Adventures in Homebrew: British-ish Bitter
by Kevin – Beer and Coding in Eugene
While on vacation, two oh-so-long weeks ago, my brother came over and helped me brew a Bitter, my second session beer using Wyeast’s 1469 West Yorkshire (Timothy Taylor) strain. The recipe was going to be a straightforward English-style Bitter, but after smelling some of the 2010 harvest Amarillo hops, I couldn’t help but work them in. Besides, aren’t citrusy American hops the big thing in Britain right now?
Batch Size: 5.0 gallons
Boil Volume: 6.5 gallons
7 lb Thomas Fawcett Maris Otter (80%)
14 oz Demerara Sugar (10%)
8 oz British Crystal 50-60 (5.7%)
6 oz Wheat Malt (4.3%)
1.0 oz Goldings (4.5 AA%) @ 60
0.5 oz Goldings (4.5 AA%) @ 15
0.5 oz Amarillo (11.2 AA%) @ 15
0.5 oz Goldings (4.5 AA%) @ Flame Out, steeped for 20 minutes
0.5 oz Amarillo (11.2 AA%) @ Flame Out, steeped for 20 minutes
1.0 oz Amarillo (11.2 AA%) @ Dry hopped for 7 days
1 qt starter of Wyeast 1469 – West Yorkshire (Timothy Taylor)
Estimated Efficiency: 68%
Estimated Attenuation 75%
Estimated OG: 1.046
Estimated FG: 1.012
Estimated ABV: 4.4%
Estimated IBU: 35
Estimated SRM: 7
Mash @ 152º(F) for 1 hour
Ferment @ 68º(F)
This was the first brew session using both my new outdoor propane setup and my new wort chiller. This new setup cut in half the time it took to heat my mash and sparge water. It also brought the wort to a boil much quicker. The wort chiller, 25′ of ½” copper, was able to bring my wort from a boil to 180º(F) in under a minute. After allowing my flameout hops to steep, it took another 3-4 minutes to get the wort down to 70º(F). It was a good thing I had another set of hand helping me out, as the rhythm I have developed over many brew sessions was completely destroyed by my new efficiency. All afternoon it felt like I was playing catch up.
It was pretty windy during the brew session, so I lost a little more volume to evaporation than usual. I ended up collecting 4.75 gallons of 1.048 wort. The 1 quart starter went to work immediately and the beer was down to 1.012 after just 3 days. I let the beer sit a full two weeks in primary, the gravity stabilizing at 1.008. What was supposed to be a 4.4% session brew, ended up around 5.2%. Wyeast lists the attenuation range of the West Yorkshire yeast as 67-71%, but both times I have worked with it, it has pushed 80%. Luckily, this particular strain does a great job of giving the impression of a full-bodied beer, despite a low finishing gravity.
The beer was racked to secondary and dry hopped this evening, the yeast cake saved for a British Brown scheduled for later this week. Now I just need to come up with another 50 or so clean bottles by next week. Time to start drinking…or finally step up and start kegging.