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English Pub Ale (batch #155)

 
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kal
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Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: New Zealand IPA, Electric Pale Ale, Bell's Two Hearted, American Lager, Kolsch, Weizen, Irish Stout, Janet's Brown

Working on: Light American Lager, Cream Ale, Stone's Enjoy By IPA, Russian Imperial Stout


PostLink    Posted: Tue Apr 23, 2013 8:03 pm    Post subject: English Pub Ale (batch #155) Reply with quote


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I recently hooked up two stout faucets in my bar that are pushed by a 30/70 blend of C02/Nitrogen gases. The idea is to get a beer with a nice creamy head with low carbonation.

I've been looking for an easy drinking (lower alcohol, lower bitterness) English style pub ale with a smooth, full-bodied malty flavour that would go well with this sort of nitro/stout faucet setup. This is the recipe I came up with. It was heavily inspired by the commercial beer Boddingtons Pub Ale. While I wouldn't call it an exact clone, if you enjoy Boddingtons, you'll like this recipe.

In terms of BJCP style guidelines, this beer technically should be a Special/Best/Premium Bitter (8B) so that's how I classified it below, but it's a bit low on the bitterness (at 18.3 IBU it doesn't hit the 25 IBU minimum). You could also think of it as a slightly lighter coloured Irish Red Ale (9D) fermented with English yeast. I intentionally aimed low on the bitterness, colour, and maltiness as I wanted this beer to be quaffable. This is a refreshing, smooth & sessionable beer.


Photo (c) http://juventiknows.com

The recipe uses the Fuller's yeast which is available to homebrewers as Wyeast 1968 London ESB Ale liquid yeast or White Labs WLP-002 English Ale liquid yeast. It produces malty beers that slightly sweet/fruity. As this yeast does not attenuate very well so we purposely mash at a low temperature (148F). The yeast is also highly flocculant (likes to settle out) so giving the bottom a gentle stir once a day during fermentation can help it from falling out too soon.

If you serve this beer on straight CO2, go with a fairly low carbonation (the lower the better in my humble opinion, or even better, as a cask ale). If you have the means to serve it through a beer engine with no extra carbonation at all other than residuals left over from fermentation, you'll have something that approaches the original way that Boddingtons has been served since 1778 with a traditional hand pulled method.


Photo (c) www.alohafrom808.com

Boddingstons was one of the first beers in the world to use a "widget" Draughtflow® system to produce this distinctive creamy head and smooth body with little gassiness, right out of the can.

One cheap and inexpensive way to (sort of) mimic this is to use a syringe. Pour the beer as you would normally and then suck up a syringe full and force it back into the beer, hard. Repeat 2-3 times and you'll knock most of the C02 out of solution leaving a nearly flat beer with a creamy head. Over carbonation destroys a lot of the subtleties of this beer. Don't over carbonate.

Brew up a batch and let me know how you like it! I first brewed this beer on March 18, 2013.

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English Pub Ale (batch #155)

Size: 12.0 gal (post-boil)
Efficiency: 95%
Attenuation: 73.8%
Calories: 152.95 kcal per 12.0 fl oz
Original Gravity: 1.046 (1.040 - 1.048)
Terminal Gravity: 1.012 (1.008 - 1.012)
Color: 5.79 (5.0 - 16.0)
Alcohol: 4.44% (3.8% - 4.6%)
Bitterness: 18.3 (25.0 - 40.0)

Ingredients:
13.15 lb British Maris Otter Malt (84.8%) (Buy at: Amazon, MoreBeer, HighGravity, AiH, NB, OBK)
1.88 lb Pale (or White) Wheat Malt (12.1%) (Buy at: Amazon, MoreBeer, HighGravity, AiH, NB, OBK)
0.47 lb Weyermann Cara-amber Malt 27L (3.0%) (Buy at: Amazon, MoreBeer, HighGravity, AiH, NB, OBK)
2.5 oz Fuggle Hops (UK) (4.5%) - added during boil, boiled 60 min [18.3 IBU] (Buy at: Amazon, MoreBeer, HighGravity, AiH, NB, OBK)
1 Whirlfloc Tablet (Irish moss) - added during boil, boiled 15 min (Buy at: Amazon, MoreBeer, HighGravity, AiH, NB, OBK)
4 packs Wyeast 1968 London ESB Ale liquid yeast (or an appropriate starter*) (Buy at: Amazon, MoreBeer, HighGravity, AiH, NB, OBK)
- OR -
4 vials White Labs WLP-002 English Ale liquid yeast (or an appropriate starter*) (Buy at: Amazon, MoreBeer, HighGravity, AiH, NB, OBK)

