Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Ulysses 31

75% Pale ale malt
10% Munich
8% Wheat malt
6% Caramunich II
1% Amber malt

Hops & Additions
13g US Magnus (16%AA) 60 mins  (21IBU)
30g Aus Galaxy (13.8%AA) 10 mins (15 IBU)
25g Aus Galaxy (13.8%AA) 5 mins (7 IBU)
25g Aus Galaxy (13.8%AA) Flame out

20g Dry hop for 5 days post fermentation

200ml thick yeast slurry (WLP090 San Diego Super Yeast)

Adjusted to ‘Pale ale’ as per

Mash at 65 degrees for 60 minutes
Boil for 60 minutes with additions as above.
Cool to 20 degrees and pitch yeast

Target Specifications
OG: 1.052
FG: 1.012
ABV: 5.3% ABV
IBU: 43.8 (Tinseth)
SRM: 7.4
Mash efficiency: 80%
Batch Size: 20L

A straight forward brew day with no real hassle. I haven't used Galaxy before so wanted to showcase it with the 1st brew. Named after one of my favourite cartoons when I was younger.
The yeast kicked off within 8 hours and is now chugging away nicely. I'm hoping for a nice big yeast cake so I can use the 3rd generation for a big new years day RIS brew. Having used the WLP090 on my Black IPA it seems to give a nice rapid ferment with a VERY clean profile, so hopefully the galaxy will shine through, with a nice slightly sweet malt character to back it up.

I had the camera out for the brew session, pictures are posted on JBK HERE

Saturday, 17 December 2011

January Meet: Guest Speaker Announced

Ladies and gents, we're pleased to announce that for our second meet on Thursday 12th January, Dominic from Thornbridge Brewery will be joining us. In fact, not only will he be throwing himself on the mercy of the group, and hopefully passing polite but constructive criticism on the brews offered up by the attendees, but he will also be giving a short presentation on how to brew barley wine.

Given Dom's CV, having worked at Thornbridge and Marble, and the fact that he's just achieved a Distinction in his Institute of Brewing and Distilling exam, we're expecting nothing less than a night of penetrating analysis and forensic pedantry - in a good way, of course.

We have four people able to bring beer so far - if you'd like to bring something, or just come along and be dazzled by Dom, please can you let us know on this post.

Until the 12th, then. Have a good Christmas, everyone!

Sunday, 11 December 2011

January Meet Up: Call For Dates

This is an advance a call for dates for our January meet. Thursday the 12th would be the preferred date, as we have an interesting guest lined up, with an interesting topic in mind, and this is their preferred date. However, if nobody can make it, then there's not a lot of point!

So, shall we shoot for Thursday 12th January, 2012? Similar format to the first meet - 6 people presenting their beers to the group, with the option of bringing along bottles to try after the more structured bit of the night.

Let's have your thoughts!

Also, if anyone has beers that they'd like to bring along to present to the group, let us know below. We'll use the same format as last time - first come first served, but if the number of beers goes beyond 6, we'll draw lots on the night.

Venue TBC.

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Smoked Oatmeal Porter

Grain Bill
71% 4.600 American Two-row Pale
8% 0.520 Oats, Flaked
7% 0.450 Chocolate Malt
6% 0.380 Crystal 60L
5% 0.350 Amber Malt
2% 0.100 Smoked Malt
2% 0.100 Carafa III
80 EBC (black)

Hop Schedule
60 mins 50g mystery unlabelled (Chinook?) leaf hops 13%AA (estimated
FO 15g Centennial & Goldings mixed (15 min steep)
50 IBU

Gravities (estimated)
OG 1.080
FG 1.020 (predicted)
7.5%abv (predicted)

Fermented with US-05.

This was a total cock-up of a brew from start to finish.

The recipe was dictated by what I had left over, so while the grain bill looks carefully designed, it's basically what was left in various bags, although the smoked malt was donated by Dean - I didn't want to go overboard with it, as too smoky is worse than not smoky enough (in my book). The hops were definitely high-%AA American, judging by the price sticker - the name label had gone missing, sadly.

The boiler I was using kept cutting out before it got to the boil (sorry Tom), and so I had to split the batch between 3 saucepans on the stove, and divide the hops between them. I had to transfer the hot wort to the fermenter and chill it, rather than chill in the copper, which wasn't really a problem, although my 'hop filter' turned out to be a slotted spoon holding back the hops and hot break. Was too focussed on getting things right to remember to take gravity readings.

A niggly brewday that was very challenging, although quite rewarding given the problems that had to be overcome. I'm interested to see what US-05 will do to such a low-hop, malt-heavy beer.

