Fourplay Brown Ale

I had a load ingredients that needed to be used. I noticed that I had exactly 400g of aurora malt, and 400g of brown malt. Hmmm. What if I based this entire beer on the number 4? Turns out that you get a rather nice British-style brown ale.  It finished very dry so the ABV is a bit higher than I expected. I had to split the Taiheke addition, but it still adds up to 40g 🙂

I am totally making this beer again. It was delicious!

Pre-Boil Gravity: 1.051 SG
Original Gravity: 1.054 SG
Final Gravity: 1.005 SG
ABV: 5.8 %
IBU: 30 IBU
Colour: 23 EBC
BU:GU Ratio: 0.6

Mash water: 20L
Sparge water: 13L

Grain:

4 kg (43.5%) NZ Ale Malt
400 g (43.5%) Aurora Malt
400 g (43.5%) Brown Malt
400 g (43.5%) Gladiator Malt
400 g (43.5%) Biscuit Malt
400 g (43.5%) Supernova Malt

Hops:

20 g Taiheke 7.5 %  (20 IBU) @ 60 Min
20 g Taiheke 7.5 %  @ turn off
40 g Motueka 6.4 %  @ turn off

Mash for 60 mins at 67°C.

Sparge and boil for 60 mins. Chill to 18°C before pitching your yeast.

Ferment at 19°C with Fermentis BE-134 (I used 44g to fit with my theme – the yeast was out of date and had been sitting in my fridge).

After 3 days slowly raise the temp to 24°C to help the yeast reabsorb those diacetyl precursors.

Carb to 2.5 volumes and enjoy.

Motueka Pilsner

It’s like a Pilsner, but made in Motueka, using Motueka. It’s probably a little too dark compared to the BJCP style, and it’s much more in the Czech tradition than the newer Kiwi style of Pilsner. The hops are restrained,  and the malt flavour is to the fore. This beer scored 31 points in the League of Brewers League Table.

Pre-Boil Gravity: 1.044 SG
Original Gravity: 1.047 SG
Final Gravity: 1.012 SG
ABV: 4.6 %
IBU: 13 IBU
Colour: 14 EBC
BU:GU Ratio: 0.52

Mash water: 20L
Sparge water: 13L

Grain:

4.5 kg (80%) NZ Pilsner Malt
600 g (10%) NZ Munich Malt
600 g (10%) Aurora Malt

Hops:

20 g Motueka 7.0 %  (23 IBU) @ 60 Min
30 g Motueka 7.0 %  @ 10 Min

I used a step mash for this one: 20 mins at 60°C, then 40 mins at 69°C then mash-out at 76°C for 10 mins.

Sparge and boil for 60 mins. Chill down to pitching temperature before you pitch your yeast.

Ferment at 12°C with Fermentis S-183 (Swiss Lager).

Use Marshall Schott’s Quick Lager schedule on your upgraded STC-1000, or give it a few days (or until a gravity measurement shows that you’re halfway to your final gravity). Slowly raise the temperature over 5 days until you hit 18°C to fix any diacetyl and to finish nice and dry. Leave it for 3 days at 18°C then slowly bring the beer back to 0–1°C and hold for 3 days.

The lagering process comes from the rather excellent Brulosophy blog. I know it’s not a traditional lagering technique, but it works superbly. I add 1 tsp of gelatine when the beer hits 10°C on it’s way down. This helps to clear to near commercial levels. Carb to 2.5 volumes and enjoy!

The Malt Monster

In my quest for more malt I tried this brew – and I love it! I think it’s mostly a Märzen style, or perhaps a kind of Maibock, but it is delicious. Very malt forward but easy to drink too.

Pre-Boil Gravity: 1.046 SG
Original Gravity: 1.049 SG
Final Gravity: 1.011 SG
ABV: 5.0 %
IBU: 25 IBU
Colour: 15 EBC
BU:GU Ratio: 0.5

Mash water: 20L
Sparge water: 13L

Grain:

2.5 kg (43.5%) German Vienna Malt
2.5 kg (43.5%) German Munich Malt
500 g (9%) German Dark Munich Malt
250 g (4%) German Melanoidin Malt

Hops:

60 g Hallertauer Mittlefruh 3.0 %  (23 IBU) @ 60 Min
20 g Hallertauer Mittlefruh 3.0 %  @ 10 Min

I used Gordon Strong’s “round trip” mash schedule for this brew. Basically you mash in at 67°C,  let the mash cool down to 60°C, then you slowly bring the mash back up to 77°C, recirculating the whole time. I used the 500W (the lower switch set to mash setting) element to do the slow heating. Worked like a charm. The idea is to end up with a hugely fermentable wort – I wanted this beer to be dry.

