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Old 03-04-2013, 05:55 PM   #1
pkrath84
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Default MoreBeer American Honey Pale Ale extract kit

I brewed this kit as my first attempt on 2/18 just as written without any modifications using 1.5lb of wildflower honey. I have had it fermenting at the lower end of the temperature range (62F) in hopes of coaxing out the citrus characteristics of the Wyeast 1056 that was pitched.

My OG was 1.052 and today I sit at 1.01. I was going to wait a few days to dry hop with a few ounces of Belma flowers after confirming my yeast were done working but I decided to toss em in today afterall. I'll still check my gravity again on Wed though just to see where I'm at and get ready for bottling.

I heard in a tutorial I was watching that people dry hop with nice results as early as 5 days into fermentation do I figured what the heck. I'm hoping for another fresh kick of citrusy hop aroma from this Belma as I let it sit for another week before I bottle it.

I ended up drinking my sample and I was very satisfied with my result. The brew so far has proven to be nice and clean with a moderate malty flavor and the citrusy notes I was hoping for. The citrus is enough to let you know its there, not overpowering and it finishes on the tongue with just enough wildflower honey sweetness

One thing that shocked me was the complete difference in taste of my sample once I gave it a good chill in the freezer. The ale really came alive with the right temperature. I cant wait to try it when it's properly carbed. I'll be making this one again.

Next time ill remember the whirlfloc tab.

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Old 03-05-2013, 01:58 PM   #2
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Funny you mention this. I just bottled mine a few days ago. The sample tasted very very good (only my second brew), and can't wait to see what it tastes like with some carb and chill. Thought about dry hopping mine as well but figured next time around would be enough, curious to see the difference between batches however.

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Old 03-05-2013, 02:21 PM   #3
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It's still pretty cloudy with yeast (that's why it's white-ish). The beer will clear a lot during the next week. You can see near the top of the beer, under the hops, that it's slightly darker as beer will clear from the top down and look much darker when clear.

I normally dryhop when the beer has cleared, 5-7 days before packaging.

Hops oils can "cling" to yeast and when the yeast falls out, to the bottom, when the beer clears it can pull out the nice hops aroma that dryhopping imparts.

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Old 03-06-2013, 03:08 AM   #4
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Thanks for the input Yooper.

The beer was actually pretty clear before I dry hopped. I was split between the swirl/dont swirl camps when I decided to dry hop this batch yesterday. Obviously, I went with the former (albeit with some hesitation in regards to oxidation) I don't really think that the brew was exposed long enough for it to make a discernible difference, though.

I didn't think about oils latching on to the yeast, though. Good to know. Next time I'll let it be.

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Old 03-06-2013, 03:27 AM   #5
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I brewed this as my Christmas gifts this year, and i received rave reviews, its going to have to become a staple

Im thinking of adding just a little more hops next time though

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Old 03-06-2013, 04:14 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stu4stew View Post
...
Im thinking of adding just a little more hops next time though
I was think the exact same thing. I'm curious as to how well my dry hop will turn out. From what I gather, using belma may not do much, especially in such a small amount. Id be happy with just a little boost in citrus/hop aroma coming out of this.

I'll probably bottle this batch on sunday though because my schedule's going to get tight next week. Should that be sufficient time to release oils from the hops?
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Old 03-08-2013, 12:19 AM   #7
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.

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Old 03-08-2013, 12:43 AM   #8
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So I ended up having free time today and ended up bottling. I feel pretty ok with it after reading a post that suggested 3 days to be sufficient to give me a boost of aroma. I ended up with a slightly higher hop and citrus zing in the aroma, (which is what I was shooting for.) This is definitely an experimental batch in terms of procedure. I think next time around I'll be less antsy and have the will to go for the long haul (especially since I'll be doing an RIS next.)

I didn't taste it today during bottling, but I did last night when I took my FG. I ended up at 1.01 and it tasted pretty good. A little bit more bitter, but I assume its because my thief took the sample from the midst of floating hops. It tasted especially nice after some time in the freezer.

Here's what I would change:

  1. Remember the whirlfloc tablet
  2. Increase the strike water volume by about bout .5-1gal. I started with 6 gal this time around and ended up with 4gal in my bottling bucket today.
  3. Make more effort to get all my LME out of the bag, maybe even rinse it out with warm wort. (My OG was under by about .02 of the estimated range.)
  4. Forgo the muslin bag over the auto-siphon. It seemed to cause too many problems and killed suction a little bit.
  5. I'm still debating on using a secondary. I think I will for the stout I'm going to do next and similar for aging but I don't think I will for things like simple ales.
  6. I might increase my flavor hop addition by .5-1oz to get more flavor but not so much more bitterness

Looking over that list... I feel #3 and #4 might cancel each other out... I just dont see this working out that way. Any input?

I Also think I'll cold crash the bottles after they carb up. I know cold crashing is used to keep at little yeast etc out of the bottles in the first place, but I'll settle for a clear pour into a glass.

I definitely learned a lot this first run. I also found out how addicting this hobby is! My equipment stash is growing steadily... and I already want a mash tun and second burner to go all grain... Oy vey.
bottling-honey-apa.jpg   bottled-honey-apa.jpg  
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Old 03-23-2013, 06:08 AM   #9
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So I popped a bottle of this brew tonight. Aroma is GREAT, flavor is a bit light and it's getting carbonated but it's not quite there yet (which I expected). I popped one open mainly because I gave one to my pop when I went home to visit and told him it might be ready to fridge by today.

Looks like I'll be waiting another week as recommended by many on here but like most of you know... Being my first brew I couldn't resist! Slight carbonation, not much head. I imagine this will improve over the next week... probably best for another 2 in total.

Cheers!

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Old 03-23-2013, 06:12 AM   #10
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I take that back. With a proper pour, it has decent 2 finger head and decent retention with some slight lacing its just not fully carbed.

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