Notes:
Add 500mg potassium metabisulphite to 20 gallons water to remove chlorine/chloramine (as required).
Water treated with brewing salts to: Ca=110, Mg=10, Na=16, Cl=71, S04=69
(Keeping the Cl:S04 ratio even for a balance between malt and bitterness, hitting the minimums on Ca and Mg).
1.5 qt/lb mash thickness. Single infusion mash at 148F for 90 mins. Mashout to 168F.
60-90 min fly sparge with ~6 pH water. Collect 13.9 gallons in boil kettle.
Boil for 60 minutes. Lid on at flameout, start chilling immediately.
Cool wort to 66F and aerate well. Ferment at 66-68F until complete.
This yeast drops brilliantly clear without need of any clarifiers.
See above for recommendations on carbonation/packaging.

*For hints on how to make a starter see Chapter 6 of How to Brew and Appendix A of Brewing Classic Styles.

For complete brewing instructions, see our Brew Day: Step by Step guide.

Brew yourself a batch today and let us know how you like it! Enjoy!

Purchasing through our links helps support our site at no extra cost to you. We thank you!


Kal

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Last edited by kal on Sat Mar 01, 2014 4:50 am; edited 13 times in total
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g8tors



Joined: 05 Oct 2011
Posts: 186



PostLink    Posted: Tue Apr 23, 2013 11:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looks good. I'm not too familiar with how to use the mixed gas. Do you carbonate the keg with CO2 and then use the Nitrogen/CO2 mix to push the beer? Or do you carbonate the beer with the mixed gas as well as for serving? If so, does it take longer to carbonate the beer with the mixed gas?

Thanks,

Scott
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kal
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Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 3724
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: New Zealand IPA, Electric Pale Ale, Bell's Two Hearted, American Lager, Kolsch, Weizen, Irish Stout, Janet's Brown

Working on: Light American Lager, Cream Ale, Stone's Enjoy By IPA, Russian Imperial Stout


PostLink    Posted: Wed Apr 24, 2013 1:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

g8tors wrote:
I'm not too familiar with how to use the mixed gas.


Neither was I ~4 months ago and I'm still learning. Wink When I was doing my research the information was all over the place.

When I first got all the equiment to do a nitro/Co2 setup I had a keg of Irish Red that was already carb'ed with 100% CO2 to about 2 volumes. I wanted to move that over and start serving with 30/70 CO2/Nitro but I got nothing but foam no matter how low I set the regulator pressure.

So I took the keg out and degassed it as much as possible by letting it warm up to room temp over 48 hours with the lid slightly cracked. I then put it back in to chill, attached it to the CO2/Nitro blend regulator and starting at low pressure and worked my way up after it cooled. I did this over a period of many weeks. It does pick up some gas over time and it does take a good 2-3 weeks but eventually get you a fantastic CO2/Nitro pour. So time to carb is about the same as CO2. Maybe a bit longer. My kegerator's at about 32F and at around 12-15 PSI it worked well with this 30/70 blend (by comparison sake my CO2 regulator's set to about 4-5 PSI because of how cold the beer is).

I also serve my Fulllers ESB "clone" on this beer gas blend and for that one I took a freshly filled keg of it (not carb'ed at all with CO2, only residual carbonation left) and put it in the kegerator with the regular still set to 12-15 PSI, keezer at 32F. It took a good 2-3 weeks to carb up before I got that nice cascading pour and creamy head.

I'm actually still playing with it but it's been a few months now and I think I've found a good balancing point. I find there's only so much reading/research/calculations you can do about these things. You just need to try it out for yourself. Problem is that it'll likely take me a long time (many months or even years of trying out different things before being 100% sure).

