#6 – XPA
Having nearly consumed the keg of best bitter it was time to get its replacement brewed. Since I have a freezer full of hops and a wife that would like to regain some freezer real estate back (can’t blame her there) it was a hop forward pale ale. I really like brewing up pale ales because they can be so different and are pretty easy to brew. This batch did come with its own set of complications however. Portland’s been experiencing some unseasonably cold weather so I assumed my biggest challenge would be keeping a steady flame on the old bayou burner. That turned out not be an issue but having both spigots frozen did make for an unexpected amendment to my usual immersion chilling method. After a few hours in an ice bath it was brought down to the right pitching temps. I’m thinking the longer chilling will probably extract some more bitterness, but I did go fairly light on the bittering hops so hopefully this isn’t an issue. Anyway, here’s the recipe.
Mash: 151 (60 min)
Boil: 60 min.
Added: 2.1 g Gypsum, 1.7 g CaCl and 0.7 g Baking Soda to Mash, 1.8g Gypsum & 1.5g CaCl to Sparge
Mash pH: 5.5
82.3% NW Pale Ale Malt
9.9% Munich Malt 10l
3.0% Vienna Malt
0.25 oz Chinook (10%) 60 min.
1.00 oz Amarillo (10.1%) 15 min.
1.00 oz Centennial (10%) 10 min.
1.00 oz Willamette (5.2%) 5 min.
1.00 oz Amarillo (10.1%) 0 min.
1.00 oz Centennial (10%) 0 min.
1.50 oz Chinook (10%) 0 min.
1.50 oz Belma (11.3%) 0 min.
1.5 oz Chinook (10%) Dry Hop
2.5 oz Belma (11.3%) Dry Hop
Wyeast 1272 – American II Ale Yeast
1.25l liter starter decanted and pitched into 72 degree wort. Fermentation active in 3 hours and moved to basement. Basement is currently at 55 deg., so the temp came down to about 63 and has climbed to 65 currently.
Fermented for 3 weeks with a one week dry hop. Finished a little drier than anticipated at 1.009. Hop aroma really up front in gravity sample.
Tasting Notes – 2.17.14
Appearance: Hazy and deep golden with a white head that sticks around for a good bit of time.
Aroma: Notes of peaches dominate, a little bit of pine tucked away in the background. Fresh, hoppy aroma.
Taste: Bitterness is medium and is first to meet palate. Hop flavors follow with peaches again and pine and citrus also noticeable. Malts are there and play a supporting role but do provide a nice balance to the hop flavors. Finish really crisp and dry, really lets the hops shine through.
Mouthfeel: Medium mouthfeel with typical APA carbonation. Hops provide a resinous slickness on the tongue giving the perception of more body than is actually there.
Overall: I’m really happy with how this is drinking. The Belma hops provided a nice peach note that I wasn’t really expecting, but goes well with the other hops used. Its crisp, dry, hoppy and not bitter. A nice, hop forward pale that is easy to drink a few pints of.