Sparge and boil for 90 mins – the longer boil is required to stop DMS in the beer (mmmm cooked corn…)

Ferment at 12°C with Fermentis S-183 (Swiss Lager).

Use Marshall Schott’s Quick Lager schedule on your upgraded STC-1000, or give it a week and a half (or until a gravity measurement shows that you’re halfway to your final gravity). Slowly raise the temperature over 5 days until you hit 18°C to fix any diacetyl and to finish nice and dry. Leave it for 3 days at 18°C then slowly bring the beer back to 0–1°C and hold for 3 days. This should drop the beer clear and yield a crisp, dry lager with a strong malty flavour.

The lagering process comes from the rather excellent Brulosophy blog. I know it’s not a traditional lagering technique, but it works superbly. I add 1 tsp of gelatine when the beer hits 10°C on it’s way down. This helps to clear to near commercial levels. Carb to 2.5 volumes and enjoy!

My friend Evelyn is from Malaysia, where this 7% roasty monster is considered a delicate, healthy ladies drink!

Pre-Boil Gravity: 1.064 SG
Original Gravity: 1.069 SG
Final Gravity: 1.016 SG
ABV: 7.0%
IBU: 40.0 IBU
Colour: 60 EBC
BU:GU Ratio: 0.6

Mash water: 22L
Sparge water: 12.5L

Grain (total: 4.9kg):
UK Maris Otter – 6 kg (85.2 %)
Gladfield Dark Chocolate Malt – 280g (4.0 %)
Gladfield Light Crystal Malt (20ºL) – 280g (4.0 %)
Gladfield Dark Crystal Malt (75ºL) – 280 g (4.0 %)
German Carafa Special II – 150 g (2.1 %)
Gladfield Roasted Barley – 50 g (0.7 %)

Hops:
70g UK Fuggle 4.5% (40 IBU) @ 60 mins

Mash at 67°C for 60 mins, mashout and sparge.

Boil for 60 mins (add the hops right at the beginning of the boil) then chill to 22°C.

Pitch @ 22°C with Mangrove Jacks M15 – Empire Ale. Hold at 23°C for 4 days then slowly raise the temp over 2 days to 26°C.

My version of this beer fermented like a mad idiot for three days then stopped dead. The finishing gravity was 1.021, so pretty high! The beer doesn’t taste too sweet (not sure why, maybe because of the high bitterness and the roasty flavours), but the abv didn’t quite reach 7%. It’s a pretty tasty beer. I like using more dark chocolate rather than the aggressive roast barley for the bulk of the flavour.

 

Port Hills Mild Ale

The grist for this beer came from my stuff-up at a home-brew store where I work. I was measuring grain for a customer and mis-measured. I couldn’t sell the grain to the customer so I was given the grain to brew with. I have no idea what the original plans for the grain were, but I decided to brew a mild ale – a style I’ve brewed before and really enjoy. It benefits from not being served too cold. Cellar temps are perfect or all the malt flavour disappears.

The name comes from the big fires in Christchurch in Feb 2017.  I love the Port Hills and it’s hard to think of them all dark and roasty like this beer. I sent some down to my mate, who had to evacuate his house in Kennedy’s Bush. I hope they went down OK.

Pre-Boil Gravity: 1.036 SG
Original Gravity: 1.039 SG
Final Gravity: 1.007 SG
ABV: 4.3%
Actual IBU: 17.0 IBU
Colour: 48 EBC
BU:GU Ratio: 0.45

Mash water: 22L (I went with a thin mash for this one because of the oats and flaked barley)
Sparge water: 12.5L

Grain (total: 4.9kg):
Gladfield Ale Malt 3.18 kg (65%)
British Oat Malt 460 g (9.4%)
Gladfield Munich Malt 340 g (7%)
Gladfield Dark Crystal (75°L) 340 g (7%)
Gladfield Dark Chocolate Malt 340 g (7%)
British Flaked Barley 230 g (4.7%)

Hops:
40g UK Fuggle 4.5% (17 IBU) @ 60 mins
10g UK Fuggle @ 10 mins (this was really just to use up the last of my 50g pack of hops)

Mash at 69°C for 60 mins, mashout and sparge.

