Gose with fruit tasting (2/3) – Gosemo – Gose with blackberries

Time for the second of our three fruited goses, brewed a few months ago. After posting about the result of Gosepi, with pineapple juice, now it is time for the one that got blackberries after primary fermentation.

Gosemo, gose with blackberries

Visually this gose, as I happened with Gosepi, it is quite appealing. It has an orange red color and it is quite hazy. Foam is white and scarce, and it disappears rapidly. This is something we had already experienced with blackberries in beer, so maybe there is something in them that inhibits foam.

Fruit is very prominent in aroma. There is also some lactic acid hint, while there is almost no presence of malt and none of hops.

Flavorwise, acidity combines well with fruit, but maybe it is too much blackberry flavor. In fact, I think that blackberries mask other things that could be interesting like some cereal notes or even a small character from salt (although we did not add much this time). There are no flavors coming from fermentation, with a low bitterness and no sign of hops.

Low to medium body, blackberries give make it look less dry that the one with pineapple juice, although it is still quite dry and refreshing. There is no astringency.

Even though it is no by no means a bad beer, I think blackberries and gose don’t go well together. Of the three fruited gose we brewed, this is probably the one I enjoyed less. And I think that blackberries are one of the best fruits to impart flavor in beers, even in other sour styles, but I didn’t like them in gose, at least this time. I don’t know if we will brew a beer like this again, but if we do it we probably will make some changes. I would increase salt a little bit and I think that half the amount of blackberries we used this time would be more than enough. We may even consider, although it would be somehow out of style (we don’t really care about that), adding a small percentage of a darker malt like Munich or Vienna to reinforce malt in the beer and balance the fruit flavor.


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Book review – How To Brew

After collecting a good amount of books about homebrewing all these years, it was time to start doing some reviews about them. It was something that I had planned for the beginning of the blog, but one way or another, it didn’t start until now.

For the first book review, I knew which one I was going to choose. It couldn’t be another one than my first homebrewing book, How To Brey by John Palmer. My copy has a few years since I bought it when, after a couple of extract batches, I decided to start brewing all grain. It is therefore the third edition. Nowadays, since 2017, the fourth edition is available, with revised and updated information, plus five new chapters about subjects that didn’t appear in the previous edition. Besides, for those of you who just want to take a look, the first edition of How To Brew is available online for free.

The description below the title on the book, “Everything you need to know to brew beer right the first time”, although it may sound pretentious, fits quite well what this book offers. In my opinion, one of the strongest points of the book is the explanation and description of the basic concepts and processes that are part of homebrewing. Palmer explains them almost from the beginning in an clear and understandable way.

The book is divided in five different sections with a logical order. The first one is about brewing with malt extract, detailing all the necessary processes, a lot of them (cleaning, sanitizing, boiling, fermentation, bottling) being the same for all grain brewing. In this section most of the ingredients that are part of beer are introduced (water, hops and yeast), describing the different possibilities for the brewer. The second section goes a step further, describing brewing with malt extract plus specialty malts. In this part, which is shorter, Palmer writes about the different types of malts and adjuncts that can be used. The third section enters all grain brewing and it is focused especially in all the processes involved in mashing, explained by Palmer in a very approachable way. These chapters may be the most complex and detailed of the whole book. Finally, the last two sections gather some assorted recipes and a few appendices.

Although after some years some of the subjects may be a little bit outdated, the book has its main strength in the basic principles, and these are the same now that they were when the book was written. I can be a little bit biased because it was my first book about homebrewing, but I think that the explanations of the homebrewing basics are one of the best I’ve ever read. And as I said before, there is a new edition with updated information on the subjects that may seem a little bit outdated. All in all, I think this a great book for those who want to start homebrewing, and also for those that already brew beer at home but want to understand well the basics of our hobby. It could even provide some help for the intermediate howebrewer looking for new experiences, since the five new chapters in the new edition bring information about some new subjects like sour beers.

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British Brown Ale, beer for Match Beer 2018/2019, elaboration and tasting

While the new edition of Match Beer is going to start in a few weeks, in this post we are going to describe the beer we brewed for last year edition for our team, West Basque Country. Before I get into details, for those of you who don’t know, I’ll give a brief explanation about Match Beer, in my opinion one of more interesting activities organized by the Spanish Homebrewers Association (ACCE) and also a competition where you can learn a lot from your teammates and homebrewers from other teams. It is a competition only for members of the Association, so if you are interested, you can become a member visiting ACCE website.