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Northern Craft Brewers: English IPA Competition

Adrian of Northern Craft Brewers has flagged this event up - it might be of interest for anyone with a penchant for historical accuracy! They are running an English IPA competition in tandem with their March meet-up. There are more details on their website.

There's just about enough time to brew an IPA, stuff it in a barrel with a couple of kilos of hops, and warm-mature it for a month before bottling it for the competition.

Good luck!

Saturday, 5 November 2011

First Meet Up: SUCCESS!

A very belated thank you to all the people who turned out for our first meet last month. To everyone who brought along beers to try - thank you, the standard generally was very high, and I hope you enjoyed sharing your beer in an atmosphere of positive support.

Special thanks must go to Dean at Mr Foley's for giving us the time and space to hold the event, and also to James from Summer Wine Brewery for coming along and sharing his experiences of moving from a home-brewer to a pro-brewer, something that I'm sure everyone in the room listened to with great envy!

The next meet is scheduled for mid-January, and we'll start taking submissions for people who want to showcase their beers at the start of January. Let's aim for 6 or 7 people presenting their beers, over the second hour of the meet. If others want to bring anything to share after that, fine, but the feedback received suggests that giving a smaller number of people 8 or 10 minutes to present their beer and get feedback worked well.

Onwards and Upwards!

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Broadford Black IPA

Maris Otter Pale Malt (5.45kg) – 77.9%
Munich Malt (1kg) – 14.3%
Crystal Malt (350g) – 5%
Carafa III (200g) – 2.9% (I added a further 300g Carafa before I sparged.  Aiming for maximum colour, minimum roastiness).

Magnum 45g – 12.7% @90mins
Chinook 20g – 12.4% @20mins
Cascade 20g – 7.6% @20mins
Chinook 20g – 12.4% @5mins
Cascade 20g – 7.6% @5mins
Chinook 20g – 12.4% @0mins (steep 20 mins)
Cascade 20g – 7.6% @0mins (steep 20 mins)

Final Volume: 23 Litres
Original Gravity: 1.069
Final Gravity: 1.017
Alcohol Content: 6.8% ABV
Bitterness: 79.2 IBU
Colour: 100 SRM
Yeast: Safale US-05
Mash: 90mins @ 67c
Boil: 90mins
Water treatment: 4g gypsum, 2g epsom salts, campden tablets.

A long awaited brewday (night!) and one that I decided to coincide with local fellow brewers @brotherlogic and @pdtnc #blackipaoff.  This was my fifth full mash brew (AG#5). The Brief was to brew a Black IPA, swap some bottles, taste, discuss.

Beer styles are always a topic for discussion and I know that the oxymoronic Black India Pale Ale is a debate in full flow.  I’m not here to discuss it, just to brew a beer, but I was interested to see what others had said on the subject Stout Fellow, Called to the Bar,  Into the BrewCraft Beer and Hop Press.  All things considered I’m sticking with Black IPA.  If it’s good enough for Kernel, Brodies, Windsor Eton Brew, Thornbridge and Buxton then it’s good enough for me!

I’ve now brewed with this setup a few times and I’m really happy with the results this time around.  On day 3 of the fermentation the hydrometer reading is down to somewhere between 1.030 and 1.020 (difficult to tell through the krausen and I’m not messing around dipping trial jars. One of these days I’ll treat myself to an FV with a tap!).

You can see some pics of the brew night here.

Looking forward to the next Leeds Homebrew meeting in January 2012.

Contributor: David Bishop (@broadfordbrewer)

Friday, 7 October 2011

Guest Speaker Announced

Ladies and gents, we're pleased to announce that for our first meet on the 20th October, James from Summer Wine Brewery has agreed to come along and say a few things about, well, whatever he wants really, but hopefully about beer and (home)brewing.

We're especially delighted as we know that James was a keen, nay, fanatical homebrewer before founding Summer Wine Brewery with his business partner Andy. Should you need any further proof of his credentials, please see the picture below, and the accompanying comment! (twitpic link here)

"this is what my kitchen looked like when i knew my hobby had got out of hand!!"

Monday, 3 October 2011

Running Order - Thursday 20th October

Here's a draft format for the evening, based on some suggestions received from a member of the London Amateur Brewers. None of this is set in stone, so if you have any strong feelings either way, please let us know.

The hour slot from 19.00 to 20.00 is intended to be a bit of a structured part, and maybe we can persuade one of the many great brewers close to Leeds to come along and say a few words about how they got started in brewing. If anyone is reading this and fits the bill, particularly if you got going through an interest in homebrewing, please email our admin Zak Avery (zak (at)

18:30 Arrive and get a beer
19:00 Welcome / Talk / Q&A
20:00 Tasting of members' beers
21:00 Meeting adjourned. Carousing optional.

