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Old 07-16-2009, 04:53 AM   #1
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Default Dragon's tail ale (Old Ale)

Dragon's tail ale

Style: Old Ale
Batch Size: 5.00 gal
Boil Volume: 5.72 gal Boil Time: 60 min
Brewhouse Efficiency: 75.0 % Equipment: My Equipment


Ingredients Amount Item Type % or IBU
4.00 lb Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM) Grain 27.6 %
3.00 lb Vienna Malt (3.5 SRM) Grain 20.7 %
1.50 lb Peat Smoked Malt (2.8 SRM) Grain 10.3 %
1.50 lb Victory Malt (25.0 SRM) Grain 10.3 %
1.00 lb Caramel/Crystal Malt - 20L (20.0 SRM) Grain 6.9 %
1.00 oz Admiral [14.80%] (60 min) Hops 42.5 IBU
1.00 oz Hotness (Boil 5.0 min) Misc
2.00 lb Sugar, Table (Sucrose) (1.0 SRM) Sugar 13.8 %
1.00 lb Honey (1.0 SRM) Sugar 6.9 %
0.50 lb Molasses (80.0 SRM) Sugar 3.4 %
1 Pkgs Dry English Ale (White Labs #WLP007) [Starter 1000 ml] Yeast-Ale

Beer Profile
Estimated Original Gravity: 1.087 SG
Estimated Final Gravity: 1.020 SG
Estimated Color: 13.4 SRM
Bitterness: 42.5 IBU
Estimated Alcohol by Volume: 8.8 % (6.0-10.0 %)
Actual Calories: 402 cal/pint

Hear me out. The idea is an old ale style beer with smokey characteristics, a slight mostly flavorless heat, that sort of tastes like biscuits. It has to have good digestibility (as the Trappists say), thus the sugar and low grain bill, while still having plenty of complex flavor.

Not sure what spice to use for a flavorless heat, hoping to fill that gap through your feedback.

Now critique please.



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Old 07-16-2009, 12:44 PM   #2
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First off I would back off on the peat smoked malt, 3-4% is plenty for an assertive smoked flavor. I just bottled a 3.5 gallon batch of Adambier with .5 lbs of peat smoked malt and I am worried I overdid it a bit. Alternatively you could go with German Rauchmalt as 30%+, that might meld better with the spice.

I would also back down on the sugars, you are at ~24% by weight, which is more than 1/3 of the total extract. Even for a Belgian that would be on the high side. I would drop the table sugar and go with more pale or Vienna.

I would go with a darker crystal malt as well, the dark fruit flavors will go well with the smoke and molasses.

For spice you could go with cayenne, it is very neutral and a little goes a long way. Another option is dried chipotle, which would reinforce the smoke character. An alcohol extract is probably the easiest controlled way to do it as the heat from peppers can be variable. That would also give you the option of only spicing half the batch if you want some variety.

Hope that helps, should be an interesting beer.



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Old 07-17-2009, 12:02 AM   #3
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Ingredients Amount Item Type % or IBU
5.00 lb Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM) Grain 34.5 %
3.00 lb Vienna Malt (3.5 SRM) Grain 20.7 %
1.50 lb Caramel/Crystal Malt - 60L (60.0 SRM) Grain 10.3 %
1.50 lb Victory Malt (25.0 SRM) Grain 10.3 %
1.00 lb Smoked Malt (9.0 SRM) Grain 6.9 %
0.50 lb Peat Smoked Malt (2.8 SRM) Grain 3.4 %
1.00 oz Admiral [14.80%] (60 min) Hops 44.3 IBU
0.25 tbsp cayenne (Boil 5.0 min) Misc
0.25 tbsp chipotle (Boil 5.0 min) Misc
1.00 lb Honey (1.0 SRM) Sugar 6.9 %
0.50 lb Molasses (80.0 SRM) Sugar 3.4 %
0.50 lb Sugar, Table (Sucrose) (1.0 SRM) Sugar 3.4 %
1 Pkgs Dry English Ale (White Labs #WLP007) [Starter 1000 ml] Yeast-Ale

Beer Profile Estimated
Original Gravity: 1.082 SG
Estimated Final Gravity: 1.019 SG
Estimated Color: 18.7 SRM
Bitterness: 44.3 IBU
Estimated Alcohol by Volume: 8.2 %

Thanks for the input.

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Old 07-17-2009, 12:12 AM   #4
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I still think that's too much peat. Peat isn't a pleasant flavor in beer, like it is in Scotch. More than a couple of ounces is too much, in my opinion. It can taste very phenolic, in a medicinal way, and not in a good way.

