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Englisch Pale Ale

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TasunkaWitko View Drop Down
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    Posted: 03 March 2017 at 14:02
NOTE - The recipe in the opening post has gone through some evolution and has been slightly modified. Scroll down for the final version!

Englisch Pale Ale


My next two brews will include a straight-up American Pale Ale and a straight-up English Pale Ale; this thread is for the English Pale Ale.

This project is inspired by my reading of the book, Beer Craft: A Simple Guide to Making Great Beer , which is written specifically for small-batch brewing:

https://www.amazon.com/Beer-Craft-Simple-Guide-Making/dp/1605291331/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_product_top?ie=UTF8

(Note - Please take a moment and click on the link above in order to learn more about this book from Amazon. By doing so, you help this site pay for itself!)

What I really like about this easy-to-read book is how it introduces you to a versatile spectrum of 10 beer styles (pale ale, brown ale, porter, stout, saison, wheat, pilsner, Scottish ale, abbey ale and barleywine), with good descriptions and back-stories to each style. The book also includes basic, no-frills recipes for perfecting the fundamentals of each style (with some suggestions for possible variations) as you progressively learn to become a well-rounded brewer. This, to me, is a stroke of genius, and this brew represents the beginning of my quest to brew my way through those 10 styles, along with a possible variation or two along the way, such as in the case of the Pale Ale (English and American).

My goal for this brew is for a stripped-down, non-complicated English Pale that reflects a few things about me. I am not consciously attempting to duplicate or emulate any commercial beer, but I do want it to conform to the style in general. I want this ale to be a malt-forward beer with good hop flavor and aroma, and a bitterness that is at the low end of the pale ale scale (see what I did there?). My name for the beer (Englisch) is a nod to my German roots, and the Maris Otter malt that I will be using is one that I have really come to admire. My chosen hops (Fuggle) were the hops that I used in the first beer that I ever brewed, and their characteristic flavour and aroma remain among my very favourites.

Here is the recipe that I have come up with, following the guidelines in the book for a basic Pale Ale:

Englisch
Pale Ale

By TasunkaWitko

1 gallon

OG - 1.060
FG - 1.013
ABV - 6.11%
IBUs - 31.40
SRM - 32.23


Fermentables

1.8 lb Maris Otter
0.2 lb Carastan 30/37L


60-Minute Mash @ 152 degrees

60-Minute Boil


Hops

0.15 oz Fuggle hops (5.9% AA) @ 60 minutes
0.25 oz Fuggle hops (5.9% AA) @ 15 minutes


Yeast

See below


I consider this recipe to be “in development,” and welcome input that will steer me toward a good English Pale Ale that is within my goals stated above.

Regarding the yeast, I am still not sure which would be “best” for what I am trying to do. I want it to be a dry yeast, and from what I have read, Windsor would not be a great choice. Based on that, Nottingham and S-04 are the top contenders, but I am very open to suggestions that will help me reach my goals.

I’ll be ordering the ingredients soon, and hope to brew this beer next week or the week after.

I have absolutely no experience with English Pale Ales, so I am looking forward to learning about them. As always, I welcome feedback and suggestions with this - I consider myself to be very much a beginning brewer, and batting ideas around is always good for learning new things. Please feel free to chime in, follow along or otherwise participate in the discussion.

More as it happens, etc. &c....

Ron
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gonefishin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 March 2017 at 15:04
    recipe looks good.  Are you using your spring water for this?  If I'm remembering correctly...it should go good with malt forward beers.  Can't wait to see how it comes along
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 March 2017 at 15:10
Hi, Dan, and thanks!

Yes, I'll definitely be using the spring water for this, and as I recall, it should indeed be very good for this kind of beer. I'm looking forward to it!

Now, time to choose an image for the label!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GarethM Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 March 2017 at 01:39
It might need some work, but it will be fairly rare across there, I have sent it to you via FaceBook (it is too big to compress)

http://https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Warkworth_Castle

You also have a picture of Ullswater in the Lake District



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 March 2017 at 07:45
Aha! I saw those photos this morning!

