Friday, July 18, 2014

Keystone Kryptonite Bitter

1995.  I was 15 years old.  I imagine that this commercial played during TGIF between episodes of Family Matters and Step By Step.

I certainly remember it (and all of its other iterations).  A bitter beer?!?  Primitive man evolved to fear bitterness as an indicator of toxicity in plants, and with bitterness as the most strongly perceived of the five senses, its utility as a warning against potentially dangerous foliage is undeniable.

Bringing the wort to a boil.
But we are not primitive man.  We can enjoy bitterness as a flavor unto itself, confident in the knowledge that the intense flavor that flows over our palettes when we drink a delicious English Bitter presents no real danger.  In fact, I might venture to suggest that the drinking of Bitter may be the essence of evolved humanity.  When you take a sip, you flaunt the ancient beliefs of our ancestors who shunned bitterness out of essential but stifling caution, and whose trepidation was a result of self-preservation uninformed by elevated sensory enjoyment.

A proper English Bitter should be a harmonious melding of simple ingredients and a showcase for British hops, malts and yeast.  This is an easy drinking beer with plenty of characterful British yeast flavor, and a platform for hops like Fuggles, East Kent Goldings and Target among many others.  This is the beer you order at your neighborhood pub on a Tuesday night after a day at work.

My version strove to use British ingredients as much as possible, with the exception of Pacific Ale Yeast.  I plan to enter this beer in a homebrew "friendly" next month where WLP 041 is a requirement.  I chose Northdown hops because they are an ingredient I haven't worked with in the past.  This beer is the antithesis of Keystone Light (its Kryptonite, perhaps).  A proudly bitter beer.

Keystone Kryptonite Bitter

Brew Date:July 18, 2014
Yield:5 gallons
Color (SRM/EBC):
Bitterness (Calc):55 IBU (Daniels)
Batch No:142
Target OG:1.043
General Information
Method:All Grain
Scale Recipe
Enter desired final yield (volume): gallons  
Malts and Grains
7.00 pounds 88.2% of grist
0.31 pounds 3.9% of grist
0.31 pounds 3.9% of grist
0.31 pounds 3.9% of grist
7.94 pounds
Total Grain Weight (Water Amounts)
100% of grist
1.20 ounces 9% Pellets @ 60 minutes 
Type: Bittering
Use: Boil
10.8 AAUs
0.80 ounces 9% Pellets @ 5 minutes 
Type: Aroma
Use: Aroma
7.2 AAUs
2.00 ouncesTotal Hop Weight18 AAUs
Total Boil Time:60 minutes
Name:Pacific Ale
Manufacturer:White Labs
Product ID:WLP041
Temperature Range:65–68°F
Amount:500 ml