September 18, 2016

Robot Geisha Belgian Pale Ale--Some With Ethiopian Coffee

This summer has inadvertently turned into the summer of hoppy beers as made efforts to clear out some of the backlog of hops in the fridge and try to give myself a crash course in hoppy beers--something I haven't brewed very much in the past. For this beer I've selected a style for which I am about five years too late to the party--Belgian pale ale--but a style that I still enjoy when I find a good one. This beer is a mixture of purposes: brewing a fruity pale ale; an excuse to revitalize my culture of WY1214; and an excuse to make a hoppy beer with coffee.

The interesting part of the recipe is the hop combination so let's get right into that. What I'm looking for is a fruit forward flavor that compliments the Belgian yeast flavors without completely overwhelming the yeast while providing a complex hop profile that showcases fruit without falling into the abyss of hops like citra that beat you in the face with its fruitiness. So the hops include aramis, belma, triple perle and jarrylo. Aramis will provide high citrus notes of lemon along with the noble-ish spicy/grassy hop flavor. Triple perle will lend softer orange citrus notes with some melon. Jarrylo furthers the orange flavor with some spice and pear. Belma will fill in the gaps with subtle floral and strawberry flavors. All flavors that should be right at home with the yeast. This hop combination has a lot more in common with the NE pale ales that are all the rage than the typical BPA recipe with more restraint and typically continental hop varieties.

A portion of this batch will get hit with some coffee. I've been meaning to brew a coffee-infused hoppy beer for a while (I know, I'm a couple years behind here, too) and now that I roast coffee at home I have very little reason not to do this. My choice of coffee here is a natural processed Ethiopian Yirgacheffe roasted to a medium roast. With this coffee I want to bring in its big blueberry flavor and subtle earth and phenolic spice, all of which should work nicely with this recipe. My concern here is about the roast. Typically this coffee would be roasted extremely light (a city roast) to preserve the origin flavor but those lighter roasts are a greater risk of tossing out green pepper flavors so I'm going to take it to a medium roast (in a city+ or full city roast) to stave some of that off. I'll get more roast flavor which is okay too. I'll add the coffee by preparing one ounce of coarsely ground coffee to eight ounces of water overnight in a cold brew method and then add the strained cold brew to one gallon of beer at bottling. 

Belgian Pale Ale Recipe

Batch Size: 3 gallon
Est. ABV: 5.1%
Est. IBU: 23
Est. OG: 1.049
Est. FG: 1.013
Est. SRM: 7.5
Grain BillPoundsOuncesSRMPct. Grist
Pale malt48279.90%
Unmalted wheat828.90%
Caramunich 37567.80%
Water Profileppm
Bru'n Water Pale Ale Profile
PH: 5.4
Water AdditionsMashSparge
Epsom Salt1.5g02g
Canning Salt
Baking Soda0.7g
Calcium Chloride0.9g1.3g
Pickling Lime
Lactic Acid0.4ml
Mash ScheduleStep Temp.Step Time
Single Infusion at 154F
Mash volume: 2.11 gal
Sparge volume: 2.86 gal
Infuse 2.11 gal at 168F15475
Sparge 2.86 gal at 190F
Boil ScheduleVolumeUnitTimeIBU
60 minute boil
Belma [12%]0.2ozFWH14.6
Belma [12%]0.13oz608.6
Belma [12%]0.25ozWhirlpool0
Aramis [8%]0.5ozWhirlpool0
Triple Perle [9%]0.5ozWhirlpool0
Jarrylo [16%]2ozWhirlpool0
Fermentation Schedule# DaysTemp.
Yeast: WY1214
Pitch 100ml
Pitch at 65F165F
Ramp over four days to 80F4Ramp
Hold at 80F for three days380F
Rest at ambient 2 weeks14Ambient
Cold Crash132F
Bottle to 2 vol CO2 with 2oz sugar

Brewday & Fermentation Notes

Brewed 9.2.16

Here comes dat grist...
Attempted to gelatinize the unmalted wheat by adding to mash liquor and raising to a boil, then cooling to three degrees below target strike temperature. At fifteen minutes into the mash the temperature read 155F so just a touch above target. Next time likely bring down five degrees.

First runnings: 1.066
Pre-boil gravity: 1.036
Pre-boil volume: 4.75 gal
Mash efficiency: 85%
Post-boil volume: 3.3 gal
Post-boil gravity: 1.044
Efficiency: 71.5%

Hops...all pellets but the belma in the measuring cup
Initial taste seems a little sweet. Hopefully the yeast will dry this out nicely and some of the bitterness will appear. Hop flavors are soft but nicely complex as I had hoped. There is a strong banana flavor, I assume from the jarrylo. I don't know know that I love it but it seems right among the hop flavors. Sweet orange follows the banana and is followed by melon. Optimistic about this beer.

Gravity tested 9.14.16 at 1.008 good for approximately 4.5% ABV. Flavor is fruity with lots of orange citrusy flavor. None of the fake banana appeared in the initial sample. I don't feel like the beer needs more hops. It is a good balance of hop flavor and yeast character. Nice balance of malt and hops. It has a little alcohol burn to it which I expect will go away in a few days.

Bottled 9.17.16. The day before coarsely ground 0.80 oz. of Ethiopian coffee and added to 6 oz. RO water. Let sit overnight. Bottled beer to 2.4 vol with one gallon getting the coffee addition.

1 comment:

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