This beer was brewed on 04/30/16. This is a new recipe that I’m trying for what will become something of a house pale ale I may brew whenever the need for a easy drinking hoppy beer may arise. This beer should be light, but not thin. It should lean towards hop forward without being hop juice. And it should sessionable without being a light beer. Though its a recipe I’ve never tried, its certainly not a departure from my wheelhouse of New England Pale ales. I titled this beer Reinvention. My personal life has seen a number of changes lately, so I figured this would be an appropriate name for this beer! Beyond my personal reasons, I feel like these new breeds of New England style hoppy beers are reinventing what American hoppy beers can be like. Gone is the focus on clarity and assertive bitterness, instead focusing on hop saturation in the flavor and aroma along smooth drinkability. I’ve grown so bored with the typical copper colored IPA, the standard West Coast version. Ok, so maybe reinventing hoppy beers is a stretch, but they’ve certainly rejuvenated my interest in them.
This beer is a New England style take on an American Pale Ale. Think something along the lines of Trillium’s Fort Point Pale Ale, but scaled down a bit and with some different hops, or Hill Farmstead’s Edward . I’m not going into detail about the New England style of APA/IPA/DIPA, I feel like I’ve covered it at length in some other blog posts on here, but this beer should certainly fit right into that style.
The base of this one is good old 2 Row, with some White Wheat to add some body and mouthfeel to the beer. I added some carapils to enhance that effect. I went with a higher dose of Light Caramalt in this one than I typically do with my IPAs and DIPAs to add a level of balance to this one. It’s going to be a juicy, hop forward beer for sure, but I want there to be a nice malty sweetness to act as a good backbone.
The hop bill on this beer should wind up fairly fruity. Citra, Simcoe, and Amarillo all play well together. The Simcoe should take on a pineapple, citrus, and a bit of pine when paired with the more citrus forward Amarillo. The Citra should add even more citrus, a bit more tropical fruit, and maybe some dankness. I’m excited to use more Simcoe here, I’ve phased it out of my latest take on my DIPA, White Death, but its still a hop I enjoy, especially when paired with even more fruit forward varieties.
This was the second half of my 4/30/16 brew day, I started this one immediately after completing my latest batch of White Death. I had a little more company for this batch, and had a bunch of fun with my friends while I brewed. It was a couple of their first times at a brew day, and it was fun to show them the process, though I could see the life draining from their eyes as I explained the ins and outs of the process in painful detail to them, I’m sure they’ll never be back! Oh well, I’ll just bribe them with beer! Anyway, despite the friendly distractions, I was on my game the second batch of the day as well as the first. I mashed at 153, just a degree short of my intended goal of 154. I sparged and got my boil going with no issues. I hit all my hop additions, and then cooled the beer to 180. I did a 30 minute hopstand at 180, and then chilled the rest of the way down and pitched the London Ale III yeast at about 70 degrees.
I was just one gravity point shy of my intended SG of 1.056, coming in at 1.055. I’ll take that any day, especially the first time brewing a recipe! I filtered out as mush hop sludge as I could and into the carboy it went.
This will ferment next to its stronger, older, brew day brother at 68 degrees. The first round of dry hops will be at day five, the second will come when I transfer to kegs at day ten.
Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM)
White Wheat Malt (2.4 SRM) Grain
Caramalt (Thomas Fawcett) (15.0 SRM) Grain
Carapils (Briess) (1.5 SRM) Grain
Kegging Update: This beer was transferred to the keg onto the second round of dry hops on 05/11/16. The FG of the beer was 1.013, giving me an ABV of 5.5%, right around what I was hoping for with this beer! The hydrometer sample tasted really good, there was nice balance to it, and I’m very anxious to try this carbed up!
Tasting Notes 05/27/16:
Appearance: This beer pours deep gold with hints of orange. This one’s hazy, but not quite at the level of some of my other beers that use Wyeast 1318 and a bunch of hops. The head is white and sticks around the edges of the glass, leaving a good amount of lacing. A really nice looking brew.
Smell: Pineapple, papaya, citrus, and a hint of pine, floral, and berry are the predominant aromas I pick up in this one. I love the pineapple and candied fruit aromas that Simcoe takes on in addition to the pine when used with other fruity hops. There a pleasant undertone of sweet malt just barely perceptible under the hops.
Taste: Very mild bitterness, but nice hop flavor. Its not as saturated with hops as some other pales I’ve brewed, and I’m not sure why. I’m being picky though, this is a fine beer and I’m really happy with the flavors. I get a lot of citrus, some orange and grapefruit, some pineapple, and some grainy sweetness from the balanced malt profile. While hop forward, its not hop juice. A hint of resiny pine in the flavor as well.
Mouthfeel: medium bodied and medium carbonation. Its smooth, but it still finishes dry and crisp. This one is very easy drinking, and is really nice as the weather is FINALLY warming up around here!
Overall: A really nice pale ale. Not sure how much I can really improve upon it. The recipe is mostly sound, I did well on brew day, and the only hiccup I had was some keg sealing issues that I got sorted. I don’t think I detect any oxidized hop flavors, but I thought the hops might pop just a bit more. I think upon re-brewing this I’ll cut the caramalt down to a half pound. I’m wondering if the sweetness is whats keeping the hops from popping more. I’m not trying to be negative though, I’m still pretty damn pleased with this, and will certainly come back to it again!