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Old 02-28-2007, 01:13 AM   #1
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Default Beerswap 2007: uwmgdman's beers

The beers I sent to Kaiser, Tuck, and Brewsmith:

Gold cap:
German Pale Ale
This beer fits into no category very well, so with that said please don’t judge how it fits into any one category. What I intended with this beer was a more or less, balanced beer, with a bit of a dry finish. I achieved the dry finish by playing with my mash temperature. I never mashed low before and for this batch, I mashed around 149-150F. Here’s the recipe, let me know what you think!

Partial Mash:
4 lb. Briess Pilsen Malt, 12 oz. Crystal 20L, 4 oz. English Crystal (55L), and 8 oz. CaraPils. Mashed for 60 minutes at 149-150F. Added 4lbs. Briess Pilsen DME at 20 mins remaining in boil.
Hops:
1 oz. Northern Brewer Pellets 9.6%AA – 60 min
¼ oz. Saaz Pellets 3.8%AA – 30 min
1 tsp. Irish Moss – 15 min
¾ oz. Saaz Pellets 3.8%AA – 5 min
Yeast:
Wyeast 1056 Smack Pack
Fermentation Temp: ~68F, OG: 1.057, FG: 1.008, IBU: 32, BU/GU: 0.56, and ABV: 6.5%

Blue cap:
Kind of Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale
This beer is an IPA. I was thinking about cloning the SNCA, but decided to change it up a little and give the recipe my own twist, I used 4lbs of Munich malt. I knew it wasn’t going to be a dead ringer, but I did a side by side. I think the hop aroma on my mine is more pronounced, the bitterness a bit more evident, and the beer has a slightly sweeter finish than the SN. The color is close, but mine is a little hazy.
Partial Mash:
4 lb. 2-Row Munich Malt, 1 lb. English Crystal (55L), 8 oz. CaraPils. Mashed for 60 mins at 152F. Added 5 lbs. Briess Pilsen DME with 20 mins remaining in boil.
Hops:
1.25oz. Chinook Pellets 12.0%AA – 60 min
1 oz. Centennial Whole Hops 10.5%AA - 15 min
1 oz. Cascade Pellets 6.4%AA – 15 min
1 tsp. Irish Moss – 15 min
Dry hopped with 1oz of whole leaf Cascade and Centennial
Yeast:
Wyeast 1056 – I pitched onto about 1/3 of the cake from the previous batch, wow that was impressive to watch.
Fermentation Temp: ~68F, OG: 1.064, FG: 1.013, IBU: 64, BU/GU: 1.00, and ABV: 6.8%.


I look forward to your feedback, I hope you enjoyed the beers!

Justin

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Old 03-11-2007, 11:03 PM   #2
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Looks like I'm going to be the first one:

Justin, I had your German Pale Ale last night:

Apperance:
* The beer poured a little cloudy which my be contributed to the transport. It had been sitting in my fridge for only 5 days
* It showed a good head retention

Aroma:
* I got a slight floral hop aroma after the pour. I didn't expect this because you used Saaz for finishing. I was more expecting the hop aroma you get from German style Pilsners. Go figure.

Taste:
* sweet start
* followed by pronounced hop flavor
* no significant lingering bitterness
* I wasn't able to detect any flaws in the fermentation process. Good Job.


Notes:
* This could be a German type session beer since it has a mild hop character
* The beer felt a little to sweet to me. I assume it comes from the 1.5 lb crystal malts that you were using in the recipe. Maybe you want to drop the CaraPils next time and mash a little higher to compensate for the loss of body.
* all in all, this is a good beer and I had no problems finishing it all
* interstingly enough, I would have needed to target 25-27 IBUs to get the same level of hop bitterness. You targeted 32.


Kai

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Old 03-12-2007, 01:17 AM   #3
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Kai....

Thanks for the feedback. I'm glad you enjoyed it. You're right about a session type beer, that is what I was going for with it. I think of this beer as a beer I would enjoy drinking and that most anyone else that might come over to my house might enjoy, microbrew/homebrew drinker or not.

The haze is chill haze. When I eventually get a chiller I hope that problem is resolved. To me it's not really significant, but that crystal clear presentation would be nice with certain beers, including this one. FWIW, it was very clear at bottling, but when I chill the bottles I can see the haze through the bottle.

I'm not going to agree with you about lowering the crystal just to be pleasant and agree with everything, but because I thought the same thing after I tried this brew. Like I said earlier I'm trying to come up with a recipe that myself and most any guest would enjoy when I offer them one my beers, something I always a at least few on hand of.

As far as the IBUs. I would be willing to bet that may be due to boiling intensity. I do not boil as aggressively on my stove top as one could with a propane burner. My spreadsheet takes into account boil volume and late extract additions in regards to utlization, maybe I should adjust that forumla.

Any idea why the hop flavor was as pronounced as it was? I didn't have any heavy 'flavor additions'. Maybe my 5 min addition added more than I would expect.

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Old 03-12-2007, 02:27 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uwmgdman
Any idea why the hop flavor was as pronounced as it was? I didn't have any heavy 'flavor additions'. Maybe my 5 min addition added more than I would expect.
Maybe because the beers I brewed and had recently had very little or no late hop additions and it was different kind of taste to me. Let's see what the others have to say.

