Brew # 10 - Balter XPA Clone Mk II

This was a cracking beer last time, so I'm trying again with extra dextrose for a bit more punch

Brew # 10 - Balter XPA Clone Mk II

Ingredients

  • Morgan's Pacific Pale Ale kit (1.7kg)
  • 1.5kg Morgan's Master Malt Extra Pale Liquid Malt Extract
  • 250g Dextrose
  • Morgan's American Ale Yeast (15g)
  • ~30g Amarillo hop pellets
  • ~40g Citra hop pellets
  • ~15g Centennial hop pellets

Method

Brew day

  • Filled basin with hot water and stood the two liquid malt extracts in to soften
  • Boiled ~300mL (less than previously) of cold filtered water and added to glass flask for yeast rehydration (see below)
  • Filled Ferm'us with cold filtered water to 4L mark (also less than before)
  • Boiled 1.7L of filtered water (that's the max my kettle can take) and added to Ferm'us
  • Boiled another 1L of water
  • Emptied the wort and liquid malt extract tins into the Ferm'us
  • Used the boiling water to rinse the tins
  • Lifted the Ferm'us and gave everything a good shake to mix the wort and LME and give a bit of oxygenation
  • Topped up with more cold filtered water to 23L - I didn't need any additional boiling water and hit a final temp around ~27C, which is just about perfect

OG: Not measured, but the extra dextrose should increase the final ABV by about 1% (I'm told)

Yeast prep & pitching

  • Allowed the temperature of the 300mL pre-boiled water (in the flask - see above) to chill to ~26C
  • Pitched the yeast to rehydrate for ~30 mins
  • Gently (no splashing) swirled the flask to suspend the yeast in the liquid
  • Poured the yeast mixture into the Ferm'us
  • Attached pressure release valve (PRV) to the pressure kit
  • Placed the Ferm'us into a temp controlled fridge at 23C
  • Monitored every few hours and adjust the PRV to ensure the Ferm'us doesn't become over-pressurised

Primary Fermentation

  • Left alone for 4 days to ferment
  • Checked/adjusted the PRV to ensure no big pressure build up

Trub Collection

  • After 4 days, when the primary fermentation appeared done, I should have attached a sanitised, empty collection bottle to start collecting the trub. However, I forgot this bit and jumped straight to...

Dry Hopping

  • Add ~30g of Amarillo hop pellets (9.2% AA), ~40g of Citra hop pellets (13.9% AA), and ~15g of Centennial hop pellets (8.8% AA) via a sanitised collection bottle - this is slightly more than the suggested amounts, but it worked a treat last time

As you can see above, the trub was resting at the bottom of the Ferm'us before opening the butterfly valve. Then it drops into the collection bottle once the valve is open.

I'm not sure how effective this is going to be in infusing the hop flavours into the beer.

I've tried pumping the bottle a few times over the last few days, but the lack of gasket (d'oh!) means it's not completely sealed. Bit of a disaster. Nevertheless...

Crash Cool

  • Start a slow crash cool straight after dry hopping to hit the target 3C after 7 days
  • Use a temperature controller to reduce the temperature by 0.3C every two hours to hit 3C after ~6 days

Keg & Carbonate

  • Sanitise a keg and place in keezer to chill
  • Pressurise to ~8PSI
  • Close-transfer the beer from Ferm'us to keg
  • Place the keg in the keezer
  • Attach CO2 at 39PSI to force carbonate for ~24 hrs

First impressions are that the beer is missing the hop flavour. Emptying the collection bottle, I could smell all the delicious flavours that should have been in the beer that got trapped.

However, on the second attempt (mouthfuls each, no more) it did taste okay. Certainly drinkable, and hopefully more so after a few days in the keg.

Coming Next...

  • Allow to stand for ~1 week to condition

Improvements

  • Easier brew ever, so nothing to mention so far
  • Remember...collect the trub BEFORE dry hopping!!!
  • Also, remember to add the gasket to the collection bottle before attaching to the Ferm'us (or the seal doesn't cope with pressure)