label today is nowhere near what it was in 1833.
Not least because WGV was not released for planting until 1953.

It's cute that it still exists, but in reality it's a fairly meh bitter.

Btw. I am waiting since beginning of February for my parcel from maltmiller.... Brexit really destroyed DHL. The parcel is already in Germany, but doesn't move. Together with other parcels, going as far back as January.
That sucks. January was a complete disaster, but things seem to have got a lot less-bad from about mid-Feb (although we still have the taxes to pay, it's obviously been a big topic of discussion on the British forums not least because people have got used to buying from Irish retailers, north and south of the border)
 
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Bottled it today, after 8 days in the fermenter, maaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaan this one tastes alllready good.

Last time I wanted to finish the hydrometer sample before reading it was with miraculix best. This one tastes so freaking british, I taste it and it tastes like a nice bitter straight from the tap in a British pub. One of these small countryside pubs with these local best bitters there which are always a bit of a gamble because you know none of them but some of them are usually pretty good.

The yeast is really nice, easily my new favourite dry yeast and definitely the best english dry yeast out there.

FG came out at 1.01, which looks good to me. Only thing is, I am a bit scared that it mind climb down another one or two points... welll.... we will see. I targeted a carbonation of around 1.6 volumes anyway, so there is a bit of room for it.
 

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Another AK from Ron Pattinson today. A Boddington recipe from 1901.

 
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Another AK from Ron Pattinson today. A Boddington recipe from 1901.

Pretty much what I brewed, just with corn. Sounds good!
 

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Hmmm, seems like the pre-1920 AK's are English pale base malt, maybe European malt, invert and hoppy (by the standards of that age).

Somewhere around 1920, it shifted to English pale base malt, 6-row, corn, maybe invert and hoppy.

Me, I like the blend of English base, 6-row graininess, corn sweetness and the hop factor. Anyhoo, interesting to see Ron digging thru his treasure chest. (Again, if you like Shut up, the least you can do is buy a book or get one of his birthday recipes.)
 
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Right.... I am literally just having the first of my AKs. And I must say, booooy this beer is BITTER.

Jever is almost bland against this one. The beer will need time. It is already drinkable (5 days after fermentation.. already fully carbonated and with a good head!) but the flavour just needs to melt and soften a bit. It is just too rough around the edges, this will be good in a month or two. Otherwise, really good flavour, I am still impressed by the verdant IPA dry yeast. My new favourite dry yeast. True English flavour with a dry yeast, incredible!

The hop bitterness really has to smooth out a bit for my liking, this is a bit too much (hardcore hop heads won't mind). As there is a debate about what AK stands for, I would be on the side of "Keeping Ale", as the IBUs are that high, this beer starts tasting good after a few months of storage, I assume so "Keeping Ale" certainly would make sense. Adding one constantly drunk guy labeling the barrels and ka ka ka ka... kk aa... ak ak ak ak ak...... there you go, ak.
 
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A few days longer in the bottle and it is just bloody delicious. Easily my second best beer so far, only beaten by mit bitter with pub :)

Maybe you also just have to drink it at room temperature. It is just thaaaaat good.
 

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British ales are all about the yeast! Right yeast, great ale?
I've used 002 a bunch of times, but I'm changing things up. I'm going to try WLP066, which seems to be the White Labs' answer to WY1318.
 
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I've used 002 a bunch of times, but I'm changing things up. I'm going to try WLP066, which seems to be the White Labs' answer to WY1318.
Do yourself a favour and give verdant IPA a try. It's brilliant!
 

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Here's one with the expected corn adjunct along with a little historical background.

 

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I've been thinking about these early AKs without any corn to balance the high hop rate.

In the 1890s they would've been using a malt such as Chevalier, yes? As described earlier in the thread, Chevalier carries with it a sweet goodness that negates a need for a crystal addition. Are these old AKs counting on that sweetness in the old pale malt?

Kind of like American Southern cornbread. My mother-in-law forswears any and all sugar in hers. My wife will add a tablespoon to appease my Yankee sensibilities. That's when she uses standard box store cornmeal. When she uses a really good heritage meal, no sugar needed. The heritage corn brings a sweetness and fullness of flavor all by itself. My MIL's old family recipe likely used a sweeter corn variety a few generations back. Using the same recipe with modern commodity cornmeal makes a rather bland cornbread. But please, please, don't tell her that.

I'm thinking today's Shut Up offering is just begging for Pub and Chevalier.
Let's Brew - 1887 Fullers AK
 
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I've been thinking about these early AKs without any corn to balance the high hop rate.

In the 1890s they would've been using a malt such as Chevalier, yes? As described earlier in the thread, Chevalier carries with it a sweet goodness that negates a need for a crystal addition. Are these old AKs counting on that sweetness in the old pale malt?

Kind of like American Southern cornbread. My mother-in-law forswears any and all sugar in hers. My wife will add a tablespoon to appease my Yankee sensibilities. That's when she uses standard box store cornmeal. When she uses a really good heritage meal, no sugar needed. The heritage corn brings a sweetness and fullness of flavor all by itself. My MIL's old family recipe likely used a sweeter corn variety a few generations back. Using the same recipe with modern commodity cornmeal makes a rather bland cornbread. But please, please, don't tell her that.

