Author Topic: English Summer Ale  (Read 1083 times)

Offline alestateyall

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English Summer Ale
« on: July 15, 2014, 09:07:27 PM »
I am planning an English summer beer. My first stab at a recipe:

7# Pale Malt (3L)
4 oz. Honey malt
1# Honey @ 0 min.
1 oz. EKG @ 60 min
1 oz. EKG @ 0 min.
Danstar Nottingham yeast

1046 OG
23 IBU

I have never had an English Summer Ale. I only know it falls in the BJCP blonde ale category. I like honey blondes so I just made one of those with EKG.

Any thoughts on the recipe?

Should I use Pilnser malt instead of the Pale malt?

Should I ferment low (mid 50's) to keep it clean or mid 60's to get some esters?

Other guidance?

PS. This beer won't be going in to a contest so veering from the style guidelines is not a problem. 


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Tommy M.
Starkville, MS

Offline Kinetic

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Re: English Summer Ale
« Reply #1 on: July 16, 2014, 05:20:12 AM »
Use British base malt.  My suggestion is Optic, especially if you haven't tried it.

I'd use one of the British liquid strains and make some esters.  I've heard Nottingham is good when fermented cool and clean, but not good when fermented warmer.  Never tried it.

The rest looks good to me.

Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: English Summer Ale
« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2014, 06:07:26 AM »
I have had a few in London. They are fairly hoppy, easy to drink, and quite pale. Some malt, yeast character, and water high in sulfate comes through. Fullers Honey Dew uses honey, so try and find a recipe for that for comparison.

The proposed BJCP 2014 guidelines have a category for English Golden Ale, 12A.
 http://www.bjcp.org/docs/2014%20BJCP%20Style%20Guidelines%20(DRAFT).pdf

There are a few summer ale recipes on this page.
http://www.jimsbeerkit.co.uk/forum/viewforum.php?f=5
Jeff Rankert
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Offline alestateyall

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Re: English Summer Ale
« Reply #3 on: July 16, 2014, 07:08:48 AM »
I didn't mention I am trying to brew this beer from inventory I have on hand. I will have to try Optic malt another time. I have Pilsner and Pale Ale base malts in my inventory. I have 2 English yeasts in the fridge, both Dry, Danstar Nottingham and Danstar Windsor. I chose the Nottingham because I wanted less esters and more attenuation. After reading the English Golden Ale description from the new BJCP proposed guidelines (thanks, hopfenundmalz) I think Nottingham is the better choice. The description says "Moderately-low to low esters."  They also use words like quenching and refreshing.  The style guidelines also mention some of these beers use sugar, corn, or wheat in the grain bill. So I think I will keep the honey.

One thing the style guidelines and the video below mention is hop forward/hop show case. The guidelines mention American citrus hops are common. A video describing Morland Old Golden Hen talks about a Tasmanian tropical fruit flavored hop.  As such I may move some more EKG to the bittering addition and then mix in an American hop at flame out. Maybe a bit of Amarillo or Citra?

I read through some of the commercial example descriptions. I think I am close enough for my purposes.

This video for Morland Old Golden Hen is hilarious and inspirational: http://youtu.be/DiawrRqwBlU
Tommy M.
Starkville, MS

Offline realbeerguy

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Re: English Summer Ale
« Reply #4 on: July 16, 2014, 01:57:05 PM »
Pale Ale malt base.  Mash 156-158 dF
Member Savannah Brewers League & Lowcountry MALTS

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Offline markpotts

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Re: English Summer Ale
« Reply #5 on: July 29, 2014, 08:11:58 AM »
My thoughts...as an Englishman :D
Blonde ales have gained a lot of popularity here in recent years.
They are a bit of a mongrel beer IMO....sort of a cross between a traditional English ale and an American Pale.

The majority of the base malt would be British pale ale malt....Crisp, Fawcetts etc.
Most have an inclusion of lager or pilsner malt to help get a point or two lower FG than a traditional bitter and it also gives a bit of graininess.
Some that I've tried (and made) include a fair bit of munich malt to enhance the malt character.
The grain bills are pretty simple really.

Hop wise.....anything goes really, providing that you don't bitter it up too much. You need to keep it drinkable, that is crucial IMO.
EKG blends well with virtually anything and particularly so with the fruity US/Aus/NZ hops.
Some of my best beers of this type have been made using my chosen US/Aus/NZ hop for a moderate bittering addition, a heap of EKG with 15-20 mins of the boil remaining and then back to the bittering hop for the hop stand / whirlpool addition.

Yeast wise, I think Nottingham strips out hop flavour. It is reliable and flocs well, but is rather bland IMO.
WLP002 and 005 are popular, though my favourite is 007 as it produces a nice dry beer with a touch of fermentation character.
My shout for a dry yeast would be Safale S-04.
Lots of smaller micros here are using US-05/WLP001, but I like a bit of fruitiness in English styles.


« Last Edit: July 29, 2014, 08:13:58 AM by markpotts »
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Offline erockrph

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Re: English Summer Ale
« Reply #6 on: July 31, 2014, 07:11:07 AM »
Thanks for the post, Mark. I have to admit, I hadn't given this style a second thought until I saw your post. But the thought of EKGs plus Galaxy really intrigues me. Now I think I may have to brew one to step up a pitch for my next ESB. Not sure whether I'm going to go with WLP002 or WLP013 yet.
Eric B.

