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Ross

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I'm looking at making a Flowers Original Bitter & it calls for 725gms (15% of grain bill) of torrefied wheat (TW). I'm told that TW gives a "woody flavour", but Flowers is a fruity beer & definately not woody. Also 725gms is like 3 large cereal boxes in volume. Will this cause any problems with the sparging?
This was going to be my first AG brew - but getting a bit nervous...
 

Sean

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I'm looking at making a Flowers Original Bitter
Why? :unsure:

I wouldn't have thought Whitbread would use that much wheat in it - as you say it certainly doesn't taste like it.

More likely is pale malt, at least 15% invert sugar, target hops, caramel for colour, hop extract and Whitbread B yeast.
 

Ross

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Recipe from "Brew your own real ale" by G Wheeler & R Protz

Why? you ask - Because it's a damn tastey drop...
 

Sean

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Ross said:
Recipe from "Brew your own real ale" by G Wheeler & R Protz

Why? you ask - Because it's a damn tastey drop...
Recipe from "Brew your own real ale" by G Wheeler & R Protz
Doesn't sound like one of their more likely guesses to me - maybe they couldn't resist trying to put some flavour into it. The recipe also calls for crystal malt - I very much doubt Whitbread put any of that into it - caramel was much more their style for colouring.

Why? you ask - Because it's a damn tastey drop...
I'll have to agree to disagree on that one. The real ale equivalent of VB more like.

The only decent beer to come of the Cheltenham factory in living memory was Westcountry Pale Ale.
 

dicko

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Hi Ross,
I am not familiar with the beer you are trying to reproduce but I have used torrified wheat a few times and after my first effort of buying "puffed wheat" in the supermarket I would not and have not, used it again.
I bought some torrified wheat from a home brew shop and used this with some success in a cream ale.
I have not noticed any woody flavour from my additions but I have never gone as high as 15 % with this grain.
The supermarket variety may have extra sugars that can cause havoc with an AG recipe and IMO I would avoid it unless you know what exactly in it.
Cheers
 

Ross

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Well Sean, we will have to beg to disagree on this one - I spend several months a year in pommie land & am a real ale lover. Taste is a personal thing, but to compare it to VB is blasphamous...

Dicko, How was the wheat from the HBS different? The supermarket stuff I've bought (sanitarium) says it's 100% free of any additives... So I hope it's ok...
 

Sean

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Ross said:
Well Sean, we will have to beg to disagree on this one - I spend several months a year in pommie land & am a real ale lover. Taste is a personal thing, but to compare it to VB is blasphamous...

Dicko, How was the wheat from the HBS different? The supermarket stuff I've bought (sanitarium) says it's 100% free of any additives... So I hope it's ok...
As you say, there's no accounting for taste...


Anyway, back to the original question, "Brew your own Real Ale at Home" was heavily based on the data Protzie gathered for his real ale almanac, which relied on accurate data from the breweries. Since hardly any breweries actually supplied accurate and complete data (most supplied and ingredients list of dubious completeness, virtually none that I've spoken to gave amounts) Protzie & Graham had to guess the rest, hence neither book is especially accurate - if something doesn't look right seriously consider whether to follow it. In addition, Graham took a deliberate view to avoid additives such as caremel, even if that's what the commercial brewer uses, using dark malts instead. Add to that a heap of other inaccuracies presumably from retyping handwritten forms or something.

As an example, I can tell you for definite that Exe Valley Bitter contains crystal malt, absolutely no roast barley, and the dry hopped version is called DOBS, (originally contracted from "Dry 'opped Bitter), not "Dolby's"!

I'm not having a go at Wheeler & Protz - it's a good book, but it's not a bible to reproducing the beers covered.

Daniels' "Designing Great Beers" also relies on Protz and must suffer from some of the same problems - eg the reluctance for any decent UK brewery to admit to their use of sugar (Adnams springs to mind).
 