I'm thinking today's Shut Up offering is just begging for Pub and Chevalier.
Let's Brew - 1887 Fullers AK
I don't think that it works like this. In my experience, Chevalier provides additional flavour without any additional sweetness. I also don't really taste any sweetness from the corn to be honest, maybe it's the same effect that you were talking about, maybe it's just the wrong kind of corn?

My personal idea (which might be bs) is that aks were kept for a long time, before being drunk. This would smooth out the high hop rate. Also, the hops back then probably lost already a high percentage of their alpha acids due to natural level decrease without refrigeration or vacuum sealing. So I think the Ibus were lower and the storage time smoothed it out additionally.

Nowadays people are so used to real hop bombs, that they actually tolerate higher ibus. This all might play a role.
 
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DBhomebrew

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I don't think that it works like this. In my experience, Chevalier provides additional flavour without any additional sweetness. I also don't really taste any sweetness from the corn to be honest, maybe it's the same effect that you were talking about, maybe it's just the wrong kind of corn?

My personal idea (which might be bs) is that aks were kept for a long time, before being drunk. This would smooth out the high hop rate. Also, the hops back then probably lost already a high percentage of their alpha acids due to natural level decrease without refrigeration or vacuum sealing. So I think the Ibus were lower and the storage time smoothed it out additionally.

Nowadays people are so used to real hop bombs, that they actually tolerate higher ibus. This all night play a role.
So many intangibles.

On another front, just saw this pop up on homebrewfinds.com


There's a local seed-to-bottle distillery making whiskies with heirloom varieties including bloody butcher. Damned tasty.
 

kevin58

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My personal idea (which might be bs) is that aks were kept for a long time, before being drunk.
They were at least kept but I don't know for how long. The meaning of the AK designation, mention of its aging, strength and hopping rate are in this article...

 
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So many intangibles.

On another front, just saw this pop up on homebrewfinds.com


There's a local seed-to-bottle distillery making whiskies with heirloom varieties including bloody butcher. Damned tasty.
Hmmm... I can get that locally!


Maybe I'll make my first AK all retro fancy with it.

Malted corn (crushed) can just go in the mash with everything else, right?
 

ba-brewer

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Flaked corn can be mashed at malted barley temps because it was sort of cooked and pregelatinized during the rolling process, but it seem like malted corn might need a higher mash rest to get all of the starches to gelatinized.
 

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Some quick searching gave very little info on malted corn for brewing.

I could mash in hot with the malted corn only, let it sit a while and cool, then add the rest of my grain.

I've emailed Haus malts about theirs.
 

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They got back to me already (after 10PM on a Saturday is some commitment!) I've tried sacks of their Vienna and Munich barley and they taste great. Looks like I'll be getting malted heirloom corn (but probably only 5 or 10 pounds) at some point here too.

It sounds like the answer is... sorta :D

I think I'm going to mash in hot with only the corn when I do this, then add the rest of the grains later when it cools to regular mash in temp.

Haus Malts said:
Hi Marc,

Great question! Malting does convert some of the starches to sugar, it does not convert all of them. The remaining starches are not changed and need to be cereal mashed to gelatinize for fast conversion. During a regular mash, with malted barley, the malted corn would eventually convert. Malted corn has low enzyme content so no enzyme loss by gelatinzing it.

We also sell raw hammermilled grain (including corn) if you are interested. Price is $0.45/lb for corn, $0.50/lb for rye and wheat.

Cheers,
Andrew
 

ba-brewer

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They got back to me already (after 10PM on a Saturday is some commitment!) I've tried sacks of their Vienna and Munich barley and they taste great. Looks like I'll be getting malted heirloom corn (but probably only 5 or 10 pounds) at some point here too.

It sounds like the answer is... sorta :D

I think I'm going to mash in hot with only the corn when I do this, then add the rest of the grains later when it cools to regular mash in temp.
I grew some glass corn (Native american heritage corn)in my yard and used it raw(unmalted) in a cream ale. I did a modified cereal mash, mashed in just the corn at 170 then added some malted barley when it cooled to 160 and allow that to drop down to 150 over 40min when it was all pretty much converted. That stuff went into the mash with the remaining barley malt. No boiling just some extra time and extra dirty pot.
 

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Apparently Ron doesn't use auto correct or proof read before hitting the send button...

 
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Apparently Ron doesn't use auto correct or proof read before hitting the send button...

:D :D :D
 
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I grew some glass corn (Native american heritage corn)in my yard and used it raw(unmalted) in a cream ale. I did a modified cereal mash, mashed in just the corn at 170 then added some malted barley when it cooled to 160 and allow that to drop down to 150 over 40min when it was all pretty much converted. That stuff went into the mash with the remaining barley malt. No boiling just some extra time and extra dirty pot.
And on the technical side... Wow. Up to more then 30% sugar, averaging at whooping 20%. That's a lot.
 
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