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Old 03-04-2013, 03:54 PM   #1
homebrewhaha
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Default Using thyme in a pale ale? (Gina, Birreria)

I had this beer a while back at Birreria. It was somewhat simple and subtle with just a hint of thyme on the nose and not much flavor.

I doubt I'll be able to find a "clone" recipe for this beer without contacting the brewmaster there, so I figured I'd try to construct my own recipe for a Thyme Pale Ale.

What hops do you think would compliment the thyme? I was considering Nugget for its herbal qualities, and maybe some Chinook, or something piney and woody?

Would you incorporate other spices or additions (lemon comes to mind), or just focus on the thyme component first?

Never worked with any green herbs in a beer before. Would I 'DRY 'HERB' this beer??? Any tips, suggestions, pitfalls, caveats, experiences, hallucinations, warnings, recommendations?

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Old 03-04-2013, 04:10 PM   #2
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Fresh Thyme is a hardy, woodsy herb that releases its flavor best when boiled/cooked. Same advice for Rosemary and Sage. If you're going to use it fresh, add it to the boil. You could also add a secondary addition. HOWEVER, for a secondary addition, I would not add the actual herb, but rather a dash of concentrated Thyme extract. You can purchase it or make some at home.

If you were going to use the more delicate fresh herbs, such as Parsley, Cilantro, Basil, or Chervil, then the recommendation would be to avoid heat and solely use the fresh herb for best results.

For a complementary hop:

Pacific Jade (NZ)

This variety is the most recent release out of the New Zealand Hop Research Program selected on its average alpha of 12-14% with Cohumulone in the region of 24% and an excellent oils profile. The aroma of this hop is described as “bold” as it delivers a herbal infusion of fresh citrus and crushed black pepper. Brewing trials have illustrated Pacific Jade as an excellent hop that delivers a pleasing soft bitterness matched to desirable aroma characteristics.

Suited for use as a bittering hop with some excellent results also being seen in dual purpose applications, with a soft bitterness attributable to the low cohumulone. The citrus aroma and flavour notes work well to temper malt sweetness in “fullish” Ales especially when used moderately as a finishing hop. Pacific Jade is also well suited to balance dryer Lager styles when employed as an “up-front” kettle addition to showcase its bittering qualities.

Using Pacific Jade in conjunction with a mild yet aromatic European hop, like Saaz or Hallertau Mittlefruh may also provide some additional complexity.

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Old 03-04-2013, 04:40 PM   #3
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Thanks Bob. Sounds like I should just farm out the recipe-building portion of this to you!

Makes sense that thyme would go into the boil, I'm thinking for maybe 5-10 minutes. I cook with it a lot and it's one of the few fresh herbs that can stand up to a good deal of cooking.

Thanks for your help!

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