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Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: English Summer Ale
« Reply #7 on: July 31, 2014, 07:47:20 AM »
My first thought was to follow what Mark said about brewers cutting the pale malt with pilsner malt to add some grainy flavor and cutting back some of the British pale malt sweetness.
Heck yeah I blog about homebrewing: Brain Sparging on Brewing but I'm also a lawyer: The Kielich Law Firm

Offline alestateyall

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Re: English Summer Ale
« Reply #8 on: July 31, 2014, 02:15:47 PM »

My thoughts...as an Englishman :D
Blonde ales have gained a lot of popularity here in recent years.
They are a bit of a mongrel beer IMO....sort of a cross between a traditional English ale and an American Pale.

The majority of the base malt would be British pale ale malt....Crisp, Fawcetts etc.
Most have an inclusion of lager or pilsner malt to help get a point or two lower FG than a traditional bitter and it also gives a bit of graininess.
Some that I've tried (and made) include a fair bit of munich malt to enhance the malt character.
The grain bills are pretty simple really.

Hop wise.....anything goes really, providing that you don't bitter it up too much. You need to keep it drinkable, that is crucial IMO.
EKG blends well with virtually anything and particularly so with the fruity US/Aus/NZ hops.
Some of my best beers of this type have been made using my chosen US/Aus/NZ hop for a moderate bittering addition, a heap of EKG with 15-20 mins of the boil remaining and then back to the bittering hop for the hop stand / whirlpool addition.

Yeast wise, I think Nottingham strips out hop flavour. It is reliable and flocs well, but is rather bland IMO.
WLP002 and 005 are popular, though my favourite is 007 as it produces a nice dry beer with a touch of fermentation character.
My shout for a dry yeast would be Safale S-04.
Lots of smaller micros here are using US-05/WLP001, but I like a bit of fruitiness in English styles.

Good tips. Thanks. Summer is coming to an end but I plan to brew this in the next couple of weeks. Where I live (Deep South) summer practically never ends.
Tommy M.
Starkville, MS

Online HoosierBrew

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Re: English Summer Ale
« Reply #9 on: July 31, 2014, 02:37:58 PM »
Sounds like a nice beer for the season. May give it a shot next summer - I'm full up on summery stuff, already brewing for fall and winter.
Jon H.

Offline erockrph

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Re: English Summer Ale
« Reply #10 on: August 05, 2014, 08:16:45 AM »
I think I've sold myself on giving this a try. Here's what I was thinking:

Title: English Blond

Brew Method: BIAB
Style Name: Special/Best/Premium Bitter
Boil Time: 60 min
Batch Size: 3 gallons (fermentor volume)
Boil Size: 4 gallons
Boil Gravity: 1.035
Efficiency: 80% (brew house)

STATS:
Original Gravity: 1.047
Final Gravity: 1.016
ABV (standard): 4.1%
IBU (tinseth): 28.93
SRM (morey): 7.35

FERMENTABLES:
2 lb - United Kingdom - Maris Otter Pale (44.4%)
1.5 lb - German - Pilsner (33.3%)
6 oz - Torrified Wheat (8.3%)
6 oz - Cane Sugar (8.3%)
4 oz - United Kingdom - Dark Crystal 80L (5.6%)

HOPS:
1 oz - Challenger, Type: Pellet, AA: 4, Use: Boil for 60 min, IBU: 28.93
0.25 oz - Challenger, Type: Pellet, AA: 4, Use: Boil for 0 min
0.5 oz - East Kent Goldings, Type: Pellet, AA: 5, Use: Boil for 0 min
0.5 oz - Galaxy, Type: Pellet, AA: 15, Use: Boil for 0 min
0.5 oz - East Kent Goldings, Type: Pellet, AA: 5, Use: Dry Hop for 0 days
0.5 oz - Galaxy, Type: Pellet, AA: 15, Use: Dry Hop for 0 days

MASH GUIDELINES:
1) Infusion, Temp: 153 F, Time: 75 min, Amount: 17 qt, Sacc Rest

YEAST:
White Labs - English Ale Yeast WLP002

NOTES:
30 minute hopstand at 185F

Ideally, I'd use a lighter color English Crystal malt (and if I can track down some English C-30 I will). I'd still rather use an English crystal malt that is too dark rather than a lighter US malt.

Thoughts?
Eric B.

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

Offline Steve in TX

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English Summer Ale
« Reply #11 on: August 05, 2014, 08:30:27 AM »
Northern brewer has Simpsons crystal around 30L

Edit - I knew I saw crisp c15 someplace. Rebel brewer has it.
« Last Edit: August 05, 2014, 08:32:02 AM by Steve in TX »

Online HoosierBrew

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Re: English Summer Ale
« Reply #12 on: August 05, 2014, 08:32:39 AM »
Looks pretty solid. I think I'll give something similar a go for next year's summer stuff.
Jon H.

Offline troybinso

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Re: English Summer Ale
« Reply #13 on: August 05, 2014, 08:39:42 AM »
That's pretty low attenuation even for that yeast. I wouldn't count on it stopping at 1.016. Not sure if you even pay attention to fg numbers from brewing programs but I thought I would throw that out there.

I love EKG blended with more aggressive hops.

Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: English Summer Ale
« Reply #14 on: August 05, 2014, 08:48:36 AM »
I would go with the light carastan from Bairds, only 17-20L and it does give some appropriate flavors. The regular carstan at ~35L might be another choice. The Golden Ales I have had are really light  in color, but still have that British flavor.
Jeff Rankert
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Home-brewing, not just a hobby, it is a lifestyle!