Kai
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Old 03-12-2007, 03:56 AM   #5
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Here's my review on the "Kind of Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale"

Appearance:
Pours a nice amber color with some orange hue to it with a one inch head

Aroma:
Nice hop aroma in the nose, fruity/citrusy.

Flavor:
Initial taste is smooth malt, followed by bitterness at the back of the tongue. Mouthfeel is nice and smooth medium body, not too thick with just a little prick of carbonation. Finish is fairly dry. Flavors are citrus, bitter orange, with only a little sweetness. Some caramel notes to it, but the hop flavor dominates.


Overall Impression:
It's a nice, very drinkable IPA. The aroma from the Cascade and Centennial hops is great. There is a biterness flavor in there that I think I can attribute to the Chinook bittering hops. It leaves a very dry bitter taste on the tongue. If I were to do this recipe, I would possibly try using Columbus or even Centennial as the bittering hop to see if this makes a difference. (although as I drink more and more of it, I notice it less) Over all it's a nice IPA that is very drinkable.

-edit- Now that I think about it for a few minutes it was probably due to some of the yeast sediment. It got banged up a little during shipping and even though it spent several days in the fridge, a little ended up in the glass, which is now settling out over the 45 minutes or so, leaving a much smoother bitterness flavor on the tongue.

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Old 03-12-2007, 01:48 PM   #6
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Brewsmith....

Thanks for the feedback! I'm glad you found the IPA nice and drinkable. I really enjoy that beer, I only wish I hadn't lost as much beer when transferring, my bottle count was a little down from where it typically is.

I don't think I'll be changing that recipe too much next time around. I am intrigued by Columbus hops, everyone seems to be using them and really liking them. I'd be interested in trying those sometime. Are they kind of like Chinook minus a little of the Chinook bite?

Thanks again, glad you liked it.

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Old 03-12-2007, 06:28 PM   #7
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The columbus are a little citrusy and pair well with cascade, centennial and amarillo hops.

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Old 03-13-2007, 02:25 AM   #8
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Justin,

I had the other one tonight:

appearance:
* a little cloudy. But I'm not sure if its actually chill haze since the beer was at 50F when I had it
* nice strong floral hop aroma. Since I'm not an expert on IPAs I didn't take a stab on guessing the hop though it was the American hop that I was most familiar with
* very good head retention. It actually lasted all the way through

taste:
* first impression: very drinkable IPA (even for me)
* hops dominate the flavor from the start to the finish with a very nice malt back-bone.
* no cloying sweetness at all though this one also uses 1.5 lb crystal malt. But the hops nicely balance this
* No off flavors detectable. Very good handling of the fermentation process.

notes:
* I'm not a big fan of IPAs, but I like this one. Mostly because it is like an East coast IPA, meaning not as bitter.
* 64 IBU? I don't believe this. This beer is as bitter as Harpoon IPA which has ~45 IBU. This just shows how useless the hop utilization formulas are for calculating the actual bitterness
* I don't see anything you need to improve here. Maybe the haze issue, but that can wait until you have the chiller. Until then, give gelatin in the secondary a try.

Good job, I even finished the sediment laden rest from the bottle

Kai

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Old 03-13-2007, 03:40 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaiser
Justin,

Inotes:
* I'm not a big fan of IPAs, but I like this one. Mostly because it is like an East coast IPA, meaning not as bitter.
* 64 IBU? I don't believe this. This beer is as bitter as Harpoon IPA which has ~45 IBU. This just shows how useless the hop utilization formulas are for calculating the actual bitterness
* I don't see anything you need to improve here. Maybe the haze issue, but that can wait until you have the chiller. Until then, give gelatin in the secondary a try.

Good job, I even finished the sediment laden rest from the bottle

Kai

Kai....

Thanks again for the feedback. It's really nice having other brewers try my beers out, and real nice they're found enjoyable. I like this beer quite a bit.

About the IBU calcuations. Like I said that's my brewing spreadsheet which increases hop utlization since I do late extract additions. The Beer Recipator website said 54 IBU. I still wonder if I might not be getting good enough utlization on my boils.

I think I should make note sometime of the IBUs when I buy some commercial beers and see how my compare to those listed values. I wonder if the 4lb. of Munich Malt provided more of a malt balance for the IBUs, which lowers the apparent bitterness some.

Thanks for your feedback, I enjoyed reading the your write ups. I think I'll do a search for gelatin use for clarifying.

Thanks again,

Justin
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Old 03-13-2007, 03:47 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uwmgdman
About the IBU calcuations. Like I said that's my brewing spreadsheet which increases hop utlization since I do late extract additions. The Beer Recipator website said 54 IBU. I still wonder if I might not be getting good enough utlization on my boils.
Don't worry about this at all. Just keep the way you are determining the IBU's constant and adjust your targeted IBUs based on your history of beers and how bitter you want the next beer to be. If you mess with the formula you are only giving yourself another moving target.

Once you go AG, and don't do the late extract additions anymore, you will have to re-learn your system with regards to hop bitterness. But based on the beers I had from you, I don't think AG will give you a significant improvement (and that is a good thing) only greater flexibility for recipe formulations.

Kai
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