Last year for a friend of mine’s birthday I brewed the first version of this beer. There were a few mishaps during the brew day (mostly due to the rainy PNW weather) but in the end it turned out to be a really fine beer. For this years version I bumped up the rye to 35% from 26% from last year. I definitely noticed the increased rye during the runoff. Even with a fluid mash and pre-soaked rice hulls the runoff was pretty slow, but never stuck. I’m really hopeful this years version is as good as last years.
Mash: 154 (60 min)
Added: 5g CaCl & 4g Gypsum to mash H2O
57.6% Northwest Pale Ale Malt
16.9% Rye Malt
13.6% Flaked Rye
5.1% Crystal Rye
3.4% Melanoidin Malt
0.5 oz Galena (11%) 60 min.
1 oz Sterling (7%) 30 min.
0.5 oz East Kent Goldings (5.7%) 15 min.
0.5 oz Liberty (5.4%) 15 min.
0.5 Sterling (7%) 10 min.
1.5 oz Cascade (5.5%) 10 min.
1 oz Perle (7.5%) 5 min.
1 oz Sterling (7%) 0 min.
2 oz Amarillo (10.9%) o min.
Wyeast 1028 London Ale
Pitched a 1.5L starter that was on the stirplate for about 22 hours. Fermentation started about 6 hours after pitching yeast and will ferment at 66 to 68. I used this yeast strain just one time before on my 1st all grain batch (a chocolate brown ale) that turned out quite good for a first attempt. I’m hoping that the slight mineral and ester profile will go well with the spiciness of the rye. Last year I used Wyeast 1272 American Ale II but this year decided to go with an english strain. I like 1272 for pale ales as its pretty clean but does have a little bit of fruitiness to it but I think the London Ale will dry out the beer and add a some complexity.
For this beer I was planning on picking my first year Sterlings that I planted in the spring. I’ve read the the first year yield can be pretty much nothing, but I did get a few hops (although fairly small). I waited a few weeks too long to use a bulk of the hops, but I did throw in what I could salvage. Hopefully next year I’ll get a better yield and can do a true “Fresh Hop” beer.
Tasting Notes – 12.11.12
Appearance: Amber in color with a good white head w/ very nice retention from the rye.
Aroma: Faint hop aroma present with a little bit of malt/grain detectable.
Taste: Hops are first to greet the tongue with spiciness of the rye quickly following. Drinks really balanced as neither malt nor hops dominates. Slight bitterness remains through the entire taste. Drinks dryer than the final gravity would indicate due to the high amount of rye used.
Mouthfeel: Very full, almost creamy mouthfeel. The rye added quite a large amount of beta glucans which give it such a large, full presence. Carbonation is typical for a pale ale is suits this beer just fine.
Overall: This took a little longer to develop all the flavors, but has turned out quite nice. It’s much different than last years version but in a good way. The hops are present and give really nice balance to all the spiciness that the rye gives. It pours almost like syrup out of the tap but doesn’t taste syrupy at all. It’s pretty easy to drink, but it’s such a full beer that it drinks heavier than you’d guess by looking at it in the glass. Definitely not a bad thing to have on tap for the winter.
Tasting Notes from Ian Greene, Head brewer Voss Bryggeri, Voss Norway – 12.16.12
Appearance: The beer pours a nice rich amber color with slight red and orange hues when held to the light. The head is a beautiful bright white and holds great throughout the pint. Good lacing on the glass which means great protein stability.
Nose: The spicy continental hops balance greatly with the spiciness of the rye to create a very complex aroma. A nice sweet malt undertone comes through just enough to create a perfect balance between malt and hop. The beer has a sharp, dry and somewhat fruity aroma, leading into more earthy notes like pine trees and mugwort.
Palate: Starts out sweet with a viscous mouth feel from the beta-glucanase found in the rye malt, however the beer drinks like a pale or ESB as far the crispness of the beer goes. Great body overall and the rye crispness really comes through in this particular beer. Again the nice earthy spiciness from the continental hops additions balances well with the American finishing hops and helps to balance this excellent beer.
Finish: Clean, malty. Crisp, and not lingering.
Overall: I highly recommend trying this particular beer, it is clean and well made with a very interesting flavor profile that leads to having more than one either on a snowy day or in the middle of summer, another great beer from the Crow’s Nest. Cheers.