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Mainline Bitter No.2

Today's brew is a bit of a follow-up to my Mainline Bitter, imaginatively titled Mainline Bitter No.2. The malt bill's much the same but the hops are slightly different. I'm aiming again for a classic English easy drinking dark brown bitter with a bit of caramel & toffee to it. Yeast this time will be Omega OYL-052 DIPA which may seem a little out of place but these "Vermont" ale yeasts are reputed to have originated here in England and do give a fruity character that I think will play well with the English hops. Here's the recipe:

Brew day

Recipe: Mainline Bitter No.2
Date: 2 Sep 2019
Batch Size (fermenter): 23.00 L  
Estimated OG: 1.040 SG
Estimated Color: 25.7 EBC
Estimated IBU: 30.8 IBUs
Brewhouse Efficiency: 75.00 %
Est Mash Efficiency: 75.7 %
Boil Time: 60 Minutes
Finished water profile: Ca:57, Mg:10, Na:10, SO4:105, Cl:46

Amt              Name                                             Type          %/IBU
28.31 L      Tesco Ashbeck                                    Water         -      
2.80 g       Gypsum (Calcium Sulfate) (Mash)                  Water Agent   -      
1.63 g       Epsom Salt (MgSO4) (Mash)                        Water Agent   -      
1.17 g       Calcium Chloride (Mash)                          Water Agent   -      
0.93 ml      Lactic Acid (Mash)                               Water Agent   -      
3.66 kg      IREKS Pale Ale Malt (6.0 EBC)                    Grain         94.2 %  
0.15 kg      Caramel/Crystal Malt - 80L (240.0 EBC)           Grain         4.0 %  
0.07 kg      Chocolate Wheat Malt (1000.0 EBC)                Grain         1.8 %  
0.60 g       Gypsum (Calcium Sulfate) (Sparge)                Water Agent   -      
0.35 g       Epsom Salt (MgSO4) (Sparge)                      Water Agent   -      
0.25 g       Calcium Chloride (Sparge)                        Water Agent   -      
0.17 ml      Lactic Acid (Sparge)                             Water Agent   -      
15.00 g      Challenger [6.30 %] - Boil 60.0 min              Hop           10.8 IBUs
12.00 g      Endeavour [8.50 %] - Boil 60.0 min               Hop           12.8 IBUs
10.00 g      Challenger [6.30 %] - Boil 10.0 min              Hop           2.6 IBUs
10.00 g      Endeavour [8.50 %] - Boil 10.0 min               Hop           3.9 IBUs
1.00 Items   Whirlfloc Tablet (Boil 7.0 mins)                 Fining        -      
20.00 g      East Kent Goldings (EKG) [4.10 %] - Boil 2.0 min Hop           0.8 IBUs
1.0 pkg      DIPA Ale (Omega #OYL-052)                        Yeast         -      

Mash Schedule: Single Infusion, Medium Body, Batch Sparge
Total Grain Weight: 3.88 kg
Name              Description                             Step Temperat Step Time    
Mash In           Add 23.31 L of water at 69.0 C          66.0 C        60 min      

Sparge: Dunk sparge with 5 L of water at 75.0 C

Brewday started this morning at 7:00am. I milled my grains while the mash water heated up:

There were no issues with the mash and I got the expected pre-boil gravity of 1.037, falling a little short on the expected volume by 300ml. The hops for today's brew came from the Malt Miller.

I didn't notice that the Challenger was 2017 when I ordered it but they smelled fresh and floral so I'm not concerned. An hour's boil plus chilling time later and I've got myself about 22.5 litres of lovely looking 1.040 chestnut brown wort.

It's in the brew-fridge chilling from 25C where I stopped with the immersion chiller to a pitching temperature of 20C. I expect I'll be pitching the OYL-052 starter later this evening.


I kegged the Mainline Bitter No.2 today after 13 days in the fermenter. FG was 1.007 for an attenuation of 82% and an ABV of 4.3%. No surprises there, all my brews regardless of yeast seem to attenuate in the mid-80s.

I fined with Kwik-Clear, purged the headspace with CO2 and it's now on gas for a couple of weeks while it carbs and conditions. I think I'll have a cheeky sample next weekend just to see how things are going because often my lower ABV ales are ready surprisingly quickly. The sample jar tasted really promising.

Tasting notes

It's been a month or so in the keg now and the flavours have now melded together rather well. The light citrus flavours of Challenger and Endeavour really complement the toffee and caramel that I get from the crystal 240. I think for Christmas I'm going to do an IPA version of this but re-introduce the Fuggle that I had in the first version of this recipe to get some more earthiness in there.