Monday, January 14, 2013

No-Sparge American Pale Ale - Tasting Notes

Brewday: 01/07/13

Appearance: Light gold. Great head retention (picture was taken 5 minutes after pour)! It carries a slight haze, which is probably due to the dry hops. Hopefully a small dose of wheat will help clear the next revision (see brewday post).

Nose: Medium-low level of hop aromatics, lemon zest and orange zest, which could be dialed up in future revisions. I also would like more depth in hop aroma: pine, mango, peach. The hops are complemented with a grainy, sweet pilsner malt aroma. Very pleasant, but I think depth could be added here with a higher percentage of Munich malt.

Taste: Lemon peel and pilsner malt, in similar levels as the aroma. A slight soapy note, probably from the dry hops, which will hopefully be neutralized by the addition of sulfate. Bitterness is too high and out of balance. The sting mellows somewhat as it warms, but the bitterness level should be lower. I think this can be achieved with less-aggressive bittering up front.

Mouthfeel: Dry and every-so-slightly thin, which may contribute to its supreme quaffability (I had quite a few pints while lounging at home last night). Bitterness contributes some heat and astringency on the tongue, covering the subtleties of the beer. Before changing mash temperature or yeast selection, we'll see how the addition of wheat and reduction of bitterness changes the mouthfeel.

Overall Impression: A great starting point, this beer is already one I enjoy having on tap. I am excited to brew the next revision!

Noted Changes for Revision 2

  • Add a small percentage of wheat malt (~5%) to test Colin Kaminski's theory.
  • Increase late and dry hop additions.
  • Use more hops with pine and stone-fruit characteristics.
  • Increase the percentage of Munich I (~20%).
  • Replace the FWH addition (Citra) with Cascade to soften the bitterness and add hop flavor.
  • Add a touch of Gypsum.

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