Tasting: #46 Festive Pale Ale

Eureka, its time for another tasting. The one we are looking at today is the Festive Pale Ale I did at the beginning of March 2012. This was a straight forward Pale Ale recipe with Pilsner malt and Carapils as a base, some Saaz, Amarillo and Cascade hops and the legendary #1056 American Ale yeast. Started with a gravity of 1.048 (12.2°P) and finished at 1.007 (2°P). ABV around 5.5%. I dry hopped this brew with some Amarillo and Cascade hops and racked it in a keg. Unfortunately, some hops remained in the keg and plugged the outlet of the keg for several times. I learned: Either rack more carefully or use a bag for the hops to prevent a stuck keg.

Fig 1: Festive Pale Ale meets snifter glass

Aroma: Very fruity aroma. Could detect some citrusy and lichi notes. The fruity aroma covers anything else. Really nice!

Appearance: Pours with a yellow color, white head, no carbonation visible and some particles float around (mostly hop debris).

Flavor: Huge fruity notes much like in the aroma. Some honey, maize and bready-sweetness as well. These notes could be from the Pilsner malt.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body, some carbonation, short and slightly bitter aftertaste. Quite refreshing. A lot of the carbonation gets lost during the pouring from the tap. Due to the plugged keg, it foams a lot and the carbonation gets lost.

Overall Impression: Not bad for a Pale Ale. It is quite refreshing although a bit watery and very limited in the flavors. This is a beer you can easily enjoy during a hot Summer day.

The beer turned out as expected.: Refreshing, thirst quenching and easy to enjoy. Although not my favorite brew. To be honest, I am not a huge fan of Pale Ales in general. Lately I am focusing on beer styles which are more accessible to the general beer drinkers. I do so to have recipes on hand for upcoming events, tastings and a secret I share with you later on… Stay tuned!

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#27 House Pale Ale

Eureka, time for another recipe from the past. Today my interpretation of the House Pale Ale from the Homebrewtalk forum. The recipe gives rise to a malty and Cascade hop pronounced beer. Lets get into the recipe.

Recipe: House Pale Ale
Numbers: Volume 21 L (5.5 gal)
Original gravity 12.8°P
Terminal gravity 2.8°P
Color Around 8 EBC
IBU 39 IBU
ABV 5.5 %
Grains: Vienna Malt (8 EBC) 0.91 kg
Pale Ale Malt (6.5 EBC) 3.6 kg
Cara hell (25 EBC) 0.23 kg
Hops: Cascade (6.6% AA) 28.3 g and boil for 60 min
14.2 g and boil for 30 min
7.1 g and boil for 15
7.1 g and boil for 5
Yeast: Nottingham dried yeast
Water: Burgdorf Mash: 12 L (3.2 gal), lauter: 19 L (5 gal) @78°C (172°F)
Rest: 2 steps Mash in @67°C (153°F), 60 min @ 66°C (151°F), 10 min @ 78°C (172°F)
Boil: Total 60 min
Fermentation: Primary 9 days @ 15°C (59°F) in a plastic bucket
Secondary N/A
Maturation: Carbonation (CO2 vol) 3
Maturation time 3 – 4 weeks @4°C (39°F)

04/22/11: Brew day. Iodine test was negative after mashing one hour at 66°C. Then heated up to 78°C and transfered for sparging. After collecting the wort, I heated the wort up to a boil and added the hops according to the recipe. After boiling for one hour, I stirred the wort to get the hops and protein debris to the center of the kettle and cooled the wort down to 20°C and added the Nottingham dry yeast.

05/01/11: Transferred the beer into a keg and force carbonated it and let it mature for about three weeks in my kegerator. This was my first beer that went into a keg.

05/29/11: Tasting:

Aroma: Citrus, malty, spicy, very nice.

Appearance: Yellow color, light haze (maybe yeast?), some carbonation visible, no head. The lack of head might be due to the very low carbonation.

Flavor: Very malty character in the front and some Cascade spice and citrus flavors.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, low carbonation, medium lasting malty aftertaste, balance is more on the sweet than bitter site.

Overall impression: First of all, the beer is flawless in my opinion. And fresh. It is a very easy enjoyable brew. One thing that I did not like was the malty character. In my opinion a bit too overpowering. Maybe substitute the Vienna malt with a Pale malt to decrease the maltiness and maybe dry hops to increase the hop aroma.

As already mentioned I would decrease the amount of Vienna malt to decrease the maltiness of the beer. And maybe use another yeast strain to get it clear. I am a bit confused because I expected the Nottingham dried yeast to be a very good flocculater. But all in all a very tasty brew. The keg was empty after four weeks…