Thursday, July 17, 2008

Making Progress

Since I hadn't got around to packing away my brewing equipment and having shaved over an hour off my brew day thanks to a few tweaks, I decided to put an English pale ale together today. I have brewed quite few aggressively hopped American pale ales and find that American aroma hops are very well suited to liberal dosing, but I have never attempted the same thing with English hops, fearing that it just wouldn't work out. This brew was an attempt to see if English hops can be used in almost the same quantities with good results:

4.60 kg Maris Otter
200g 75L Crystal

36g Target @ 60 minutes
16g First Gold @ 20 minutes
12g Progress @10 minutes
12g First Gold @ 5 minutes
12g Progress @ 0 minutes

Mashed at 66 C

Anticipated IBU 40

OG 11 Plato

Gervin English Ale Yeast

I am not familiar with Progress and don't know what exactly it will bring to the beer, but part of the idea of these fairly aggressively hopped ales is to decipher the specific flavour profile of certain hops and discern how they might best be used. I have used First Gold before and don't consider it that special, but it has further interest to me because it is a dwarf variety and therefore much more amenable to growth in my back garden because it will only grow to 2 or 3 metres compared to traditional hops that grow to twice that and require extensive rigging. I have a spot in mind, a sunny corner that gets quite toasty warm when the sun bothers to come out from behind the permanent carpet of cloud that cover this small country. It would have to be a long term plan because little can be expected until at least two years into cultivation, and the yield would be little even after the plant had matured. I wonder what kind of barley yield I'd get from my back garden....

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