Boil for 60 mins.

Pitch @ 23°C with Mangrove Jacks M36 – Liberty Bell. Hold at 23°C for 4 days then slowly raise the temp over 2 days to 26°C. Cold crash to 1°C. Add 1 tsp gelatine as the temp passes 10°C. Bottle/keg after 3 days.

Smoky Cat Saison

My first saison – a French farmhouse ale. As with so may of these French/Belgiany beers, it’s the yeast that makes all the difference. I used a White Labs liquid yeast for this one. I used my technique of just not bothering to add the extra sugar, keeping this beer down below 6% abv. Just the thing for a thirsty farm-hand’s lunch.

This recipe won the MarchFest home-brew competition 2016, so my recipe was scaled up to 1100 litres, brewed at Moa Brewery and released at the 2017 MarchFest as ‘Old MacDonald Farmhouse Ale’

Pre-Boil Gravity: 1.051 SG
Original Gravity: 1.051 SG (my volumes were low so I added 2L water)
Final Gravity: 1.009 SG
ABV: 5.5%
Actual IBU: 31.0 IBU
Colour: 15 EBC
BU:GU Ratio: 0.63

Mash water: 22L
Sparge water: 12.5L

Grain (total: 5.8kg):
Gladfield Pilsner Malt 5.350 kg (90.4%)
German Wheat Malt 390 g (6.6%)
Gladfield Medium Crystal (110 EBC) 80 g (1.4%) – the crystal/supernova malts could be combined as CaraMunich or similar
Gladfield Supernova 70g (1.2%)
Carafa Special II 30g (0.5%) – just to darken it a bit. Fully optional.

Hops:
50g Styrian Goldings 3.7% (25IBU) @ 60 mins
10g Styrian Goldings @ 30 mins
40g Styrian Goldings @ 5 mins

Mash at 62°C for 20 mins, raise to 69°C and rest for a further 40mins.

Sparge and boil for 60 mins.

Pitch @ 18°C with White Labs WLP-565. Hold at 18°C for 24 hours then slowly raise the temp over 7 days to 28°C. Cold crash to 1°C. Add 1 tsp gelatine as the temp passes 10°C. Bottle/keg after 3 days.

This beer benefits from some ageing at room temperature. Don’t rush into drinking it before it’s ready.

Sharp Chainsaw Pale Ale

A re-brewing of the Behemoth Chur Pale Ale clone, but with a small tweak to the grain bill to boost the maltiness. It went down well at a recent BBQ.

Pre-Boil Gravity: 1.051 SG
Original Gravity: 1.053 SG
Final Gravity: 1.011 SG
ABV: 5.6%
Actual IBU: 40.0 IBU
Colour: 18 EBC
BU:GU Ratio: 0.78

Mash water: 20.5L
Sparge water: 12.5L

Grain (total: 6.3kg):
Pale Ale Malt 5.000 kg (79.4%)
Aurora Malt 500 g (7.9%)
CaraMunich II 500 g (7.9%)
Carahell 300g (4.8%)

Hops:
5g Pacific Gem 15.3% (9 IBU) @ 60 min
25g Taiheke @ 10 min
25g Motueka @ 10 min
10g Nelson Sauvin @ 10 min
20g Riwaka @ 1min
20g Nelson Sauvin @ 1 min
50g Taiheke @ turn-off
50g Taiheke dry hopped
20g Riwaka dry hopped
20g Nelson Sauvin dry hopped

Mash at 67°C

Sparge and boil 60 mins

Ferment @ 18°C with 2 packs of US-05.

Add the dry hops to the primary after 5 days. Start raising the temperature slowly to hit 22°C (1 degree per day should do it). This will dry it out and fix any butterscotch flavours creeping in. After it has spent 3 days at 22°C, cold crash down to 1°C. Add 1 tsp of gelatine mixed with 100ml of boiling water as the temperature passes 10°C to aid with clarity. Bottle/keg after 2 days.

Mower Lager

A very malty and refreshing German lager. Crisp and with a little malt sweetness. This recipe worked well. The White Labs WLP838 Southern German Lager Yeast gave the beer a really authentic flavour and let the malt shine through. I’ll definitely be brewing this again!

