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SSA (Simple Summer Ale)


The yeast for this brew is going to be my favourite APA/AIPA yeast: Vermont by The Yeast Bay.

I just love the soft, peachy and pillowy mouthfeel that it gives to a beer. I'll be using it a few times so the starter gets overbuilt by 500ml.

When the starter has finished fermenting I decant off 500ml into a jar to keep in the fridge.

Brew day

Today was forecast to be nice and sunny so I was up early and brewing at 6:00am so I'd be all wrapped up by midday and ready to relax in the warm afternoon. I'm calling today's brew, SSA or Simple Summer Ale inspired by Hopback Summer Lightning.

Date: 12 July 2020
Recipe: SSA (Simple Summer Ale)
Batch Size (fermenter): 24.00 L   
Estimated OG: 1.045 SG
Estimated IBU: 31.2 IBUs
Brewhouse Efficiency: 75.00 %
Est Mash Efficiency: 75.6 %
Boil Time: 60 Minutes
water profile: Ca:28, Mg:3, Na:9, SO4:10, Cl:44

Amt              Name                                             Type          #          %/IBU    
29.64 L          Tesco Ashbeck                                    Water         1          -        
3.40 ml          Lactic Acid (Mash)                               Water Agent   2          -        
1.20 g           Calcium Chloride (Mash)                          Water Agent   3          -        
4.61 kg          Weyermann Bohemian Pilsner (4.0 EBC)             Grain         4          100.0 %  
0.30 g           Calcium Chloride (Sparge)                        Water Agent   5          -        
0.20 ml          Lactic Acid (Sparge)                             Water Agent   6          -        
18.00 g          Hallertau Magnum [11.00 %] - Boil 60.0 min       Hop           7          22.7 IBUs
23.00 g          Celeia [2.54 %] - Boil 15.0 min                  Hop           8          3.0 IBUs 
32.00 g          Celeia [2.54 %] - Boil 10.0 min                  Hop           9          3.1 IBUs 
45.00 g          Celeia [2.54 %] - Boil 5.0 min                   Hop           10         2.4 IBUs 
1.0 pkg          Vermont Ale (Yeast Bay #-)                       Yeast         11         -        

Mash Schedule: Single Infusion, Medium Body, Batch Sparge
Total Grain Weight: 4.61 kg
Name              Description                             Step Temperat Step Time     
Mash In           Add 24.64 L of water at 69.3 C          66.0 C        60 min        

Sparge: Dunk sparge with 5 L of water at 75 C

The Celeia hops for today's brew were bought on a whim whilst I was buying yeast from the Malt Miller. At less than 4 quid for a 100g of Styrian Goldings I though why not? They'd make a great summer brew.

I fell short of the predicted pre-boil gravity by a couple of points which seems to be a recurring theme with the Weyermann Bohemian Pilsner Malt so I added 140g of Dextrose during the boil to compensate and that seemed to do the trick.

I transferred 23.5 litres to the fermenter after chilling down to 26C with the immersion chiller.

OG after compensating for the pre-boil shortfall was 1.045, exactly as planned. The wort went in the brew-fridge at 26C and had chilled to 19C by this evening so I pitched the 1 litre starter of WLP4000 Vermont Ale yeast. The keg that will hold this beer is rigged up to the fermenter outlet so it'll be purged with CO2 during fermentation.


The keg itself was pre-purged with the CO2 generated during fermentation and I just cracked the lid and piped it in from the fermenter in the hope that the slowly rising beer will create a positive pressure of CO2 leaving the keg that'll keep the air at bay.

FG was 1.007, exactly as Beersmith predicted giving a final ABV of 5.0%. The keg was fined with Kwik-Clear and the small head space purged with 5x15psi bursts. It's now on at about 12psi to condition and carbonate for a couple of weeks.

The sample in the jar tasted ace. Really light and very floral from the 100g of late Styrian Goldings in the recipe. I'm looking forward to this one.

Tasting notes

The taste is a very refined malty sweetness from the Weyermann Bohemian Pilsner malt with a herbal, floral and distinctly lemon taste from the big dose of Celeia that I put into this. The flavour is reminscent of the pilsners that I've had and really enjoyed in the western Austrian alps and as such I'll be doing a Celeia lager later this year or early next (editors note: he didn't 🤦🏻‍♂️).