Ross

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Sean,

Thanks for the info - but all you've done is confirm my doubts on some of their recipes - unfortunatley as this is my first AG brew I don't have the experience to see their short comings... Are you suggestting I leave out the wheat entirely? Maybe you can suggest a recipe for me that YOU consider worth drinking with the English ale it most resembles??
I was looking at maybe making the Gales HSB or a decent London pride clone (LPs taste has improved dramatically from years ago) if you know one?
 

dicko

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Hi Ross,
I have a book called"Beer Captured" which gives a Flowers original ale as follows.

Yeild is 18.9 litres
OG is 1.045 1.046
SRM 13
IBU 30
ABV 4.5%

Grain bill
3.06kg of british 2 row malt
396gr british crystal
113 gr torrified wheat

hops

16.5gr Styrian goldings @ 60 mins
16.5 gr Target @60 mins

21gr Styrian goldings @ 15 mins

19gr Styrian goldings @ flame out.

Kettle fining @ 15 mins

Mash at 66 deg c for 90 mins

Water to replicate London.

Yeast Wyeast 1099 Whitbread ale

Serve at 13 deg c

Now I guess that this recipe will call for comments as to weather it is absolutely correct or not, but considering that this is your first AG and it seem fairly straight forward then you might like to give it a go.

If you do can you please let us all know what it came out like and weather you thought it was close to what you had expected

I hope this helps

Cheers
 

dicko

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Hi Ross,

I didnt see you question re the puffed wheat until now, but if you do a search enquiry on " blow your bloody head off cream ale " on this forum you will read what happened and the problem I encountered.
Many guys have used the supermarket stuff without any probs but 15% of the grist seems a bit high to me.

Cheers
 

Sean

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Ross said:
Sean,

Thanks for the info - but all you've done is confirm my doubts on some of their recipes - unfortunatley as this is my first AG brew I don't have the experience to see their short comings... Are you suggestting I leave out the wheat entirely? Maybe you can suggest a recipe for me that YOU consider worth drinking with the English ale it most resembles??
I was looking at maybe making the Gales HSB or a decent London pride clone (LPs taste has improved dramatically from years ago) if you know one?
I'd better confess at this point that I've never attempted to clone a beer in my life - I use commercial beers and recipe books for inspiration.

Having got that out of the way, if you want to try for Flowers, I'd suggest reducing to a more plausable 5% (or eliminating) the torrified wheat (replacing it with pale malt), and give it a shot. You really want the correct yeast, but which of the Wyeast strains corresponds to "Whitbread B" I couldn't say for sure. My guess is that it's Wyeast English Ale (which would fit - Whitbread B (originally the Maccesons yeast) is or was the most widely used ale yeast in England), rather than Wyeast Whitbread (which is more likely to be "Whitbread A", the original Whitbread yeast and only used in recent years at Castle Eden).

Of the other two beers you mention London Pride ought to be clonable - its ingredients are pretty well known, the yeast is available, and a good deal of it's process is in the public domain (eg no dry hopping, unlike the other Fullers beers). Fullers are pretty open and honest about what they do, and Wheeler's recipe looks plausable if you use Fullers yeast.

I have my doubts about anyone's ability to clone HSB - the characteristic bite in Gales beers results from their fermentation in unlined wooden fermenters in a environment that is essentially impossible to clean properly. It's beautiful beer brewed in a beautifully unspoiled brewery, but you'd have to be pretty adventurous to try and reproduce that environment, even if you have an accurate recipe. Even Gales can't reproduce their own beers in stainless (they tried and gave up, and now just use the stainless tanks for conditioning).
 

Sean

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dicko said:
Water to replicate London.

Yeast Wyeast 1099 Whitbread ale
Why London I wonder?

My thoughts on the yeast are above.
 
J

Jovial_Monk

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The English Ales book edition one shows 15% tor. wheat, the second edition shows 3600g palw, 400g crystal and 560g white sugar.

Personally I would go for the 15% torrefied wheat version, it is just a source of sugar, but one that puts a bready-grainy flavor in the beer and like all wheat would put a nice head on the beer. Use the Thos Fawcett torrefied wheat for best results, looks like slightly enlarged wheat grains.

The Gales Horndean Special Bitter would not be too hard to do, just add 300-400g acidulated malt to the grist for that slight tang.

