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Old 09-04-2014, 04:38 AM   #1
BlueHouseBrewhaus
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Default Monteith's Summer Ale help

So I've been brewing Christmas presents for my brothers and brothers-in-law. I've asked each of them what their favorite brew is. One brother-in-law said he fell in love with Monteith's Summer Ale when he was in New Zealand last year. I've found two somewhat clone-ish recipes but they don't seem to be quite right and I'd like to do better.

Here is what my research has found so far.

"Made with lightly kilned malts, ginger and rata honey."

"A refreshingly spiced, bright gold beer with a real flavoursome zest. First we chose four different malts to give a smooth heart, then we carefully brought the beer through the brewhouse and spiced it gently with a single hop variety. With the addition of traditional spices and the finishing touch of a little rata honey"

Tasting notes from various sites indicate a strong ginger note and there is always a mention of the "rata" honey, whatever that is. Several tasters also detected orange peel and a citrusy light hop flavor. A few sites allude to local NZ hops. I'm thinking Riwaka, which is listed as having citrus and grapefruit notes. Of course, I can't find it on the US so I'll have to order it from NZ.

So here's what I have so far.

4 lb UK 2-row malt
2 lb German Wheat malt
1 lb Torrified Wheat
12 oz Crystal 20

.5 oz Riwaka - 45 min
.5 oz Riwaka - 10 min
2 oz Ginger root - 10 min
1 lb Honey - 10 min
1 oz Sweet Orange Peel - 5 min

Mash 60 min at 148F

Wyeast 1056

OG 1.048
FG 1.008
6 SRM
13 IBU
5.2% ABV

Not sure what 4 malts would give a "smooth heart". Seems like a summer ale would have wheat but I'm not sure. Maybe sub pils for the wheat? Just used a generic yeast. Any other suggestions?

So waddya think?

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Old 09-05-2014, 04:45 AM   #2
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Anyone? Bueller?

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Old 09-05-2014, 04:57 AM   #3
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You can get rata honey from Amazon, fwiw. I wouldn't add it during the boil, though, or you'll lose any aroma contribution. Maybe even in secondary? Live dangerous!

It seems to me like a half lb of honey malt might go well here, helping bring out some of the honey flavor and adding sweetness.

Not much hops in your recipe -- is the original pretty low as well?

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Old 09-05-2014, 04:59 AM   #4
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Btw, I'd do the ginger in secondary, too. Grate some fresh ginger root, add some hot (160-ish) water, squeeze through cloth to get a nice extract with no fiber.

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Old 09-06-2014, 04:17 AM   #5
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Thanks, ong. I should have thought of Amazon. You can get anything there. Hadn't thought of honey malt, either. Not sure if that might interfere with the citrus notes.

As for the hops, their website seems to indicate that it is <20 IBU. I may try a small hop stand and/or dry hop to bring a little aroma out without the bitterness. Having never actually tasted this beer, I am at a decided disadvantage. I was figuring on tweaking the flavor with some ginger in secondary but I hadn't considered the ginger "tea" you describe. Sounds like a good way to do it.

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Old 09-07-2014, 05:37 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueHouseBrewhaus View Post
Thanks, ong. I should have thought of Amazon. You can get anything there. Hadn't thought of honey malt, either. Not sure if that might interfere with the citrus notes.

As for the hops, their website seems to indicate that it is <20 IBU. I may try a small hop stand and/or dry hop to bring a little aroma out without the bitterness. Having never actually tasted this beer, I am at a decided disadvantage. I was figuring on tweaking the flavor with some ginger in secondary but I hadn't considered the ginger "tea" you describe. Sounds like a good way to do it.

Yeah, when I've made ginger beer (the non-alcoholic kind), I've gotten good results by grating fresh ginger root into a mesh bag in a bowl, pouring "mash temperature" water over it, and letting it steep. Boiling keeps some of the ginger hotness but loses a lot of the aromatics.

Good luck!
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