Pre-Boil Gravity: 1.052 SG
Original Gravity: 1.056 SG
Final Gravity: 1.015 SG
ABV: 5.5 %
IBU: 22 IBU
Colour: 19 EBC
BU:GU Ratio: 0.4

Mash water: 20L
Sparge water: 13L

Grain:
2.5 kg (37%) Pilsner Malt
2 kg (29%) Munich Malt
1.5 kg (22%) Vienna Malt
500g (8%) CaraMunich II
250g (4%) Aurora Malt

Hops:

30g Spalt (21 IBU) @ 60mins

Mash in at 60°C and rest for 20 mins
Raise temperature to 70°C and rest for 40 mins
Raise to 75°C, hold for 10 mins and mash out.

Sparge and boil for 90 mins – the longer boil is required to stop DMS in the beer (mmmm cooked corn…)

Ferment at 9°C with Fermentis S-23 or W-34/70. I used WLP838 (Southern German Lager Yeast)

Use Marshall Schott’s Quick Lager schedule on your upgraded STC-1000, or give it a week and a half (or until a gravity measurement shows that you’re halfway to your final gravity). Slowly raise the temperature over 5 days until you hit 18°C to fix any diacetyl and to finish nice and dry. Leave it for 3 days at 18°C then slowly bring the beer back to 0–1°C and hold for 3 days. This should drop the beer clear and yield a crisp, dry lager with a strong malty flavour.

The lagering process comes from the rather excellent Brulosophy blog. I know it’s not a traditional lagering technique, but it works superbly. I add 1 tsp of gelatine when the beer hits 10°C on it’s way down. This helps to clear to near commercial levels. Carb to 2.5 volumes and enjoy!

Rye Wit

This recipe came from James Spencer of Basic Brewing. James was one of the guest speakers at the first New Zealand Home-brewers’ Conference. We were going to brew this beer together at MarchFest for the brew demo, but decided against it as we weren’t sure what effect all that wheat and rye would have on the Grainfather. I’m glad we didn’t brew it in front of an audience, because when I brewed it at home it didn’t drain or sparge too successfully and I had to rescue it with a BIAB bag.

The idea behind this recipe is to use the rye and wheat proteins to give a bigger, fuller mouthfeel while keeping alcohol levels low. I’m not too sure what to make of this beer. It is very bitter, the hops aroma is lovely, but the beer itself is a little thin on flavour with a pronounced ‘yeast bite’. It has a refreshing lemony flavour which would go down well on a hot summer day. I think it deserves a re-brew but the aroma hop addition could be beefed up a bit. Adding some other hop varieties would help give it a little more complexity.

Pre-Boil Gravity: 1.026 SG
Original Gravity: 1.028 SG
Final Gravity: 1.004 SG
ABV: 3.0 %
IBU: 25 IBU
Colour: 10 EBC
BU:GU Ratio: 0.96

Mash water: 18L
Sparge water: 14L

Grain:
2 kg (62.5%) Wheat Malt
1.200 kg (37.5%) Rye Malt
Hops:
20g Styrian Goldings (15 IBU) @ 60mins
70g Motueka (12 IBU with a hop stand) @ turn-off

Mash in at 67°C and rest for 60 mins
Raise to 75°C, hold for 10 mins and mash out.

Sparge and boil for 60 mins

Ferment at 19°C with Mangrove Jack M42. Slowly raise to 21°C after 5 days. Cold crash to 3°C after a further 3 days. It’ll be very cloudy!

Brown PAW-ah

A brown porter with lots of chocolate & coffee flavours. Easy drinking, not too intense or roasty.

Pre-Boil Gravity: 1.048 SG
Original Gravity: 1.051 SG
Final Gravity: 1.013 SG
ABV: 5.0 %
IBU: 18 IBU
Colour: 38 EBC
BU:GU Ratio: 0.35

Mash water: 18L
Sparge water: 14L

Grain:
3.5 kg (65%) Pilsner Malt
570g (10.5%) Munich Malt
550g (10.25%) Brown Malt
550g (10.25%) Medium Crystal
200g (4%) Chocolate Malt

Hops:
10g Pacific Gem (15 IBU) @ 60mins
10g Pacific Gem (3 IBU with a hop stand) @ turn-off

Mash in at 67°C and rest for 60 mins
Raise to 75°C, hold for 10 mins and mash out.

Sparge and boil for 60 mins

Ferment at 19°C with Mangrove Jack M42. Slowly raise to 21°C after 5 days. Cold crash to 3°C after a further 3 days.