What has also been suggested is that we limit the tasting slots to around 6, spread over the tasting hour. We'd like to allocate the slots on a first-come first-served basis, although we could also draw lots if we are oversubscribed.

Again, please let us know which you think would be better - if you'd rather a more free-for-all bottle swap type event, we can do that too!

Sunday, 25 September 2011

First Meet-Up Confirmed - Thursday 20th October 2011

I'm happy to announce that the first meet-up for readers and contributors to this blog will be Thursday 20th October, at Mr Foley's Cask Ale House on The Headrow in Leeds.

Dean, the manager of Mr Foley's (and blog contributor) has very kindly offered us space in the pub. I'm unsure yet as to whether his hospitality will extend to dropping the bottles off beforehand!

The format of the evening is as yet undecided, but will certainly involve drinking each others homebrew, and giving constructive and supportive feedback. Exactly how that will pan out, I've no idea, but let's use that as a guide, and see how far it gets us.

Any comments on how the evening should work are welcomed.

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Blanche de St. Oswald

2.043kg (39.3%) German Premier pilsner malt (Weyermann)
2.043kg (39.3%) Wheat malt
424g (8.2%) Oat malt
340g (6.6%) Flaked Oats
243g (4.7%) German spelt malt
102g (2%) German acid malt

Hops & Additions
20g German Tettnang (4.5 %) Whole hops FWH
30g Czech Saaz (3.0%) Whole hops 15 mins

7g fresh orange zest 15min
7g coriander seed (ground) 15min
1 tbsp. Seville marmalade 15mins
4g pure camomile flowers at flame out

Safbrew T-58

Adjusted to ‘general purpose’ as per

Mash at 68 degrees for 60 minutes
Boil for 60 minutes with additions as above.
Cool to 20 degrees and pitch yeast

Target Specifications
OG: 1.052
FG: 1.012
ABV: 5.3% ABV
IBU: 14.5 (Tinseth)
SRM: 3.5
Mash efficiency: 80%
Batch Size: 20L

After visiting Bruges in May I was fascinated by how varied this
style can be. I wanted to try and emulate the fine balance of flavours that good Belgian wit beers such as ‘Blanche de Namur’ and ‘St. Bernardus Wit’ demonstrate.
I chose to include camomile in the spices as I hope it will add a herbal note without being overpowering the other additions, or the fermentation characteristics.
I’m hoping to get another version of this beer brewed with WLP410 (Belgian Wit II) and with more flaked, unmalted grist additions before the Leeds HB meet for a comparison.

Neil Gardner (Leedsbrew)

Thursday, 1 September 2011

New Zealand Pale Ale

4kg Maris Otter pale malt
300g Torrified Wheat
500g Vienna Malt

Hops & Additions
10g Motueka (13.8%AA) at First Wort
10g Nelson Sauvin (12.6%AA) at First Wort
1x Protofloc tablet at 15 minutes
20g Motueka at 10 minutes
20g Nelson Sauvin at 10 minutes
20g Motueka at 1 minute
20g Nelson Sauvin at 1 minute
50g Motueka dry hop (1 week)
50g Nelson Sauvin dry hop (1 week)

Safeale US-05

Mash at 68 degrees for 90 minutes, second mash for 45 minutes.
Collect 25 litres total.
Boil for 60 minutes with additions as above.
Cool to 20 degrees and pitch yeast

Target Specifications
OG: 1.056
FG: 1.014
ABV: 5.5%
IBU: 62.76
SRM: 5.3
Mash efficiency: 70%
Batch Size: 23 litres (5 gallon)

I have high hopes for this brew. The hops gave off a great aroma in the kettle so I am hoping that this will follow through for a flavourful beer. It was brewed on Monday and is currently fermenting, with another 100g of hops to be added whilst conditioning. I collected slightly to much, however this doesnt seem to have effected the OG too much, although it may be closer to 1.054.

Dean Pugh

Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Embryo-Faced Assassin

3.5kg Maris Otter (97%)
75g Crystal 40L (2%)
50g Amber Malt (1%)

Hops and Additions
15 mins - 30g Citra leaf 13.8%AA
10 mins - 10g Protafloc granules
5 mins - 40g Citra leaf 13.8%AA
1 min - 70g Citra leaf 13.8%AA

Rehydrated Safale US-05

Mash at 66 degrees for 75 minutes
Collect 25 litres
Boil for 75 minutes, making additions as above
Cool to 25 degrees, splash aerate and pitch yeast

Target Specifications
OG: 1.041 (actual 1.048)
FG: 1.010 (predicted 1.015)
ABV: 4% (predicted 4.5%)
IBU: 40
SRM: 7
Mash Efficiency: 75%
Batch Size: 20 litres


I think I undercollected on this one - I lost a bit in the boil, and didn't top-off enough. Also, I think I lost a fair bit to hop absorption, yielding about 17 litres to FV, hence the higher than expected OG.

