A little behind the curve but that’s mainly due to illness and work!
Following on from my 1s blog post about home-brew competitions, this post is all about my latest entry into one!
The concept is simple, yet brilliant. Copper dragon have offered up the ingredients list for 3 of their most popular beers, Golden Pippin, Challenger IPA, and Black Gold. No weights, percentages or brew house data (mash temp, boil additions etc) have been provided. The challenge is to use one of the given ingredients list and take it from there! A very exciting challenge and one that I am very pleased to be a part off.
Copper Dragon Golden Pippin
Marris Otter Malt
Copper Dragon Challenger IPA
Marris Otter Malt
English Pilgrim Hops
Copper Dragon Black Gold
Marris Otter Malt
So where to start? do I go for as close a clone as possible? Or take an ingredients list to the Nth degree!?
I was drawn to the Golden Pippin recipe, primarily because I am a fan of american hopped pale ales. I do not tend to use many UK varieties of hops. I had neither challenger, pilgrim or northdown hops in stock and even if I did buy them in, I would probably not get round to using them again any time soon! I do however have a kilo of VERY fresh Columbus and a few 100g of UK grown cascade! Golden Pippin it was going to be! 🙂
The recipe is very simple , yet in its simplicity lies all sorts of possibilities. A good pale ale is a great beer. There is little in the way of speciality malts etc to hide any flaws or mistakes in the brewing process, where similar problems could be masked in a darker beer. A pale ale needs to be able to stand on its own merit and showcase the abilities of the brewer, the quality of the ingredients, and the concept of the recipe . There are fewer places to hide! 😀
So now, this is a competition after all 🙂 how to make my beer stand out from the crowd! I have a feeling that the Golden Pippin recipe is probably going to be the most popular entry. The members of the Leeds hombrew club are generally speaking, hop heads (myself included!) and I think there are going to be a fair number of great beers produced for this competition.
So I decided to try to boost the malt profile from the MO. The best way I thought to do this without adding another ingredient would be to try to promote melanoidin formation in the wort. Melanoidins are molecules formed as a product of the Maillard reaction
The Maillard reaction is a complex series of reactions between amino acids and reducing sugard in the presence of heat
So to promote the melanoidins I took 2L of the rich, forst runnings from the mash tun and boiled them to reduce them down to 300ml. The resultant sticky goo tasted amazing. so added back to the kettle during the boil, where hopefully the malty boosting melanoidins would do there work!
I also decided to use the ‘hop bursting’ technique to try to boost the hop presence in the beer.
The hop schedule I went for was almost equal quantities of Columbus and UK cascade (23, 25g) each at 15, 10,5 mins and then the same again at flame off.
The idea being to get the predicted 40IBUs from late additions only.
Overall I am very happy with the way this beer has turned out. The malt presence is definitely improved from other MO only beers I have made in the past. The hop bursting has given the beer a nice smooth bitterness, with plenty of Columbus and cascade flavour and aroma. I think I should have dry hopped this beer but time ran away with me.
The fnial recipe was
Maris Otter 100%
US Columbus (16.5%) 23g 15 mins
UK Cascade (5.7%) 25g 15mins
US Columbus (16.5%) 23g 10 mins
UK Cascade (5.7%) 25g 105mins
US Columbus (16.5%) 23g 5 mins
UK Cascade (5.7%) 25g 5mins
US Columbus (16.5%) 23g Turn off steep
UK Cascade (5.7%) 25g Turn off steep
Fermented with US05
Anyway, good luck to all that entered and may the best beer win!