Match Beer is a team competition in which teams from different regions of Spain (even some homebrewers living in other European countries) brew three styles of beer according to BJCP guidelines. These styles are previously voted by ACCE members. There are different rounds in which beers are judged by other teams and, in the end, there is a final round that it is usually held during the annual ACCE Congress with certified BJCP judges. Each team can select the beers they send to competition as they want. In our case, we made a previous round with all the beers we had brewed to select which ones were the best to be entered in Match Beer. In this case, we were lucky and our beer, a British Brown Ale, was selected to represent our team in that style (the other two beer styles were American Stout and Doppelbock).

Grist for our British Brown Ale

Even though the calendar for Match Beer is announced a long time in advance, months passed and we almost had no time to brew on time (something similar happened this year too). The only style we could brew to be ready in a little less than three weeks was British Brown Ale. American Stout and, especially, Doppelbock would have taken a lot more time. As we usually do, we did a little research about the style, although in this case everything seemed well defined. Evidently, hops and yeast should be of English origin. Regarding malts, there wasn’t a wide range of options to choose from, but it was maybe where you could make a difference in this style. According to BJCP guidelines, British Brown Ale is meltier than Bitter, stronger than Dark Mild and without the roasted flavors of Porter. This reduces the spectrum of malts for this style to pale malt (English if possible), caramel malts and, in some cases, a little bit of a darker malt.

Based on this information and considering our stock, we picked Golden Promise as our base malt, with two caramel malts, Crystal T50 for maltiness and some residual sweetness, and Crystal DRC to add more complex and darker notes without using roasted malts. Both of these malts will give also color, which we adjusted with a little amount of chocolate malt. Finally, some flaked barley to promote foam. As for hops, we used Fuggles, a classic English variety. Windsor from Lallemand was the yeast selected to perform fermentation this time.

Wort before boiling


2.00 Kg (4.40 lbs) (82.5%) Golden Promise (Thomas Fawcett) (5.0 EBC)
0.25 Kg (0.55 lbs) (10.3%) Crystal T50 (Simpsons) (133.0 EBC)
0.10 Kg (0.22 lbs) (4.1%) Crystal DRC (Simpsons) (300.0 EBC)
0.05 Kg (0.11 lbs) (2.1%) flaked barley (Thomas Fawcett) (3.0 EBC)
0.02 Kg (0.04 lbs) (1.0%) chocolate malt (900.0 EBC)
20.00 g (0.71 oz) Fuggles (5.71% AA) leaf (boil 50 minutes, 26.3 IBUs)
Windsor (Lallemand)  (1 sachet, previously rehydrated)
Volume: 10.50 L (2.8 gallons)    OG: 1.046   FG: 1.011     ABV: 4.6%     IBUs: 26.3     Color: 34.4 EBC     BU/GU: 0.572     Efficiency: 65.00%
Ca: 111 ppm; Mg: 3 ppm; Na: 7 ppm; SO4: 80 ppm; Cl: 140 ppm; HCO3:35 ppm
67.0ºC (152.6ºF) for 60 minutes
60 minutes

As you can see above, we did a single infusion as it is common with English styles, at a temperature to give us medium body. Water profile was modified adding 25 mL of sulfuric acid and 3.6 g (0.13 oz) of calcium chloride to adjust mash pH to a theoretical value of 5.38, predicted by Bru’n Water. As a bonus this would increase calcium level. The chloride:sulfate ratio was towards chloride to promote malt flavor.

This time everything went more or less as planned, with original gravity few points above the predicted value (1.050). After boiling, we cooled the wort with an immersion chiller and in a few minutes it was at 18.5ºC (65.3ºF), thanks to cold winter water. After transferring wort to a PET demijohn, about 11 liters (2.9 gallons), we pitched yeast we had previously rehydrated in about 100 mL of pre-boiled and cooled water.

