Catching up with Upalong

I seem to have fallen a little behind on my updates! In this post I discuss some tasting notes on previous beers, two new beer recipes – an American Pale Ale and a American Smoked Wheat Beer – and talk about planning my next beer.

First, let’s round up the beer’s I’ve talked about on this blog.

Pepperell Porter: My first all grain on my system has probably been my favourite. As it aged all the early astringency fell out and it has become a Porter that I’m really pleased with. I plan to brew it again, pretty much unchanged, sometime soon. I might adjust some hoppings, switch to a less idiosyncratic yeast, and trying a new method for dark grains I read about in Brewing Better Beer.

Some Stunned B’yPA: Hops are always something I struggle with. I can make hoppy beer, but never the way I really want them. Often they end up being grassy, which either has to do with using slightly old Citra hops or too much contact time with the hops. With this one I think it was both, especially because I ran too much of the post-wort-chiller trub (mostly hop pellet residue) into the primary. I’m being much more careful with hops now. I’ve got a few things planned.

Basillica Blonde: Don’t use this recipe. I think, in the rush of the month that was March, I ended up designing my recipe in two sittings and not saving the second recipe in Beer Smith. What happened? I got the rough draft with way too much crystal malt. The Nelson hops also worked really oddly with this strain of yeast, which I don’t think I’d use for a pale ale again (WLP530). It produced more of a odd Belgian brown ale with some dubble notes and some odd hops. Not my proudest beer.

Lauds (Rye Saison)A re-named R’yte on Saison, this beer turned out wonderfully and I also plan on rebrewing this one pretty much as is. Compared to most saisons I noticed it tasted slightly different, but after comparing it to Brooklyn’s Sorachi Ace and Goose Island Sofie, I get the same character. If anything I might switch to Belgian Pils malt and add some sugar to dry it out a little. Maybe more contact time with the oak chips (1 oz), which was soaked in Ontario Chard for about a day. I think a week in the wine would improve the beer. If you’re trying the recipe I posted, I ended up oaking the secondary for about a week.

Falconer’s Flight

Falconer’s Flight: I’ve learned a fair bit from brewing small batches. This beer is based on a really simple recipe using mostly 5 oz of Falconer’s Flight hops which I had ordered a while back.

Mash in 12.5L carbon filtered water at 164F for a step temperature of 152F. 60 minute single infusion mash.

10lbs of Canadian 2-Row, 0.5lbs Acidulated Malt, 0.25lbs Crystal 20L.

Drain mashtun, batch sparge (15 minute each) with 6l then 13.5l at 168F.

Boil for 90 minutes. At 60 minutes left add 10g Super Galena then 40g Falconer’s Flight at 15 left and 60g at Flameout.

For yeast, pitch a 2l (non-stir) starter of American Ale (Wyeast 1056).

Primary for 4 days at 67F then add 40g Falconer’s Flight (to primary) for 10 days.

Bottle with 120g corn sugar. OG=1.043, Fg=1.010. About 4.4% ABV.

Anyway, the beer is super clean and clear and refreshingly hoppy. Light and super “sessionable,” kinda like Bellwood’s Wizard Wolf. I would probably try to add a little more character to the malt bill for next time, still, I’m happy with the result.

Grain

Dark Smoked Wheat:My partner Melanie loves three kind of beers: wheat beers, smoked beers, and sour beers. Well, this one is an attempt to blend the first two of those three loves. (Bellwood’s Mash Pipe does all three!) It’s an American Wheat beer with German hops and smoked malt. I’ve made it dark just because the thought of a pale beer with a slight smokiness is a little off putting. And, since this is my first time using this malt, I didn’t want a super smokey pale ale!

Mash in 12L carbon filtered water at 164F for a step temperature of 150F. 60 single infusion minute mash.

5lbs Wheat Malt (not flaked, flaked provides more tartness as in a Wit, malt is more appropriate for American, dryer versions), 3lbs Canadian 2-Row, 1lbs Smoked Malt (Weyerman Beech Smoked Barley Malt), 1lbs Midnight Wheat (for colour).

Drain mashtun, batch sparge (15 minute each) with 6l then 13.5l at 168F.

Boil for 90 minutes. At 60 minutes left add 10g Super Galana. At 2 minutes left add 14g Hallertauer (I used Mittelfruh).

Pitch a 2L (non-stir) starter of American Hefeweizen Yeast (WLP320), a low ester producing yeast. American Ale would be fine too, but I wanted to try this for a little of the German character.

Primary for 2 weeks at 67F. Bottle with 105g corn sugar.

OG 1.050, FG 1.012. About 5% ABV.

Dark!

I just bottled this batch a little over a week ago, so time will tell how it will end up. The pre-bottled beer tasted very slightly smokey and was very dark. It should be a good late-summer beer for me!

That’s it! We’re caught up. Look out for my next post, which should be soon, about my first foray into brewing with Brett!

December 2013 Update: The Dark Smoked Wheat needs more balance. The lightness of the wheat needs some sweetness and doesn’t balance out the smokiness. It could use much more smoke, as the malt I used was very subtle. As for the Falconer’s Flight, it’s a great hop (blend) but this application needed more dry hoping. The malt base could be more substantial, though I like the acid malt idea. It needs some more crystal malt sweetness and perhaps wheat or oats to thicken it out. Still, love the idea and it was a great drinkable beer.

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