Pale Ale rebrew

After the debacle that was The Peach State Brew Off I had to rebrew the pale ale.  Ok, it wasn’t a debacle, but I used the judges comments to make what I thought would be corrections.  These should be simple right, since it wasn’t rated that poorly?  Fourth out of 13 for my first competition, not what I wanted, but I’ll live.  The two biggest complaints were not bitter enough, ‘bready’ tasting and better head retention.  Bittering is easy, if you understand the process.  Bread taste is in the description of the Vienna malt I used in the first batch.  For the head retention, it’s common to use Cara-pils malt, so I will.

New Bee pale ale batch 2                  New Bee pale ale batch 3

Grain bill – extract                              Grain bill – partial mash

2 lbs 2 row malt                                  3 lbs 2 row malt

1 lb Vienna                                          1.5 lbs Crystal C10

5 lb Pilsner LME                                 .25 lbs Cara-pils

1 lb Clover honey                                5 lbs Pilsner LME

———————                                  1 lb Orange Blossom honey

Hops                                                    Hops

1 oz Cascade – 60 min                        1 oz Centennial – 60 min

1 oz Centennial – 15 min                    1 oz Cascade – 15 min

2 oz Citra dry hop – 2 weeks              2 oz Citra dry hop – 2 weeks

Yeast                                                   Yeast

Wyeast 1056                                       Wyeast 1056

OG – 1.056                                         OG – 1.057

FG – 1.010                                          FG – 1.011

batch 2 vs batch 3

batch 2 vs batch 3

Batch 2 on the left was bottled on February 3 and batch 3 was bottled on April 23.  So in this picture, batch 3 had on bottle conditioned for basically seven days.  It’s been in the fridge for nine days.  So it may clear over a couple of more weeks in the bottle BEFORE chilling.  Although BJCP allows slight haze from dry hopping, you can clearly see the extract version has no haze.  The head in b3 is much ‘tighter’, or thicker and frothier.  Which is totally due to the use of Cara-pils and only 1/4 lb of it, goes along ways.  While I’m not including a picture of it, this helps a lot in retention.  It will lace the glass after each sip.  Ok, I gulp, so each gulp.  What a picture can’t show and something I can’t describe enough is the huge, HUGE citrus aroma on batch 2, even after three months of being in the bottle.  What this tells me is that quite possibly the hops were fresher in batch 2 than in batch 3.  I don’t recall where the ingredients from each batch came from, but it’s obvious when the cap is popped all the way through when it’s poured and even sipped on.

I’m not sure if it’s from the aroma alone, but the flavor in b2 is better than b3.  I may brew this again and add in some Vienna, or completely replace the C10 malt with Vienna.  I need to understand more clearly if Vienna malt is allowed in a true American Pale Ale.  Please comment if you know for sure.  Either way, I want to always have this in the fridge.  Either of these!


Posted on May 10, 2011, in homebrew and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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