Windsor, yeast for our British Brown Ale

Our fermentation chamber had no free space, so we left the demijohn in a room with a quite stable temperature of about 18ºC (64.4ºF). Next day, 16 hours after pitching yeast, a good krausen was present and the airlock was bubbling a lot. Later that day, krausen got thicker and temperature in the beer raised to 20ºC-21ºC (68.0ºF-69.8ºF). The following days krausen slowly disappeared and temperature of the liquid decreased day by day until it reached 18ºC (64.4ºF) again. It seemed that fermentation was coming to an end. Since beer also had cleared, six days after brewday I planned the bottling session. However, when I measured final gravity, it was a bit high, 1.019, so I decided to wait a little more. Well, in fact, only a day more because I needed to bottle the beer in order to have it carbonated when our team had set the meeting to choose which beers were going to represent us in Match Beer. So, a day later, and with a final gravity of 1.018 (4.2% ABV) I proceeded to bottle.

British Brown Ale on bottling day

Since I wasn’t sure that fermentation was finished (on the contrary, I thought it was more than likely that it had n’t finished), I decided to add sugar only for 1.8 volumes of CO2 in the final beer, thinking than the rest of carbonation could come from what was left to ferment (yeah, I know we shouldn’t do this). There were almost 10 liters (2.6 gallons) of beer, enough for 28 33 cL bottles. I crossed my fingers hoping that the day we were going to taste it the beer had an adequate carbonation.

Two weeks later, (I told you I had no time) we tasted the different beers all the members of the team have brewed. In the end, as I said before, ours got selected to represent the British Brown Ale style, which made us happy, especially because the beer had a good level of carbonation. It was quite clear and it could be considered a good example of the style. Maybe a little punch in malt aroma would had been ideal to round the beer.

British Brown Ale, final result

For the last part of the post, the tasting of the beer, I will try to summarize the opinions the beer got from members of other teams as well as from the BJCP judges that were present in the final round during the celebration of the ACCE Congress in Bilbao.

APPEARANCE: Medium brown, with a little haziness. Beige creamy foam with medium retention.

AROMA: Low to medium caramel from the malt. No esters. Hints of earthy hops. In the first tastings, there was also some diacetyl, which could be in part due to the fact it was bottled before it should be. However, in the final round, none of the judges detected diacetyl, so I guess yeast made its job cleaning it during the weeks that passed since the first tastings until the final round. However, in this final round, the BJCP judges claimed there was some oxidation.

FLAVOR: Medium caramel malt, with some residual sweetness. Low to medium bitterness, with low earthy hop flavor. Balance towards malts. In the first tastings, diacetyl was also mentioned.

MOUTHFEEL: Medium body, with medium-high carbonation. No presence of alcohol. A slightly creaminess and without astringency.

The beer got an average rating of 31 after all the tastings, which helped our team to win the third position in the team competition (being the American Stout the absolute star of our team). So in the end, considering all the circumstances, we were quite satisfied with the result. For future brews of this style, we will try to increase malt aroma. And once again, as we did when we brewed a Dark Mild, we had realized that English styles, although they seem not to be trendy among homebrewers (and commercial brewers in general), are quite easy and fast to brew and, most of the times, result in very enjoyable beers. Brewing an English style once in a while is always a good idea.

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Gose with fruit tasting (1/3) – Gosepi – Gose with pineapple

This year, in our second try at sour beers, we decided to brew another gose, which we divided in three different split batches. Each one received one kind of fruit: pineapple, blackberries and pomegranate. Although the base beer was the same, after adding the fruits, the result was quite different from one to another, so I will write a different post for each one of the three different versions of this gose. First one will be Gosepi, a.k.a. gose with pineapple. We served this beer in last year ACCE (Spanish Homebrewers Association) Congress in Bilbao (it was another batch, but same recipe and process), so maybe some of you were able to taste it.

Gosepi, our gose with pineapple

There is little presence of malt and none of hops in aroma. Lot of esters from pineapple and a hint of lactic acid aroma. In the scoresheets of the contest of last ACCE Congress in Bilbao, judges commented on the presence of solvent like aroma and flavor. After doing some research, I have some doubts. Ethyl acetate, the compound associated with solvent defects, is considered a fruity ester related to pineapple. Evidently, I’m not a trained beer judge, and they sure have more knowledge and experience than me, but in this case I wonder if they could be taking as solvents the esters coming from pineapple juice. I’m just curious, since this was a temperature controlled fermentation and the yeast strain we used should not produce this kind of solvent compounds… unless some contamination occurred.

In the description of the beer judges, solvent also appears in flavor, but I have the same doubt as with the aroma. There is a cereal base and then a prominent pineapple flavor, with a moderate lactic acidity. There is no trace of hops and, at least I’m not able to find them, notes from yeast fermentation.

