Thursday, August 7, 2014

Friar Tuck Belgian Mild - Brew Day

Swirling first wort hops - Styrian Goldings and Saaz
Today I had my first brew day in almost a year and brewed up an experimental Belgian mild ale, which I am calling Friar Tuck.  Brew day was fun and went pretty smoothly.  I had some cleaning to do, which required my jumping into the shower with my mash tun before I began, but after I got all set, everything went very smoothly.  I undershot my target OG just a bit, I was going for 1.040 and got 1.038, which just means that my efficiency was about 71% instead of my usual 75ish.  I am well within the OG range of an English mild, which is exactly what I was going for with this beer.  I think it will be a perfect session/table beer.  For the hopping, I had some leftover Saaz in the freezer that still smelled great, so I threw in half an oz. with the Styrian Golding pellets during the first wort hopping (a method whereby I steeped the hops in the wort before bringing it to the boil).  The Styrian Goldings were of a lower alpha acid percentage than I originally calculated, so I used the Saaz to bump up the IBU just a tad and add some extra hop complexity to the beer.  I am looking forward to seeing how the first wort hopping affects the flavor of the beer, as it is supposed to add some unique flavor and aroma as well as bitterness.

In other news, I also got some critical keg cleaning done today and discovered that my kegerator and the beer inside it had completely frozen solid.  This was probably because I did not open the fridge very often, so I'm now defrosting the kegerator and the poor, lost, frozen keg so we can get the kegerator functioning and get some tasty Belgian mild flowing in a couple of weeks.

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