Author Topic: suggestions - summer ale?  (Read 1843 times)

Offline goschman

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suggestions - summer ale?
« on: May 16, 2013, 08:46:06 AM »
I am going for something very sessionable yet full flavored and balanced beer. Trying to keep the ABV below 5%. I don't know what this beer would classify as so I am just calling it a Summer Ale. It almost fits the blonde ale category but it will be a bit darker. I would like the hops to be noticeable but more on the balanced side. I may switch out the Citra for something a bit more earthy. Any input?

70% two row
20% Weyermann munich I
5% light crystal
5% flaked wheat

Magnum 60 min
Amarillo 20 min
Citra? 5 min

S04 yeast

OG ~1.046
IBUs ~25
ABV ~4.6%

Online morticaixavier

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Re: suggestions - summer ale?
« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2013, 08:50:06 AM »
I might move the 20 minute addition to 0 minutes because I think with smaller beers the hop presence is nice but if there is too much bitterness it can seem thin. grist looks good. I might skip the wheat because I can't think of a reason to put it in. I don't personally notice a huge difference in head retention or mouth feel with a small portion of wheat. but that is largely a personal preference to take that with a grain of salt.
"Creativity is the residue of wasted time" - A. Einstein

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Offline goschman

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Re: suggestions - summer ale?
« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2013, 09:07:35 AM »
I might move the 20 minute addition to 0 minutes because I think with smaller beers the hop presence is nice but if there is too much bitterness it can seem thin. grist looks good. I might skip the wheat because I can't think of a reason to put it in. I don't personally notice a huge difference in head retention or mouth feel with a small portion of wheat. but that is largely a personal preference to take that with a grain of salt.

Thanks Mort.

I will probably remove the wheat....better to keep it simple. So you think that 1/2 oz of Amarillo at 20 min would be too much for 5 gallons? Balancing my hop schedule has been a real issue for me so I definitely don't want to over do it.

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Re: suggestions - summer ale?
« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2013, 09:38:29 AM »
I might move the 20 minute addition to 0 minutes because I think with smaller beers the hop presence is nice but if there is too much bitterness it can seem thin. grist looks good. I might skip the wheat because I can't think of a reason to put it in. I don't personally notice a huge difference in head retention or mouth feel with a small portion of wheat. but that is largely a personal preference to take that with a grain of salt.

Thanks Mort.

I will probably remove the wheat....better to keep it simple. So you think that 1/2 oz of Amarillo at 20 min would be too much for 5 gallons? Balancing my hop schedule has been a real issue for me so I definitely don't want to over do it.

it's so much a matter of taste that it's hard for me to say. I really like hoppy but not bitter. I think the bitterness should balance the residual sweetness and maybe a little overrun. Then I want flavor and aroma.

My wife describes an asprin like aftertaste with really bitter beers but give her something seriously hop bursted and she is happy. and the magic is, even with 20-25 IBUs if you put a TON (figurative) of late hops in it will seem really hoppy but still be balanced.

I also have been having good luck splitting my bittering charge between FWH and 60 minute.
"Creativity is the residue of wasted time" - A. Einstein

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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: suggestions - summer ale?
« Reply #4 on: May 16, 2013, 10:16:52 AM »
I might move the 20 minute addition to 0 minutes because I think with smaller beers the hop presence is nice but if there is too much bitterness it can seem thin. grist looks good. I might skip the wheat because I can't think of a reason to put it in. I don't personally notice a huge difference in head retention or mouth feel with a small portion of wheat. but that is largely a personal preference to take that with a grain of salt.

Thanks Mort.

I will probably remove the wheat....better to keep it simple. So you think that 1/2 oz of Amarillo at 20 min would be too much for 5 gallons? Balancing my hop schedule has been a real issue for me so I definitely don't want to over do it.

it's so much a matter of taste that it's hard for me to say. I really like hoppy but not bitter. I think the bitterness should balance the residual sweetness and maybe a little overrun. Then I want flavor and aroma.

