Sunday, August 7, 2011

Session Amber Ale Tasting

I've never bothered to post about brewing this beer. In homebrew terms, this beer is about as boring as you can get for the style. Some pale malt, a decent amount of medium crystal, some carapils, gently hopped and bittered with three additions of Cascade, fermented with WY1056 for two weeks and tapped about a week later. This is indeed a simple beer... similar among the likes of grandma's pot roast, mom's apple pie, and the Christmas pudding; it's always good, it never disappoints, and tastes the same as last time you had it. It is also non-obtrusive and lends itself well to good conversation. I've brewed this beer quite a few times over and I can't say I'd change anything at this point.

Session Amber : American Amber Ale

Appearance – Pours a beautifully clear, copper amber color with a thick, doughy white head. Head retention is very good with nice lacing. Carbonation is medium.  

Aroma –  Citrus, peach, and concord grape hoppiness followed by a medium caramel sweetness. Little to none fruity esters. 

Taste – Medium citrus hoppiness up front followed by deep caramel flavor that comes and goes quite quickly. Some nice, sweet malt character in the middle, though not particularly biscuity. The bitterness is soft and comes in right on the swallow. The balance between malt and hops is about as good as I can hope for. As the beer warms up, I get more caramel and grapefruit hops.

Mouthfeel – Medium and slightly creamy. Carbonation is spot on for the style, enough C02 to make it drinkable, though not so much that it is prickling. 

Drinkability & Notes – Same as I said above. Nothing special really in terms of complexity of flavors, but nearly spotless for what it is. I could drink this stuff all day in good company and I can attest it goes exceedingly well with proper BBQ (still got to work on that!). A day at the lake and this beer in hand, I might just be in heaven. I am a big proponent of making and drinking session beers, especially English styles, though I have to admit American hops can lend themselves quite nicely to a sessionable pint.

O.G: 1.050, F.G: 1.008, 5.5% ABV, 22 IBU, Wyeast 1056 American Ale

For those of you who may be interested in brewing something like this, here is the recipe:
85% Pale Malt, 10% Crystal 60L, 5% Carapils. 1.0 oz Cascade at 60, 0.50 oz at 15, and 1.0 oz at flameout for 22-25 IBU. Ferment with 1056 for two weeks at 65F, crash cool, keg, and drink by day 21. 

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