Thursday, June 26, 2008

Extra Pale Ale Tasting

On Saturday I racked my Extra Pale Ale into a keg and took my first shot at force carbing a keg. I hooked it up to my 40 PSI Root Beer gas line and shook the keg every few minutes for about 20 minutes. I then left it hooked up for another 30 minutes while I took a shower. Flash forward to last night and I decided that I would give the beer a try. I hooked it up to gas and a picnic tap and drew a pint. The appearance was good. Not as pale as I was hoping for but pretty much dead on to Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. There is a bit of a haze to the beer, and this would be proper for the style. It has a nice hop aroma and a great hop flavor. I can also taste a bit of the Pilsner malts that I mini mashed for the recipe. It gives it a nice bit of a malt taste to go along with the hop flavor. I am quite pleased with this beer and I can't wait to share it.

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Monday, June 09, 2008

Extra Pale Ale Brew Day

I purchased a couple of kits from Northern Brewer about a month and a half ago and still hadn't gotten around to brewing them, so I remedied that this Sunday. I had a Milk Stout kit and an Extra Pale Ale kit and decided to go with the much more summery EPA. I have fond memories of the Summit EPA from my trips to Minneapolis and I had heard that this is a pretty close clone. I smacked my yeast on Saturday night and did a mini mash with the steeping grains. The mini mash was unnecessary, but I am practicing for mashing more of my own grains to cut down costs. I was also able to leave the mash on the burner over night and add this extra wort to my boil as evaporation occurred. This was a simple recipe with 2 hop additions and a carton of LME, and with some great preparation the night before I was able to wrap up with everything including clean up by just before 10 am. I altered the recipe a bit by cutting back on the bittering hop charge from 2 oz to 1.25 oz and used .75oz as a flavoring hops rather than 1 oz. This leaves me an extra 1 oz of hops that I can use to brew something else or that I can use to dry hop once I have tasted the beer. I am trying to mellow out my beers a bit and make them more approachable so that a wider group of people will drink them. Not that I mind having to drink 5 gallons of my beer all by myself, but I really enjoy sharing my beer as well. I ether need to alter what I brew or get different friends.

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Wednesday, June 04, 2008

2008 Made in the Shade Beer Fest

I mentioned, but didn't directly post my experiences from the Great Arizona Beer Fest this year I alluded to the fact that I had some issues with it. Through my post on BeerAdvocate's website in a threat about the fest, I met Sam Wymer. He mentioned that he was the coordinator for the Tucson version of this fest, and was aware of improvements they were making to ensure a good fest in Flag. You can read about some of these improvements here on his blog. I talked it over with the wife, and we are going to give the Flag fest another try and go VIP. I found the VIP experience up there to be quite pleasant and it does address some of the issues I had in Tempe, but I do believe that VIP and GA limits (or lower limits) need to be put in place to improve the overall experience. Check back in a month for my review and some pictures.