Sunday, June 24, 2012

Belgo/ American Pale and Session IPA Tasting

Belgo/ American Pale Ale

This Belgo/ American Pale Ale was brewed for a small, non BJCP, friendly competition during Philly Beer Week. I am certainly not a fan of competitions, but I sure do like when you get to sample the other brewer's beers. It was the 3rd year for the Oakmont Cup in Havertown, PA. Year to year the style changes, but the comp. is a one style challenge. This was the year for Belgians. Dubbels, Triples, Sours, Pales, Saisons. Uggh. It seems like too many for one to stand out over another. is a friendly competition. A nice night to sit and  drink a dozen or so beers for free.

This style seems to be Julian's favorite. A month prior to brewing this one, I think that he found the recipe that most fit his palate, then I walk in with an Ardennes yeast and no candy sugar. After brewing this style for the first time, I am now more of a fan. I love the fruitiness of this yeast strain and sweetness from the Munich works well with the American Hops, but still leaves a good amount of spice to linger. I wouldn't change much on this recipe, but would love to play with different yeasts and more late addition hops.
Pic by Jonathan Slingluff

Our session IPA was a nice trial run for the style. This was brewed as an Anniversary Ale for the Slingluff Gallery in Philadelphia. The gallery is sandwiched in between and around some terrific beer bars and with a beer fest mere 4 buildings down the street, it seemed like a good idea to brew something for the occasional stumbler as well as an afternoon delight beer that doesn't weight in too heavy. This IPA clocked in around 5% ABV. Not guideline sessionable, but with a pound of hops and great conversion, this recipe has so much to play with when brewing it again. Our first hop addition wasn't until the 30 minute mark, with most being added at and after 5 mins. I've never used Vienna as a primary base malt, and it without a doubt provides a smooth, biscuity addition. Galaxy Hops and Citra really do play nicely together. Citrus and Summer Fruit bombs to say the least.

Watermelons: Charles Simic
Green Buddahs
On the fruit stand.
We eat the smile
and spit out the teeth.

There are a boatload of Tasting posts to come in the next few weeks. Single Hop Citra Pale Ale, Imperial Black IPA, Dark Farmhouse Funk are all conditioning nicely. As for recipes for the Session IPA and Belgo/ American, here ya go.

Belgo/ American Pale Ale
Pils, 2 Row, Munich, Caravienne Malts
Warrior, Centennial, Cascade, Amarillo Hops
Wyeast Belgian Ardennes

Session-Style IPA
Vienna, 2 Row, Crystal 60, Carapils, Honey Malts
Citra, Centennial, Cascade, Galaxy
White Labs San Diego Super Strain

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Tasting: Table Saison

This is the 5th saison that I brewed over the past year. I haven't found the right mix and match until now though. A German Pils base malt was attempted in two of them. An American 2 Row in another. I usually use a a Wyeast Belgian Saison and have tried both American citrus hops and Noble variety. Some I have herbed with sage and some with coriander and pepper. I have oaked and fruited some and usually feel underwhelmed with my overall expectations.

I aimed for a 4.5%< on this one. My first few uses on my new mash tun left me with very poor efficiency. I first thought that it was due to heat loss when using under 10lbs of grain. The false bottom also threw me off with my water to grain ratio. Insulating the pot helped in no way shape or form. I now find the direct heat method works wonders. A low maintenance flame and stirring every 15 mins as done the trick.

The yeast/ hop combo is what I am most pleased about with this recipe. I used a saved/ washed White Labs 510 Bastogne Belgian Ale with EKG hops and 60 mins and Sorachi Ace at the end of the 75 min boil. I currently have 2 other batches fermenting on this yeast ( a dark farmhouse-style with JP dregs and a Strong Belgian Pale w/ Brett B). Neither recipe says much about the primary yeast strain anymore, however, the Farmhouse is coming along nicely and just about ready to be bottled.

This saison has a very light body, spicy upfront with a nice lemon aftertaste. The Sorachi Ace work nice with the honey malt. A slightly higher mash temp kept it from turning out too dry and primary fermentation was at around 72-75 degrees. My saisons brewed mid summer are always fermented around the mid-80s. With this saison ready before Summer officially hits, I am sure that it will be gone by before July comes around.

Table Saison (Saison Lan)
Belgian Pils, Honey Malt, Caravienne, Wheat
EKG and Sorachi Ace
WL 510 Bastogne Belgian Ale