Well, this is another one of those “long-time in waiting” reviews…
God; after the last post about my ho-hum, rather pedestrian, wheat beer; I must sound like a right miserable so-and-so, especially as this particular beer isn’t quite as I wanted it to be, either.
But that’s not to say it’s bad…in fact it’s rather good. As Pale Ales go, this Pale Ale goes very well indeed.
Trouble is, it’s not the hop-bomb that I wanted it to be and I’m rather afraid that it’s down to two things:
Number one: not using enough pure aroma hop oil (2ml per 10L) I reckon I should have just put the whole bottle in. Next time I dry hop AND add loads of aroma oil in as well.
Number two: spending a week in the US and drinking loopy-juice like The Maharaja Double IPA (see earlier entry in this blog) make me feel that can’t ever make anything that hoppy at home…but it’s not going to stop me trying, oh good God, no: I’ve planted a First Gold and two Styrian Golding hop bines this year – as well as hoping for a big crop from my existing Cascade bine, so keep an eye out for something hop-tastically over-the-top this autumn, if not before…
Other than the lack of hop-looniness; this pale ale is nicely bitter, very nicely balanced, is a gorgeous deep mahogany colour, has a superb rich maltiness and – lets be honest about it – anyone else in the world who had brewed it would be over-the-moon – it really is a very fine Pale Ale indeed.
It’s just not as hoppy as I was hoping for… Bah.
I’ve missed having a really powerfully hoppy beer in my kegs recently, so I decided to brew one right up.
As beers go this was a straight-down-the-line, no-pissing-about, sort of affair. The only slight difference was that I included a bit of aromatic malt to the grist bill, hopefully with a view to giving the whole thing a bit of a solid, but not cloying, malt body.
The mash regime was a very simple dough-in at 38C, a saccharification rest at 67C (80 minutes) and mash-out at 76C (10 minutes) and a 60 minute boil.
For bittering I used up some Chinook and Herkules that I had in the freezer, the rest of the hops (all late hops, I might add) were 100g of Cascade pellets. No dry-hopping for this beauty – I’m experimenting with some Cascade pure hop aroma oil that I got from Rob at The Malt Miller (http://www.themaltmiller.co.uk/index.php?_a=viewProd&productId=244)
Trouble is, I’ve got no idea how much to add? The instructions on the bottle say 1ml per 10l of beer – but that seems a bit miserly; have you tried it? What your suggestion? Maybe I’ll ask Rob, too…
Here’s the recipe, anyway. Oh yes, I’m using US-05 to ferment this – as I want the yeast character right out of the way – this one’s all about the hops:
I’ll let you know how it goes…we’re only a couple days into the fairly business-like US-05 fermentation.
PS: I hit the 1056 gravity smack on the head, but with 25L of wort, so I was quite a bit over. I’m hoping the yeast will slay this wort to 1009 and that’ll get to almost 6%. Sweet.