All Grain Number 3: Summer Scintillant

July 15, 2010

The plan here was to make a keg of hoppy summer ale for a forthcoming BBQ. What was intended as a chilled out, day-off work brew day turned into one disaster after another, hence me gving up taking photos half way through. Anyway, here’s the recipe:

3400g Pale Malt
337g Wheat Malt
100g Rye Malt
154g Crystal 120
27g Aromatic Malt

Pacific Gem @ 60 mins 12g
Challenger @ 15 mins 31g
East Kent Goldings @ 5 mins 15g
Homegrown First Gold @ 5 mins 15g
Fuggles @ 0 mins 20g
Homegrown First Gold @ 0 mins 20g

1 sachet Nottingham Yeast

Pre-boil Volume: 30 Litres
Final Volume: 21 Litres
Original Gravity: 1043
Final Gravity: 1010
Alcohol Content: 4.2% ABV
Bitterness: 34 IBU?

Due to the whopping 30% evaporation loss induced by my Burco I recovered two 10 litre batch sparges and topped up the kettle with the remaining 10 litres of water. This pushed both my wee mash tun and boiler to the limit! All was going well from a brewday point of view until I got a phone call from the personnel department of my employer informing me that both my wife and I will be made redundant at the end of the year. A bit of a shock really! Perhaps a career change will be in order… but what about the mortgage…?

Anyway, carrying on regardless I’ve now started doing the boil in my shed to stop the house stinking like a brewery and the cooling next to the outside tap. This does involve carrying a 21 litres of boiling hot wort from the shed to the tap but nevermind! With the immersion chiller in and running I put the lid on the burco and, as it was an extremely windy day, I put a house brick on the lid to stop it blowing off. I then returned indoors for a cup of tea and to consider my options with the wife post-redundancy.
After a half hour or so I then heard a metallic “clunk!” from outside. On investigating I found the burco lid on the patio and the brick disappeared. Hmmm. Where is the brick… As Sherlock Holmes said “when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth”. The answer, my dear Watson, is that I found it submerged in the 27 degrees wort. Along with a broken glass thermometer and a dead wasp. Oh dear.
I also planned on using some captured Worthington White Shield yeast for this brew but I had a taste of the starter wort and there was a definite sour edge to it. So in the bin in went & a sachet of Notty was brought from the freezer.
After aerating it and pitching the yeast I was glad to get the day over and have a few bottles of my previous brew. It’s fermented out and thus far no signs of infection. Hopefully it’ll be polished off quickly at the BBQ before anything develops.


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