Jovial Monk
 

Sean

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Jovial_Monk said:
The English Ales book edition one shows 15% tor. wheat, the second edition shows 3600g palw, 400g crystal and 560g white sugar.

Personally I would go for the 15% torrefied wheat version, it is just a source of sugar, but one that puts a bready-grainy flavor in the beer and like all wheat would put a nice head on the beer. Use the Thos Fawcett torrefied wheat for best results, looks like slightly enlarged wheat grains.

The Gales Horndean Special Bitter would not be too hard to do, just add 300-400g acidulated malt to the grist for that slight tang.

Jovial Monk
Personally I would go for the 15% torrefied wheat version, it is just a source of sugar, but one that puts a bready-grainy flavor in the beer
Which is fine, but not really accurate for a clone of Flowers Original.

wheat would put a nice head on the beer
Again, doesn't really fit with Flower's beers, which come from a part of the world which never prized a thick head.

Use the Thos Fawcett torrefied wheat for best results, looks like slightly enlarged wheat grains.
Using good quality anything is out of style for a Whitbread beer :p
 

dicko

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Sean

Water to replicate London.
I have never been to England but the address of the Whitbread brewery as it is listed in my book is as follows.

Chiswell Street
London.
England.

Using good quality anything is out of style for a Whitbread beer
:eek: Bit harsh mate! :D

Ross,
If you are still with us, I recon that 15% torrified wheat would be too much in that style of beer.

Cheers
 

Ross

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Thanks guys...

Gleamed some good info & looking forward to this next step - I've got 15 kegs to fill - So plenty to keep me busy... :D
 

Sean

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I have never been to England but the address of the Whitbread brewery as it is listed in my book is as follows.

Chiswell Street
London.
England.
Yeh, but there hasn't actually been a working brewery at Chiswell Street for donkey's years (since 1975). The Flower's beers originate from Stratford-upon-Avon, and (when that was closed in 1968) were moved to the old West Country Brewery at Cheltenham. Like virtually every other "Whitbread" beer, they've never been brewed anywhere near London.

Using good quality anything is out of style for a Whitbread beer
:eek: Bit harsh mate! :D
Harsh but true. And I know at least one (ex-)Whitbread Head Brewer who would back me up on that.
 

Ross

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Sean - you state "I'd better confess at this point that I've never attempted to clone a beer in my life - I use commercial beers and recipe books for inspiration."
- as though theres something wrong in trying to replicate a beer you like - Yet in one of your earlier posts you state

"Has Cotleight brewed anything that's not been good?

Harrier is my personal favourite - would love to get hold of some of their yeast to try and duplicate it. love that "

I too love making the English style ales at the lower end of the alcohol chain (though only extract/partiials to this point) & would love to gain knowledge from your experience. So how about some positive help rather than showing off your undoubtedly broad knowledge in a negative way... PLEASE... :)
 

Sean

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Ross said:
Sean - you state "I'd better confess at this point that I've never attempted to clone a beer in my life - I use commercial beers and recipe books for inspiration."
- as though theres something wrong in trying to replicate a beer you like - Yet in one of your earlier posts you state

"Has Cotleight brewed anything that's not been good?

Harrier is my personal favourite - would love to get hold of some of their yeast to try and duplicate it. love that "

I too love making the English style ales at the lower end of the alcohol chain (though only extract/partiials to this point) & would love to gain knowledge from your experience. So how about some positive help rather than showing off your undoubtedly broad knowledge in a negative way... PLEASE... :)
Sorry - I didn't intend to imply there was anything wrong with trying to replicate a favourite beer. It's just something I've never tried to do.

Despite what I said about Harrier, if I did have access to that yeast, and even though I know exactly what hops and malt to use, I know myself well enough to know I wouldn't end up trying to actually duplicate it. Thats just me. If someone else wanted to have a shot at it I'd be more than happy to tell them everything I know about the beer, and sample it at the end to see how well they'd done ;)

On the other hand, I can resist having a dig at Whitbread at every opportunity - too many years spent fighting them.
 

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