Saturday, 27 February 2010

Spent grain bread

I've tried to make spent grain bread before, and I always made the mistake of using too much and ended up with a heavy, soggy brick. These days I don't use any more than a handful. It's tempting to use more, but you cannot predict the water content accurately and it always ends up being too much.

15g sourdough starter
100ml boiled, but unfermented hopped wort from Beata Bitter
100g rye flour
a handful of spent grain from Beata Bitter

Sponge +
200ml water
11g salt
400g strong white bread flour

Bake at 200ºC for 30 minutes and 150ºC for another 20, or whatever suits your oven.

The bread has a very soft, slightly doughy crumb. A bit too soft and fluffy. I might make the dough even drier next time, although it's already only 60% hydration. The supermarket bakeries clearly use malt a lot. It tastes fantastic, malty and sweet. No noticeable hop flavour.

Friday, 12 February 2010

Beata Bitter

The last time I bought some hops there were a variety I hadn't had before – Beata. They were very cheap so I got some and decided to use them in a golden ale to show off their flavour.

15:00 Rubber shoes, on. Circuit breaker, on. Death trap hot liquor tank made of discarded mango chutney drum and Asda kettle element, on.

15:01 Now to decide what to brew.

15.06 Look at hops in freezer. I have Magnum and Beata and East Kent Goldings. Hmm, Magnum as bittering, Beata for aroma? Beata are supposed to be good lager-type hops, and Magnum yer bog-standard clean German high-alpha bittering hops.

4 g gypsum
1100g maris otter
1910g lager malt
100 crystal malt

15.30 Move 10L mash water to mash bucket. Discover it is only 63ºC instead of 75ºC. Curse and put the kettle on.

15:41 Top up mash with approximately 2L boiling water, bucket now completely full but has reached 67ºC.

16.31 First runnings only 1.046 (unadjusted). That's 1.056 adjusted though. Guess I shouldn't sparge too much.

16.53 Batch sparging with another 10L at 78ºC, after 20 minutes: 1.010 at 47º - 1.019 adjusted.

17.10 Boiler coming up to boil, time for a beer and a sandwich.

17.30 Rolling boil, 15g Magnum in, 75 mins starts here.

18.10 Wallpaper hasn't peeled off the walls yet. Another half hour to go!

18.30 Late hops - 15g Beata. 15 minutes more!

00.00 I don't have a wort chiller. Bastard wort is still at 35ºC. When I make a cup of tea it's stone cold within twenty minutes. What gives?

00.10+1 Final OG is 1.046, collected about 15L of wort including trub.

03.30+1 Down to 24º. Pitched yeast.

15.16+1 Still no visible activity.

00.10+2 Tiny bubbles. Start worrying and make another yeast starter.

08.00+2 Foam! Don't need second starter after all. Yay!