Low to medium body, carbonation is rather high. It has some astringency and a dry finish which makes it quite refreshing and very drinkable.

Overall, we are quite happy with this beer. We think that we achieved what we were looking for, to give this gose a strong pineapple character. The esters from pineapple combine pretty well with the acidity of the base beer and, especially if you like pineapple, is a very enjoyable and drinkable beer. Considering the opinion from the beer judges, we could do something to make this beer more accessible. I wonder if maybe reducing the amount of pineapple juice we can maintain the pineapple fruity character while avoiding solvent like notes. Anyway, this beer did not score so bad despite the solvent character described (32, 29 and 29 from three different judges, for an average of 30).



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Yellow Galaxy, #2 of our OP Series

As we told you in the tasting of our first Oat Pale Ale, we loved it so much that we decided to begin a new series of beers, called OP Series. These beers would share some common characteristics, like being more or less clear in color, having a considerable amount of malted oats, with a good amount of hops both in the whirlpool and dry hop and with a low ABV percentage. For our second recipe of this series, the name of the beer could give you some clues about some of the changes we made from the original recipe. While for our OP Series #1 we used East Kent Goldings as bittering hops and Citra during whirlpool and for dry hopping, in this one we used another British hop for bitterness, Fuggles, and the combination of Galaxy and Amarillo for the additions for flavor and aroma… and in this case for the name of the beer also (Amarillo meaning yellow in Spanish). The rest of the recipe was almost the same. For the grist, half Pilsen, half naked malted oats and for the yeast, Vermont Ale. But in this case the producers were different, so there could be some small differences in the products this time compared with the ones we used previously. For OP Series #1 Pilsen malt was from Dingemans and in this case it was from Grannaria. Yeast was from Giga Yeast for #1 and it would be from The Yeast bay for #2.

Calcium chloride for water treatment

This time we also treated water for the mash, aiming for a suitable pH value. To do this, we collected the water we needed the day before brewing day, boiled it for a few minutes and we left it all the night to evaporate chlorine. On brewday, we added enough sulfuric acid and calcium chloride to achieve a mash pH value around 5.30. These additions would also give us a chloride:sulfate ratio of 1:1, the same we had with OP Series #1. You can see the amount of the different ingredients and details from the process below.


2.60 Kg (5.73 lbs) (50.0%) Pilsen base malt (Grannaria) (5.0 EBC)
2.60 Kg (5.73 lbs) (50.0%) naked malted oats (Crisp) (3.0 EBC)
60.00 g (2.12 oz) Fuggles (4.50% AA) pellets (boil 30 minutes, 27.6 IBUs)
50.00 g (1.76 oz) Amarillo (7.90% AA) pellets (whirpool 15 minutes at 80ºC (176ºF), 5,9 IBUs)
50.00 g (1.76 oz) Galaxy (15.60% AA) pellets (whirlpool 15 minutes at 80ºC (176ºF), 11.6 IBUs)
50.00 g (1.76 oz) Amarillo (15.60% AA) pellets (dry hop, 8 days after pitching yeast, for 3 days)
Vermont Ale (The Yeast Bay)  (1 vial, pitched directly without starter)
Volume: 21.00 L (5.5 gallons)    OG: 1.044   FG: 1.010     ABV: 4.4%     IBUs: 45,0     Color: 7.6 EBC     BU/GU: 1.034     Efficiency: 65.00%
Ca: 114 ppm; Mg: 3 ppm; Na: 7 ppm; SO4: 143 ppm; Cl: 147 ppm
69.0ºC (156.2ºF) for 60 minutes
60 minutes


During brewday, mashing went as expected, with a temperature of about 69ºC-70ºC (156.2ºF-158.0ºF) all the time, with some mixing in between. Pre-boil gravity, as it happened the last time, was less than expected (1.028 versus a theoretical value of 1.036). I had the theory that the problem was an insufficient crushing of malted oats, being that those grains are smaller than malted barley. And with the experience of subsequent elaborations with this ingredient, it turned out to be true. Nowadays we crush malted oats with a corona mill so we end with a finer crush for these grains.

