Saturday, August 28, 2010

English Ale Split Batch

In the fourth class of the five class series of brew school, the students brewed up a ten gallon all-grain batch of English ale. Because the wort is split into two five gallon fermenters (for ease of transport from school to the area that the beer ferments) it is a perfect opportunity to try out a couple different types of yeast. In this class we fermented one half with Whitelabs WLP002 English ale yeast and the other WLP004 Irish ale yeast. I just sampled the finished beer and I've got to say that the class did an excellent job of preparing the wort for the yeast as the attenuation reach 80% for both yeast types and the quality of the beer is excellent.

Irish or English

Each yeast imparted distinctly different characteristics to the beer. WLP002 is malt forward accentuating the crystal 40 that was used in the grain bill. The WLP004 has some apple/pear flavors with a crisp and dry mouth feel. Both beers are very enjoyable. It's surprising to experience such remarkable differences in a beer based solely on the type of yeast used. I was so impressed with the results that the Imperial IPA that I brewed yesterday was split with half getting some salvaged English ale yeast from class beer and in the other half I pitched the yeast I normally use for the recipe, Safale US05. I think I'm going to make this a regular part of my brewing practices and experiment with some yeasts that I haven't tried yet. I can't believe that I've waited this long to break out of my yeast preference routine.
For those interested in the class project, here is the recipe:

English/Irish Ale
Attn: 80%
Eff. 80%
ABV. 5.6%, SRM 8, IBU 38, O.G. 1.052, F.G. 1.010/1.008

18lbs 2-row
28oz. crystal #40

mash for 60 min. in 5.5 gal. water with 1 tsp. gypsum at 152f.
fly sparge for 45 min. collecting 13gal. at start of boil

Boil for 60 min. with
2.5 oz. Willamette 5% aa 60min.
2.0 oz. Willamette 5% aa 20min.
1.0 oz. Willamette 5% aa 10min.
Chill to 66f. aerate and transfer to two fermenters.

Pitch English ale yeast in 5.5 gal.
Pitch Irish ale yeast in 5.5 gal.

Ferment for 7 days, rack to kegs and force carbonate. Condition for 2 weeks at 45f.
If you have any questions about this recipe, leave it in the comment section.

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