Monday, January 14, 2008

Rogue-ish Amber Ale

I love Rogue beer, but I usually drink it on tap.

I drink Rogue on tap mostly because those $5 bombers and $10 six-packs drain my funds pretty quickly. The good news is that I'm a homebrewer and most of the ingredients available to Rogue, are also available to me. So far, I've just attempted knock-offs of some of the simpler Rogue beers, such as the Dry Hopped Red, but yesterday I bottled (and pigged) a batch of amber ale inspired by Rogue American Amber. The packaging went well; there were no problems except for over-pressurizing the pig (it started to leak a bit before I bled the excess air out of it). The beer tasted pretty darn good with quite a bit of caramel sweetness up front and a bold smack of hops in the finish. There was just a touch of roasted malt complexity, too.

Unfortunately, this particular Rogue-ish brew is a pretty loose interpretation. I've had success before in finding all the ingredients for a clone of the St. Rogue Red, but this time I had to improvise a bit. I constructed this amber ale using six pounds of pale liquid malt extract from Northern Brewer, along with a pound or so of Munton's DME. The grain included some steeped crystal malts; British 150L and 70-80L Crystal. The hops included Amarillo and Simcoe pellets which were substituted for the Kent Goldings and Cascades used in Rogue American Amber; mostly because I have almost a pound of Amarillo pellets in my freezer. The Amarillo hops were used mostly for bitterness with the Simcoe added later in the boil. Everything was fermented with Wyeast Northwest Ale (which believe is from Hale's, NOT Rogue. I also got a little nuts and added a half-ounce Warrior hop plug in the Party Pig. I expect a lot of hop aroma out of that pig!

I had planned to re-pitch the yeast from this batch into an American-style barleywine along the lines of Rogue's Old Crustacean, but now I'm leaning more towards my first partial mash attempt at a Berliner Weisse.

Stay tuned.

No comments: