Homebrew: Meikleour Hedge

Submitted by DM on Tue, 18/07/2017 - 18:41

Much as I love the New World varieties, there are some English hops I like - I just tend to not make stuff I can readily buy in the shops.   This should be a traditional English Bitter, but with the hoppiness & bitterness ramped up.

Mash: 45 mins.   Held at 68°C for 20 mins then allowed to fall to 64°C in the last 25.

2.5 Kg of pale malt

200g crystal malt

270g of rye malt

Boil: 40 mins.

First Gold hops (10.2% alpha acid) added; 30g 40mins from end; 30g 30mins from end & 30g 10 mins from end.

The wort was cooled using a chiller & splashed through a colander into the fermentation vessel containing a sachet of Mangrove Jack's M44 West Coast Yeast.   10g of First Gold hops were added as dry hops.

This yielded 17 litres of wort with an OG of 1.042 & FG of 1.012 which should give a beer of 4.0% alcohol & a calculated bitterness of 90 IBU.

Verdict on bottling: Another very cloudy beer, despite 9 days primary fermentation.   I've brewed beer without Irish Moss before several times & I've done short boils before, but the combination of the two appears to result in very hazy beer. Plenty of hoppiness, but neither a herbal, earthy nor grapefruity taste - more orangey & generically fruity on the nose & tongue.

Another cloudy beer with no sign of the haze clearing.   That'll teach me to skimp on the boil time and forget the Irish Moss!

The First Gold hops give it a decent orangey-fruity taste.   The sweetness of the crystal malt & the grainy, spiciness of the rye is evident.  It's a decent beer to sit in front of the telly with in an evening and I dare say several friends will prefer it to me.

Damn that cloud and the yeast bite though!

This is very slowly clearing with the top 5 cm or so of each 1 litre bottle transparent. I'm transferring the bottles to the garage now the summer has passed to aid clearing. Given enough time it seems like this will clear, so I'm going to stash it and forget about it for a while.

I can taste the rye malt in here and although I like a few commercial rye beers I don't think I'll brew with it again. I much prefer the clean taste of pale malt and not much else as a base to my beers.

There is some orangey fruitiness from the hops and some peppery bitterness too, but there is still a fair amount of yeast bite. It's not a terrible beer - and I've certainly bought worse in a shop - but this needs to clear before opening another.