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Sunday, December 20, 2009

Trying Something Different

Regular readers know by now that I like to experiment. So it is with my latest creation. I was trying to think of something different to do for a Christmas beer to go along with the traditional Hemlock Ale when I came up with this big idea.

The idea I finally settled upon was this: I would match a yeast I had used before with a grain bill I had used before, but had never used those two together in the past. Specifically, I decided to use a yeast I like for stouts and porters and a grain bill that I used for pale ales.

The yeast I chose was Wyeast German Ale, a fast working and powerful yeast, and one of the few Wyeast products I have received consistent results from. The grain bill was very basic: Pale Pearl malt, 40L crystal malt, Cara Munich malt. I also threw in 1oz of hops from my own yard.

Even though I made a starter, the yeast was very sluggish at the start. I racked it into another fermenter and made sure to aerate it thoroughly. After that, the yeast took off and worked vigorously.

A few days ago I bottled this creation. It came out very light with a surprisingly strong hop character. Unfortunately, I did not take an OG reading so I am not sure of the alcohol content. However, based on the amount of malt used, I would guess 4.5% alcohol would be about right.

Based on the sampling during bottling, it looks like I may have a winner on my hands. Only time will tell. Dear Reader, I shall keep you posted.

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