Brew-in-Review Volume 1: 9.2.5 XPA

In order to officially kick-off the SFBC Brew-In-Review Blog I would like to say, shit it’s great to be brewing again! With all the madness of setting up Short Finger and moving to Waterloo, I have been unable to set aside time to relax and brew for the last month. I knew that things couldn’t continue this way for much longer, and thankfully they did not. The focus of this portion of our blog will be on certain aspects of the brewing process, with a different focus in each post. Recipe kits for some of the beers that we brew and blog about will be available for purchase through our online store, while others will be brewed exclusively for our enjoyment over at Short Finger Brewing Co. headquarters. If you are over to take advantage of local pick-up and want to try anything we brew, just let us know.

But onto the good stuff. This week’s brew featured three different American ale yeasts. I brewed a low alcohol XPA(ish) called 9.2.5. We posted a few shots on Instagram and Twitter on brew day. This recipe (and all of the necessary ingredients) will be available in our online store in the All Grain Recipe Kits section shortly.

Here is what I am playing around with on the 9.2.5 brew. I chose the name because I enjoy drinking a low alcohol, flavourful beer in the middle of the work day (or any day). Boil size was 54L with a 90-minute boil that was then split into 3 separate fermentors with roughly 15-16 liters in each one. Between evaporation and liquid loss in the bottom of the kettle, total wort pulled was around 46 Liters. Each fermentor was inoculated with a different yeast. The three yeasts used were White Labs PurePitch 001 Cali (brand new packaging from White Labs and I wanted to check it out), Safale US-05 and Danstar BRY-97. What I am looking for is how these three different yeasts each put their own fingerprint on the beer. WLP001 is a liquid yeast, while Danstar and Safale are both dry yeasts that were rehydrated. When pulling the wort from the kettle, each fermentor was pulled straight; I did not take steps to evenly distribute the liquid from the initial pull v. pulling from the bottom. I personally don’t feel that trub in your wort makes a noticeable difference in flavour, but that is a blog for another day.

I have been monitoring all three vessels and each one has taken off into an active primary fermentation. Lag time was between 10-13 hours. Noticeably, the BRY-97 took about 30 hours to really get a rocking krausen but was bubbling at roughly 1.5 second intervals 12 hours in. When all has slowed I will transfer to secondary and dry hop by day 12. All vessels will be dry hopped equally.

Once the beers are ready to go and have been sufficiently sampled, we’ll post a follow-up blog with a breakdown of the finished brews. How will we determine a winner, you ask? By blind tasting, of course! I will continue to monitor the fermenters and take notes as fermentation continues, but the real test will be blind tastings with notes made about the contribution and impacts of each yeast. We’ll be looking for interested homebrewers to help with this process – refined palates are a must!

If you would like to be involved with the process of sampling the 9.2.5., please shoot us an e-mail… but be sure to note that all tasting sessions will happen between the hours of 9am and 5pm. Just kidding… maybe.


Rob Hern
Rob Hern

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