Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Pale Rider

Brew Day 12/27/12

I find that I am often wishing my American Pale beers were paler, cleaner, more neutral, more hop forward, more crisp, and more assertive. Essentially, I think I am usually looking for something along the lines of a great German Pilsner, but with more kick. So that is what I made this time around… cut out all of the middle men and made a Pale Ale as an evolution of my favorite bitter Pilsners: Clean and crisp pilsner malt as the only malt, moderate gravity, an “invisible” fermentation profile but with an ale yeast to emphasize the hops and keep the sulfur out of the way, and a big floral/zesty/spicy hop profile but amped up with German and American grown descendants of the euro classics.

Pale Rider Ale (american xtra pale ale): No crystal malts, aggressive gypsum additions for amplified perceived bitterness, very late hop additions, and an ester-free yeast strain make this a pretty stark beer that should be simple enough to let each individual ingredient really shine. I am super excited to see how the recipe comes together. The high sulfate water treatment and no-sparge mash are two firsts in my process, along with the use of the highly recommended Saphir and Horizon hops. I'm also breaking from my usual stradegy of going with 15min, flame out, and dry hop additions and instead just going with a hefty 3oz dose at 10min and a HUGE 6oz DH dose. The idea here is to emphasize the spicy flavors and floral aromas in favor of the frutier, more pungent character that I belive the flame out addition enhances. Hopefully the new no-sparge keeps the minimalist malt bill tasting nice and robust, the high sulfate underlines the hops despite a pretty moderate bitterness level, and the hops ring true to their descriptions of fresh orange zest, bright floral, and noble spice. This one should be good. I think Kel is going to like it.

The Recipe (for 5.5 gal into fermenter):
12 lbs Castle Pilsner Malt-100%

1 oz Horizon @ 70min
1 oz Saphir @ 10min
1oz Horizon @10min
1oz Crystal @10min
3oz Saphir Dry Hop after 1 week in primary (DH total of 7 days)
2oz Horizon Dry Hop after 1 week in primary (DH total of 7 days)
1oz Crystal Dry Hop after 1 week in primary (DH total of 7 days)

Pitched 1 Packet Safale US05 “American Ale” Dry yeast and .5 pkt Nottingham (to help with clean up given it's ability to put in work at low temps) @ 60F with .5 tab Servomicies. Allowed to free rise to ambient high 60 in the house. Will most likely stay around 62‘cuz it’s getting cold outside.

Used Sonora Tap H2O with 2 g/gal gypsum for pale/ extra hoppy water profile.

Mashed at 150F for 40min. then up to 158F for 20 min. Mash Out at 168F for 10 min.
NO Sparge
90min boil

Collected 6 gal after boil and hop trub removal.
OG: 1.050= 72% efficiency

FG: 1.011= 5.1% ABV

Calculated SRM: 4
Calculated IBU: Garetz 51, Tinseth 64

12/27- Pitched extra yeast and put in tub with a blanket wrap for house ambient.

1/15/13- Bottled 5.25 gal with .5cups tabel sugar at 58F for target CO2VOLS of 2.4. FG @ 1.011. Hydrometer samples are blonde and taste like orange juice.

2/11/13- Drinking like an orange dream. Pilsner like crispness, sessionable balance. Love it.

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