Author Topic: Unbalanced pale ale  (Read 2391 times)

Offline gmac

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Unbalanced pale ale
« on: July 03, 2011, 11:20:53 AM »
I made a very plain pale ale using only 1 oz of Cascade FWH.  The rest of the grain bill is 8 lbs 2-row, 1 lb vienna.  That's it.  I think the beer is a bit unbalanced.  It's OK but it has too much body and if I do it again I'll leave out the vienna and add 1 lb of corn or maybe even plain sugar to make it lighter in body.  My question is, would dry hopping this now do anything to improve it?  I know it won't add bitterness nor will it lighten the body but I was wondering if you thought it would add any complexity that would make this more drinkable.  Like I said, it's not terrible but it's not what I was shooting for.  Right now I can see myself blending this with something else in the glass until I get it used up.  I won't throw it out.

More radically, could I boil 1/2 an ounce of hops in a quart of water and add that to lighten it slightly and add more bitterness?  Probably not the best remedy.  I'd prefer to just try the dry hops if you think it's worth the effort.  Can you dry hop cold, carbonated beer?  I've never done it before.

Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Unbalanced pale ale
« Reply #1 on: July 03, 2011, 12:37:20 PM »
Yes, you can dry hop that beer.  Be prepared for some CO2 to break out when you add the hops, and it won't pick up the aroma as quickly at that temp.  But it will work.  You can always warm it up for a week after you add it too.

I generally advise people against boiling hops in plain water.  if the dry hopping doesn't get you where you want to be, I would brew a very light bodied, bitter beer and blend the two.
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Offline The Professor

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Re: Unbalanced pale ale
« Reply #2 on: July 03, 2011, 07:31:34 PM »
... if the dry hopping doesn't get you where you want to be, I would brew a very light bodied, bitter beer and blend the two.

Good advice from Tom.  I've done that very thing a couple of  times, and it works like a charm (and you wind up with a nice big batch 'o beer to boot).
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Offline gmac

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Re: Unbalanced pale ale
« Reply #3 on: July 03, 2011, 08:00:26 PM »
Do they float or do I need some sort of bag to put the dry hops in?  I'm gonna use 1 oz of whole Cascade and see what happens. 

Offline oscarvan

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Re: Unbalanced pale ale
« Reply #4 on: July 04, 2011, 07:23:59 AM »
Do they float or do I need some sort of bag to put the dry hops in?  I'm gonna use 1 oz of whole Cascade and see what happens. 

They float, will eventually soak up and occupy the top 2 inches of the vessel. A few piece will sink. Some people put them in a bag, and then add a big stainless washer or bolt (sanitized) to weigh it down. If you plan on re-using the yeast the latter would be a good idea, also makes racking less messy. I've done both.
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Offline gmac

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Re: Unbalanced pale ale
« Reply #5 on: July 04, 2011, 07:31:39 AM »
Thanks Oscar.  I'll add them this morning.  I just don't have any sort of hop bag.  They are going right into the keg which is why I wanted to know about the floating or if they are going to block the outlet tube. 

Offline oscarvan

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Re: Unbalanced pale ale
« Reply #6 on: July 04, 2011, 07:42:52 AM »
Thanks Oscar.  I'll add them this morning.  I just don't have any sort of hop bag.  They are going right into the keg which is why I wanted to know about the floating or if they are going to block the outlet tube.  

Whoa....stop press.. in the keg. That's different. Yes, they can block the tube. Does the wife have an old nylon?
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I brew WITH style..... not necessarily TO style.....

Offline gmac

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Re: Unbalanced pale ale
« Reply #7 on: July 04, 2011, 08:06:17 AM »
Maybe.  I'll ask her.  I guess worst case is to hop in the keg and then rack into another keg.  I'm gonna need more kegs...

Offline tubercle

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Re: Unbalanced pale ale
« Reply #8 on: July 04, 2011, 01:03:31 PM »
panty hose, cheese cloth, pillow case...you have something.
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Offline Wheat_Brewer

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Re: Unbalanced pale ale
« Reply #9 on: July 04, 2011, 03:32:17 PM »
.50 cents at the brew store for a hop bag can also did the trick ;)  I think the addition of some hops will get you in the ball park of where you want to be since the hop aroma can often times be enough to trick our brains into thinking we're drinking something much more hoppy than we are...or at a minimum it's a great aroma!
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Offline gmac

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Re: Unbalanced pale ale
« Reply #10 on: July 04, 2011, 03:34:26 PM »
.50 cents at the brew store for a hop bag can also did the trick ;)  I think the addition of some hops will get you in the ball park of where you want to be since the hop aroma can often times be enough to trick our brains into thinking we're drinking something much more hoppy than we are...or at a minimum it's a great aroma!
.50 cents plus $20 in gas and 4 hours to get to the not quite local HBS.  But, I get what you're saying.
Mrs. Mac says she has some pantyhose I can have although I think she is worried I'm going to rob the gas station or something.  Plus she says she's not drinking beer that tastes like feet.  She's very fussy that way.

Offline thomasbarnes

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Re: Unbalanced pale ale
« Reply #11 on: July 04, 2011, 09:54:53 PM »
Some people put them in a bag, and then add a big stainless washer or bolt (sanitized) to weigh it down.

Marbles work well, too.

Offline oscarvan

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Re: Unbalanced pale ale
« Reply #12 on: July 05, 2011, 02:21:44 AM »
.50 cents at the brew store for a hop bag can also did the trick ;)  I think the addition of some hops will get you in the ball park of where you want to be since the hop aroma can often times be enough to trick our brains into thinking we're drinking something much more hoppy than we are...or at a minimum it's a great aroma!
.50 cents plus $20 in gas and 4 hours to get to the not quite local HBS.  But, I get what you're saying.
Mrs. Mac says she has some pantyhose I can have although I think she is worried I'm going to rob the gas station or something.  Plus she says she's not drinking beer that tastes like feet.  She's very fussy that way.

Tell her you have boiled it.
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I brew WITH style..... not necessarily TO style.....

Offline Jimmy K

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Re: Unbalanced pale ale
« Reply #13 on: July 05, 2011, 05:38:56 AM »
You could go to the grocery store and get a stainless steel tea ball or some have empty tea bags. Neither of those taste like feet.
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Offline richardt

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Re: Unbalanced pale ale
« Reply #14 on: July 05, 2011, 07:46:27 AM »
I made a very plain pale ale using only 1 oz of Cascade FWH.  The rest of the grain bill is 8 lbs 2-row, 1 lb vienna.  That's it.  I think the beer is a bit unbalanced.  It's OK but it has too much body and if I do it again I'll leave out the vienna and add 1 lb of corn or maybe even plain sugar to make it lighter in body. 

Grain bill doesn't look too bad.  What was your mash temp?  Should be around 148-150 F if you want it thinner bodied, and drier (less sweet).