Here is the first pour from the keezer:
Okay, that’s a lie. It’s actually the second or third pour because I had to purge the liquid lines of any residual sanitizing solution. Looks pretty good, eh?
iBrewMaster puts the vitals at 4.45% ABV and 48.85 IBU. The alcohol sounds right given how the beer drinks, but the bitterness seems low because a lot of hop flavor lingers in the back of your throat. Not in a bad way, per se, but more than I would have thought from a beer that was not dry hopped.
I am working on developing a “house” pale ale and this was my first attempt. The recipe that I began with was modified from a very common extract recipe for American pale ale. It’s pretty simple:
- 1 lbs Briess 2-Row Caramel 20L steeped for 20 minutes prior to boil
- 3.3 lbs Munton’s Light LME boiled for 60 minutes
- 2 ounces Cascade pellet hops boiled for 60 minutes
- 3.3 lbs Munton’s Light LME boiled for 20 minutes
- 1 ounce Citra pellet hops boiled for 5 minutes
- Safale K-97 dry yeast pitched after wort cooled
- Primary fermentation for ~2 weeks
- Keg conditioning for ~2 weeks, assuming that my ability to seal a keg was up to par
My plan was to produce a base pale ale recipe that was easily replicable and that could serve as a platform on which to experiment with dry hopping, different varieties of hops, etc. I do not think that this is the base recipe from which I am going to work for a number of reasons.
First, the two ounces of Cascade hops boiled for 60 minutes gave the beer an overwhelming wallop of both bitterness and aroma. Normally, this is a good thing but it totally overpowered the subsequent addition of Citra at the end of the boil. I am a big fan of Citra hops and was disappointed to taste little of that variety in this recipe.
Second, the steeping grains definitely added body but little else to the beer. No complexity or depth of flavor, so it really begs the question about the necessity of the addition.
Last, canned liquid malt extract (LME) just does not do it for me because I feel the product is generally not as fresh as it could be. One of the primary reasons that I brew my own beer is to make sure that I have fresh product oozing forth from my faucets. Starting with a product that is old makes for a beer that is preternaturally old.
If this sounds like a loser of a beer I am sorry because the beer is a very drinkable pale ale and a good first effort to come out of my kegs. It’s just not what I was going for: