#Brewday – A Traditional Bitter

20160214_093206_resizedHere we are on another Sunday, another #Brewday and It’s Valentines day.

Getting motivated this morning was a bit of a struggle. I’d have been quite happy to just sit in front of the XBox all day but that would have resulted in throwing the rest of the months brewing plans out of whack.
Today’s brew is part of my kegging experiment later in the month so I felt I should really knock back a coffee, prepare the equipment and just get on with it.
I’m now right back in the swing thank Jebus!

On a recommendation from my brother over at Pyromaniakal, I thought I’d try out something a little easier for background music this week.
Blackfield is an alternative rock band that include Steven Wilson (Porcupine Tree) and a guy names Aviv Geffen. They are a collaboration band between the two that offer some really pleasant music. Catchy, easy listening with a few rockier tunes thrown in for good measure.
Starting with their 2004 album BlackField then onto their 2007 with the similarly titled Blackfield II there is plenty of variety for everyone.
Well, that is until your internet conks out and stops playing!

As usual, here is a breakdown of the recipe that I’ll be using. This is a tried and tested recipe that has gone down well with a number of friends and workmates (I’m looking at you Sam…) in it’s bottled form. My plan is to replicate the beer in it’s entirety and use a 5 litre mini-keg for the conditioning.

20160214_102249_resized920g Maris Otter malts
440g Crystal malts
18g East Kent Golding Hops
English Ale Yeast (Safale s-04)

The recipe is really simple so as keep speciality grain usage to a minimum in case things go a littler pear shaped.
We have a large quantity of the Maris Otter base malts mixed with a good quantity of Crystal malts to add plenty of colour and a caramel sweetness to the finished brew. East Kent Goldings will add a typically British aroma and flavour.

All the kit was cleaned and put in a sink of sanitiser to get things ready for fermenting.
I prepared a pan with 2.8 litres of water and brought the temperature to around 71 degrees. The grains were added and the swirled around until suitably soaked up. The colour very quickly changed to a golden brown then into rich brown colour whilst filling the kitchen with a sweet toffee fragrance.
Every ten minutes I stirred and kept at the correct temperature for an hour. With ten minutes left on the clock, I started to  heat up another 4 litres of water to around 77 degrees. The pan with the grains was brought up to 77 degrees too.

20160214_113048_resizedWith the sparging complete, I measured out the 18g of East Kent Goldings required for the boil and put the wort on a high heat to boil.
The timer was set for an hour once a rolling boil was taking place and 12g of the hops were added for bitterness. This continued until there were 15 minutes left on the timer where I added the last of the hops for the aroma.




With the boil complete, I prepared an ice bath which the pot sat in for around 20 minutes. When the temperature of the finished wort was at around 20 degrees, I was able to pass it through a filtered funnel into the demijohn.
Three quarters of the yeast was added and mixed around thoroughly into the aerated mixture. The airlock is half filled with sanitized water, a bung is attached and the demijohn is sealed ready for fermentation.

20160214_130049_resizedTomorrow, we will hopefully see some action then in a couple of weeks time I’ll run through the kegging process.

In the meantime, I’m going to spend a little time on Battlefield 4 and Halo whilst the wife finishes some assessments then we are going to enjoy a paneer curry with all the trimmings and a fine bottle of red!

UntitledUpdate 1 – 15/02/2016

From late yesterday afternoon until this morning, the yeast has had an impressive reaction on the bitter and Its still got a strong bubbling krausen this morning.
I think Its safe to say the bitter is doing well. just a week or two to go before I try the mini-keg out. Pretty excited!

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