British Summer Ale

Walberswick

With summer starting to wind down (as I write this sentence it was 90 degrees the last two days) it was time to get the last summer ale brewed of the year. This is my first time brewing this type of British ale and before the most recent revision of the BJCP (Beer Judge Certification Program) I didn’t really know too much about this style. This style seems to be pale British malt and hopped fairly high with english and/or american hops with a pretty clean British yeast ester profile.  For this beer I went with a mixture of Golden Promise and Maris Otter and a combination of english and american hops. I went with my favorite english yeast, Wyeast 1469 – West Yorkshire, aka the Timothy Taylor strain, however I decided to ferment this on the low end to limit the ester production as this strain can produce a pretty intense stone fruit ester profile.

OG: 1.052
FG: 1.010
ABV: 5.5%
Mash: 152 (45 min)
Boil: 60 min.

Water Profile:

Ca: 63
Mg: 1
Na: 4
So4: 55
Cl: 70
BiCarbonate: 15
Mash pH: 5.4

62.2% Golden Promise
27.3% Maris Otter
4.4% Wheat Malt
4.4% CaraFoam
2.2% Acidulated Malt

0.5 oz Willamette (5.2%) 60 min.
1.50 oz Goldings (4%) 10 min.
2.00 oz Willamette (5.2%) 0 min.
2.00 oz Goldings (4%) 0 min.
2.00 oz Amarillo (8.5%) 0 min.
2.25 oz Goldings (4%) Dry Hop
2.25 oz Sorachi Ace (12.8%) Dry Hop

Wyeast 1469 – West Yorkshire Ale

Chilled to 62, pitched yeast and let free rise to 65 and left chest freezer set with a range of 64 – 66 degrees for the 1st couple days.  After fermentation started to wind down, allowed to free rise slowly and dry hopped on day 5. Left just enough headspace as there was no blowoff on this batch.

Kegged on 9/18 and finished a little bit drier than I though at 1.010.

Tasting notes – 10.20.15

Aroma: Lemon most dominant with Grass and subtle fruity esters in there as well.

Appearance: Slightly hazy golden with a nice white head that lingers for a minute plus before fading away.

Taste: Grapefruit, lemon hops are up front with a little bit of earthy/herbal notes and give way to a nice cracker flavors from the malts. There is a bit of stone fruit esters as the beers warms up, but to a lesser level than usual with this strain.

Mouthfeel: Medium with medium carbonation.

Overall: I’m really pleased with how this beer came out.  It’s really easy to drink and there is a nice mix of fruity, earthy and herbal hops that come together nicely.  Using some richer base malts also adds a nice dimension to the pint.  This one really is an american/english pale hybrid. Cheers.

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I submitted this beer to a local homebrew competition, but unfortunately the competition is still using 2008 guidelines, so this beer was put under American Pale Ale.  I’m really liking this beer so hopefully I’ll get some decent scores back from the judges.

Update – 11.15 – I received my scores back and received a 32 from the BJCP certified judge which, for not being a typical american pale ale, I was pretty happy with.  There are notes indicating the Sorachi Ace hops contributed onion and garlic flavors, which I noticed when the beer was young but that had gone mostly away.  Overall this beer seems to get knocked down because it needed more malt to support the level of hops. I was expecting to lose a few points due to this since there is only english base malts used. The 2nd non-bjcp judge had notes of acetaldehyde (green apples) which I didn’t pick up and the other judge didn’t note. This yeast strain gives pretty noticeable stone fruit/apple esters so I’m thinking that is where this comment comes from. Also there were notes of subdued aroma and carmel notes, but I can’t say I’ve picked that up either and no crystal malts were used in the beer.  The oxidized box is also marked, but I didn’t pick up any oxidation and from how young the beer is I don’t think any oxidation would be present, but I could of been something strange with that one bottle I suppose.  Overall, I did get some good feedback and I can see what kind of flavors the judges are looking for in American Pale Ale.

Competition Scores

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