To celebrate the launch of Brewnode, I invited a few friends around to sample my wares. I had all the ingredients for a replica of the classic Summer Lightning from Hopback brewery. I decided that it would be good to give a go and brew live on the day. I wasn’t sure if this was a good idea or not since I’ve never had a brew run complete automatically from start to finish. But hey, why not?
|Pale Ale, Golden Promise||5.5Kg|
|Challenger Hops||30g for 60 mins|
|Challenger Hops||30g for 30 mins|
|Golding Hops||35g for 15 mins|
|East Kent Goldings||50g Dry hopped for 7 days|
|Mosaic Hops (panicked addition)||50g Dry hopped for 3 days|
|Yeast||WLP002 English Ale Yeast|
You might notice the addition of some Mosaic dry hops. That’s not in the original recipe but I panicked a bit about the taste during fermentation.
With hindsight, the initial mash temperature was too. This meant that the average temperature during the mash was only
Active fermentation lasted only 3 or 4 days but I left it for about 2 weeks before transferring to a keg. I took a sample after about 10 days and I was not impressed. So much so that I had a decision to make as to whether leave it as is and hope for the best. Or take action and attempt to turn it into something more palatable.
I didn’t have the bottle to run with it as was, so I decided to chuck in a large amount of Mosaic hops into the fermenter. I know this was not in the plan and diverged significantly from he original intention. But I am glad I did because the change was remarkable. The aroma changed almost immediately from a stale smell to a fresh citrus.
Like previous brews, there was a definitive chill haze. I now suspect that cold break in the fermenter is the cause. I chill straight from the kettle to the fermenter through the plate chiller. This means that all of the cold break ends up in the fermenter.
I had to buy some Summer Lightening to compare mine against. Over the past 20 years, what used to be a classic in my mind had turned into a rather bland and fizzy lager like drink. I exaggerate of course but the aroma of Goldings just doesn’t compare to what I’ve become used to.
- Start with more liquor.
- Increase malt variety to give more body.
- Let BIAB drain.
- Use less bittering hops.
- Chill to clear before carbonating.