Monday, February 27, 2012


Generally speaking I brew on a Saturday. Mrs V goes running on Saturday mornings and so I try to have my mash started by 7am, half past at the latest. Starting early means finishing before lunchtime and having the rest of the weekend to just lounge around, I also usually do the laundry while the wife is out, productive wee bunny that I am on occasion. This Saturday was no different other than it being the prescribed weekend for those of us taking part in the International Homebrew Project.

To my knowledge, homebrewers from the US, UK, Ireland and Latvia took part this year, if anyone from anywhere else brewed then please let me know. The beer, as I have mentioned several times, was a recreation of a 120/- beer from Edinburgh's Wm Younger's Brewery in 1853. Despite the hugeness of the beer, over 9% and at least 90 IBU, this was a beer for drinking young, or "mild" to use the parlance of the day.

I posted my exact recipe on Friday, though my actual hopping was slightly different due to a higher alpha acid rating on the Kent Goldings I bought that afternoon. Usually I use a single ounce for my hopping, not being a massive hophead, so chucking 4 packets of hops in total into the kettle left a lot of hop sludge as you can imagine! I also missed the target gravity of 1.114, coming in at 1.110  instead, though if the Beer Calculus tool on Hopville is correct, the dry Windsor yeast currently doing a number on the fermentables will produce a beer with 10.5% abv.

Just a quick note to the other brewers, I have adjusted the schedule slightly, and now plan to do a write up on how the beer turns out on Friday April 13th rather than the first week in April. Being such a big beer I want to give it just a little time in the bottle.


  1. Actually I am from Latvia, but used Lithuanian malt :), maybe that confused you. Never mind, since I brewed this beer in Switzerland where I live for a couple of months. But I know that a friend of mine that lives in Latvia permanently, also brewed on Saturday and there might be more Latvians that will brew, since I posted it in the local homebrew website.

  2. Made the correction.

    Would love to see the results from other Latvian brewers!

  3. I`m from Latvia and brewed on saturday as well. It was challenging brew as during winter season I`m playing with 5L batch using simple tools what can be found in every kitchen. Because of different factors final result will be far from original recipe, I think.
    Challenging was amount of grains, so I had dificulties to mash in because of "mash tune" size 6L (my water grain ratio was 1,4) and filtering was not easy as well for same reason. Because of those factors my efficiency was just 40% and I boiled down a lot to reach OG1110 and put ~3L to fermenter.
    Abnormal hop ammount made worth look like some hop cream soup, what filtered realy slow. And I hit 110IBU because of boil off (but I guess its not a big difference in mouthfeal is it 90 or 110IBU). :))

    Used Pilsener malt from Lithuanian Vikingmalt, East Kent Goldings, Fuggles, dry Windsor yeast.

    Brewing on regular bases for 2 years and can say, that this was most dificult and crazy brew I ever had. Next time should use my regular equipment for such brew.
    I took some pics as well, will make some record in blog about brewing and reasults, when we come to tasting. ;)

  4. Edgars,

    Thanks for taking part! Even with my boil of 13.5 litres I had a ton of hops that took an age to filter. With the fermentation well and truly underway now I am surprised at the amount of trub at the bottom of the carboy. One thing to note about the Windsor strain is that it does flocculate very well and you might have to use finings to get a clear beer.

  5. The windsor will leave it more malty than the Nottingham for sure. Both clear very well with way so i wouldnt worry about finings so much.

  6. I'm kegging it later (brewing another beer at the moment) so will report on my final gravity. Here is my brewday writeup for those interested.

    Al did you know I am not the only person in Ireland who participated? One of the Beoir guys joined in so I can compare results with him.

  7. FG 1038 (OG 1110) ABV 9,5%. It was difficult to fill, because some trub escaped in the filling bucked and clogged by filling tube.

    But the uncarbonated beer is thick and delicious already. Hope it does not spoil, because many things went wrong today. I have 11 0,33 bottles only.

  8. Good job guys! Mine finished at 1.030 giving me 10.7%.

  9. Mine's still in the secondary fermenter with the dry hops. It tasted great when I transferred it, kind of tangy.

    Thanks for organising the brew.

  10. 2 weeks in bottle, already feels perfect. Nice hoppy/boozy aroma, flavour is malt bomb with bittery background. Alcohol is well hidden, feels no more than 7% ABV. I can not imagine how good it will be after 1 year in the bottle.


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