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Timothy Taylor Landlord

This weekend I'll be brewing a Timothy Taylor's Landlord clone following the Wheeler recipe in the BYOBRA book so that makes today, the Tuesday before the weekend, my yeast starter day.

Brewing with the Brewlab Yorkshire strain has had a number of 'firsts' for me and tonight there was another one. This is the first time that I've tightened the lid of the overbuild jar too much when putting it in the fridge. You're supposed to leave it a little loose for the first couple of days to allow the yeast to finish off-gassing. I knew I had a problem when I noticed the lid was bulging. I took it out of the fridge and released the lid a little and this happened:

I'd created a force-carbonated starter beer and was very lucky the jar didn't explode. The starter beer was perfectly clear before I cracked the lid but then it all fizzed up, kicking up some of the yeast in the process making it look like the above photo. I blame the lid - it's not a genuine Kilner and is a bit stiffer. I think it needs a little more backing off to create the vent that it needs when it first goes into the fridge.

Back to this weekend. TTL isn't a strong beer at only 1.042 and 4.3% so I only did a 1.5 litre starter of which 500ml will go back into the fridge for next time.

This time it's in the 3 litre flask which should prevent the overflowing experience that I had last time when I entrusted it to the 2 litre flask. I measured the gravity of the spent starter beer and found it to be 1.007 so the explosiveness is down to my mistake and not a spoilage organism. It also tasted fine, although obviously rather yeasty.

Oops. I said that the previous time I made a starter with this yeast and it overflowed I was using a 2 litre flask. Well apparently I can't read my own write-ups because I actually used a 3 litre flask - the same as this time - and it overflowed.

Here's what it looks like now after 21 hours. I hope this is high krausen.

Brew day

Today was brew day for my Landlord-style bitter. The overflowing Brewlab Yorkshire yeast starter was taken off the stir plate after 3 days on Friday night, 500ml saved back in a kilner jar and the remaining litre chilled until today.

The recipe today has a few changes from my usual procedure. The first is that shock horror I'm not brewing with Ashbeck this time. The reason for this is that I want to test out Brewlab's claim that this yeast favours a high-mineral wort and with all the gypsum Ashbeck's bicarb level would result in a low mash pH somewhere in the 4's.

So for the first time in as long as I can remember I'm not brewing with Ashbeck. Instead I'll be using what Tesco sell as Elmhurst (you can get the same water under other names at other supermarkets). The base profile for Elmhust is Ca:40 Mg:14 Na:6 SO4:6 Cl:11 CaCO3:136 so it's a low mineral water with a medium alkalinity. I'll need to beef it up with a lot of additions to even get close to what Murphy's consider to be a good profile for a bitter. Here's the recipe:

Recipe Specifications
Date: 14 November 2021
Batch Size (fermenter): 24.00 L   
Estimated OG: 1.042 SG
Estimated Color: 16.5 EBC
Estimated IBU: 38.4 IBUs
Brewhouse Efficiency: 75.00 %
Est Mash Efficiency: 75.6 %
Boil Time: 60 Minutes
Water profile: Ca:236 Mg:39 Na:6 SO4:353 Cl:177

Amt        Name                                              Type         %/IBU    
29.41 L    Tesco Elmhurst                                    Water        -        
10.70 g    Gypsum (Calcium Sulfate) (Mash)                   Water Agent  -        
6.30 g     Calcium Chloride (Mash)                           Water Agent  -        
6.10 g     Epsom Salt (MgSO4) (Mash)                         Water Agent  -        
3.500 kg   Crisp Maris Otter (7.9 EBC)                       Grain        81.7 %   
0.750 kg   Weyermann Bohemian Pilsner (4.0 EBC)              Grain        17.5 %   
0.035 kg   Weyermann Carafa II  (1150.0 EBC)                 Grain        0.8 %    
2.20 g     Gypsum (Calcium Sulfate) (Sparge)                 Water Agent  -        
1.30 g     Calcium Chloride (Sparge)                         Water Agent  -        
1.30 g     Epsom Salt (MgSO4) (Sparge)                       Water Agent  -        
28.00 g    East Kent Goldings (EKG) [6.80 %] - Boil 60.0 min Hop          22.1 IBUs
28.00 g    Styrian Goldings [4.00 %] - Boil 60.0 min         Hop          13.0 IBUs
20.00 g    Styrian Goldings [4.00 %] - Boil 10.0 min         Hop          3.4 IBUs 
1.00 Items Whirlfloc Tablet (Boil 7.0 mins)                  Fining       -        
1.0 pkg    Brewlab Yorkshire (Brewlab #Yorkshire)            Yeast        -        

Mash Schedule: Single Infusion, Full Body, Batch Sparge
Total Grain Weight: 4.285 kg
Name                      Description                             Step Temperat Step Time     
Mash In                   Add 24.44 L of water at 74.6 C          68.9 C        60 min        

Sparge: Dunk sparge with 5L

I expected it to be difficult to dissolve 12.9g of gypsum and indeed it was. Even after splitting it into a couple of grams a time and using a stick blender I still ended up with a small amount of it sitting undissolved on the bottom of the kettle.

I had a bit of pilsner malt left over from all the lager brewing so I used some of that along with the more traditional Maris Otter and some Carafa II to adjust the colour. I mashed in at 68C, a little higher than usual to try to stop the yeast attenuating all the way down to 1.004 like it did last time.

I got the planned 24 litres of wort and was able to chill quickly down to 22C.

Extraction was higher than planned and I ended up with an OG of 1.044. High efficiency seems to be a feature of Crisp Maris Otter for me so I'm going to start bumping up my expected efficiency in future brews. Although this started off as a Landlord recipe I can see that a combination of the high efficiency and the high yeast attenuation means that I'm probably in for a Landlord ESB at the end of the day.

It's now sitting in the Brewfridge at 20C with the blowoff tube routed through the keg that will hold this beer so it gets CO2 purged during fermentation.

Kegging day

I decided to keg my Landlord-esque bitter on Sunday after 14 days in the fermenter. There was still the odd bubble from the blow-off tube every minute or so but I've learned that this Brewlab yeast will do that, way past the point when it's finished.

FG was 1.007 for an ABV of 4.9% which makes it stronger than Landlord and it's definitely paler too. Nonetheless I'm sure it'll be beer and it'll be ready for the Christmas holiday.

I got a full keg and 3 bottles before the fermenter ran dry. The keg was fined with only gelatin this time because I'd run out of Clear-IT and instead bought a pack of the leaf stuff from The Malt Miller to give that a try. I boiled about 150ml of water, cooled it to 65C, added the gelatin which dissolved instantly and added it to the keg during the transfer.

I purged the headspace of the keg with 5x15psi and left it to carbonate at around 12psi or so. It should be ready for sampling in a couple of weeks.

Tasting notes

It's good beer but it's really quite different to the original Taylor's. I now know that they use invert sugar which is why mine is lighter. Mine is stronger because the yeast attenuated so well though that doesn't really come through in the taste. Mine is much drier due to the high level of gypsum I added in this recipe.

Overall I could view this one as a work in progress but I've got so many more bitter recipes to try over the next few months that it will be some time before I decide whether to do this again.