Y-Brew 0x03 – Aussie Pale Ale – “Willy Hop” mod

@RecentlyDrunk's excellent AG 04

@RecentlyDrunk’s excellent AG 04

Today I had a bottle of @RecentlyDrunk‘s lovely “Simcoe Amarillo” homebrew. I hope to be able to make a beer that good myself one day. For now, however, I’ll be sticking to what I can manage with “kit” brews. My Cooper’s kit has done good work producing two batches of ale so far. My Sorachi-hopped Cooper’s “Lager” worked rather well… not as good as proper Bristol Beer Factory Acer (no surprise), but well enough to be identifiably an attempt to mimic it. I had Acer at the Cambridge Beer Festival and my first thought was “this reminds me of my homebrew” ;)

Y-Brew 0x03 - Getting Ready

Getting Ready

Inspired by the weather, a bit of gardening including running a trellis for our “Willingham Hop”, and by Bob’s excellent “Simcoe Amarillo”… I did a quick “brew” today. I picked up a Cooper’s “Australian Pale Ale” can and some Brew Enhancer #2 earlier in the year and then promptly put it away and forgot about it. Today I dragged it out, cleaned up all the kit and got stuck in. It’s all very simple really, the beauty of kit brewing: I spent more time sanitising stuff than actually “brewing”. (In quotes because I won’t really consider it proper brewing until I go “all grain”, kits are just cheating really.)

Last autumn we harvested the hops from our hob bine, a hefty 200g (dry weight) in all. We have no idea what sort of hop this is as it was here before us, so we just call it the “Willy Hop” (we live in the village of Willingham). My mod to the APA recipe is to add some Willy Hop and up the BE#2 by 50% to get a higher ABV. Today’s recipe goes:

Y-Brew 0x03 - Rinsing Hops

Rinsing Hops

  1. Boil 4 litres of water
  2. Add 1.5kg of Cooper’s Brew Enhancer #2 and dissolve
  3. Add 15g whole-cone “Willy Hop” – boil for 5 minutes
  4. Add 15g whole-cone “Willy Hop” – boil for 5 minutes
  5. Turn off the gas… “flame out”
  6. Add the tin of Australian Pale Ale hopped-extract, stir in thoroughly, this is stirred/steeped for 5 more minutes
  7. Strain into fermentation vessel
  8. Pour 10 litres of tap water through strainer to thoroughly rinse hops, remove strainer
  9. Make up volume to 23 litres while checking temp – aiming for ~25C
  10. Stir very very thoroughly
  11. Take sample for measuring original gravity – was around 1046
  12. Sprinkle on yeast nutrient (not confident of my Cooper’s yeast sachets)
  13. Sprinkle in content of 3 Cooper’s yeast sachets – they’re not old, but just in case…
  14. DONE! Lid on, put somewhere warm and dark…

I’ll be adding a good charge of Willy Hop for “dry hopping” once this is fermented. Stay tuned! (and fingers crossed…)

Y-Brew 0x03 - OG 1047

OG 1046

3 thoughts on “Y-Brew 0x03 – Aussie Pale Ale – “Willy Hop” mod

  1. One week later. The brew has been at about 19-20C for the week. Current gravity seems to be about 1016… hoping to squeeze a bit more out of it. It has been agitated, shifted to a cooler spot, and 20g of chopped “Willy Hop” has been added for a dry-hopping along with a hopeful half teaspoon of yeast nutrient.

    Turns out of the two packs of yeast I added one was the Cooper’s ale yeast (from a stout kit) and the other wast the Cooper’s 50/50 blend of ale and lager yeasts (the one that came with the APA kit).

    Plan is to bottle it in about 1 week’s time.

  2. I gave it a light and careful stir today… to get the chopped up hops to stop floating (dry) on top – hopefully not a terrible mistake?! Based on temp the fermentation seems to still be going. (Fermenter is warmer than ambient.)

  3. Bottling day! On Monday 17th I siphoned the beer from the fermenter into a barrel, the gravity at the time was about 1014.

    Since the transfer on Monday the beer has been busy and has worked down to 1009 today. Nice. Currently an ABV of just about 4.9% – and priming should push that above 5. I weighed the cask and have 21 litres in there – I’ve primed in-barrel with 100g of brewing sugar dissolved in 100ml of hot water with a target of just over 2g/l CO2 (a little above the usual for a UK beer.) The gravity after priming seems to be about 1012 – hope I mixed the sugar in adequately!

    Bottling commenced and went by without a hitch thanks to my wonderful assistant! Mostly in screw-cap PETs, but also a handful in glass – exercising my new crown-capper and bag of nice blue lids.

    Now the waiting game begins… had a taste of the beer and it seems OK. Nothing stunning, but nothing stunning was expected! It’s just a Cooper’s Aussie Pale Ale kit with a few adjustments and hops of unknown-variety from the back yard. :)

What do you think?