I like the smoked malt though, and can see increasing that quite a bit.

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Old 07-17-2009, 12:34 AM   #5
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Ingredients Amount Item Type % or IBU
4.00 lb Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM) Grain 27.8 %
2.50 lb Vienna Malt (3.5 SRM) Grain 17.4 %
2.00 lb Smoked Malt (9.0 SRM) Grain 13.9 %
1.50 lb Caramel/Crystal Malt - 60L (60.0 SRM) Grain 10.4 %
1.50 lb Victory Malt (25.0 SRM) Grain 10.4 %
1.00 lb Rye Malt (4.7 SRM) Grain 6.9 %
0.15 lb Peat Smoked Malt (2.8 SRM) Grain 1.0 %
1.00 oz Admiral [14.80%] (60 min) Hops 42.0 IBU
0.25 tbsp cayenne (Boil 5.0 min) Misc
0.25 tbsp chipotle (Boil 5.0 min) Misc
1.25 lb Sugar, Table (Sucrose) (1.0 SRM) Sugar 8.7 %
0.50 lb Molasses (80.0 SRM) Sugar 3.5 %
1 Pkgs Dry English Ale (White Labs #WLP007) [Starter 1000 ml] Yeast-Ale

Beer Profile Estimated
Original Gravity: 1.082 SG
Estimated Final Gravity: 1.019 SG
Estimated Color: 19.3 SRM
Bitterness: 42.0 IBU
Estimated Alcohol by Volume: 8.2 %

Revised. Thanks again. Added some rye malt, seemed like it might fit with the smokey flavors.

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Old 07-29-2009, 03:56 AM   #6
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Ingredients Amount Item Type % or IBU
5.00 lb Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM) Grain 29.7 %
3.50 lb Vienna Malt (3.5 SRM) Grain 20.8 %
1.50 lb Caramel/Crystal Malt - 60L (60.0 SRM) Grain 8.9 %
1.50 lb Victory Malt (25.0 SRM) Grain 8.9 %
1.00 lb Rye Malt (4.7 SRM) Grain 5.9 %
0.31 lb Peat Smoked Malt (2.8 SRM) Grain 1.8 %
1.00 oz Columbus (Tomahawk) [12.30%] (90 min) Hops 31.6 IBU
0.50 tbsp cayenne (Boil 5.0 min) Misc
3.50 lb Sugar, Table (Sucrose) (1.0 SRM) Sugar 20.8 %
0.50 lb Molasses (80.0 SRM) Sugar 3.0 %
1 Pkgs Irish Ale (White Labs #WLP004) [Starter 500 ml] Yeast-Ale

Like a dummy, I thought the bag of sugar I bought was 1lb; it was 4. So in attempting to put in 1lb, I used roughly 3.5lb before I realized my mistake. Other than that, my LHBS didn't have any Rauchmalt or smoked malt, so I split the ingredient between pale and Vienna. Used roughly 6 fl oz of molasses, and since I have no means of figuring that out in weight; I'm sticking with volume. Furthermore, none of the local supermarkets carried chipotle, so I used 1/4 Tbsp cayenne pepper, and 1/4 Tbsp chili pepper, if it doesn't come through upon switching to secondary, I'll double it. I had an Oatmeal porter ready for bottling, so I threw the Dragon's tale ale on the secondary Irish ale yeast cake and another 10 fl oz Irish ale yeast starter, since the secondary cake was a bit thin.

Last but not least, I broke my gravity meter in the sink; such a sensitive device. I have no idea what my initial gravity might be, beer smith showed 1.103, but I boiled my mash down to approximately 4.5 gallons and mashed well. With that in mind, it might be as high as 1.114.

All in all, nothing went as planned, but I don't care as long as it tastes good and is repeatable using my notes; we'll see. I'll update as it progresses.

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Old 08-06-2009, 02:40 AM   #7
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Just racked to secondary, with a gravity reading (bought a new one) showing ~1.02; with my O.G being ~ 1.114, that puts me around 12% abv. Sample tasted awesome, with surprisingly little alcohol bite considering it is only 8 days old. Great mouth feel, good bread/smoke flavor with just a hint of the spice. Can't wait for this one to finish up.

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Old 12-05-2009, 03:21 PM   #8
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Default soo.....

So how did it end up?!

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Old 12-10-2009, 11:05 PM   #9
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Came out really well. The peat malt mixed surprisingly well with the spicing, and although just about everything went wrong with the ingredients (too much sugar, didn't have the right spices), it all meshed pretty well. The peat comes through without dominating or overpowering, and the spices took a backseat. Tastes like a smoked barley wine.



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