Blair's Best

Ref 2024-05 Blair's Best Brewer Pain & Patience
Style Best Bitter Type Beer, all-grain
Started Mon 6th May 24 OG 1.045 Status Available, 4.5% ABV
Packaged Thu 23rd May 24 FG 1.011 Fermenter SS 25 litre bucket
Handle 2024-05 Blair's Best
Brewer Pain & Patience
Style Best Bitter
Type Beer, all-grain
Fermenter SS 25 litre bucket
Status Available, 4.5% ABV ABV
Started Mon 6th May 24 OG 1.045
Packaged Thu 23rd May 24 FG 1.011

My first go at a traditional Best Bitter at the request of a good friend. The brew day went very well and utilisation targets were met, fermentation very smooth despite some concerns over headspace. Initial feedback excellent. Tracking via Brewfather.

Milestones & Tasks

May 28 -16dSwitched from CO2 to Beer Gas
May 23 -21dKegged 19 litres
May 20 -24dStarted cold-crashing
May 16 -28dDry-hopped
May 06 -38dStarted Primary
May 202428Tue

We had a cheeky sample from the poly bottle this morning, and Brian & I both agree that any more gas would ruin this one. That is, assuming the brew in the keg has carbonated at the same rate as the sample bottle. Switched over from CO2 to Beer Gas now, can’t wait to get her tapped.

5 days
May 202423Thu

Typical gravity transfer into sanitised, non-purged Corny keg. There was about a litre left over so that went into a poly bottle. Slops taste amazing, some slight cloudiness evident but that went away overnight, at least where the poly pottle is concerned.

Pressurised to 15 PSI using pure CO2, Brewfather reckons 9.7 PSI at 4℃ for about a week so I expect this to be ready in roughly 4 days.

3 days
4 days
May 202416Thu

Just added dry hops as per recipe, albeit 2 days later than planned due to being off-island. Looking to start cold-crashing in 6 days, kegging somewhere around the start of TT practice.

Just minor signs of krausen touching the centre of the lid despite concerns over head space, and despite this being a very quick starter – quicker than most Kveiks I’ve used. No real need for the blow-off tube instead of airlock but it doesn’t hurt to play it safe.

10 days
May 202406Mon

First brew day in what feels like ages, and nothing went wrong – result! All the numbers lined up pretty well and primary fermentation started 4 or 5 hours after pitching. I’d not used WLP-002 before and was pleasantly surprised with it’s low lag time and well-mannered performance, especially since we ended up with only 3 inches or so of headroom.

Brew Day Notes

0740 Mash rest done, first stir. Start mashing. Seems to be quite light and flowing well.

0900 Pre-sparge SG 1.055 (1.037 @ 64.3℃) and 24 litres with malt pipe in, but recipe shows mash volume of 25 litres. Wonderfully clear wort.

0915 Pre-boil volume 29 litres, SG 1.043 (1.024 @ 66.4℃) against expected 28.86 / 1.040. Sparge only took about 2 minutes. Good numbers!

1030 About to cut in chiller coil, looks like 27.2 litres in there against expected 26.46.

1045 Boil over, starting chill to 19℃ ahead of transfer.

1105 Tank is at 45℃ and return temperature 29.9℃ with pumps at 15%. SG 1.045 (1.038 @ 41.8℃) against expected 1.044 – good.

1145 Transfer finished, 22 litres in FV. Pitching 1.3 litre yeast starter. Only about 3 inches headspace in the SS Brewtech 25 litre bucket – this could be messy. Will fit blow-off tube instead of airlock.

1315 Clean-up finished, includes 30 minutes for lunch. Blue Tilt deployed.