Monday, June 3, 2013

Lake Beer: Mellow Yellow

Brew Day 5/12/13
The summer means weekends at the lake…. which means swimming and fishing and BBQ and drinking and sunshine and friends and rocks and family and all that… so to prepare, Ian and I figured a sunnyday brew should be done up to beckon the good vibes. I really liked Sunnyside as a kind of summer seasonal last year, and I wanted to do something similar but with a more sessiony bent. I love the crispness of hop forward pale ales as daytime drinkers, and we wanted to keep the ABV down to maximize refreshment and minimize drunken sunburns, so I made a low gravity hoppy pale with oats and Amarillos.
Peachy, juicy, citrusy, light, grainy, refreshing, smooth, mellow, and crisp were the targets, and to hit them I put together a pretty simple recipe:
-All Amarillo to maximize the floral, citrus, peachy punch without any of the “heavier” hop characteristics that come with other super aromatic varieties. There may be just a touch of pine, but I’ve always found Amarillos to be the cheeriest hop—basically void of any “dankness” and all fruit and flowers. Normally I really need some heavy darker notes in my hopped up brews to counter the punchier fruity tones and keep the beer from coming across as too sweet, but in this one I am going a bit lighter on the hops than I typically would for a hoppy pale, and am leaving the grain bill crystal malt free, so I figured that the perceived sweetness that Amarillo provides would be just right.
- I kept the gravity nice and low because lighter is better when it is hot out and you have lot’s of swimming and jumping to do.
- The grain bill is a super simple combo of Belgian 2-Row and flaked oats. The Castle malt is pretty awesomely full flavored without being nutty or sweet. I find that it has a great dry biscutyness that gives nice depth to paler ales. The flaked oats should make it silky smooth...I’m still pretty convinced that in hoppy beers crystal malt just gets in the way, and the oats will give all the body that a c malt would have but with a cleaner, smoother grainy fullness that will help the Amarillos really shine.
- The Timothy Taylor yeast I had in the fridge left over from ASBII should be the perfect partner for the Amarillos given it’s stone fruit notes, and I think smaller beers need low attenuation to help prop the FG up a bit and keep the beer from finishing down in watery too-low gravities.
So yeah…. Lake Beer: Our swimming hole refresher meant to enhance the lake-side summer weekends in Tahoe and Sonora. Simple and delicious.
The Recipe (6 Gallons into fermenter):
10lbs Castle Pale Ale Malt~ 91%
1lb Flaked Oats~ 9%
1oz Sorachi Ace (aa 12.3) @ 50min Boil
2oz Amarillo (aa8.4) @ 10min Boil
2oz Amarillo @ k/o for 20 min steep between 180F and 120F
1oz Amarillo into fermenter for “DH” at pitching
2oz Amarillo DH for 7 Days
Oakland RO water with 1.25 g/gal Gypsum for Ca: 78 ppm and SO4: 185 ppm. Calc Mash PH 5.5
Infuse 5 gal at 163F to hit 150F rest for 1 hr, add 3 gal at 165F to hit 156F for 20min rest. “No sparge” to collect 7 gallons for 60 min boil
1 whirlfloc and dose of WY yeast nutrient at k/o
WY1469 Timothy Taylor Strain
OG: 1.044 (66%eff)
FG: 1.008 = 4.7% ABV
Calc SRM: 5
Calc IBUs: 42 avg
5/12- Pitched 1L slurry of WY1469 @ 67F and left in Miguel’s Basement for ambient in the mid to high 60s.

6/3- DH with 2oz Amarillo. gravity at 1.010 and tasting lovely.

7/16- Transferred to bottling bucket onto 1 pkt gelatin and .55cups table sugar for target VOL C02 2.4. FG@ 1.008

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