22/03/2015: This brewing day was first published on the 16/02/2015 but it is now updated with the tasting notes you will find at the end.
This brewing day was planned to be a split batch Black Ale, half using my usual yeast for this recipe – Nottingham Ale Yeast and half a new yeast for me: Safale US-05, an American Ale Yeast. But, as things usually go when it comes to home brewing with no storage space – I barely had any ingredients, so
no Nottingham yeast left, and not enough Fuggles hops either, so the recipe had some tweaks:
1.1 litre Coopers Dark Ale Malt extract
4.4 litre boiled Brita filter water
0 min – 20g Target hops (12.7%) + 15g Fuggles hops (3.48%) – put on high heat and stir all the time
15 min – 30g Fuggles hops + 55g dextrose
30 min – into ice bath after a healthy rolling boil
Safale US-05, American Ale yeast
500ml Brita filtered water @ 27°c (mixed boiling and regular water) – optimal temperature for the Safale-05 to grow
Set to reproduce from the start of the wort (1 hour)
To the cooled wort and yeast mix another 5 litres were added, making a roughly 9 litres
batch. OG was 1046 (higher then in the past) @ 25°c.
This time I continued using the short boiling time method (which I learned from James Spencer at Basic Brewing) and made 2 big changes to my regular Black Ale recipe and one small change that I used to do in the past:
1. Used Safale US-05 which I’m really excited about, learning how different yeasts change the beer
3. Added some dextrose during the boil (15 minutes) to increase the gravity a little
I hope those changes will result in a good tweak to my Black Ale as I adjust to find my perfect recipe, any idea on what more I can do to it?
Update 1 (9 days after brewing): A little later then usual, 30g of Fuggles Hops (3.96%) been added to the fermenter for dry hopping. Fermentation seems to have stopped after 6 days, but will continue with the full 14 days fermentation.
Update 2 (14 days after brewing): Bottled the beer: roughly 9L made 19 bottles. 40g of dextrose add to create 1.8 CO2 level (carbonation). FG=1012, leading to ABV=5.9%, higher then the last few batches and back to my original ABV goals.
Compared to the original recipe, this time I used Target hops (12.17%) for the bittering and replaced my regular Nottingham Ale yeast to Safale US-05 American Ale yeast, what a change!
The basics of the beer haven’t change much: it is very dark, a little tangy and bitter in a hoppy way, not a too heavy malty way. It always had pretty low carbonation with an Earthy aroma (from the Fuggles hops).
The big change this time is the fact that the head is practically non existing, carbonation is even lower and some of metallic edge of the beer taste is gone! The beer is still earthy and tangy, but now the taste is lighter, compliments the hops better bringing a nicer fruity aroma there that was really missing while staying very dark and earthy. The Target done the job and the beer is even slightly bitterer, but somehow has some “greenness” to it, making it very refreshing.
I think from now on my recipe will be calling for the Safale US-05 and the Trget hops for bittering regularly.