Wednesday 11 April 2012

Petebrau: A Celebration Ale

This past Saturday, the condo brewery was abuzz with activity once again, as we began our latest batch. In honour of my father's upcoming 60th birthday, Darkside Brewing has offered to provide the beer for the party. After talking to him about what he likes in a beer, he summarized with, 'I like a beer with flavour and kick.' Knowing that he normally drinks Moosehead Dry Ice provided some additional insight as to what we should brew. It also let us know that the bar was set pretty low.

After giving it some thought, we decided to draw upon my family's decidedly British roots and create a recipe for an English India Pale Ale. We've never used Maris Otter as a base malt, and figured it would be both an appropriate choice and a great opportunity to give it a go. Keeping with (our) tradition, we decided to use a rather large bag of East Kent Goldings (EKG) hops (7 oz. to be exact) to provide the bitter kick that Earl and I both really like. Oh, and my dad... yeah, he wanted something with kick, too, right?

We started by throwing in a significant portion of the EKG for first wort hopping, added more with 30, 15 and 5 minutes left in the boil, and then saved the rest for dry hopping. If anything, this beer should give us a solid understanding of what EKG hops taste like. Hopefully it will be an understanding that they are good. Keeping with the theme, we used a liquid English Ale yeast from Wyeast.

By the end of the brew day, things seem to have gone as planned. With an Original Gravity of 1.044, we were a little lower than we'd hoped, but it should still have the kick that Dad requested. If everything turns out as planned, it should help make for a memorable celebration. 

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