It’s been a rough go of it lately in terms of quality homebrew. I have not put forth a batch that I loved since I finished my keezer. Is it the keezer or is the brewer? I am inclined to place the blame squarely on my own shoulders.
Granted, part of this has been the process of refining a “house pale ale” recipe. Initially, I thought that I wanted to go with something that was similar to Toppling Goliath’s pseudoSue with its big punch of Citra backed flavor. However, I think that flavor profile is better suited to an occasional beer that is enjoyed for its unique quality rather than an everyday, drinking beer.
After a departure to make a Pale Wheat Ale, it is back to more traditional American-style pale ale. #2 differs in several ways from #1. The biggest difference is that Cascade hops are the primary bittering hop and Citra is used toward the end.
I also used one pound of Briess 2-Row Caramel 40L as a steeping grain prior to the sixty minute boil. A fairly simple extract ale recipe that was as follows:
- 1 lb. Briess 2-Row Caramel 40L, steeping grains
- 3 lbs. Munton’s Extra Light DME, 60 minutes
- 1 oz. Cascade pellet hops, 60 minutes
- 1 lbs. Munton’s Extra Light DME, 20 minutes
- 1 oz. Citra pellet hops, 5 minutes
- Whirlfloc tablet, 5 minutes
- Safale S-05 yeast
iBrewMaster figured that the beer came out at ~3.7% ABV and ~32 IBU. Fairly mild numbers, but how did it taste:
It is a good, if unspectacular, beer. The lack of any real Citra flavor confirms my personal suspicion that the hop is better suited to dry hopping as opposed to being used in the boil. I think it is a great addition as a dry hop. Something just gets lost when it is exposed to any kind of heat for any period of time. This leaves the beer dependent upon a small amount of Cascade hops to really “bring the lumber” in the aroma and bitterness department. In the end, the amount of Cascade hops was not up to the challenge.
The body of the beer, however, was nice and neutral base for which to experiment with hops of varying kinds in a variety of ways. I believe that this will be the standard base recipe going forward.
I feel like I am making progress on my house recipe.