For my second experiment in One Pot Brewing, I made an English IPA. It’s not bad. Drinkable, Maris Otter malty, crisp, hops are very subtle and one-dimensional, a tad sweeter than I normal like in beers (due to the yeast I’m guessing). But then again, I don’t really like English IPAs all that much. I like American IPAs. My wife made me do it. One time, we had a really good English IPA from Tapestry I believe, can’t remember the name – needless to say, this one doesn’t taste like that one. Don’t get me wrong: I will gladly drink it. I like the taste of Maris Otter, and the Biscuit malt seems to add a nice complexity (recipe below). The hop presence is very subtle and uninspiring. However, considering all the short cuts I took, I consider this beer a partial success.
To review, there are several experiments, issues, short cuts, and variables going on here:
30 minute mash
Could have affected efficiency, I don’t know (I don’t measure), tastes right considering the yeast. Certainly isn’t too sweet for the style.
30 minute boil
Could have caused a slight butterscotch flavor, although I cannot taste it anymore, now that it’s fully carbed.
One Pot Brewing (using the same vessel for mash, boil, ferment, and bottle)
I see no problems here; certainly this beer is not infected in any way.
Fermenting in aluminum
After my first batch, I did worry about this a little. I thought I might possibly be tasting something metallic, but then I thought I might be tricking myself (my wife, for example, didn’t taste it); anyway, I know there is no metallic flavor in this beer. But this is something I will be tracking. Update: just cracked open a Belgian Tripel last night, which had zero metalic flavor as well.
Fermenting with a lot of head space
I put 5 gallons of unfermented beer in a 7.5 gallon vessel. So, at least 6 inches of head space I would say. Does this cause oxidation? I haven’t noticed any oxidized (=cardboard) flavors. I’m pretty confident that this is not an issue, from what I have heard from people who know a lot more than me (thanks Micha).
Bottling directly from a spigot
Again, I haven’t noticed problems. I do not use a bottling wand, I just carefully open the spigot and let the beer flow directly into the bottle, and then cap – of course I don’t splash or anything. I generally drink my beers within a month of two, so ageing is not something I’m interested in (unless I make a barely wine).
Using a really old yeast
The internet is always warning you not to use yeast that is over 1 or 2 months “old”. Well, I used a really old (about 6 months) Scotch Ale yeast slurry for this beer, collected and used in my usual way, which seemed appropriate for this beer. It fermented just fine. The beer is not too sweet. I’m guessing that the way in which I harvest yeast has something to do with it’s longevity – namely, that I allow a small amount of beer to rest on top of it; perhaps this allows it to feed and wake up after I bring it to room temperature (I’m speculating here).
After having a few last night, I don’t taste any noticeable off-flavors whatsoever, nor does my wife; nor does my friend, who is a brewer. If I brewed this again, I would somehow increase the hop character, maybe dry hop. Any suggestions?
English IPA 6.3%, 5 gal/44 beers, $24
10 lb Maris Otter
.7 lb White Wheat malt
.5 lb Carm. Crys 40L
.5 lb Biscuit malt
1 oz Challenger FW (30 m)
1 oz Kent Goldings (10)
1 oz Kent Goldings (FO)
1 oz Fuggles (FO)
Scotch Ale Yeast