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Old 11-13-2012, 11:02 AM   #1
Sir Humpsalot
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Default Critique my Mango Pale Ale

The grains are already mashing away, but I won't have time to start the boil until the morning, so the hops scheduling is open to change, as is the fruit addition. At first I was nudging 60IBU's, then I remembered that the fruit needs to take center stage, so I cut it down a bit. The 1/4oz FWH smells great already though!

5 lbs 2-row, US
1 lb 6-row, US
3.5 lbs Minute Rice
Several handfuls of Rice Hulls

.25 oz Citra FWH @60 (using the hops in the boil as well)
.25 Citra @10
.25 Citra @0
possibly a dry hop later on?


US-05 yeast

4lbs of mango puree in secondary

OG 1.049 (not accounting for the fruit)
FG 1.010 (target)
ABV: 5.1%
IBU: 20.9
SRM: 3.2


I've used rice solids before along with table sugar and LOVED the way that it thinned out my Haus APA. It turned it into a real crowd-pleaser, with the thinner body making it very quaffable... the thinness of a Light Lager, with the fruitiness of an ale shining through with the distinct fruity esters presenting subtly, whereas they get complex and overwhelming in a thicker beer.

Does anyone here think I should just leave it at 1/4oz of Citra, 15.7 IBU's, and call it good? Let the mango puree give the real mango flavor and forego the extra hops?

My current direction on brewing is kind of breaking rules all over the place. I'm just so sick of styles for their own sake. Everything I've brewed lately is breaking a rule. My IPA is 100% two-row.... darkened by a 3 hour boil with lots of evaporation. But I'm reclassifying it as a barleywine based on its flavor. I'm taking aim at Heineken/Becks with a rye ale. My Pale Ale now uses rice as an adjunct to thin it out and this time I'm souring it! I don't brew a beer if I don't find some tweak/twist/gimmick that appeals to me and makes it different. I believe that this mango beer will be the first time I ever used a single hop variety, besides a couple of lagers and hefes. I'm looking to try different things.

Almost done with the mash. Efficiency appears to be very VERY good with the minute rice. Edit: Yup. I'll be around 85%, I think. I tasted some of the rice out of the MLT. It tastes like styrofoam... a bit of texture, but no flavor whatsoever. It's all in the wort.


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Old 11-13-2012, 01:04 PM   #2
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That sounds like a very good beer. I have never tried using rice hulls to thin out the beer, but will definitely be trying this in the future for some of my pale ales to make them a little more drinkable for my guests. I don't know how the flavor will come off in an Ale, but I know in my Pilsner the mango flavor seemed to faded and mellow away after about a month. Maybe restrict your flame out Citra. Did you make your mango puree yourself? If so, how'd you do it? I cut up fresh mangos, soaked em in vodka for 2 days, then poured the cut mangos into the secondary and keeping the vodka to drink! Not sure if this is the right way to do this though.


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Old 11-13-2012, 01:07 PM   #3
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I plan on running some mango and vodka through my blender, letting it settle, decanting off the vodka, and then adding the pulp to secondary. But I may forego the vodka and just starsan the chunks of fruit and hope that 5%ABV will keep any nasties at bay. I fear that blending with vodka may squeeze out a lot of the juice. Sure, it'll result in tasty vodka, but I'm trying to make beer here.

The rice hulls just improve lautering. Since rice doesn't have any husk, it tends to result in a sticky mash-- think of a thick goop in your MLT and imagine trying to run water through it. The rice hulls are just there to help the water run through better. The rice itself, however, does add fermentable sugars. Rice solids are available at your LHBS... for like five bucks a pound! It's basically sugar made from rice and should taste the same as minute rice... for a considerably more cost. Rice is supposed to be used because it's cheap! But at five bucks a pound, it just doesn't make sense. Nevertheless, it thins a beer and does have some nice qualities.... it's not a terrible ingredient... home/craft brewers just tend to shun rice because it has that association with cheap domestic beer. Nevertheless, rice has particular qualities and I feel brewers should be open-minded towards using it when a beer can be improved by what it provides. Right now, I have an APA made with regular rice, that was gelatinized by boiling before adding it to the mash. The results of that endeavor are still fermenting, but if it goes according to plan, the choice will be: Just add it to the mash at 2 bucks a pound (minute rice), or boil it for an hour before mashing for 1 buck per pound (regular rice). I'm honestly not sure which is more worth it.... just depends on the time you have, I suppose. OTOH, bulk 2-row is about $0.70 per pound, so rice makes no sense at the homebrew level unless you actually want what it offers. In this case, I think I do.
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Old 11-13-2012, 01:14 PM   #4
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Ehhh, I'd lean away from star-san, but that's just me personally. I thought about just a quick soak in vodka and not a 24-48 hr soak, as I did feel the vodka extracted most of the flavors out. The vodka tasted like mango juice, you couldn't even tell there was a drop of alcohol in there, which were all the flavors I wanted in my beer! A buddy said just use the vodka with an eye dropper and put it in each pint you pour, but that's to much work and not what I was trying to get at.
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Old 11-13-2012, 01:44 PM   #5
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Well, I could just starsan my cutting board, bowl, knife, and hands... and just pitch the fruit straight in. I run a slight risk of infection, but even if one takes hold, the beer would probably be gone in a month anyway, so it probably wouldn't get bad.

FWIW, I did recently deliberately leave some wort sitting on top of my stove (with pilot light).... an ideal bacterial breeding ground. And after 5 days, I had only some mild (but surprisingly pleasant) sourness. So whatever is floating around my apartment doesn't appear to be too detrimental to beer flavor. In another attempt at the same, I actually wound up with an active fermentation that apparently resulted in beer. Factor in 5%ABV from the outset and the odds are pretty well in my favor with adding mango, even without any drastic sanitizing step.


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Bottled/Kegged:Spicy Light Rye, Rice-adjunct Pale Ale, Mild Bourbon Porter, Roasty Stout, Basic Light Mead, Bourbon County Stout Clone
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