Saturday, March 31, 2012

Millenium Belgian Pale Ale Brewday

So while this is currently listed as an Belgian Pale Ale, something tell me the four ounces of 16.6% AA Millenium I’m using are gonna push this into the IPA category. Why did I use four ounces? Because I found a pound of Millenium hops in the freezer I had hardly touched, and I wanted to make a statement. In fact, after tasting the wort as it went into the fermenter, I just might have inadvertently made a clone of Smuttynose IPA without even trying. Statement made, huh?

And thanks, Fortney for the encouragement in regards to updating the blog. It’s alway a good sign when snarky name-calling is used to inspire yours truly to greater heights in updating the ol’ blog. And it even worked. Well, this time.

111. Millenium Belgian Pale Ale
2 ¾ lbs. Dingemans Pilsen
2 ¼ lbs. MFB Pilsen
2 lbs. Thomas Fawcett Maris Otter
1 ¾ lbs Breiss White Wheat
1 lb. Muntons Pale Ale (Pearl)
1 lb. Dingemans Cara 8° L
7 oz. Weyerman Dark Munich

Mashed @ 152° F w/4 gallons of RO water for 70 minutes; collected 2 ½ gallons @ 1.060
Batch sparged @ 169° F w/4 gallons RO water for 20 minutes; collected 3 ¾ gallons @ 1.034

Collected 6 ¼ gallons; brought to a boil (60 minutes) & added:
w/60 to go: 1 oz. Millenium leaf 16.6% AA

w/15 to go: 1 tsp. Irish Moss

w/10 to go: 1 oz. Millenium leaf 16.6% AA

w/5 to go: 1 oz. Millenium leaf 16.6% AA

w/0 to go: 1 oz. Millenium leaf 16.6% AA

Chilled, racked to carboy, and pitched mason jar of Wyeast 1762 Belgian Abbey II from 110. Belgian IPA

Brewed: 3/31/2012 @ 74° F; dropped to 68° F before fermentation began

Secondary: 4/5/2012 @ 1.012 w/ 1 oz. Millenium leaf 16.6% AA dry hop
Bottled: 4/16/2012 w/ 3 oz. table sugar
OG: 1.044
FG: 1.010

Tasting Notes (5/7/2012): Millenium BPA pours a hazy dull gold with a white head that hangs around nicely and leaves some lacing behind on the glass—that wheat malt is doing its job. The nose is an interesting mix of herbal and floral/fruit coupled with a light bright candy. The Millenium hops would account for the herbal; the parentage of Millenium is a cross between Nugget and Columbus, although with 16.6% AA, it has more potential bitterness and less specific flavor and aroma—it is much like the Hops Direct description, in that it is better for bittering additions. I’d describe the herbal in the nose as light mint and dankness, although it is remarkably bright on the palate. The fruit and floral strikes me as yeast derived (it fermented several degrees warmer than 110)—there is a clear apple and pear that blends well with the minty spice of the hops and the candy sweetness from the malt. Flavors follow very closely to the aroma profile—fruit and herbal in the front, an increase in bitterness in the middle and on into the final third with small amounts of lingering bitterness, and some slight sweetness in the front and middle. This beer is actually less bitter and more in balance than I anticipated; the five ounces of 16.6% AA hops—even with most of those in the last 20 minutes—produces an even clean bitterness. There is not much is the way of distinct and clear hop flavor and aroma, but it is apparent and enjoyable. This beer is easy drinking experiment that is better than I anticipated—while it is not the Smuttynose IPA I joked about in the opening description, because of the lesser amounts hop aroma and flavor, it does almost come across as a British IPA. Nonetheless, the malt profile is solid and clean—I may look to recreate this beer with a more interesting hop profile, although I’ll streamline the Pilsen and 2-row additions, as I was closing out some remaining grain with this beer. In fact, 116 was created with this beer in mind, looking to replicate the lighter, cleaner body and build upon the hop profile. Nonetheless, I’m happy to dub Millenium BPA a successful experiment, one worth revisiting.