Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Hoppy Belgian Pale Ale Brewday

Much like 87, the previous version of this beer, this one is something of a mutt, which means that it is odd but lovable, and a naughty irascible scamp. Other than the different yeast, however, the only real difference is a slight change in the hop profile—I used Magnum as the bittering addition instead of Simcoe. And since 87 was delightful and dreamy, let’s hope for good things from this beer as well...

Like Ivar said, “Keep clam.”

93. Hoppy Belgian Pale Ale w/Jolly Pumpkin yeast
9 lbs. MFB Pilsen malt
1 ½ lb. Dingemans CaraVienna 20°

Mashed @ 152° F w/ 4 gallons of RO water for 60 minutes
Batch sparged @ 168° F w/ 3 ½ gallons RO water for 20 minutes

Collected 6 ¼ gallons; added to brew kettle, brought to a boil (60 minute; had false bottom in for this one) and added:

w/60 to go: 1 oz. Magnum pellet 10.0% AA, 2 grams gypsum

w/15 to go: 1 oz. Simcoe leaf 14.1% AA, 1 tsp. Irish Moss

w/10 to go: 1 oz. Centennial Leaf 11.5% AA

w/5 to go: 1 oz. Willamette Leaf 4.8% AA

Chilled, racked to carboy, and pitched on to Jolly Pumpkin Bam Biere yeast cake from batch 92

Brewed: 6/22/2011
Secondary: skipped; didn’t have a spare carboy
Bottled: 9/1/2011 w/ 5 oz. table sugar

OG: 1.048
FG: 1.002

Tasting Notes (12/10/2011): Hoppy Belgian Pale Ale pours a vibrant clear straw with just a touch of haze; it has a thin white head that is constantly replenished by the cascading tiny white bubbles streaming through the beer, giving the beer a bright mouthfeel. At the same time, there is a soft slickness that combines with the carbonation, creating some bubbliness at the top of the mouth, but none in the back of the throat—it is interestingly creamy as I swallow. The nose is minerally and musty with a slight funky sourness: it’s not quite barnyard, but it is more than mere cellar character. Flavors follow and build on the nose—there is a bright sharp lactic sourness, sort of an even mix of vitamin C and sour milk, which continues to rise into the middle of the beer. There is also a touch of hop bitterness, although the previous hop flavor has been dispensed by the sharp sourness. As flavors disperse, a slight residual slickness that is both bitter and sharp lingers in the middle of the tongue. Bright, tart, sharp, and clean. It has also become a bit more aggressively sour since the last bottle I had, which is nice. This beer pretty much solidifies the need to begin experimenting more vigorously with harvesting yeast from commercial beers; as opposed to 92 and 97, which were small beers made off of the third runnings of an old ale, this beer has the light grain body that allows the funk to shine through. Next time, I would probably even add a couple of pounds of wheat to further lighten the malt character. But good stuff here.

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