The only "issue" at this point is that having a tap that has to wait 2-3 weeks to pour right is kind of annoying. I have a new conditioning/carbonating fridge that holds 6 kegs that was specifically so that I wouldn't have to wait, but the tank in it for pre-carb'ing is CO2 only. I can take a beer on CO2 out of this fridge and put in my serving keezer and it's ready to go. Not true for something I serve on beer gas (CO2/Nitro blend).

For the second keg of this English Pub Ale I left it on CO2 for 3 days to see if that helps reduce the time. I'll see once the first keg pops how it is after I hook it up. If it's half way there and isn't too foamy, next time I'll try 6 days of CO2 for these beers I eventually end up serving on blended gas. Lots of trial and error and it's completely depending on regulator pressure and the temperature of the beer.

I get the feeling that you'll get slightly different carbonation from sitting on 30/70 blend vs 100% CO2. It doesn't really make sense to me since Nitrogen doesn't really get into the beer as easily but I'm not sure. In an ideal world I'd have a second tank/regulator in the conditioning fridge just for blended gas but there's little room left (see pic below). I don't like the idea of only hooking up gas for a certain amount of days. I prefer the set and forget method of a balanced system.



Kal

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Last edited by kal on Wed Apr 24, 2013 10:05 pm; edited 1 time in total
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g8tors



Joined: 05 Oct 2011
Posts: 186



PostLink    Posted: Wed Apr 24, 2013 2:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the in depth explanation. I too like the set and forget method and use that for all my beers. I think I will get a tank of mixed gas for my stouts for I have been disappointed with my last two stouts because of the lack of body. The latest issue of BYO mentions that mixed gas will improve body.

Scott
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sirmellor



Joined: 19 Feb 2013
Posts: 6



PostLink    Posted: Wed Apr 24, 2013 4:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have used beer gas (70/30 mix) for many years to serve my English beers.
I also use it with a beer engine via a cask breather to keep a blanket of gas on top of the beer. This prevents oxidization without forcing any beer through the engine.
So in my kegerator I have both co2 and beer gas. When I keg my English ales I always hook them up to the co2 in the kegerator, unless they are on the beer engine.
Then I serve them like that until I feel the co2 bite getting to much for my taste. Then I switch over to the beer gas. Its a low tech method but works for me.
If you like the creamy low carbonation that you get in the widgit cans, then a beer engine is a great investment but you must use it with the sprinkler attached. This is typical for all northern english ales, in the south of england they tend not to use the sprinkler and you lose that tight creamy head and mouth feel.

Thanks, Richard
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kal
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Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 3724
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: New Zealand IPA, Electric Pale Ale, Bell's Two Hearted, American Lager, Kolsch, Weizen, Irish Stout, Janet's Brown

Working on: Light American Lager, Cream Ale, Stone's Enjoy By IPA, Russian Imperial Stout


PostLink    Posted: Wed Apr 24, 2013 4:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sirmellor wrote:
So in my kegerator I have both co2 and beer gas. When I keg my English ales I always hook them up to the co2 in the kegerator, unless they are on the beer engine.
Then I serve them like that until I feel the co2 bite getting to much for my taste. Then I switch over to the beer gas. Its a low tech method but works for me.

Interesting. I think I'll try that next time.

Quote:
If you like the creamy low carbonation that you get in the widgit cans, then a beer engine is a great investment but you must use it with the sprinkler attached. This is typical for all northern english ales, in the south of england they tend not to use the sprinkler and you lose that tight creamy head and mouth feel.

Agreed with the sprinkler. I would prefer it as well, though I know it's highly debated topic amonst "real ale" aficionados with no right or wrong answer.

Do you find the beer engine requires a rinse each evening after use? Difficult to clean?

Kal

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sirmellor



Joined: 19 Feb 2013
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PostLink    Posted: Wed Apr 24, 2013 5:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kal, you are right about the sprinkler, in England it truly is a north/south divide issue. I believe it comes down to what you were brought up with.
As far as cleaning the beer engine, I'm a little bit embarrassed to say I only clean it when I clean the other beer lines Embarassed
But having said that I do clean the sprinkler every time I use it.
I also typically pull about half a pint and discard it before pulling my first pint.
I look forward to brewing your English pub ale, it might be the first I do when I get my control panel! I will probable use the wyeast west Yorkshire 1469 yeast. I believe this is the Timothy Taylor's yeast which is a great beer I grew up on.

