Monday, April 16, 2012

Tasting Notes: Patriot Shame (APA)

Jews are by nature wine people. There's no other explanation for the fact that we have a holiday that requires you to drink four cups of wine in a single night, but forbids you from having beer for a week. Contrast that with the monks that LIVED on beer for 40 days, and you get the distinct sense that we (again) got shafted.

The upside of this is that it forces you to let the beer sit just a little longer. And sometimes the beer can really use the time. This was the case with this APA: I tasted it a week before Passover, made a face, and said "this needs a bit more time". So it was good timing for the holiday, for a change.

One thing that I did with this beer, that I've always wanted to do before but never got around to, is to compare tasting notes and brewing notes. This turned out to be very educational: My tasting notes talk about the beer being a bit thin and how it would benefit from a slightly higher mash temp. After I wrote that I went back to my brewing notes and found that, indeed, I did mash a bit lower than intended. It was good to see cause and effect outlined so clearly.

Recipe as brewed:
Patriot Shame American Pale Ale
Type: All Grain Date: 3/2/2012
Batch Size (fermenter): 20.00 l Brewer: Boaz
Boil Size: 29.44 l Asst Brewer:
Boil Time: 90 min Equipment: Brew Pot (50L) and Cooler (24L)
Final Bottling Volume: 20.00 l Brewhouse Efficiency: 70.00
Fermentation: Ale, Single Stage

Mash Ingredients
Amt Name Type # %/IBU
4.50 kg Pale Ale Malt 2-Row (Briess) (3.5 SRM) Grain 1 86.9 %
0.34 kg Munich I (Weyermann) (6.1 SRM) Grain 2 6.6 %
0.20 kg Caramel Malt Pils (Shahar) (2.9 SRM) Grain 3 3.9 %
0.14 kg Medium Caramel/Crystal Malt - 45L - (45.0 SRM) Grain 4 2.7 %

Mash Steps
Name Description Step Temperature Step Time
Mash In Add 14.46 l of water at 72.7 C *see below
66.7 C 60 min
Batch sparge with 3 steps (0.86l, 10.13l, 10.13l) of 75.6 C water
Estimated pre-boil gravity is 1.044 SG

Boil Ingredients
Amt Name Type # %/IBU
20.00 g Galena [11.00 %] - Boil 60.0 min Hop 5 30.8 IBUs
7.00 g Columbus (Tomahawk) [14.50 %] - Boil 60.0 min Hop 6 14.2 IBUs
12.00 g Cascade [5.40 %] - Boil 10.0 min Hop 7 1.8 IBUs
7.00 g Columbus (Tomahawk) [14.50 %] - Boil 10.0 min Hop 8 2.8 IBUs

Steeped Hops
Amt Name Type # %/IBU
18.00 g Cascade [5.40 %] - Aroma Steep 2.0 min Hop 9 0.0 IBUs
16.00 g Columbus (Tomahawk) [14.50 %] - Aroma Steep 2.0 min Hop 10 0.0 IBUs
10.00 g Galena [11.00 %] - Aroma Steep 2.0 min

Fermentation Ingredients
Amt Name Type # %/IBU
1.0 pkg Fermentis Ale Yeast US-05
Yeast 12 -
Original recipe numbers (Listed in the recipe I used):
OG 1.052
FG 1.013
Attenuation 74%
IBU 40
Color 7 SRM
Alcohol 5.1% ABV
PreBoil 1.044
Brewing notes:
*Mash in: 14.5L @ 76 +.5L after daugh-in yielded mash at 65.5-66C <== This is probably the cause of the thinner body

Fermentation Notes:
Yeast pitched at 19.2 after 24 hrs
8 hours after pitch raised temp from 20 to 21.3 to try to get a bit extra attenuation due to lower than expected OG
After 8 days temp raised to 22.2 for diacitile and attenuation
12.3 (10 days) FG (by corrected refractometer) 1.008
13.3 (11 days) drop to laget temp (4C)
17.3 (15 days) Reached 4C
24.3 Bottled 21.3 Liters
Taste Notes:
Appearance: Light copper, mostly clear with a large foamy head
Aroma: Citrus and Grapefruit, hoppy with a bit of yeast
Taste: Firm bitterness upfront, grapefruit and lemon, body a bit thin - probably overly carbonated a bit since carbonation is very lively
Palate: nice and bitter, fairly long
Overall: Good. Beer tastes rather like a light IPA, which if you think of and American IPA as a sort of extra-hoppy APA makes sense. For next version I would try slightly higher mash temp, sightly lower carbonation, and maybe just a touch more hops - probably as late addition

One thing I thought about this morning, after I re-read the notes, was the hop schedule. When I tasted this beer I felt it needed a bit more hop character, and had originally though about another (late) hop addition. Re-reading this now I realize that while the character is a bit lacking, the bitterness is above and beyond the guidelines for an APA, and has in fact strayed into IPA territory. This causes me to think: Maybe the reason I feel the need for more hoppiness, is because of the extra bitterness. It is possible that, having drank many an IPA, I come to expect certain hop character at certain levels of bitterness, and my palate is interpreting this beer as a not-quite hoppy enough an IPA, rather than an APA. (The styles ARE very close, after all). So in looking at this recipe now, I think I would not add another hop addition, but rather move one of the bittering additions (probably the Challenger) to a later stage, thus reducing the overall bitterness, and upping the perceived hop character at the same time. (lower carbonation will help this too, I think). This is why it's good to re-brew a recipe several times: You get to experiment and test different ideas.

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