Thursday, October 14, 2010

Mild Paw Paw/Mild Coconut Brewday

This was another all-grain effort; the last beer was intended as the test run to plan for the splitting and fruiting that I wanted to attempt with this batch. Plus, I figured that a bit more overall yeast would help with the paw paws. And in case you don’t know what a paw paw is, check here. After all, it’s only the “largest edible fruit indigenous to the continent.” Aww, come on guys...Maybe you guys need a refresher course.

78a. Mild Paw Paw/ 78b. Mild Coconut
3 lbs. Muntons Mild
1 lb. Breiss 2-row Pale
3 lbs. Dingeman’s Pale
8 oz. Muntons Crystal 60 L
4 oz. Weyerman’s CaraWheat
4 oz. Dingeman’s Cara 45 Belgian 48 L
6 oz. Muntons Dark Crystal 135-165 L
5 oz. Crisp Pale Chocolate

Mashed w/2 ½ gallons water @ 153° F for 60 min.; raised to 170° F
Batch sparged with 1 gallon of 170° F water for 10 minutes

Added to brew kettle, brought to a boil (60 minute) and added:
.85 oz. Willamette leaf 4.8% AA

Split batch:
2/3 batch dumped on 2 lbs. 10 oz. peeled frozen Paw Paws (seeds included); let sit for 45 minutes to pasteurize fruit; cooled, and pitched mason jar of WLP 002 from 76. Mild

Brewed: 10/14/2010
Secondary: 11/20/2010 @ 1.005
Bottled: 1/15/2011 w/ 2 oz. table sugar

OG: 1.030
FG: 1.004

Tasting Notes: I can’t believe I haven’t these notes yet, although it’s not like mother-fuckers are knocking down my door for the low-down on the Paw Paw Mild. I’m pretty sure my only readers—Jeffrey and the Googlebot bots that haunt my site—both lost interest in this recipe light-years ago. Let’s be honest: if it wasn’t for Jeffrey, the Googlebot bots would be my only internet friends. And as buried as these observations are, I’m sure my ennui will never be noted, let alone observed. So I’ll put that in my pipe and smoke it. Blogging is the new anonymity. Pithy, huh? But let’s not forget about the beer. Paw Paw Mild pours a crystal clear amber; there are some orange and ruby highlights, but the beer is pretty light and clear—I purposefully left out the couple of ounces of Black Patent malt because I didn’t wanted the delicate aromas and flavors of the Paw Paw to be lost. The thin tan head has difficulty hanging around, but rouses rather easily, and is helped by the profuse visible streaming bubbles in the beer. Yes, it is safe to say this is a bit overcarbonated for an English beer. Mea culpa. The nose is an interesting combination of malt and fruit—there are nutty and grainy malts aromas, with the grainy bordering on husky, and faint hints of chocolate, all of which is balanced by the distinct smell of Paw Paws, which I can best describe as a combination of banana, pineapple, mango, papaya, and that slightly gamier tropical fruit smell that borders on rotting but that you keep compulsively smelling anyway. You know the one I mean. Flavors mirror the nose—the beer opens with grainy and husky chocolate malt, followed immediately by the fruit medley mentioned above. Fruit flavors are brighter on the tongue than the aroma in the nose—the gamey aspects of the nose are transformed into passion fruit flavors that marry well with the other fruits. There’s also something reminiscent of the tangy flavor of slightly overripe peaches flesh. The slight carbonic bite from the carbonation might explain the subtle differences between nose and tongue; otherwise, it brightens the beer on the palate—while it is probably a bit much for a mild, the overall effect is pleasant, and the subtlety and complexity of flavor is very enjoyable. The slight alkaloid flavor of the Paw Paw balances well with the chocolate malt flavors of a Mild—this is one of the reasons Elli and I decided to pair the two together, rather than the most obvious and by proxy less interesting choice (which would be the American Wheat, not that I’m dissing). I think this combination works, but it is not quite the perfect match, or at least not in this version. I’ll undoubtedly try it again when I get my hands on some more Paw Paws; the other thing I intend to try is a Paw Paw Mead, which I think might work slightly better. Don’t worry—you’ll be the first to know, my lovely Googlebot friends.

1/3 boiled for 5 minutes w/ 2 oz. toasted coconut; chilled, and racked onto WLP 002 cake from batch 76

Brewed: 10/14/2010
Secondary: 10/29/2010; 1.008
Bottled: 11/4/2010 with 1 oz. table sugar

OG: 1.032
FG: 1.008

Tasting Notes: Coconut Mild pours a clear caramel brown with brilliant red and orange highlights, while the head is a creamy and long-lasting tan color. The nose is mix of toasted coconut and chalky but creamy chocolate. Flavors follow the nose—opening with dry light chocolate and coffee before giving way to a creamy dryness coupled with a slight mineral component, Coconut Mild finishes with a toasted coconut and mild roasted flavor that also has nutty and dark fruit elements to it. The carbonation is lighter than the last version (76), but is still a bit high; flavor complexity increases as the beer loses some of its carbonation, although that slightly flat cola flavor still carries the day. The coconut mixed with the malt profile provides a subtlety that helps build the overall balance; there is better body and flavor than 76, although not all of this is from the inclusion of coconut—the variety in the malt profile seems to be providing more to the overall flavor. While I’m not a big fan of coconut, these two flavors go well together here. And no, I don’t have a picture. Not sure where it went.

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