Homebrew: Pioneer Anomaly

Submitted by DM on Sun, 17/01/2016 - 23:07

One of the best beers I ever brewed was a lager a few years ago, brewed during cold weather.   I fermented it in a conservatory with the heating set low (about 12°C), then turned down further to frost protect (about 5°C) whilst the bottled beer lagered. 

I thought I'd try & brew something similar with the current cold spell we're having in the UK.Pioneer Anomaly label

Mash: 1 hour 15 mins held at 65°C throughout.

3.5 Kg pale malt

Boil: 45 mins

50g of Pioneer hops added 15 mins before the end.

100g of Pioneer hops added 5 mins before the end.

10g of Irish Moss added 5 mins before the end.

50g of Pioneer hops as dry hops into the cool wort. This made 12 litres of wort with an OG of 1.044 & a FG of 1.014 which should give me a beer of around 4.5% alcohol & 85 IBUis of bitterness.  The very late addition of the hops should give me a very hoppy beer without too much bitterness being extracted.

The boiling wort was cooled using a 10mm diameter copper coil wort chiller & Saflager w-34/70 yeast hydrated during the brewing stage was pitched.

The fermenting wort was put in my garage & wrapped in several layers of silvered bubble wrap.   The wort temperature dropped from 15°C to 14°C over around 8 hours, even though the outside temperature was 1°C.   The only heating in the garage is from the fridge & freezer coils in there, but hopefully the self-heating effect of the wort's fermentation will keep this around 12°C.   If not then I have a brew belt at hand.

Bottled on 23rd January.   Mostly clear when bottled, excellent clarity after just one day in the bottle.


I couldn't wait. A little bit of bad news coupled with the desire to try my new beer saw a bottle opened rather prematurely.

Has the smell & aroma of butterscotch, so a little more of a diacetyl rest is needed. A little sweetness will dry out nicely with this rest too. Not as hoppy as anticipated, but it's still got some fruity lemony flavour.

Not bad at all so far. 

Buttery diacetyl flavour under control now, but not gone completely.   Drying up nicely too, with a good clean taste.   Wonderfully clear with just a little sediment on the bottle of the bottles.   It seems the hops are a good choice for this beer - some citrus, but not like Cascade & a decent bitterness even though they weren't in the boil for long at all.   A really good beer if I say so myself.

A really good, dryish lager with a decent lemony-hoppy taste.   Just the tiniest fruity-butterscotch detectable.   I'm really happy with this.   Just wished I'd waited 6 weeks before starting drinking it rather it be my last bottle.

Three people have said that this is the best beer I've ever brewed. I'm proud of it myself & it certainly was very sinkable. Goes to show there is more to beer than coffee stouts & hop bombs.