No problems with boiling either. We added the bittering hop charge as we had planned and, after one hour, we cooled the wort to around 89ºC (192ºF). At that time we added 50 g (1.76 oz) of Galaxy pellets and 50 g (1.76 oz) of Amarillo pellets for a 15 minutes whirlpool, after which temperature dropped to 80ºC (176ºF). After that, we remove hops and we cooled the wort to 20ºC (68ºF) with a copper immersion chiller, then pitched yeast directly from the vial (Vermont Ale from The Yeast Bay). Probably it would have been better to make a starter, but due to a lack of time that wasn’t possible. We put the Brewbucket fermenter in the fermentation chamber, set at 18ºC (64.4ºF), aiming for a fermentation temperature of 19ºC-20ºC (66.2ºF-68.0ºF). Original gravity was 1.036 (theoretical value was 1.044).

Dry hopping with Amarillo hop pellets

It took a couple of days to show signs of active fermentation, with some bubbles in the airlock and a temperature rise 48 hours after pitching. The rise in temperature continued for one day more, reaching 20ºC (68ºF). Fermentation activity started to slow down four days after pitching. We raise the fermentation chamber temperature to 20ºC to force the yeast to eat the remaining sugars and we left it that way for two days. Then we set the fermentation chamber temperature at 15.5ºC (59.9ºF) before dry hopping with 50 g (1.76 oz) of Amarillo pellets in a hop spider. The next days we lowered the temperature progressively until the beer reached 10.5ºC (50.9ºF)

Vermont Ale, chosen yeast for our OP Series#2

We brewed this beer for a day with longtime friends, so we were going to keg most of it and, if there was something left, we would bottle it. Eleven days after brewday, we transferred 18 liters (4.76 gallons) of beer to a corny keg while purging with CO2. After that, we force carbonated it and kept the keg at 5ºC (41ºF) until it was time to take it to the reunion. We still had 1.8 liters of beer, so we bottled it in 5 33 cL (12 fl. oz) bottles. We bottled with enough sugar to get a carbonation level of 2.5 volumes of CO2. Final gravity was 1.014, somewhat higher than the one estimated by Beersmith, giving a final ABV of 3%, nothing that worried us.

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Tasting tangerine Porter

The beer you are about to read about was the second one we brewed adding among its ingredients part of a cocoa tablet made from raw cocoa beans. We told you about the first one, chocolatastic Porter, and how it was the final result. This time it is turn for tangerine Porter, which was brewed with tangerine juice. A little bit of vodka in which tangerine zest had been soaked was also added at bottling.

Tangerine Porter

Appearance wise, it is dark amber in color and it shows some turbidity. It has a white foam with low to medium retention.

Hints of caramel and nuts, as well as some chocolate are the main characteristics in the aroma. There is also a citric note under the above aromas. There are no aromas coming from hops or fermentation (we used Safale S-04 for this beer).

For flavor, caramel and toasted notes from special malts are the most predominant characteristics. Then it comes cocoa and, finally, at the end the fruit gives some citric notes.

It is a light bodied beer, with medium carbonation. The mouthfeel is quite dry, probably thanks in part to the addition of the juice from tangerines.

Overall, it is an easy drinking beer and the tangerine touch makes it quite refreshing. However, it had not been a beer that convinced us completely. The mix of toasted malts, cocoa and tangerine does not work very well. Several times when I opened a bottle, after the first sips the flavor seemed quite interesting but while I continued drinking it that same flavor gave me a weird sensation and it took me sometime to finish the beer. It was a good experience just to see how cocoa or tangerine juice can work in a beer, but we will apply what we have learned to other type of beers, since it is not likely that we are brewing this recipe again.

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First try at brewing a milkshake IPA

From all the spectrum of new hazy IPAs that have colonized the market these last years, one of my favorite styles is milkshake IPA. I’ve enjoyed quite a few commercial examples of this style. Considering this, it was a matter of time to brew one on our own. As we always do when we are brewing a style for the first time, before planning recipe and process, I looked for information from different sources and then I tried to process it to see what we could apply.

With some articles with general information about the style and its characteristics, posts from forums and blogs around the internet showing recipes of the style, some tips from the pros and an interesting entry with information from the pioneers of the style (Omnipollo from Sweden and Tired Hands Brewing form USA), I was able to figure out how we should brew a milkshake IPA.

Grains for our first milkshake IPA

Broadly speaking, milkshake IPAs share a good number of attributes with NEIPAs and the rest of hazy IPAs. Two of these attributes are the presence of oat or wheat flakes (or their respective malted grains variants) and dry hopping while fermentation is still active to promote that mysterious, and nowadays quite unknown, interaction between hops and yeast called biotransformation. Adding most the hops in the hot side during whirlpool at flame out or pitching yeast strains able to produce esters that boost fruity aromas and flavors from hops are also common practice.

