Monday, November 10, 2008

American Bitter disappoints, Red Ale to the rescue



I've got another batch of beer going. This time it's a three-gallon batch of red ale that should almost fit into the IPA category. (It's an estimated 53 IBUs.) I copied a recipe from last year: three and a half pounds of light dry malt extract, a quarter pound each of 135-150L and 70-80L British crystal malt along with a half ounce of 7 percent alpha acid Amarillo pellet hops, another half-ounce of these same hops at 30 minutes and a full ounce at 15 minutes left in the boil. I cooled this with my immersion wort chiller and pitched one packet of Safale S-04 yeast. I brewed this up last Sunday and I'm planning on packaging the whole batch in 22-ounce bottles later this week, although I'm contemplating dry hopping.

Meanwhile, my recent batch of Americanized bitter is pouring from the pig, but it isn't as toasty tasting as the last batch. I'm not sure what happened. The beer is plenty bitter, but just doesn't have the toasted malt character that I like. Perhaps my grist was poor or maybe I just over hopped it. It's hoppy and bitter, but otherwise a bit two-dimensional: just fruity Simcoe hops and sweet malt. I'm not sure I like the Simcoe hops and will probably go back to Amarillo the next time I brew.

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