It has been crazy hot this summer, and it has had an effect on my brew schedule. I decided that it would be a fantastic idea to make a beer that was on the lighter side to help beat the heat. In theory, there is nothing wrong with this idea...but in practice, this ale won't be ready to drink until mid-September! Better late than never I suppose. In this recipe I am using cascade hops (at different intervals) and orange zest to, hopefully, impart a nice summertime aroma and taste to the beer.
Pacific Summer Ale - brewed on: 7/18/2010 - 1 can MB High Country Canadian Draft - 6 oz. MB Booster - 1 lb. of Light DME - 1/4 oz. Cascade hop pellets - 1/8 oz. Cascade hop pellets - a sprinkling of "leftover" Cascade pellets (only a few whole pellets and the "crumbs") - the zest of 1 medium-sized orange
In about 8 cups of water, bring booster and 1/2 lb. of the DME to a boil. Make the first Cascade addition (1/4 oz) and boil the hops for (a total of) 19 minutes (this is right in the wheelhouse for flavor extraction of the hops). With 7 minutes left in the boil time (sweet spot for aroma), make the second Cascade addition (1/8 oz). Then kill the burner flame and add HCCD & the other 1/2 lb. of DME.
As the wort was cooling in its ice bath, I zested the orange (it smelled awesome!) taking special care to not dig into the pith (white part) because I only wanted to add the sweet fresh citrus oils, and not any bitterness. I then added the zest and the remaining little bit of Cascade hop pellets (it was the end of the package I was using, so why not, right?), and whisked the bajeezus out of the wort.
The standard MB yeast packet was pitched @ 75*, and after about 15-20 minutes, I whisked again, capped the keg, and put it into my cooler where it was fermenting consistently around 68*. ferment through: 8/2/10 ***bottling note: the sample taken at bottling time was wonderful! The fresh flavor and aroma was exactly what I was hoping for this brew. I had originally wanted to warm condition for 3 weeks, but I think I might drop an entire week! carb through: 8/16/10 - no problems here. each bottle appears to have carbonated nicely
warm condition: 8/27/10 - I don't think any more should be needed...so a couple are off to the fridge!
fridge until: Labor Day Weekend
1st test bottle: 9/4/10 - well, I have a mixed reaction to the outcome of this beer. the orangy notes that were present in the sample at bottling are all but gone now. Maybe there is a faint hint of orange in the nose and at the very backend of the taste, but I might be imagining that because I REALLY wanted it to come through. The beer itself was very smooth, and the hop addition really bolstered the HCCD's flavor and aroma. So while the lack of orange is definitely a bummer, the beer is still quite good.