I’m starting to fall in love with low gravity beers, and I really want to keep one on tap regularly. To accomplish that, I’m going to start brewing a low gravity batch each time I switch yeast strains. The nice benefit to this is, I get enough healthy yeast for 2-3 subsequent ferments. Since, I have a couple batches on deck that are going to use WLP002, we’re brewing a standard bitter today.
This is a style that I’m mildly familiar with, as I’ve brewed a few special bitters in the past. I went with a pretty simple recipe here. Since I’m too lazy to buy Marris Otter, I used American 2-row, but with a healthy dose of Victory to replace that crackery, toasty quality of MO. There’s some C120 for color and flavor, and EKG for flavor and aroma. I’m again breaking style using Apollo to bitter the beer. It shouldn’t have a big impact, especially at around 1/3rd of an ounce.
I brewed this on a Sunday night after a particularly productive weekend. Despite being in a hurry so I could go to bed, everything went fairly smooth. I did underestimate how cold my mash tun was, and the infusion came in at around 141*. The HERMS quickly raised the small mash to 152*, and chugged along for 60 minutes. That was followed by a 60 minute boil and quick chill to 64* (I’m loving that the ground water temps are finally <70*).
I pitched a single vial of WLP002, and let it rip at around 17.5C. After 48 hours, I let the wort free-rise to 68, and held it there until it finished out. Not a ton to report on after that. Kegged, crashed, gelatined, and carbed.
Mash @ 152
11g Apollo @ 60
.5oz EKG @ 20
.5oz EKG @ 0
WLP002 – English Ale Yeast
Alright, it’s been on tap for almost two weeks now, and it turned out really nice. It smells like toasted malt and earthy/floral hops. There’s a nice caramel note that holds it together. Some esters in the flavor, but not to the point it’s out of style. Mouthfeel is a little thin, but not to the point you’d call it watery. It just turned out to be a really nice beer that goes down very smooth. The beer could have used a touch more bitterness though. I could tackle that through more sulfates in the water, or more bittering hops. I’m not sure which direction I’ll go next time.
I’m really getting on the session beer bandwagon, as I very much enjoy being able to knock back a pint or two and still be productive afterwards. That pretty much sums it up. Great beer, nothing terribly special, but I’m enjoying it.