Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Easy Ordinary Bitter

Sometimes you sit down for your evening brew and notice that your crate of full bottles has somehow turned into a crate mostly of empty bottles. You realize that even with careful rationing, you may only make it about 2 weeks, maybe 2 and a half, before you don't have any evening brews anymore.

In these situations, swift, decisive action will carry the day. you can't always afford a full 6-8 hour brew schedule and a month of fermentation. So it's useful to have an easy extract recipe on hand that's simple, consistent, and will top up your stores.

So this is my very basic adaptation of Papazian's "Palace Bitter" recipe. The use of extract eliminates the time-consuming mash step as well as the full-volume boil--which also saves time during the cooling step because you can add the hot wort to cold water and greatly reduce chill times. Here's how the recipe goes:

Easy Ordinary Bitter

Grain/Extract Bill:
5 pounds Munton's Amber Dry Malt Extract
1/2 pound 40 Lovibond Crystal Malt (for steeping)

Mash Schedule:
Bring 3 gallons of water to approximately 150 degrees F. Steep 1/2 pound of 40L Crystal malt for about a half hour. (To avoid having to strain, you can use a steeping bag. Just make sure to squeeze out all the malty goodness when you remove it.)

Hop Schedule:
1 oz Cluster Pellets (7.4% Alpha Acid) 60 minutes
1/2 oz Nelson Sauvin (14.6% Alpha Acid) at flameout, before chilling

1 package US-05 dry American ale yeast combined with 1 package S-04 dry English ale yeast, rehydrated.

Fermented for one week in primary, then bottled with 3/4 cup of corn sugar for natural carbonation.

Original Gravity: 1.0489
Final Gravity: 1.011
Approximate ABV; 5%
IBU: 26.5

This beer is orangey-pale in color with a nice, rocky head. It smells yeasty with a hint of something that reminds me of honeydew.  It is quenching and light-bodied, with a touch of oatmeal sweetness grounded in sturdy hop bitterness. It's an easy beer to make and to drink...good for drinking with food or for the removing of edges.

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