This is my attempt to turn Tom Fozard's (now of Rooster's Brewery) near-legendary Baby-Faced Assassin, a strong IPA with a metric shedload of very late hops, into a more sessionable beer, hence the slightly odd name.

It's a really wasteful way of using hops to make beer, but the results can be amazing if done right. Tom's latest homebrew exploit (and I hope he won't mind me saying this) has taken late hopping to it's illogical conclusion, with 400g of Chinook added at 1 minute before flame out. I hope he'll be good enough to share the recipe and results with us soon.

Thanks also go to Tom for the loan of the boiler.

Zak Avery

Sunday, 28 August 2011

Mackem Mild

3kg Marris Otter pale malt
200g Pale Rye malt
130g Black malt
100g Weyermann Rauch malt
100g Torrified Wheat malt

Hops and Additions
15g Bramling Cross (6%AA) at first wort
10g Bramling Cross (6% AA) at 30 minutes
1x Protofloc tablet at 15 minutes
15g Bramling Cross (6% AA) at 10 minutes

Safeale S-04

Mash at 67 degrees for 90minutes
Second mash (no sparge arm as yet) at 67 degrees for 45 minutes, collecting a total of 5.5 gallon
Boil for 60 minutes, making additions as above
Transfer to FV
Cool to 20 degrees and pitch yeast
Ferment for around 4 days, check gravity after 3 days

Target Specifications
OG: 1.041
FG: 1.010
ABV: 4%
IBU: 24.84
SRM: 19.4
Mash Efficiency: 70%
Batch Size: 5 gallon

This is my 6th AG brew, and my first attempt at a mild. I'm hoping the combination of malts will provide a depth and a little complixity to the flavour and the late addition Bramling Cross will bring some berry fruit flavours. The brewday went very well, I came up slightly short on the batch size at just under 5 gallons but managed to achieve my target OG (it came up at 1.041/1.042) which was pleasing. I will leave further notes in the comments section below as the fermentation takes place, and of course some tasting notes in a month or so.

Dean Pugh

Monday, 22 August 2011

Inaugural Meet-Up/Tweet-Up

We're taking calls for a date for the first meet of Leeds Homebrewers. Early to mid-October seem like a good idea, as that means the second meet will fall in early to mid-January, which will give everyone something to look forward to, and not clash with Christmas plans.

Dean at Mr Foleys Cask Ale House on The Headrow in Leeds has very kindly offered the use of part of the pub, so I suggest that as the venue.

The exact format of how it works will be ironed out as we get nearer the date, but can we suggest that depending on how many people show an interest, homebrewers try to let us know in advance what they will be bringing, and try to bring around a litre of beer (e.g. 3 x 33cl or 2 x 50cl, or a 1 litre PET bottle) to share.

If you'd like to post a recipe, please send and email to zak(at), and he'll send an email back inviting you to be a contributor on the blog.

Please get involved - without you, this is just another page on the web!

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Amber Samsara (an easy IPA)

11lb (5kg) Maris Otter pale malt
4.5oz (125g) Amber Malt (Fawcett's)

Hops and Additions
.9oz (25g) Chinook (12.4%AA) at 60 minutes
.46oz (13g) Chinook (12.4%AA) at 30 minutes
.46oz (13g) Amarillo (9.4%AA) at 30 minutes
1tsp Protafloc / Irish Moss at 15 minutes
.46oz (13g) Amarillo (9.4%AA) at 10 minutes
.9oz (25g) Chinook (12.4%AA) at flame out, steep for 20 minutes
.9oz (25g) Amarillo (9.4%AA) at flame out, steep for 20 minutes

Fermentis S-05 American Ale Yeast

Mash at 67ºC for 90 minutes, sparge and collect 5.5 gallons
Boil for 60 minutes, making additions to schedule
Cool, aerate and pitch around 25ºC
Ferment 7-10 days

Target Specifications
OG 1.066
FG 1.018
Target %abv – 6.5%
IBU 50

I'm fascinated by the dialogue between British and American brewing cultures, and so this is a stab at a hybrid between a pale golden English ale (Summer Lightning is a classic) and an American IPA (a pale one like Dogfish Head 60 Minute). The amber malt gives this beer a subtle biscuity background note.

Zak Avery