Thank you, Gareth ~
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 March 2017 at 10:53
Gareth - you've inspired me...twice over!

For the Pale Ale I will be brewing (which, as I understand it, would more properly be called a "Strong Bitter"), I will use Ullswater Lake and the surrounding hills. For the Northen English Brown Ale that I will try soon after, I'll use Warkworth Castle.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GarethM Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 March 2017 at 03:47
You might find this interesting:http://baileysbeerblog.blogspot.co.uk/2013/02/half-and-half.html

When I was younger I used to drink "Mild and Bitter".  There are some good articles on Wikipedia about them both.  I remember one of my mates using this for one half
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barley_wine
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 March 2017 at 08:08
Hi, Gareth, and thanks for posting.

I've heard a little about both concepts before; it was good to read some more in-depth, especially the half-and-half article. Over here, we've heard of the "Black and Tan," but I was unaware of the others.

I stopped at a shop in Great Falls that "specializes" in bringing in beers from "all over." The selection was pretty good for some beers, but possibly lacking in others. For English styles, I was able to find a lot of stouts, porters and some more exotic selections; however, when it comes to "pale ales" or "bitters," I was only able to find Bass, which is advertised here as "The World's First Pale Ale." I bought a couple of bottles of it and will give it a try this coming weekend, most likely, in order to see what I'm getting into.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GarethM Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 March 2017 at 08:17
The porters make a great winter ale, they tend to be rich and heavy.  They were the predecessors to stout.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 March 2017 at 08:24
I'm a fan of the porters ~ I've brewed a "chocolate maple" porter - which turned out really well - and another one that was a sort of chocolate and peanut butter thing, which didn't work out so well due to an over-abundance of oil in the finished product.

A brewery that is close by in Belt, Montana (Harvest Moon Brewing Company) brews what they call "Pig's Ass Porter," and I really like that one:



I've tried a few others, and have enjoyed them.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 September 2017 at 15:56
Well - life, summer and other assorted things got in the way; however, in the interim, I picked up Ron Pattinson's book on brewing vintage British beers:

http://a.co/1gtmZ6K

I plan to spend the weekend reading the section that would be relevant here, which might give me a few ideas.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 October 2017 at 14:38
Here is the label that I created for this beer, with many thanks to GarethM for the inspiration:



More as it happens, etc. &c....

Ron
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 February 2018 at 12:48
Yesterday, 19 February, I was - finally! - able to brew this beer. I am up to my neck in a busy week already, so I will keep it short; however, as far as I can tell, everything went very well with the brew and I encountered no difficulties that I can recall.

As soon as I can, I'll post the final recipe that was actually brewed. I'm pretty sure it is the same as the latest one posted here; but just in case it isn't, I'll add it for the record. The only major change that I can think of off the top of my head is that I eliminated the dry-hopping step, as I've tried a couple-three dry-hopped beers and simply wasn't impressed with the result.

Judging by what I saw, smelled and tasted during the brew, I think I've got some great things happening; I'll post more as events develop.

Ron
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 March 2018 at 10:08
Okay - as promised, here is the recipe that was actually brewed - nothing fancy, just a good, simple, (hopefully) representative English Pale Ale that does justice to the style.

Quote Englisch
English Pale Ale (Special/Best Bitter)

1 Gallon

OG - 1.043
FG - 1.010
ABV - 4.34%
IBUs - 32.49
SRM - 7.96

24.75 oz. Maris Otter
3.25 oz. Carastan (30/37L)
0.05 oz. English Black Patent

60-minute mash @ about 150 degrees

60-minute boil

5.5g of English Fuggle Hops (5.9%AA) @ 60 minutes
4.5g of English Fuggle Hops (5.9%AA) @ 10 minutes

1/2 pkg of Fermentis S-04 yeast


My temperatures have been up and down during this ferment, due to our chaotic weather and environmental factors within the home. We'll see how it turns out; but so far it seems pretty good. The aroma has got a lot of toffee or maybe caramel quality to it, I assume from the Carastan. The colour is really nice, as well.