As (almost) particular characteristics of milkshake IPAs is, evidently, the use of lactose to give some residual sweetness and to contribute to body and mouthfeel, as well as the presence in the process of other ingredients that help to obtain a long-lasting haziness as pectin rich fruits, wheat flour or combination of both. These ingredients are usually added in the boil. The addition of fruits (whole or pureed) once primary fermentation is finished and before a second dry hop charge is used quite often too. Finally, and supporting that sweet touch of the style, it is not uncommon to see some examples with vanilla beans among their ingredients.

Apples, pectin rich fruit to provide haziness

Considering of information above, we decided to brew a recipe with Pilsen malt, wheat flakes and naked malted oats, as well as lactose that would be added during the boil. A puree from golden apples would also be added during the boil. Golden apples are rich in pectin, which should help with haze. For hops, we chose Citra, Vic Secret and Galaxy. The first two would be added both in the whirlpool and for dry hop. Galaxy would be only added for dry hop. One thing I must point out is that the Citra hops we were going to add were in Cryo Hops form, a kind of pellets with much less leaf or green material and approximately double of alfa acids and oils than normal hop pellets. We were going to give also a vanilla touch by steeping a couple of vanilla beans in a few milliliters of cheap vodka. The yeast chosen for this beer was Juice (Imperial Yeast #A38), since its description matched what we were looking for, a yeast that could produce some esters that boosted the aroma and flavor from hops. Finally, we were going to add some calcium chloride with a double purpose: lower the mash pH to about 5.5 and increase the chloride levels looking for a smoother mouthfeel.

In one final twist, from the 15 liters (3.96 gallons) we were going to brew, our idea was to separate 5 liters (1.32 gallons) and add some fruit (mango in this case) and keep the rest of the volume, 9 liters (2.38 gallons) without fruit. Therefore, excepting the addition of wheat flour and, at least in one part, the addition of fruit after primary fermentation, we were going to apply the rest of things we had learned.

Citra Cryo Hops

Below you can check the final recipe and details of the process.


3.23 Kg (7.12 lbs) (56.0%) Pilsen base malt (Grannaria) (5.0 EBC)
1.74 Kg (3.84 lbs) (30.1%) naked malted oats (3.0 EBC)
0.30 Kg (0.66 lbs) (5.2%) wheat flakes (4,0 EBC)
75.00 g (2.65 oz) Vic Secret (16.10% AA) pellets (whirlpool 30 minutes at 80ºC (176ºF), 32.1 IBUs)
50.00 g (1.76 oz) Citra (25.00% AA) cryo hops pellets (whirpool 30 minutes at 80ºC (176ºF), 33.2 IBUs)
75.00 g (2.65 oz) Vic Secret (16.10% AA) pellets (whirlpool 30 minutes at 80ºC (176ºF), 32.1 IBUs)
50.00 g (1.76 oz) Vic Secret (16.10% AA) pellets (dry hop, 5 days after pitching yeast, for 5 days)
50.00 g (1.76 oz) Citra (25.00% AA) en cryo hops pellets (dry hop, 5 days after pitching yeast, for 5 days)
*From here onwards, beer was divided in two fractions, one of 9 liters (2.38 gallons) and another one of 5 liters (1.32 gallons)
30.00 g (1.06 oz) Galaxy (15.60% AA) pellets (dry hop, 10 days after pithching yeast, for 6 days) in the fraction of 9 liters (2.38 gallons)
20.00 g (0.71 oz) Galaxy (15.60% AA) pellets (dry hop, 10 days after pithching yeast, for 6 days) in the fraction of 5 liters (1.32 gallons)
5 golden apples, pureed (boil 20 minutes)
0.50 Kg (1.10 lbs) (8.7%) lactose (boil 15 minutes)
0.50 Kg (1.10 lbs) mango, sliced and previously frozen (only in the 5 liters (1.32 gallons) fraction)
Juice (Imperial Yeast #A38)  (1 sachet, pitched directly without starter)
Volume: 15.50 L     OG: 1.072   FG: 1.024     ABV: 6.5%     IBUs: 65.3     Color: 9.9 EBC     BU/GU: 0.905     Efficiency: 65.00%
Ca: 219 ppm; Mg: 3 ppm; Na: 7 ppm; SO4: 12 ppm; Cl: 332 ppm; HCO3: 120 ppm
66.0ºC (150.8ºF) for 60 minutes, mash out 75ºC (167ºF) 5 minutes
60 minutes

For clarification purposes, as stated above, we were brewing 15.5 liters (3.96 gallons) that then were going to be divided in two fractions, one of 9 liters (2.38 gallons) and another one of 5 liters (1.32 gallons) that would be treated somewhat differently. This division was going to be made after the first dry hop charge with Citra Cryo Hops and Vic Secret pellets.

