Hop Back Summer Lightning

The calendar seemed to suggest we should be heading into summer so I decided to have a go at a clone of Hopback brewery’s excellent Summer Lightning. This is a fresh hoppy beer with plenty of aroma that is perfect for those warm evenings in the garden (or that one warm evening we get a year).

For this brew I followed Graham Wheeler’s recipe in his excellent book Brew Your Own British Real Ale, I won’t reproduce the exact recipe here but it’s 100% pale malt with challenger hops for bittering and Goldings for Aroma.

I use the Brew in a Bag (BIAB) method of all grain brewing, I’ll go on to explain this in more detail in a BIAB guide in the near future. This was the 2nd brew using my shiny 50L stock pot and I’m still trying to nail down my volumes and efficiencies.

Grain weight out and ready to go.


Up to heat and ready to dough in



Wrapped up and ready to mash at 66C for 90 minutes


Hop Shot


Up to boil and first hop additions


After a 90 Minute boil and late additions of Goldings and a Protofloc Tablet, draining the wort into the cube


Achieved an SG of 1.055 which was over the target of 1.049


All in all was a pretty good brew day. The wort was cooled overnight in the no chill cube. Next day I rehydrated some US-04 yeast, aerated the wort by tipping from the cube to the fermenter and giving a it a vigorous stir, then added the yeast. It’s had 9 days so far at around 18-20C and I’ll bottle when it’s been in the FV for 12-14 days.

Update …. Just before bottling I realised I’d somehow forgotten the flame out hop addition so dry hopped for a few days. I bottled the Hopback Summer Lightning a few weeks ago and tried it for the first time over the weekend. Despite completely missing the final hops this is a fantastic beer, still nice and hoppy with a lovely hint of citrus to the flavour. It’s got a bit of a chill haze to it but I’ve had that before with the S-04 yeast. All in all definitely one to do again.