Thanks, Richard
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kal
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Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 3724
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: New Zealand IPA, Electric Pale Ale, Bell's Two Hearted, American Lager, Kolsch, Weizen, Irish Stout, Janet's Brown

Working on: Light American Lager, Cream Ale, Stone's Enjoy By IPA, Russian Imperial Stout


PostLink    Posted: Wed Apr 24, 2013 5:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sirmellor wrote:
I look forward to brewing your English pub ale, it might be the first I do when I get my control panel! I will probable use the wyeast west Yorkshire 1469 yeast. I believe this is the Timothy Taylor's yeast which is a great beer I grew up on.

Excellent! Let us know how it turns out. That's one yeast strain I've never used myself.

Reading the Wyeast description on 1469:

Quote:
Wyeast 1469 West Yorkshire Ale

Flocculation: High
Attenuation: 67-71%
Temperature Range: 64-72'F (18-22'C)
Alcohol Tolerance: 9%ABV

This strain produces ales with a full chewy malt flavor and character, but finishes dry, producing famously balanced beers. Expect moderate nutty and stone-fruit esters. Best used for the production of cask-conditioned bitters, ESB and mild ales. Reliably flocculent, producing bright beer without filtration.


It sounds quite similar to 1968:

Quote:
Wyeast 1968 London ESB Ale

Flocculation: Very High
Attenuation: 67-71%
Temperature Range: 64-72F, 18-22C
Alcohol Tolerance: 9% ABV

A very good cask conditioned ale strain, this extremely flocculant yeast produces distinctly malty beers. Attenuation levels are typically less than most other yeast strains which results in a slightly sweeter finish. Ales produced with this strain tend to be fruity, increasingly so with higher fermentation temperatures of 70-74°F (21-23° C). A thorough diacetyl rest is recommended after fermentation is complete. Bright beers are easily achieved within days without any filtration.


Similar attenuation and flocc'ing abilities, both very malty. I think I'll make a note to try this beer with 1469 next time. That's one of the nice things about liquid yeast choices ... there are so many you can make dozens of completely different beers by only changing the yeast.

Kal

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ahaslam



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PostLink    Posted: Wed Apr 24, 2013 9:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I force carb for a N/Co2 mix by forcing a small amount of Co2 (perhaps only 1 - 2 psi) then connecting up the mixed gas and serving

Here's the result on a dry Irish stout poured 5 mins earlier after being kegged only 1/2 an hour before. It keeps improving as with any conditioned beer but the effect of the Nitrogen on the taste tends to hide the unconditioned aspects of the beer.



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kal
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Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 3724
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: New Zealand IPA, Electric Pale Ale, Bell's Two Hearted, American Lager, Kolsch, Weizen, Irish Stout, Janet's Brown

Working on: Light American Lager, Cream Ale, Stone's Enjoy By IPA, Russian Imperial Stout


PostLink    Posted: Wed Apr 24, 2013 10:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ahaslam wrote:
I force carb for a N/Co2 mix by forcing a small amount of Co2 (perhaps only 1 - 2 psi) then connecting up the mixed gas and serving

Can you describe more what you mean exactly when you say you "force" a small amount CO2 at 1-2 PSI? What temperature is the beer at?

I have 2-3 kegs of beer that I want to serve on 30/70 blend in my conditioning fridge that is currently at 32F and has zero carbination (other than what was residual in the beer after fermentation). I'd love to be able to take one and put it in my serving keezer without havng to wait 2-3 weeks after I hook it up to the 30/70 blend.

Kal

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Feurhund



Joined: 01 Feb 2011
Posts: 88



PostLink    Posted: Wed Apr 24, 2013 10:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kal,

What stout faucet did you choose? I am looking for an all stainless one. Don't like the plastic spouts. Stainless brewing.com had one but stopped carrying them. Thanks.
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ahaslam



Joined: 22 Feb 2012
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PostLink    Posted: Wed Apr 24, 2013 11:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I generally force carbonate my beer straight after a period of cold crashing - so it will be pretty clse to 0 deg C.