My wife describes an asprin like aftertaste with really bitter beers but give her something seriously hop bursted and she is happy. and the magic is, even with 20-25 IBUs if you put a TON (figurative) of late hops in it will seem really hoppy but still be balanced.

I also have been having good luck splitting my bittering charge between FWH and 60 minute.
The good thing about your grist is it gives you options.  It's could be a pale ale hopped to style, or you could hop burst like crazy and retain the maltiness up front, and then get a good hop blast at the end. Or tone the hops down to get just a simple summer drinking beer. Of course my wife would want the summer ale with a can of fruit puree in secondary.  I fight that as often as possible, but she wins occasionally.
Jon H.

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Re: suggestions - summer ale?
« Reply #5 on: May 16, 2013, 10:40:42 AM »
I think it will be just fine as-is. If I were to tweak it for my palate I'd ditch the 60-minute addition, move the 20-minute addition to FWH and move the 5-minute addition to flameout. But the way you have it is perfectly fine. My way may end up closer to an APA in hop aroma, but that's just my tastes.

I agree with Mort on the wheat. Any beer that has a halfway decent amount of hops is going to get more head retention from that than wheat malt. It certainly won't hurt, but I think you can safely omit it.

What kind of earthiness are you looking for in hops? Something like Fuggles or Willamette will give you that "forest floor" kind of earthiness. If you have access to Caliente you can get that same kind of earthy note along with some fresh peach/plum type stone fruit notes. Either way, I prefer to have my earthy hops as a flavor addition and my fruity hops as aroma when I'm mixing them. I'd do Willamette as FWH and Amarillo at flameout if I went that route.

Eric B.

Finally got around to starting a homebrewing blog: The Hop Whisperer

Offline goschman

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Re: suggestions - summer ale?
« Reply #6 on: May 16, 2013, 12:22:40 PM »
Thanks guys. All good stuff. I honestly am not sure what I am going to do. I think I will probably keep the hop aroma pretty low so I may keep the additions where they are at. My main goal with the hops is too keep it simple. I would like a light hoppy character but overall pretty conservative.

I might replace the wheat with flaked oats even though it may have little effect. I am a big fan of oats in many beer styles for some reason.

I am hoping to brew this on saturday so I will post the final recipe. Keep any advice and pointers coming.


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suggestions - summer ale?
« Reply #7 on: May 16, 2013, 06:47:08 PM »
I might move the 20 minute addition to 0 minutes because I think with smaller beers the hop presence is nice but if there is too much bitterness it can seem thin. grist looks good. I might skip the wheat because I can't think of a reason to put it in. I don't personally notice a huge difference in head retention or mouth feel with a small portion of wheat. but that is largely a personal preference to take that with a grain of salt.

Thanks Mort.

I will probably remove the wheat....better to keep it simple. So you think that 1/2 oz of Amarillo at 20 min would be too much for 5 gallons? Balancing my hop schedule has been a real issue for me so I definitely don't want to over do it.

I like the flaked wheat or flaked barley or flaked rye for a beer like this. will improve your head retention and give a creaminess to the mouthfeel.
Keith Y.
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Offline goschman

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Re: suggestions - summer ale?
« Reply #8 on: May 17, 2013, 08:40:19 AM »
I might move the 20 minute addition to 0 minutes because I think with smaller beers the hop presence is nice but if there is too much bitterness it can seem thin. grist looks good. I might skip the wheat because I can't think of a reason to put it in. I don't personally notice a huge difference in head retention or mouth feel with a small portion of wheat. but that is largely a personal preference to take that with a grain of salt.

Thanks Mort.

I will probably remove the wheat....better to keep it simple. So you think that 1/2 oz of Amarillo at 20 min would be too much for 5 gallons? Balancing my hop schedule has been a real issue for me so I definitely don't want to over do it.

I like the flaked wheat or flaked barley or flaked rye for a beer like this. will improve your head retention and give a creaminess to the mouthfeel.

