Mar 202103Wed

Started Second Extract Blonde

SG 1.043 18.4℃ recipe started

Having another go based on my last extract attempt, this time using Brewfather for guidance instead of Brewer’s Friend. Things I’m doing differently:

  • Using 5g yeast instead of the whole 10g packet, also adding half a gram of yeast nutrient (magnesium sulphate, vitamins, minerals) to the rehydration jar a couple of hours before pitching.
  • Plugging the correct values (alpha acids, attenuation, etc) in at the start so that I don’t have to deal with surprises during brewing. Having done that it all looks OK, but the calculated FG of 1.008 was right on the lower threshold for this style of beer until I corrected the batch recipe to more accurately reflect the LME addition; just over half at 45 minutes boil, the remainder at flameout. FG then jumped up to 1.011, which is about halfway for this style. Result!
  • Topping the boil up to 3 litre mark instead of 4. Last time I couldn’t get the wort down to pitching temperature as quickly as I’d liked, so by boiling one litre less I’m also freeing up another litre to use for chilling.
  • Dry-hopping no more than 2 days from the end. The last attempt actually reached FG in just 3 days at 19 – 20 ℃ and I let it ride another 4 days with hops, so this time I may dry-hop on day 5 and bottle on day 7. Hoping to achieve 1.011 as planned since I corrected the recipe, something that I didn’t (couldn’t?) do with the last batch at Brewer’s Friend.
  • I’ll actually use Citra finishing hops as planned this time around. 🤫

Brew Day Notes

Nothing unexpected happened this time, no panic at all. I used the Brewfather app on iPhone to guide me through the boil additions and keep track of time, and it worked flawlessly. Topping the saucepan up to 3 litres after adding just over half the DME proved to be a good move, but trying to keep a relatively small amount of liquid at a constant temperature using an electric hob proved to be a challenge, with me bouncing between 88 and 93 ℃. In the end I lost almost exactly half a litre due to boiling.

When it came to throwing the wort into a fermentation bucket for mixing I first dumped in 5 litres of Tesco Ashbeck mineral water which had been in the outside freezer until it was slush, barely making it out of the widemouthed bottle. Even so I was slightly high at 25 ℃ and ended up throwing in 1.5 trays of ice cubes and another litre of chilled tap water. This brought the temperature down to 16.5 ℃ – more than I expected – and raised the volume to 8.5 litres according to my shoddy marking on the bucket, and dead on 9 litres according to the markings in my SS Brewtech mini bucket.

OG was measured at 1.043 (exactly as per batch recipe, once I adjusted it to 9 litres from 8, and I pitched the jar of yeast + nutrient at 17 ℃. There was already a small island of bubbles in the jar, so I’m hoping for a rapid start to fermentation. Shame I can’t see into the stainless bucket though, definitely an advantage with the Fermzilla.

SS Brewtech Mini Bucket