I won't know until I taste it, but the hop presence might be a bit more subtle than I expected; I was going for something just slightly less than middle-of-the-road where hops is concerned, so this might be exactly what I ordered. We'll see, but it seems off to a decent start.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 April 2018 at 09:36
A couple of updates:

Quote 22 March 2018:

I put this in to cold crash recently, and expect to bottle it this weekend. I caught a whiff of it, and I think this one is going to turn out better than I expected. It smelled great, with a lot of malt character, and the hops that I was previously having trouble finding seemed to be making themselves known in good proportion.

Will it be a "proper" English Pale Ale? I don't know, for sure, but it will certainly be a nice beer, I think ~


I wasn't able to make a note of it at the time, but I bottled this beer on the evening of Friday, March 31st. I was actually able to get 10 bottles and as far as I can tell, they are carbonating away, as we speak. I went for a "medium" carbonation with this; afterwards, I got to thinking that a "low" carbonation might be more "appropriate to style," but it's all good.

There was enough left over after bottling for a small sample, and early indications are that this is going to turn out well. I was concerned that I might have backed off on the IBUs a little too much, but it actually seemed to be balanced very well, which was surprising and gratifying. The colour is a nice bronze-looking hue; I was expecting a bit more orange or reddishness to it, but I could very easily have been wrong to expect that. This is my first beer of this style, and I haven't really anything in my experience to compare it to (except a couple of samples of Bass), so I am flying a little blind. It smelled very good as well, with a whiff of caramel and toffee notes...or something along those lines - and perhaps a little toastiness. There was also a good presence from the Fuggle hops that I really enjoyed, giving the beer a well-grounded character that is good for this time of year, as the snow melts and exposes damp earth, wet leaves and other aromas of early spring. The taste of the beer (so far) goes hand-in-hand with the smells, and I had a very hard time picking out any one characteristic; but at the same time, I got a nice blend of all of them.

Cautiously optimistic, I am...I may have done quite well for a first attempt!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 April 2018 at 10:34
I was able to sample this beer for the first time on 21 April:


From all indications, it turned out beautifully for a first attempt, and I see no reason why it can't be my "go-to" recipe for an English Pale Ale. There was very good balance between the malts and the hops; I think that my choice of Fuggle hops was spot-on for this grain bill. The Carastan 30/37 seemed to give it a little something that I really liked...something between caramel and toffee that did not take over, as I feared it would.

All-in-all, I am very happy with this beer.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 May 2018 at 12:04
Last night, 11 May, I enjoyed another one of these excellent beers:



According the BJCP guidelines (2015), this English Pale Ale is more properly called a Special, Best or Premium Bitter; however, I find that term to be a bit easy to misunderstand, as there is nothing exceptionally bitter about it. Indeed, I find it to be very well-balanced, especially now, as the caramel of the malt is beginning to peek out a bit. This is a good thing, as I have been told by many that this style of beer is all abut balance. Because of this, it will always be - to me - just an English Pale Ale, just as Pluto will always be a planet.

Anyway, as I said, it is my opinion that this beer is really coming into its own. I've seen some good improvement in the head, and it has become a very tasty, very drinkable beer; it was before, but it is even more so now.

Having said that, I do see a little room for improvement, and plan to make a couple of small tweaks the next time I make this, based on some helpful feedback from a few folks across the pond. The first one is to use a darker Crystal malt than the Carastan 30/37 that I used for this; this will allow me to drop the Black Patent, which is only there for a little colour. I will also bring the hops up just a bit; to keep it in balance as well as to bring a little more aroma and flavor of the Fuggle Hops to the party...not much, just a little dab. Finally, I am considering adding a touch of wheat to improve the head; I'm still on the fence about this, but it is an option.

With all that in mind, I have a very good start to a really nice beer that I plan to improve and brew much more in the future.
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