Sunday 3 November 2019

"Wetpak" American Pale Ale

"Wetpak" American Pale Ale

Date: 26/10/19
Batch Number: 4
Beer: American Pale Ale
Extract: Country Brewer "Wetpak" American Pale Ale
Yeast: Fermentis Safale S-04 (dry)
Specialty Grain: approx 150g with two different types of grain - not sure of type
Hops: one pack - approx 10g - unknown type

Notes: this is my first partial boil using what is technically an unhopped extract. The extract has hop pellets already mixed through, but it still needs to be boiled to extract the bitterness from them. My instructions below will be paraphrasing the instructions that came with the kit


  1. Empty extract contents into boil kettle
  2. Fill extract pot with hot tap water and let stand for 1-2 mins to dissolve remaining contents inside. Empty into boil kettle
  3. Put boil kettle onto stove over high heat and bring to a boil
  4. Whilst waiting for kettle to boil, add the grain to the empty extract pot - then half fill the pot with hot tap water
  5. Loosely place lid over extract pot and leave grain to steep for the duration of the boil
  6. Once the extract has started boiling, start a 60 minute timer
  7. Continuously stir the extract during the boil time
  8. After 60 minute timer has elapsed, remove the kettle from the heat
  9. Strain the contents of the grain into the kettle - ie. pour the liquid contents into the kettle, but filter out the actual grain
  10. Add the hops from the sachet to the kettle. Stir, then cover the kettle and leave to stand for 10 minutes
  11. Fill sink with cold water and put kettle into it. Can gently move the water around the outside of the kettle and also add ice to the sink water to help drop the temperature. Leave the kettle covered during this process
  12. Can also gently stir the contents of the kettle (with sterilised spoon) to help the cooling process
  13. Drop the temperature of the kettle to at least 26C (could take 30-60 mins)
  14. Fill FV with 5L cold tap water
  15. Empty all contents of kettle into FV (some people filter the trub from the kettle, I didn't bother)
  16. Fill FV to 20L with cold tap water - stirring whilst doing so
  17. Pitch yeast
Pitched at 22C

Fermentation Notes

  • Fermentation underway within 12 hours
  • Temperature had raised to approx 24C after 24 hours - warmer Sydney weather means ambient temperature a little higher under the stairs where the FV is kept
  • Added FV into tub of water to help control temperature - dropped back to approx 22C
  • Added fermenter to new fermenting fridge set to 20C on day 7 - dont expect this will make much different as fermentation is likely completed
  • Yet to be bottled

Hydrometer Readings

OG: 1042
Day 7: 1007
Day 8: 1007
Day11: 1007

Bottled Day 11 using carbonation drops

ABV: (1042 - 1007 / 7.46) + 0.5 = 5.19%

Given how low these hydrometer readings are, I suspect my hydrometer may be out by at least a few points. I tested it with some tap water and it read 0.997 so I think I can safely add at least 3 points onto each of my values above - FG would therefore be 1010

Tasting Notes

  • Tasting direct from the FV prior to bottling was very encouraging. No hint of home brew twang - sweetish with a hint of caramel. Tastes  very much as it should - like an American Pale Ale - similar to Little Creatures Pale Ale. Very promising!
  • Tasted on day 6 after bottling as I noticed one PET bottle that was conditioning was fully carbed (can tell by squeezing the bottle). Not sure what was special about this one so I put it in the fridge for 24 hours then tried it - and it's definitely my best brew yet. Excellent head and mouthfeel, nice sweet caramel undertones - could definitely do with some dry hopping to give it a nice burst but still very drinkable as it is. Only the slightest hint of the dreaded home brew twang that was only really noticeable towards the bottom of the glass - interesting. I'm thinking the flavour may be diacetyl? Anyway, the beer is still very young so this may improve (or get worse) as it ages. Will post more tasting updates over the coming weeks.
  • Tasted another bottle on day 8-9 and it had a strong acetaldehyde - a byproduct of yeast converting bottling sugar to alcohol. 
  • Tasted another bottle on day 14, acetaldehyde gone, but still strong diacetyl flavours - hoping it just needs more time as it's conditioning at 20C which may be causing it to develop a little slower than it would at warmer temperatures. Have moved raised the temp of the fridge to 24 degrees and moved a couple of bottles outside of the fridge to a warmer environment to help the process along
  • Tasted day 21 and all noticeble off-flavours - particular diacetyl have all but gone. Very happy with out how this one has turned out. If I were to make it again I'd definitely be adding something for dry-hopping.

No comments:

Post a Comment