According to my notes, the first version of this beer was brewed in July 2010, in a 1-gallon experiment. That was an extract brew with 12 tsp of earl gray added at flame-out and subsequently whirlpooled to avoid including any in the fermenter. The intent was to steep the tea for a fairly normal duration, extracting some of the nice bergamot aroma.

It wasn't bad. I was rather fond of the result, really - something like iced tea with beer and bergamot. No tannic, over-stewed tea flavor. I brought it to a First Thursday to share around, and some attendees of the co-located beeradvocate gathering poured themselves a bit at the end of the evening, not knowing the brewer was standing within earshot. Their comments were less than glowing; the one I remember is "it tastes like asparagus". So, I guess it wasn't "good" either.

Naturally, then, in preparing for the Albany Brew Crafters' appearance at the 2012 National Homebrewer's Conference, this seemed like the perfect beer to show off my brewing prowess and stand out from the crowd. I decided that I didn't like the iced-tea portion, though. Instead, I elected to go with bergamot extract, replacing some of the hop flavor and aroma in an IPA.

The extract is powerful, heady stuff, so I began by measuring it by drops into sample glasses of Bengal's Bite IPA. One drop in four ounces was a little strong, but more paletable than larger quantities. That gave me some basis for additions to a full 5-gallon brew.

I actually brewed this recipe three times. The first was on Big Brew Day, and through a series of errors and mis-steps I produced a beer that was badly infected. The second was probably delicious, but my faucet shank sprung a leak overnight and I woke to find five gallons of beer mixed with a few ounces of Damp-Rid in the bottom of my keezer. I was thankful that the beer was in the keezer and not melting the ceiling of my downstairs neighbor, but all the same the batch went down the drain.

The third batch, produced just in time for the conference, turned out fine. Thankfully. We sampled it out at club night, along with three other club members' beers. It stood out nicely in a sea of a lot of brewed-to-style beers, and drew some appreciative comments from earl gray afficionados.

Type: All Grain
Batch Size: 5.00 gal
Boil Size: 5.95 gal
Boil Time: 60 min
End of Boil Vol: 5.20 gal
Final Bottling Vol: 5.00 gal
Fermentation: Ale, Single Stage
Date: 02 Jan 2014
Brewer: Dustin J. Mitchell
Asst Brewer:
Equipment: Outdoor Brewing
Efficiency: 72.00 %
Est Mash Efficiency: 72.0 %
Taste Rating: 30.0
Taste Notes:
Amt Name Type # %/IBU
12 lbs Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM) Grain 1 92.3 %
1 lbs Crystal Malt - 40L (40.0 SRM) Grain 2 7.7 %
0.50 oz Earl Grey Tea (Mash 0.0 mins) Herb 3 -
1.50 oz Legacy [7.30 %] - Boil 60.0 min Hop 4 39.0 IBUs
2.50 tsp Bergamot Extract (Bottling 0.0 mins) Flavor 5 -

Gravity, Alcohol Content and Color

Est Original Gravity: 1.068 SG
Est Final Gravity: 1.014 SG
Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 7.1 %
Bitterness: 39.0 IBUs
Est Color: 8.6 SRM
Measured Original Gravity: 1.055 SG
Measured Final Gravity: 1.005 SG
Actual Alcohol by Vol: 6.6 %
Calories: 180.0 kcal/12oz

Mash Profile

Mash Name: Single Infusion, Light Body, Batch Sparge
Sparge Water: 3.45 gal
Sparge Temperature: 168.0 F
Adjust Temp for Equipment: FALSE
Total Grain Weight: 13 lbs
Grain Temperature: 72.0 F
Tun Temperature: 72.0 F
Mash PH: 5.20
Mash Steps
Name Description Step Temperature Step Time
Mash In Add 17.25 qt of water at 158.4 F 148.0 F 60 min

Sparge: Batch sparge with 2 steps (0.35gal, 3.10gal) of 168.0 F water
Mash Notes: Simple single infusion mash for use with most modern well modified grains (about 95% of the time).

Carbonation and Storage

Carbonation Type: Keg
Pressure/Weight: 12.54 PSI
Keg/Bottling Temperature: 45.0 F
Fermentation: Ale, Single Stage
Volumes of CO2: 2.3
Carbonation Used: Keg with 12.54 PSI
Age for: 30.00 days
Storage Temperature: 65.0 F


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