Saturday, January 12, 2013

Something Different...

I was not planning to brew anything this weekend due to compounding laziness and it being a playoff weekend and all...go Packers!...but alas, I was recently given a nearly expired smack pack of yeast by a fellow homebrewer with the condition that I brew with it right away. While I should have just stuck the yeast in the fridge and told my gracious friend that I had, in fact, made a beer with it - and then gone and spent the weekend on the couch as planned - the beer obsessed part of me caved in and made up a yeast starter.

Mild - Porter
So I now I have a some Wyeast 1028 London Ale currently sitting on the stir plate. For those of you who have not used this yeast before, it is supposedly the Worthington White Shield strain and is known to make a pretty nice beer. Mildly fruity with good maltiness, some mineral character, high attenuation, and pretty piss-poor flocculation. In the past, I've used it with good success in a number of darker beers and high gravity ones; generally anything where you want good attenuation and not a lot of fruity esters.

But I have a problem. I can't for the life of me think of something to brew it with. I guess I'm in a beer funk. I've spent the last few hours scouring various UK and US homebrew forums for recipe ideas, but with no luck. Of all the beers I've considered making, a mild seems to be the least knackering, but then again I already have one planned with a different yeast for later this month. And I'd prefer to not make another bitter as I have one in the keg and another being kegged this week. Not to mention, I don't really have the space for a beer that's going to need a lot of time in the fermentor too. As for hoppy beers, I'm on the fence. Are there any low gravity, interesting hoppy beers out there?

Therefore, I am asking you, o' blogosphere, for brew suggestions. If you have a favorite beer recipe or a commercial product that you really fancy and think might be nice with this yeast, let me know. I would especially be interested to hear about any UK brews that don't travel far from where they are made. Surely there is some obscure little gem of a beer that deserves some attention. Even if it serves only to inspire. Something gets brewed on Monday, recipe or not.


  1. Two suggestions appropriate for this time of year. How about Gales HSB, its a bitter granted but quite malty/fruity and different to most other bitters, always good in cold weather. Theres a recipe in Graham Wheelers book "BYORA"

    Alternatively Traquair house ale, can't beat the history.
    Always remember having it on cask at an Edinburgh beer festival about 20yrs ago complete with german oompah band. Excellent stuff.

  2. Sister Star of the Sun is classic with that yeast, alternatively a NEB works pretty well. It has a bit of an oaky twinge that isn't my favorite though. It might do nicely in a Landlordish bitter, ~4% golden promise, touch of invert, fuggles/ekg for bittering and flavor, loads of styrian for aroma.

  3. I know it may be a bit late, but I've been meaning to brew a "Manns" type Brown Ale, the kind where you add back more fermentables/lactose than you think is safe to backsweeten. Or cut the fermentation early to leave residual sweetness. Could be a good blending beer with the bitters or the milds you need to use up. On the other hand, if this beer is meant for the friend, I'd probably go to something more safe. I can understand needing some inspiration after such a flat performance by the Packers. :(

  4. Thanks for suggestions everyone. I think I've settled on a recipe that combines a little of everything.

    And its probably best we don't talk about those packers... :)

  5. Look at Ron and Kristen's version of an 1896 light stout (scroll down to January 23):

    This is ideal: rich, very hoppy but fairly low gravity, no need to worry about excess clarity. You don't want (IMO) strong ester in a good stout, so the yeast sounds right otherwise.

    You might consider replacing the black malt with more brown (your own of course), perhaps 60/40 pale to brown would work well, or stick to the spec as is.



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