Monthly Archives: February 2014

previously on lager files


The lights are playing tricks with the camera, the beer is nowhere near that dark.

That pilsener I brewed a few months back, you remember the one? Yeah? Ok. Well somebody’s had it in the lagering keg in the fridge for a month, and somebody has been taking far too frequent samples. Somebody should write a short impartial review on their own beer wouldn’t your say?

2014 Pilsner

It comes out of the keg fairly bright and a little pale despite the decoctions. Carbonation has been allowed to be higher than I usually pursue, but it works well with a pilsener. The whole thing is capped be a merengue-ish lofting head that demands to be allowed a minute to settle before it lets you top off your pint.

Aroma, this is the interesting bit. When rackiing into the keg I noticed it had a banana bread type aroma. Not the typical yeasty isoamyl acetate banana type thing, but a grandma’s kitchen banana bread…. er….. type thing. I think it is attributed to the floor malted pilsener malt and the pacific hallertau hops…. er… maybe. Anyhow those aromas have faded a little in the lagering phase, but I doubt they will dissapear.

Taste, as with most pilseners, follows the aroma pretty closely. Doughy, bready (little banana), grainy malt. It starts with a tinge of sweetness, then has the rush of continental malt, and finishes with an unusual hop character thats spicy, earthy, and has hints of lime-like tang (or at least thats how I get it, if I didnt read that as a descriptor of the hops than I doubt I would have come up with that). The mouthfeel is light, crisp and spritzy with the medium-highish level of carbonation, but it does have a small hint of fullness in the finish with a whisper of sweetness.

If I brew this again next year I think I’ll change the hopping rates for one, and give it a nice long vigorous boil in the decoction to drive those rich malliard reactions and give it a touch more color and malt complexity.

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mid-atlantic india pale ale

St. Patrick’s day = Time for a beer
24 days before St. Patrick’s day = HOLY %#&@ I FORGOT BREW A STOUT AGAIN!

So I wont brew a stout, not because I dont have the ingredients, or because I dont believe that I can push one from grain to glass in 24 days, but because I really freaking want to brew an IPA.

Here is the basic idea: Brew an IPA with the same hopbursting process as my last IPA, only change the base malt to Warminster floor-malted marris otter and blend the caramel 30L with some Special B to simulate dark english crystal malt. Change the hops to a blend of bright, critrusy american hops (amarillo and simcoe), with some dark, earthy, tobacco-ish english hops (east kent and fuggle).

And yeast….. yes yeast….. mmmmmmm…… how about a nice re-pitch of white labs yorkshire square yeast? Oh good, glad you approve.


Sorry for the lo-fi picture, in reality this wort was nice bright rusty brown, somewhere between brown and ruby red squirt.


OG  1.063 (I actually got a little more than this on brew day, that marris otter always gives me good efficiency)
FG   1.018 (calculated)

IBU  35-ish maybe, its hard to calculate post boil IBU contribution


  • 76% Floor-Malted Marris Otter
  • 16% Munich 20L
  • 5% Caramel 30L
  • 3% Special B


  • 1 oz Amarillo (whirlpool)
  • 2 oz Simcoe (whirlpool)
  • 4 oz East Kent Goldings (whirlpool)
  • 1 oz Fuggles (keg hop)
  • 1 oz Amarillo (keg hop)
  • 1 oz Centennial (keg hop)

The Deets

  • Mashed at 153°F for 75 minutes
  • Added a couple of the EKG pellets at 60 minutes
  • Added the “whirlpool” additions after chilling wort to ~150°, then let those bad boys stew for 30 minutes
  • After primary is done and the beer starts to visibly clear (basically when I think that enough yeast has dropped out to not leave a giant sludgecake in my keg) I will rack to the keg and add dry hops weighed down with marbles. They will hang out with the beer at room temp for 2 days then the whole lot will be fridged, carbed, enjoyed while fresh.

My hope with this brew (other than having something hoppy to quaff whilst celebrating a saint based holiday) is to see how well bright and dark flavored hops work together. With any luck it will taste similar to the newer English hop verieties that have the classic english earthiness, with a touch of bright citrus character. Stay tuned.

Oh yeah, I realise that its insensative to drink an English beer on an Irish holiday, but the Irish hooligan in me told me to do it just to rabble rouse.

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