With my 3rd brew conditioning its time to steam on with my 4th brew.

Photo: The 3rd brew (IPA) seems to be clearing up nicely.

I based my recipe on a recipe pack http://www.brewuk.co.uk/store/recipes-rocker-apa but changed it quite a bit – using some real malts and also upped the strength and darkened the colour using crystal malt. I’m not sure how this one will come out really, its a bit of an experiment. (Recipe at end).

This is going to be my final extract based brew as I have bought some all-grain brewing equipment. The good quality extract is far too expensive, brewing from all malt really lowers the cost per pint (disregarding the initial spend on equipment). So with that in mind I decided to do a full volume boil so that the only new procedure for the next brew is going to be the actual mash.

I have a new boiler (traditionally called a copper) 32 litres, made from stainless steel. This allows me to boil 26 litres comfortably while still leaving room to prevent boil-over and allowing space for the hops and cooling coil. The boiler is fitted with a mesh ‘hop-blocker’ on the outlet valve so I don’t need to use the nylon bag anymore when adding hops.

I did my mini mash in the nylon bag with 6 litres of water in my old pan at 68 degrees for an hour and a sort of sparge by tea-bagging the nylon bag in the brew boiler which had 20 litres of water in it. I then poured the 6 litres into the boiler and boiled. At this point I added some of my malt extract, I added most of it in the last 15 minutes of the boil.

After boiling for an hour and adding the hops at the correct times I cooled the wort with a copper coil immersion chiller that uses cold water from the tap to cool the mixture fast. I found that including losses from boiling, soaking into the grain and the hops and dead space in the boiler that I got my 23 litre (aprox 5 gallon) fermentation volume. I’ll probably lose a few litres due to the yeast forming at the bottom of the fermenter so I’m expecting 20-21 litres (36-37 pints) of beer from this one.

The measured gravity of the wort after boiling was 1.059 which was spot-on what was calculated for the recipe so my ‘brewhouse efficiency’ is indeed around 60%. We’ll see what it really is when I stop using extracts.

Photos, top left: The new boiler… boiling with the hops visible on top. Top right: The drained boiler showing the spent hops and the copper cooler coil. Bottom: The batch fermenting in the cellar next to my 3rd beer conditioning.

The recipe:

Title: Ell’s Rocker Beer

Brew Method: Partial Mash Style Name: Old Ale Boil Time: 60 min
Batch Size: 23 liters Boil Size: 26 liters Efficiency: 60%

Calculated STATS:

Original Gravity: 1.059 Final Gravity: 1.014 ABV (standard): 5.96%
IBU (tinseth): 47.89 SRM (morey): 19.14 (brown-dark brown)


3 kg – Dry Malt Extract – Light (63.8%)
1 kg – Maris Otter Pale (21.3%)
0.7 kg – Crystal 140L (14.9%)


25 g – Cascade (AA 7) for 60 min, Type: Leaf/Whole, Use: Boil
20 g – Nelson Sauvin (AA 12.5) for 60 min, Type: Leaf/Whole, Use: Boil
10 g – Nelson Sauvin (AA 12.5) for 15 min, Type: Leaf/Whole, Use: Boil
20 g – Nelson Sauvin (AA 12.5) for 0 min, Type: Leaf/Whole, Use: Aroma


1) Decoction, Temp: 65 C, Time: 40 min, Amount: 15 L
2) Sparge, Temp: 65 C, Time: 10 min, Amount: 20 L


Danstar – Nottingham Ale Yeast
Starter: No
Form: Dry
Attenuation (avg): 77%
Flocculation: High
Optimum Temperature: 13.89 C – 21.11 C