Solaris MKII


Project Solaris back in May was brewed for the Leedshomebrew / Leeds international beer festival competition. Needles to say I didn’t win!

I wasn’t happy with the way the beer turned out. The malt was a bit too sweet and the hops a little muddled.

Well, this wrong needed to be righted! On paper this should have been a great beer, but it never really lived up to its promise. A few tweaks were in order and having tidied the hop freezer this weekend and found some Galaxy I didnt realise I had, it was time to take action!

Firstly I needed to address the malt bill. I think the use of Belgian pale ale malt along with 9% crystal type malts was a bit OTT. The BPA malt is like MO on roids and could have stood up on its own! I’ve swapped the base malt to a German Pils, so hopefully it will still have some continental grainy sweetness, but without the big malt punch of the BPA. The Munich has been changed up for Vienna, but thats just because I had no Munich left in stock! I also dropped the crystal malts down to just over 3.5% of carabohemia. I really like this crytal malt in pale beers, at a low %. The biscuit malt stays, with the very small (1%) addition of some roasted barley for colour. I’m hoping that this will give the beer a slightly redish hue and add ot a dry finish!


Hop wise I’ve changed it up a bit by swapping the summit and cascade additions at the top of the hop bill around. The small addition of summit shouldnt give anything more than bitterness after 90 minutes of boiling, where as a nice 10 minute addition of cascades is going to add a great citrus hit. The galaxy will add some passion fruit/mango flavours. the same canb be said working down the hop bill. I have been thinking more about hop blending recently as the batch of Andromeda Pale I made with citra and galaxy was slightly disapointing. I love Galaxy hops, and I love citra. however together the two seemed to be fighting over my palet for attention. so for this beer I wanted to combine hops that would bring tropical fruit and citrus flavours, with a burst of Nelson Sauvin’s uniqueness at the end!

mash 68oC
5.0% ABV
10.7 SRM
40 IBU (Rager)


Ingredient Amount % MCU When

UK Pale Ale Malt 3.596 kg 83.5 % 4.1 In Mash/Steeped
German Vienna Malt 0.411 kg 9.5 % 0.5 In Mash/Steeped
German CaraBohemian 0.154 kg 3.6 % 3.7 In Mash/Steeped
Belgian Biscuit Malt 0.103 kg 2.4 % 0.9 In Mash/Steeped
UK Roasted Barley 0.045 kg 1.0 % 10.9 In Mash/Steeped


Variety Alpha Amount IBU Form When
US Summit 14.7 % 6 g 12.8 Loose Whole Hops First Wort Hopped
US Cascade 5.7 % 25 g 4.4 Loose Whole Hops 10 Min From End
Australian Galaxy 13.8 % 20 g 8.5 Loose Whole Hops 10 Min From End
Australian Galaxy 13.8 % 20 g 6.6 Loose Whole Hops 1 Min From End
US Cascade 5.7 % 20 g 2.7 Loose Whole Hops 1 Min From End
US Summit 14.7 % 15 g 5.3 Loose Whole Hops 1 Min From End
NZ Nelson Sauvin 12.6 % 25 g 0.0 Loose Whole Hops At turn off

Mangrove Jack M79 Burton Union

I am using the Mangrove Jack Burton Union yeast for this beer as I have come to like it. I didn’t initially but I think this is because I was trying to use it like SafAle04. This yeast will attenuate more than S04, and won’t stip out hop flavour and bitterness either.


“Mangrove Jack”

Burton Union Yeast is a gentle but rapid fermenter that generates light and delicate ripe pear esters and does not strip away light malt character or body. Moderate acidity balances the silky smooth texture of beers fermented with this strain. When hops or malt aromas are stronger, the yeast contribution will be neutral. When used in lighter quality malt bases, the hops and esters are able to
shine. Beers made with this yeast are quick to condition, giving you great beer in as little as 3 weeks.

A pdf document can be found here that details all of the Mangrove Jack yeasts and their use, including correct rehydration instructions.

Like the last incarnation I plan on dry hopping this beer with a 2g/L equal blend of Nelson/Cascade/Galaxy


Very happy with the colour

Nice clear wort going into the fermenter

Nice clear wort going into the fermenter

I’ll keep this post updated as and when necessary. At time of posting this it is chugging away in the fermentation fridge at 20oC.



07/02/2014 Update:

This beer has ben crash cooled and racked to a crni keg. I will dry hop it in the keg for a week cold with an equal blend of Cascade, Nelson Sauvin and Galaxy at 2g/L


3 thoughts on “Solaris MKII

  1. Cheers, I hope its going to be a winner! They are an interesting range of yeasts. The British ale is very good as well. If your struggling to find them on Finland let me know, I could maybe help out!

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