Thursday, September 29, 2011

Pale Ale Quest... waiting to be judged

At this juncture, I have made my final batch of Pale Ale that will be entered into the Yakima Fresh Hop Ale Festival. My final recipe was as follows:

10 Gallon Batch Size
16 lb 2-Row Pale Malt
3 lb Caramel/Crystal Malt 20L
2 lb Wheat Malt
16 oz Corn Flakes
1 lb Cascade Wet Hops added to the mash
3 lb Cascade Wet Hops last 15 min of boil

WLP 051 California Ale V Yeast
This recipe was brewed by heating 5 gallons of water up to 172 F and then adding it to the mash tun and adding the grains with 1 pound of Cascade Hops mixed into them. This method of hopping is called "first wort hopping" and gives the beer a smoother hop flavor and aroma than just adding the hops to the boil. Often times the hop flavor and aroma can come across as being harsh when all of the hops are added to the boil. Some people unfamiliar with first wort hopping think that the hops would have the same bittering effect on the wort as adding the hops at the beginning of the boil. However, chemically the flavor and aroma of the hop oils and lupulins become preserved by the chemical reactions that convert the grains starches into sugars (diastic power).

I allowed the mash to sit for 1 hour at 153 F and then drained it to the boil kettles. Then I heated the wort up and boiled it for 45 minutes. Next I added the 3 lbs of hops and boild them along with 2 teaspoons of Irish Moss for another 15 minutes. Then I cooled the wort with an immersion wort chiller and siphoned the wort in to the fermenting buckets. Finally, I aerated the wort by splashing it between two buckets and added the yeast.

I allowed the wort to sit in my basement at about 72 F for two weeks and then I bottled half of it and kegged the other half. I had to use three 12 oz bottles with no identifying marks and no labels in order to submit the beer into the Fresh Hop Ale Festival. Since they couldn't have any identifying marks on them my sam adams and new belgium bottles that didn't have any labels on them were out of the question and since I am a little lazy when it comes to taking labels off of bottles I didn't have any others without labels. So, I had to de label three of my Big Sky Brewing Co. bottles.

Now I am off to Yakima to submit my beer. I have to give a very special thanks to the folks at the Yakima Hop Union. They were very nice and gave me a 10 pound box of wet hops for FREE. I am going to give them a 22oz bottle of Huckleberry Ale and a 22 oz bottle of White Coffee Ale along with a 6-pack of the IPA that I just gave you the recipe for. I know it's not much, but at least it is something to show my thanks to them.

Of course, I had to do a self-evaluation of the beer and my sister also has tasted this awsome IPA. So, I thought I would give you my opinion of the beer. It has a very floral hop flavor throughout with a hint of malt flavor in the front.  The nose is very pleasant and marked mainly with toasted malt and a slight hop aroma, but not strong as you would expect.  My sister thought the aroma was very pleasant and the flavor had a nice floral quality.  Although she said she could smell more hop than what I experienced.

Wish me luck with the Fresh Hop Ale Festival Entry…  Hopefully I will come back on Sunday and be able to tell you I came in 1st.


1 comment:

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