I am writing this while mashing this year’s Old SMaSHy. I hope to get my ideas about how this year’s Jade Otter should work out now and then I can add what actually happened later tonight. Hopefully they don’t diverge too greatly.
Here is the idea in a nutshell: Table Cat with Maris Otter and Pacific Jade hops. Last year’s Jade Otter was about 4.5% ABV and way too bitter. This year, I’m taking a gravity down and moving all of the hops into the last fifteen minutes of the boil. I have a feeling the gravity may be lower on its own because I think I can get more extract on the first runnings than I did last year, leaving less behind, but if not, I’ll be kicking the volume up until I get a pre boil OG of just over 1.02.
Then I’ll be keeping the hopping schedule exactly the same as Table Cat, unless the volume is significantly lower, in which case I scale it proportionally. I’ll even be fermenting with the same yeast, White Labs’ Saison II. I plan to keep this plan for a couple more beers. There is a Belgian Dark Strong Ale in my near future and the second runnings of that will be used to create Table Cat After Dark, with this same basic recipe and a new variety of hops.
Okay, now back to brewing. I’ll write more after I have this year’s batch of Jade Otter boiling.
Jade Otter 2014 is on the stove now. Still waiting to get a boil going. If you’ve never boiled four plus gallons of liquid on an electric stovetop, the best advice I could give you is don’t try it.
I over shot my gravity. By a lot. I was planning on maybe three to four gallons of 1.025ish wort and ended up with over four gallons of 1.035ish wort, pre-boil. I’m still debating how much I want to water it down after the boil. I want this to showcase the hops, so adding a bunch of water is not ideal, but I was hoping for this beer to be sub 3% ABV. I may have to settle for sub 4%. Most of you are probably thinking that is a win, and I guess it’s no good reason to complain, but I really loved Table Cat at 2.6% ABV this Summer.
Finally got it boiling… Not only does it take all but an hour to get it going, boiling over four gallons in a five gallon kettle on the kitchen stove is just plain risky business.
Anyway, I’ve filtered, boiled and begun refrigerating an extra gallon and a half of water. My current thinking is that I should add just enough to keep the ABV under 4%. I have about fifty minutes of boil time left to change my mind, though.
I’m finished brewing both beers. After the boil, I ended up with somewhere under four gallons of wort at around 1.040. I added water to bring it up to 5 gallons in the carboy and the gravity is now 1.028. This is on the high end of what I was planning on, so I’m happy. To try to make up for the extra water, I added an extra ounce of hops at flameout.
I won’t post a full recipe because I’m not even sure how to do that, but for a five gallon batch with all Maris Otter to a gravity of 1.028, here is the hopping schedule:
60 minute boil
.5 oz Pacific Jade @15 min
.5 oz Pacific Jade @ 10 min
2 oz Pacific Jade @ Flameout
Then ferment with Saison II and bottle straight from primary when it’s clear. This should end up right around 3% ABV and it should be ready to drink in less than a month. I recently polished off the last of the Table Cat, so I am hotly anticipating this beer.