Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Session Beer Series: Best Bitter 2011

This is a style I have been brewing consistently over the last few years. I am determined to get a beer that is worthy of the fine casks ales of the UK.

2009 Recipe - Session Beer Series: Best Bitter (Haus Ale)
2010 Recipe - Session Beer Series: The Best Bitter

I did not make any big changes, but a few slight adjustments:
  • Kept the Biscuit (or Victory) Malt because I like the big cracker taste it gives. It really adds to the fresh bread taste of Maris Otter.
  • Bumped up the Special Roast to 7% and split the Crystal 120 into UK Crystal ~70L and UK Crystal ~135L. 
  • Used Horizon hops for my main bittering hop to help decrease the amount of hop matter in the boil and hopefully give a more neutral bitterness
  • 10 gal batch to split wort on 2 different yeast strains
I was excited to try 2 different yeast strains for this Best Bitter. I used WLP 002 because this strain is fantastic. Plus this will allow good comparison to previous batches and contrast with my other new yeast. Much deliberation went into the other yeast selection. But I finally decided on the Wyeast Private Collection: Wyeast 1469-PC West Yorkshire Ale Yeast. It sounds like a well endorsed yeast and works very well for top-cropping (which I'm planning on doing since it will be fermented in a 5 gal keg).

Recipe: The Best Bitter 2011
O.G.-1.045      F.G.-1.012      IBU-30
SRM-11         ABV-4.3%     10 Gallons

Grain Bill (75% Efficiency):
12 lb Maris Otter (83%)
1 lb Biscuit (7%)
1 lb Special Roast (7%)
4 oz UK Crystal ~77L (2%)
4 oz  UK Crystal ~135L (2%)

1 oz Horizon, 9.1%, pellet, 60 min 22.7 IBU
1 oz EK Goldings, 5%, pellet, 20 min 4.2 IBU
.5 oz EK Goldings, 5%, pellet, 0 min 1 IBU
.5 oz Horizon, 9.1%, pellet, 0 min 1.9 IBU
.5 oz EK Goldings, 5%, pellet, Dry Hop in each keg
(extra 1 oz Citra, whole leaf, Dry Hop in 2.5 gal of WY1469 keg)

1 vial of White Labs 002 - no starter
1 vial of  Wyeast 1469-PC West Yorkshire Ale Yeast - no starter

San Diego (Alvarado) Tap Water
2 campden tablet for 10 gal.

Mash Details:
H2O/Grain Ratio: 1qt/lb
Mash Volume: 3.5 gal
Sacc Rest. Temp/Time: 154F @ 60min
Strike Temp: 167
Batch Sparge Volume: 10 gal
Sparge Temp/Time: 170F

Boil Details:
Boil Volume: 11 gal
Boil Time: 60min
Post Boil Volume: 10 gal

Ferment Details:
O.G.: 1.045
Ferment Temp: 66-68F
Length: 10 days
F.G.: 1.012

Stay tuned for the side by side tasting.

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