The process for force carbonating a beer in preparation for serving for nitrogen is just a shortened version of how I normally force carbonate as described below:

1. Set your Co2 pressure to about 40-45psi and connect to the keg.
2. Force air out by bleeding keg through release valve.
3. Invert the keg and shake/roll to encourage the dissolution of co2 into the beer.
4. After a while (more on this below), turn the keg the right way up, close the tap on the co2 tank then roll/agitate the keg on it's base to allow the pressure in the headspace to disperse into the beer and to equalize.
5. By watching where the pressure gauge finally settles as you agitate the keg, you will be ale to see how much pressure you have forced into the beer thus far.
6. Repeat from step 3. until the equalized pressure is at or just below the target carbonation for your beer.

Non nitrogen beers still benefit from 4 - 5 days conditioning as the carbonation becomes finer and less soda-like. Nitrogen served beers seem to be fine right there and then as the nitrogen has a much finer mouthfeel than Co2 to start with. As I mentioned earlier, the nitrogen masks a lot of flavour too (seems to be the defining characteristic of 'smooth-pour' beers), meaning that it's drinkable sooner.

Regarding how long to agitate for: It takes a bit of experience to know how long to 'force' it for before measuring it but it's generally a couple of minutes for a higher carbonated beer or for the aforementioned stout, about 30 seconds. In any case, dropping the pressure is a matter of letting the beer sit for a day or 2 with the release valve twisted open.


I use a nitrogen mix of 20% Co2/80% N - here in NZ its called Cellamix 12. There are other versions with higher Co2 and they are also used for serving stouts and other smooth pour beers - but it was explained to me that one of the main uses for the higher Co2 mixes was to maintain the pressure of beers in kegs for a long time without the risk of overcarbonation, which seems to happen with partially full kegs left at servig Co2 pressure.

[EDIT] Forgot to mention that you will need to hold the keg pressure at much higher levels with nitrogen mixes - basically, the less Co2, the higher the pressure. I leave my 20/80 mix at around 30-35psi. Guinness recommend 20/80 mix at 40psi but I find this results in with too much head on the beer after a week or so in the keg.
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kal
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Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 3724
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: New Zealand IPA, Electric Pale Ale, Bell's Two Hearted, American Lager, Kolsch, Weizen, Irish Stout, Janet's Brown

Working on: Light American Lager, Cream Ale, Stone's Enjoy By IPA, Russian Imperial Stout


PostLink    Posted: Thu Apr 25, 2013 12:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Feurhund wrote:
What stout faucet did you choose? I am looking for an all stainless one. Don't like the plastic spouts. Stainless brewing.com had one but stopped carrying them. Thanks.

See this post for the bar taps and other bar items I used:

http://www.theelectricbrewery.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=290842#290842

They did come with black plastic spouts.
I replaced them with these SS ones:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000F7R7YK/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B000F7R7YK&linkCode=as2&tag=theelectricbrewery-20

Kal

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Cactus



Joined: 12 Aug 2012
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Location: The inferno


PostLink    Posted: Sat Jan 18, 2014 6:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have been serving pub ales and stouts through a stout faucet and achieving the coveted velvety beer fall by doing the following:

Beer gas mix not required.
Force carbonate to approx 1 volume of co2
When serving, increase your pressure to approx 15-20 psi to push through the restrictor in the stout tap.
Pour about 1/2 pint with the glass sitting flat. Wait 2 minutes.
Top up and enjoy the beer fall.
When finished with the session, reduce the head pressure back to the level required for 1 volume of co2.

I got this method from an old byo article. The nitrogen in beer gas doesn't readily dissolve in your product but rather it is used to push the beer hard without over carbing. By manipulating your keg pressures as described above you can achieve the exact same results as a pub does with beer gas. Of course, a publican doesn't want to continually fiddle with keg pressures so beer gas is a better solution for him or her.

Give it a try!

Cactus
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