Homebrew: Sinister Brew

Submitted by DM on Mon, 14/08/2017 - 22:07

This beer is named for being brewed on International Left-Hander's Day

My last two beers had reduced mash & boil times to try & allow for more family time (probably mowing the lawn or laundry), but have resulted in very hazy beers - although I also forgot the Irish Moss in both too!   This time I decided to give the brew a decent amount of mash & boil time - and remember the Irish Moss - to get clear beer that I can serve to visitors in the garden over summer without having to explain the haze.

I reused the Wilko yeast from the bottom of the FV for my previous beer Bon Hiver as I preferred it to Mangrove Jack's M44  West Coast yeast I used in Meikleour Hedge.

Mash: 1 hour 15 mins.   Starting at 70°C then falling to 63°C after 45 mins, raised to 67°C over 5 mins then allowed to drop to 63°C again at the end of the period.   This should give a reasonable amount of time for both amylases to have done their job on the starches in the malted barley to give a dry beer.

2.5Kg pale malt

200g pale crystal malt

2g Magnesium Suphate

2g Calcium Sulphate

Boil: 1 hour 20 mins

40g of Centennial hops (10.9% alpha acid) added 45 mins from the end of boil.

50g of Centennial hops added 15 mins from the end.

4g of Irish Moss added at 10 mins from the end.

The wort was chilled to 18°C and spllashed through a colander into an FV containing 30g of dry hops (Centennial) and Wilko ale yeast.   The OG was 1.042, PG at bottling 1.012 and 17 litres of wort were collected.   This should give me a beer of around 3.9% alcohol.   The calculated bitterness is around 100 IBU.

30g of Centennial were added to the cooled wort as dry hops.

Bottled after 6 days of primary fermentation.

4 bottles had around 50ml of strong jasmine green tea that had been cooled added to them.


I couldn't resist!   I can see that the beer is clearing well - already it is completely clear in the the top few centimetres at the top of the bottles.   I'd set aside a sampler bottle, which was the last one to be filled & so caught quite a lot of extra yeast from the bottom of the fermenter.   As such the bottled beer has carbonated up rapidly.

There's a honey-like sweetness to this that is obviously a little priming sugar still present, plus whatever malt sugars were left behind from primary fermentation.   The hoppiness is quite bold with some peachy & grapefruit flavour.   The grapefruit aroma is plentiful too.

I'm really liking this already.

Completely clear now - although it does through a little chill haze in the fridge - and perfectly drinkable already. It has a good grapefruit zest hoppiness, with some herbal, flowery taste too.   Still a little sweetness and plenty of body for a sub-4% beer.

That'll do nicely.

This has just the right amount of jasmine in for my liking.   It mostly comes in at the end of the taste and is different, but not too out there.   The green tea is detectable too, but it's not unpleasant - just subtly there.   Definitely a good experiment to try.

An upcoming beer will use dried jasmine flowers rather than the tea and knowing me I'll also look to grow my own too!

I took 2 litres of this to a wedding anniversary over the weekend for personal consumption and it lasted less than half and hour. A couple of people had a taste, liked it - then suddenly everyone tried and it was gone. Job well done I'd say and there were plenty of shop bought beers there so I didn't miss out at all.

This is a really sinkable beer with the citrus hop flavour I love on the nose and tongue. Not a hop bomb, but definitely very hop forward. Drying out nicely too now.

Unfortunately it's been such a hit I don't have much left for me! I'd definitely brew this again.