Tuesday, 16 August 2016

NE Pale Ale

There's been a fair bit of chatter about this so called "Style".
Some hate the haze, and consider it to be poor brewing style, others love it, saying its like a lovely Orange Juice beer.
soft bitterness, with juicy hop flavours. 

Me? I have no idea what t o think - so I decided to brew one.
I mean why the hell not right?
I don't necessarily have an averse to hazy beers, depending on the style of course. Which is why I gelatin most of my Hoppy Beers. they just end up looking so pretty in a nice glass, while that aroma jumps out at you.

for me. the biggest issue, I've seen is too many people actually trying to make their beers hazy.(here in NZ, its not an overly popular way of doing things as yet) Removing Koppafloc / whirlfloc, and some even adding wheat flour or other adjunct to make the haze more Prominent. (WTF?!)
Now, I have no idea what causes the haze. everyone seems to have a different opinion, the only thing I will say is this 
[hazy beers can be good, provided you pick the right style, yeast, and stick to all of your normal processes, changing thing, to try to actually replicate what a beer acutally looks like, is ridiculous, if you know your process - stick to it. It could be your un-doing in the long run]

So, to try to get a handle on this particular style, I decided to brew a tried and true recipe {Thanks to Ed Coffey - alesoftheriverwards.com

The reason is 3 fold: 
     1- I've been having issues with Diacetyl, on US-05 (this is common on this particular dry yeast). so I figured, I should try something different, and to be fair, actually use a liquid yeast instead of being a cheap ass.
     2- I wondered what so many oats would do to the mouth fel of a beer - particularly a smaller pale ale style beer like this one. 
     3- Like I said I'm not bothered with haze, but if my processes are good, and correct, then the beer should clear out ok, once I add my gelatin finings into the keg (don't get me wrong, I'm not expecting crystal clear commercial grade clarity).

Batch Size: 21 Litres
Estimated OG: 1.050
IBU: 34
EBC: 7
Efficiency: 74%
Boil Time: 60 Minutes

     3.6kg Gladfields Ale Malt
     0.7kg Flaked Oats (Harraways)
     0.3kg Gladfields Wheat Malt
     0.2kg Acidulated Malt (pH)

     14g Chinook FWH 
     15g Nelson @5min
     15g Simcoe @5min
     15g Mosaic @5min
     20g Nelson @0min
     20g Simcoe @0min
     20g Mosaic @0min
(hopstand the 0min addition for 15mins prior to chilling)
     35g Nelson / 35g Simcoe / 35g Mosaic (Used hop bag to be able to harvest yeast)

     WYeast 1318 - London Ale III (1 Litre Starter)
Mash Schedule: Mash at 67 Degrees C for 60 minutes.

Brewing Notes: 
     17 July 2016: Mashed with 16.5 litres of water normal hoppy beer - water profile. none of this high chloride rubbish. Hit 1.050 dead on, and ended up with additional 5 litre in my new SS Brew-bucket.
Swirled my starter and added. (Wort was 14.5 degC when added)
Set temp to 17.2 Deg c, raising after 6 hours.

     18 July 2016: Temp for fermentation 18.8 DegC. days at this temp

     20 July2016: Ramped temp to 21.1 DegC - Small swirl of fermenter to ensure British yeast still in suspension.

     26 July 2016: Added dryhop to primary, in sanitized hop bag.

     29 July 2016: Temp changed to 1 Deg C for cold crash.

     31 July 2016: Racked to keg, using a new CO2 Transfer process, PSI set to 30, for 24 hours - return to serve pressure.

Tasting - 17 August 2016:
     Appearance - Hazy Golden Colour (I suspect if it ever clears up it will be a bright golden colour) Nice Lacing and tight bubbles

     Aroma - Aromas's of Grapefruit and Hops - Similar in some ways to what you'd expect Grapefruit Juice to smell like. It jumps out of the glass at you.

     Flavour - Similar to aroma - with a "Zing" to it, low bitterness, high saturated hop flavour, low malt flavour. The hops really shine here, and funnily enough I don't get a big Nelson Sauvin flavour from it.

     Mouthfeel - maybe a touch thin considering the amoun of Flaked Oats. - but I think it suits the style.

     Overall - Fantastic beer, and there is merit to the style. the haze does bother me a bit, but it doesn't affect the overall view of this beer. Some haze is fine, but when these beers start to look muddy, it becomes a problem for me. Its definitely worht a re-brew, and possibly turning it more into a session IPa would work nicely. Adding some carapils and mashing another degree higher would probably get this on the money here.

GARAGE PROJECT, PARTY&BULLSHIT - I had the opportunity to try one of the first NZ Takes on the NE IPA Style recently.
It misses the mark in what this should be - haze is fine, but htis goes more towards muddy, and the hops flavour isn't saturated anywhere near enough. it's too much like an ugly American IPA. The bitterness is lower, but is doesn't have the juicy zingy flavour and aroma.


  1. I tried to make this last year, based on Ed's hophands clone recipie. I must have gotten an infection with the 1318 I had, or something else, as it completely mutilated the beer (I bottled as well but it was dead before that point). I dryhopped after the beer slowed down feremntation and it smelt like oranges, fantastic. Tehn dry hopped again and waited, adn by the time bottling came around it was basically oxidised and no hops other than bittering.

    there is a facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/treehousebrewers/ that is quite good for this style of beer, but i havent tried again without a local source of 1318 and kegging to optimise the beer stabiliyt

    1. Cheers for that.
      Yeah oxidation and those types of issues, can cause the hops to drop out, leaving a sherry or cardboardtype flavor. that'd be your most likely cause. bottling hoppy beers also means oxidation and other issues are slightly higher probability. but try it again, its a tasty recipe.