Juice from Imperial Yeast

In the morning of the brew day we boiled the water we were going to use in order to remove chlorine. Then we added 12.5 g (0.44 oz) of calcium chloride targeting a mash pH of about 5.5 and increasing chloride levels to get a softer mouthfeel. The mash, one hour at 66ºC (150.8ºF), went as planned. We stirred the mash a few times to mix well and favor the activity of the enzymes. Once the mash was finished, we mashed out before removing the bag with the grains and starting the boil. As you probably noticed in the recipe above, we added no hops during the boil. However, we added a puree form golden apples the last 20 minutes of the boil, as well as lactose for 15 minutes. When the boil was finished, we cooled the wort a little bit, until it reached 80ºC (176ºF). Just then it is when we added whirlpool hops (Citra cryo hops and Vic Secret pellets). We kept this whirlpool for 30 minutes, maintaining the temperature at 75ºC-80ºC (167ºF-176ºF). After this, we cooled the wort at a little more than 20ºC (68ºF) and transferred it to a brewbucket fermenter, splashing the wort to get some oxygen. While we cleaned everything, we set the fermentation chamber temperature at 8ºC (46ºF) to try to cool the wort temperature a little bit more before pitching yeast. Original gravity (1.064) was lower than the theoretical value because we got more volume than expected. We pitched yeast at about 20ºC, setting the fermentation chamber at 16.5ºC (61.7ºF), so we could have a fermentation temperature around 17ºC-19ºC (62.6ºF-66.2ºF).

Fermenting milkshake IPA

30 hours after pitching yeast, the first signs of fermentation started to show up. The intensity of these signs increased the next two days and after that they slowed down. During those first days beer had a temperature that moved between 18.5ºC (65.3ºF) and 20.5ºC (68.9ºF). We added the first dry hop charge at the fifth day (I know, we should have added it a couple of days before to follow the information we had got for the style). We put 50 g (1.76 oz) of Citra Cryo hops in one hop spider and 50 g (1.76 oz) of Vic Secret pellets in another hop spied and we placed both of them in the fermenter. When we opened it, the krausen was in its last stages. After five days at 18ºC-19ºC (64.4ºF-66.2ºF), we divide the beer in two fractions. The first one, 9 liters (2.38 gallons), was transferred to a PET demijohn, while the other one, of 5 liters (1.32 gallons), went into a PET bottle. We added a second dry hop charge in each one of them, in a mesh bag. 30 g of Galaxy pellets in the first one and 20 g of Galaxy pellets in the second one. The smaller one also received 500 g (1.10 lbs) of previously sliced and frozen mango (we had kept it in the freezer for a few weeks). Both of them were kept in the fermentation chamber set at 18.5ºC(65.3ºF) for a few days. We proceeded to bottle the bigger fraction five days later.

Trub in the bottom of the demijohn

First of all, we added part of the vodka in which we had kept two vanilla beans. As we didn’t have enough bottles for the full volume, we transferred half of it to a mini keg where we were going to force carbonate with CO2 after one night in the fridge. In the other half we added some sugar syrup, previously boiled, to get about 2.2 volumes of CO2 in the final beer. We got 9 33 cL (12 fl. oz) bottles apart from the mini keg. Final gravity was 1.022 (a high value because Saccharomyces yeasts can metabolize lactose), with an ABV of 5.6%.

I should tell you know how we follow the process with the smaller fraction, but as any homebrewer knows, things don’t always go as expected. In this occasion, while this part was there with the dry hop and the fruit, we weren’t able to get some time to bottle it. Days passed by and when we finally find some time to do it, a few weeks later, I took a sip and it was enough to discard it down the drain. Too astringent, even a little bit sour, no aroma,… not drinkable at all. We will have to wait to a future brew to try something similar. But well, one thing is for sure, we will tell you how the firs part of the beer turned out in a future post.

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