Batch 74: Oxford Ale 2021

This is a rekindling of a beer I’ve brewed a few years ago with the intention of brewing each year, but due to an over-abundance of old ales, barleywines and the like in my cellar, I had put it off until now. I have changed it up a bit from previous, and that’s something I might continue to do – the inspiration of this beer is Fuller’s Vintage ale which is a different recipe each year as well.

Some things will remain constant each year, and not all of these things are consistent with the Fuller’s beer that inspires it. I will target from 8% to 10% ABV and keep the colour somewhere between amber to brown. I expect I’ll always pitch brett, in-part because I don’t trust my current equipment for clean beers that have a higher FG, if the intent is to age them.

I also expect I’ll use the same water profile each year, to keep the “terrior” somewhat consistent in that respect. Here is the 2021 iteration, which was brewed on Jan 3, 2021 and will be bottled later in the year.

Malt Bill:
5.75 kg Thomas Fawcett Maris Otter (~96%)
0.25 kg Thomas Fawcett Dark Crystal (~4%)

35g Nugget @ 75 min (~50 IBU)
15g Cascade @ 10 min (~10 IBU)

Water Additions (RO base):
6g Calcium Carbonate
4g Calcium Chloride
1g Gypsum
1g Epsom
1g Baking Soda

Mash Profile:
19L mash liquor, mashed in at 120F
Rest 10 min at 131F
Rest 60 min at 153F
Rest 10 min at 167F
Sparge 9L of 165F water

Boil three and a half hours

Primary 7 days at 66F with S-04
Secondary three to six months at ambient with Brett Lambicus