And so on to my next venture. I was impressed with the Bluebird Clone, even more so when I walked into the Black Bull Inn in Coniston two weeks ago. Another year of fieldwork, another day on the hills, and a pint of Bluebird was in order. And I have to say, my attempt was not half bad at all. It perhaps needed a little more body, from a bit more booze, but the hopping was good, and the late hop technique of half my IBUs in the last 5 minutes of the boil gave great aroma.
That being so, I decided to recreate the beer, but this time I upped the malt bill. I was hoping for an OG of 1.056, but for a reason I need to look into, I only seemed to hit 1.052, and that was with a little more malt than I needed. Against this poorer extraction, I set a boil of East Kent Goldings, and finished the boil with 5 minutes of the rest of my Pacifica hops, which I had bought for the dark saison I brewed at the back end of 2012. Hoping for plenty of orangey hints from this hop, and, I have to say, I much prefer these Kiwi hops to their more abrasive US New World cousins.
The starter of SafAle 04 made sure that fermentation was well underway, after 7 hours of pitching.....it also meant I saved half the pack of yeast for another brew soon! My aim is for a solid 5% paleish ale, with a nice malty backbone, balanced out by English bitterness and some New World marmalade aromas and palate.