Thursday, March 28, 2013

Hop Shower

I have been brewing a bit more than usual lately. Usually I team up with someone and brew 10 gallons when I want a hoppy beer. But in January I made an excellent IPA and now super hoppy Pales and IPAs are all I want to brew. A few weeks ago Earth, Bread and Brewery had a homebrew competition in partnership with The Malt House in Mt Airy. The base malt needed to be predominately Vienna. I thought a Vienna Saison sounded nice. So a simple malt bill of Vienna and German Pils with Saaz and Styrian Goldings were brewed up and fermented with Wyeast French Saison. I was pretty pleased with the super dry, bready finish. Nice pepper notes and high carbonation rounded it out to what I expected.  This beer is also a take home gift to the baby shower attendees (see next paragraph). I'll doll it up with a label when I post some reviews on all the beers in this post.

As for Pale Ales, I have a baby shower coming up and needed something for, a hopefully pleasant Sunday afternoon. Hoppy Pales can be a challenge if you do not want a malty finish, but are avoiding a grassy one as well. 9ozs of hops made their way into the kettle and secondary. I've been adding a bit of Pils malt in all of my beers lately. I have 30 pounds left from a sack and adding 20% to the grist hasn't altered any flavor. I am not sure what I thought it would do. It will be finished carbonating in a another day or two, but upon kegging I was pleased. I was so pleased that I wanted to brew up another Pale, similar, but with that malty finish and piney, dank hops that work well in a high ABV IPA, and we'll see what it could do in a 5.6% Pale.

The IPA that I brewed in January was a standout. I dedicated most fermentors to Sours last year and although I need to get back on that Bretty horse soon, I also have a few pounds of hops that I want to use now. I ended up parting with half of the keg to a friend and I will probably do it again with this IPA that I brewed on Tuesday. There was nothing out of the ordinary with this recipe. 2 Row, a small amount of Pils, Crystal 40, Carapils and Dextrose with a nice hop explosion to boot. 5.5 gallons made it into the fermentor somehow. A blow off chugged it's way up 36 hours later. It smells Divine.

Pale Ale 1 
2 Row, Pilsner, Carared, Cystal 40, Cara 8 Malts
Columbus, Simcoe, Citra, Centennial and Cascade
Wyeast 1056

Pale Ale 2
2 Row, Crystal 20, Honey Malts
Chinook, Columbus, Simcoe, Centennial, Zythos
White Labs 001

Big Flavor IPA
2 Row, Pilsner, Crystal 40, Cara 8, Dextrose
Columbus, Simcoe, Centennial, Zythos, Amarillo (Boil)
Columbus, Amarillo, Centennial (Dry Hop 1st Addition)
Simcoe, Centennial, Amarillo, Zythos (Dry Hop 2nd Addition)
Fresh Slurry of White Labs 001