Yeah I am thinking about using flaked oats. I use them in an amber and really enjoy the characteristics they impart. Brewing today so I will post my recipe if anyone cares...haha

Offline goschman

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Re: suggestions - summer ale?
« Reply #9 on: May 18, 2013, 09:05:48 AM »
So here is what I ended up brewing. The store had run out of two row so I used Pale Ale malt and dropped the munich by half a pound.

7 lbs 8.0 oz Pale Ale Malt, Rahr (3.5 SRM) Grain 1 75.0 %
1 lbs 8.0 oz Munich Light 10L (Gambrinus) (10.0 SRM) Grain 2 15.0 %
8.0 oz Oats, Flaked (Briess) (2.5 SRM) Grain 3 5.0 %
4.0 oz Crystal Medium - 45L (Crisp) (45.0 SRM) Grain 4 2.5 %
4.0 oz Light Crystal 15, Crisp (15.0 SRM) Grain 5 2.5 %
11.00 g Magnum [12.10 %] - Boil 60.0 min Hop 6 16.0 IBUs
21.00 g Amarillo Gold [8.60 %] - Boil 10.0 min Hop 8 7.9 IBUs
21.00 g Cascade [7.10 %] - Boil 0.0 min Hop 9 0.0 IBUs
7.00 g Citra [13.30 %] - Boil 0.0 min Hop 10 0.0 IBUs
1.0 pkg SafAle English Ale (DCL/Fermentis #S-04) [23.66 ml] Yeast 10 -

Est Original Gravity: 1.042 SG Measured Original Gravity: 1.042 SG
Est Final Gravity: 1.011 SG Measured Final Gravity: 1.011 SG
Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 4.0 % Actual Alcohol by Vol: 4.1 %
Bitterness: 23.9 IBUs Calories: 138.6 kcal/12oz
Est Color: 7.3 SRM

Definitely ended up with a lower gravity than intended. My efficiency has been very unpredictable although I have been hitting my numbers perfectly and keeping my process the same. Last batch was 72.6% and this batch was 64%. It is very frustrating when attempting to formulate recipes...

Mashed at 154. Any guesses as to how much the S04 will attenuate. Beersmith has it estimated at 73% but I am hoping it will be more.

Offline klickitat jim

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Re: suggestions - summer ale?
« Reply #10 on: May 18, 2013, 07:29:12 PM »
Probably about right at 154 mash. The time I used US04 it went crazy and finished lower than expected though. I guess you'll find out tho, huh?

Offline goschman

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Re: suggestions - summer ale?
« Reply #11 on: May 22, 2013, 08:56:28 AM »
Damn S04 does work fast. Had full krausen the next morning and it completely dropped out over the next two days. I may keg this one a bit sooner than normal.

Don't know if this should actually be called a "summer ale" but I am not sure what category it would fit into.
« Last Edit: May 22, 2013, 09:05:05 AM by goschman »

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Re: suggestions - summer ale?
« Reply #12 on: May 22, 2013, 10:11:54 AM »
Damn S04 does work fast. Had full krausen the next morning and it completely dropped out over the next two days. I may keg this one a bit sooner than normal.

Don't know if this should actually be called a "summer ale" but I am not sure what category it would fit into.

If the keg lasts until June 21st then you can safely call it a summer ale. Otherwise you can call it a "didn't last until summer" ale :)
Eric B.

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Offline goschman

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Re: suggestions - summer ale?
« Reply #13 on: May 29, 2013, 08:52:59 PM »
Just took a hydrometer sample and it is at 1.007 which is 82.8% attenuation. It has better than expected aroma considering I did not dry hop. The taste is watery, thin, with a strange mouthfeel. I have noticed this before when brewing with oats so I think it will come together with some time.

What worries me is a slight sour taste. I am wondering if I might have an infection. I hope not but I will know in a couple of weeks I guess. Probably gonna keg in a couple of days.