Friday, March 5, 2010

Session Beer Series: Best Bitter (Haus Ale)

I have two friends that recently bought condos and are both having house warming parties in the near future. I wanted to help them celebrate so I thought I would bring a small (2.5g) keg of my beer to their parties. I was really struggling with what type of beer is the best for this type of situation. For this type of thing, I asked the wife because she isn't as "geeked out" (her words) as I am about beer. She suggested something light to appeal to more people. Well personally my taste is toward the malty and sweet and I like to brew beers that I like. Also most light beers are lagers but I don't have the capabilities (yet, stay tuned) or the time. Consequently, I had just kegged the JZ Ordinary Bitter so I had her taste it. She said, "sure".

I also like the opportunity to refine my last recipe. A Best Bitter is basically just a slightly scaled up Ordinary Bitter. In my Ordinary Bitter I enjoyed the hops/malt balance and flavor. But I do think that the beer could use more hop flavor and aroma. So for the Best Bitter I will adding a higher percentage of the IBUs at the end of the boil and dry hop in the keg (OB-Flavor(11%), Aroma(8%), BB-Flavor(24%), Aroma(4% + dry hop). By dry hopping in the keg I can keep tasting to know in the future when this beer will be at its prime.

Recipe: Haus Ale: Best Bitter (5 gal batch)
O.G.-1.044   F.G.-1.012   IBU-28  
SRM-12   ABV-4.12%  

Grain Bill (75% Efficiency):
7.25 lb Maris Otter (88.5%)
10 oz Crystal 120L (7.6%)
5 oz Special Roast (3.9%)

.75 oz East Kent Goldings, 5%, pellet, 90 min 20 IBU (72%)
.75 oz East Kent Goldings, 5%, pellet, 20 min 6.6 IBU (24%)
.25 oz East Kent Goldings, 5%, pellet, 1 min 1.2 IBU (4%)
.25 oz East Kent Goldings, 5%, pellet, Dry Hop in Keg

150 ml of White Labs WLP002
Fourth pitch, pitch amount calc'd @ Mr.Malty

Brew Day:
Brewed: 03/07/10
Kegged: 03/17/10

San Diego (Alvarado) Tap Water
1.5 campden tablet for 8 gal.

Mash Details:
H2O/Grain Ratio: 1.25 qt/lb
Mash Volume: 2.5 gal
Sacc Rest. Temp/Time: 152F @ 60min
Strike Temp: 167
Batch Sparge Volume: 5.5 gal
Sparge Temp/Time: 170F @ 30min

Boil Details:
Boil Volume: 6.5 gal
Pre Boil O.G.: TBD
Boil Time: 90min
Post Boil Volume: 5 gal

Ferment Details:
O.G.: 1.044
Ferment Temp: 64-68F
Length: 7 days
F.G.: 1.012
App Attenuation: 72%

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