20/04/2015: This brewing day was first published on the 02/03/2015 but it is now updated with the tasting notes you will find at the end.
After the success of the last BIAB Pale Ale I made, I wanted to try and recreate it while adjusting a couple of things: increasing the gravity levels and giving the beer a less dry and more hoppy taste. My “brewery” (a carton box) is also fully stocked from a big purchase I made from Balliihoo recently, so it was easy to be more precise. Lets get to it:
1kg (2.2lbs) Crushed Pale Malt from Balliihoo (own brand)
4 litres boiled Brita filtered water (adjusted with room temp water to reach 70°c)
Mashed for an hour and 20 minutes, kept the temperature at 64-69°c (the range you should keep mashing at) by using the smallest hob to keep the heat up sometimes. After an hour I completely removed the pot from the heat to allow for some extra low temperature mashing. The aim here (by using lower temps) is to get a drier malt that will result in a more bitter and drier beer.
At the end of the mashing, the grains were removed using the mashing bag and hung over a bowl to continue extracting all the malty liquid. After 10-20 minutes of draining and cooling down, I squeezed the bag to get the last drops of malty water out.
1 pack of Nottingham Ale yeast (Danstar) – 11g
500ml of filtered Brita water with some boiling water to reach 33°c
Mix all in a sterilized bowl and let sit and activate for the duration of the wort boil and cooling (an hour and 30 minutes).
Water from mash (around 3 litres)
300g dextrose (it is important to add the sugar/dextrose at the start of the boil to allow the proteins to beak and therefore to increase the wort’s gravity)
Started at a slow boil and reached 101°c after 10 minutes, kept it on for another 50 minutes – 60 minutes wort boil in total, and then to the ice bath.
Hops and timings:
At 0 minutes (start): 20g Target hops (12.17%)
At 25 minutes: 30g Challenger hops (9.16%)
At 45 minutes: 10g Fuggles hops (3.96%)
3l of cooled wort (27°c)
500ml yeast mix (31°c)
5.5l of Brita filtered water (29°c)
Total of 8 litres
OG=1031 at 28°c.
The quantity of the beer is good but the Gravity is a little lower than what I was aiming for – I guess I will have to see how low the FG will be. I will probably need to add more grains next time I make it to try and get more fermentable sugars from the mashing. All together it was a much better BIAB experience.
Update 1 (8 days after brewing): Raking was done and 20g Citra hops (14%) and 5g Celesia hops (3.9%) were added for dry hopping.
Update 2 (16 days after brewing): Bottled the beer, resulting in 16 bottles. 2.2 CO2 is aimed for so 46g dextrose was added to the sieved beer. FG=1008, ABV=3%. Same level of ABV as last time despite adding more dextrose, maybe too thin?
Tasting notes – a much better Pale Ale
This recipe is an attempt to improve the quality of my previous Pale Ale as it was slightly too dry. Though the beer was ready (and drank…) a while ago, I only found time recently to properly sit and do a real slow tasting to understand what I made.
At first this beer tended to get a lot of “muck” into it during the pour so it had a slightly yeasty after taste. Giving a couple of weeks to sit in the fridge (standing up!) got the sediment to settle firmly to the bottom, allowing the poured beer to look clear and professional (that is what I tell myself).
This is definitely a classic light (in alcohol) Pale Ale at about 3-3.5% ABV so it is very easy to drink. The colour is very light but has some amber notes in it with a very light haze in it making it ever so slightly cloudy. The carbonation is high (as intended) but the head is a little weak and disappeared very quickly.
The smell is a little sweet with pomelo notes. It is the aroma where this beer is less good than the previous version, as I hadn’t had enough Citra Hops to dry hop as I intended. For the next try I will have what I need and hopefully the aroma will be a stronger citrusy and tangy smell.
The flavour is dry and bitter, or as my wife put it: it tasts “adult” compared to the smell, which is fruity and sweet. I agree, the flavour is very much a “kick” of strong bitter flavours that really help bring out the uniqueness of the hops, I like it. The after taste is a little tangy, almost like the after taste of a grapefruit – great if you like them, less if you don’t.
All and all this beer is really good and became my wife’s favourite (it does lack some earthiness for me) and will join the Black Ale as one of the house regulars. Some adjustment will happen to the recipe to get it just right.