AG #07 – Pulsar: Amarillo

I brewed again last weekend, it wasn’t such a snap decision as the last two (AG #05 and AG #06), as I knew I had to brew to ensure that I stick to the schedule prior to going on holiday next month. I started brewing slightly earlier than last time, but it still interfered with dinner and bedtime for the kids. I think that if I’m going to brew at the weekend, I need to start first thing in the morning, I might try it next time out to see how we get on.

I’ve wanted to brew some single hop beers for ages and since I bought 500g of Amarillo from @pdtnc, I decided to start with some of those. Also, as it was a really nice day, I decided to brew outside, rather than in the shed, mainly to avoid all the condensation dripping from the shed ceiling. Here’s the recipe:

Fermentable Colour Grams Ratio
Wayermann Pilsner Malt 4 EBC 2936 grams 95%
Wayermann CARAPILS EBC 154 grams 5%
Kettle Hop Variety Type Alpha Time grams IBU Ratio
2012 Amarillo Whole 10.9% 60 23 100%
Other Hop Variety Type Alpha Time grams
2012 Amarillo Whole 10.9% flame out steep 50g
2012 Amarillo Whole 10.9% days 5 to 9 77g
  Expected Actual
Volume (in FV) 19 litres 20.1 litres
Mash 90 mins at 67°C 105 mins at 66°C
Original gravity 1.035 1.033 (8.25 Brix)
Terminal gravity 1.006 1.004 (3.8 Brix)
Attenuation 81% 87%
ABV 3.75% 3.73%
GU/BU ratio 1 1.06
Yeast: Safale US-05
Brew fridge: 19°C ±1°C, with 2°C ±1°C for final two days before bottling

I was aiming for something really pale and quite neutral in malt flavour, so that the hops could really shine, hence going for the Pilsner and CARAPILS combination. As I was aiming for a relatively low gravity, I tried to mash in at 67°C, but I missed by a degree, even with adding some water from a freshly boiled kettle. I’m not too bothered about missing it, as I’m sure 66°C will produce an acceptable result. I think the reason that I couldn’t quite hit 67°C, was due to brewing outside, with the wind just sucking all the heat out of the mash tun. To be honest, I’m not totally sold with brewing outside, I like being in my shed, so it’s probably time to seriously think about a DIY extractor system.

The boil was pretty uneventful, as I spent most of it in the kitchen making Macaroni Cheese for everyone’s dinner. I say it was uneventful, but when I went out to add the half Protofloc tablet with fifteen minutes to go, it was more like a simmer, than a boil. So I whacked the heat up a bit, but with the amount of break material floating around, I don’t think it’ll be an issue. Having said that, it did mean that I didn’t get the anticipated boil off, so ended up with slightly too much wort, at slightly too low a gravity.

Fermentation kicked in pretty quickly and was underway before I turned in for the night. I checked up on it on both Tuesday and Wednesday mornings before going to work and it was fairly making the airlock bubble on both occasions. Last night I took another gravity reading and then dry hopped it with what seemed like a mountain of hops. All this means that I should be on course for bottling it next Tuesday, which is a bit of a bugger as that’s normally my gym night. Given that, I might wait till Wednesday, depends on the weather…

Update: 11th July 2013
Last night I got round to bottling this batch up. I was hoping to use some 660ml bottles, but I didn’t manage to de-label enough of them in time, so ended up just using some 500ml ones. To mitigate the issues I’ve had with the last couple of brews, I ziptied a bit of muslin around the end of the syphon tubing, to stop bits of hop from blocking it. This worked a treat, although the transfer to the bottling bucket still wasn’t as fast as I’d have liked. I think I need to find a better clip and get hold of some wider bore tubing.

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