Tag Archives: Extra Pale Ale

Extra Pale Ale #2 – Review

Been a while between posts. Sorry. Very busy with everything not brew related. That said, here we are at the review for the Extra Pale Ale #2. It’s been over five weeks since this beer was bottled and absolutely ready for a tasting review.

Extra Pale Ale 2 for review

Extra Pale Ale #2 ready for tasting and for review

First thing to note is the look. Was very clear in the bottle before heading into the fridge. You can see from the photos it’s very cloudy. Not that look means much to me, but a lot more than I expected. Feels like it’s more pronounced that the Extra Pale Ale #1 cloudiness.

Aroma on this is big in apples. Yep, that’s acetaldehyde giving that green apple smell, and some banana esters too. What caused that? High temperatures and poor yeast. Sure, this got piched onto reused yeast. And that should have eatten the sugars quickly. But, some bad quality control on keeping temperature down was the main factor here.

These two characteristics of acetaldehyde and esters come out in the beer flavour as well. It’s a bit disappointing as they take over a from what would otherwise be a really good beer. Behind these flavours there’s a nice light malt flavour with plenty of body. Yep, that Malto Dextrin is working a treat! Will be using that a lot more.

At 8.7% alcohol you would expect bite and harshness, not the case. The alcohol is hidden very well. Partyl with the big fruit flavours, but also the body. Have to say it again, the Malto Dextrin is a great addition to a strong pale ale. If you’re an extract home brewer and not using the stuff in your bigger alcohol beers I urge you to give it a go.

The beer finishes with plenty of fruit. Sure the acetaldehyde and esters dominate, but the hops from the amarillo come out to say ‘hi’ and have some fun. Is it better than the Extra Pale Ale #1? Overall, no. But there’s elements that work better like body. Plus if feels a bit smoother.

Food matching is hard. Probably something greasy like fried food or fish and chips. Yeah, that sound good. Could also be match with a burger or chicken parma.

Next time use some US-05 yeast will be used, and ferment at a lower temperature. The good news is that Summer is finally over and brewing can be done without crazy chilling techniques. But that also means needing to get in front of the darker beers so they’re ready for the cooler months. Better get cracking!

– Mikey

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Extra Pale Ale #1 – Review

Back a couple weeks back I tried one of the Extra Pale Ale #1 beers. I was expecting it to be a bit rough, especially being 8%, using a chunk of sugar and using kit yeast. I was surprised with what I got, in a very good way. And now it’s time for a proper review.

Extra Pale Ale 1 for review

Extra Pale Ale #1 ready for tasting and for review

First thing to say is that I was hoping for something drinkable, and that was about it. Very cheap to make with half dry malt extract and half sugar. Plus only a touch of hops and some old kit yeast. What I was really trying to do is get something thin and dry to fill in the gap that my Summer Ale failed to do.

There’s still an apple hint to the aroma that I got from bottling. Slight smell of yeast there as well. First taste is light with hint of apple sweet. That is from the yeast and drops off pretty quickly, which is good. Then the orange floral flavour from the Amarillo comes out. This is really nice here. While quite subtle, as not much is used, it still is clearly there with no much else going on. The orange flavour lingers on, especially once the beer has warmed up after coming out of the fridge.

Through the beer there’s a bit of roundness to the flavour with that extending to the end. It’s almost butter-like, similar to a good Chardonnay wine (yeah, been tasting quite a few of those over the last couple months). Sure there’s not much body, you could go as far as saying nearly no body. But the finish isn’t a dry or harsh end. So you don’t feel like you need to go back for more straight away. And at 8% alcohol it is probably a very good thing. And that’s another point, the alcohol doesn’t come out in this beer which makes it that bit more easier to enjoy.

Hard to say what to eat with this beer. It’s very light body with only a hint of orange and light sweetness. Good to have on a hot day with some snacks. Maybe a cheese board or dips. Keep it cold and have it by itself.

Very happy with how this turned out. Looking forward to how the Extra Pale Ale #2 turns out. Then, next spring or summer make adjustments with hops and yeast for a better brew.

-Mikey

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So pale, extra pale 2 bottled

Monday was Australia Day and doubled as bottling day for the Extra Pale Ale #2. It was a very quick session and I knocked it over myself in a bit over half an hour.

Extra Pale Ale 2 bottled

Extra Pale Ale 2 freshly bottled and all cloudy

Skipped the bulk priming and put a tablespoon of white sugar to prime each bottle. Should have done it with the Extra Pale Ale #1 as it was much quicker than the bulk priming for small batches. Ended up with twelve bottles and a gravity sample as well.

Extra Pale Ale 2 FG

Extra Pale Ale 2 final gravity reading

Gravity came in at 1.025 which means the beer will sit at about 8.7% alcohol after bottle conditioning. Was a bit surprised the gravity wasn’t lower, much lower. I realised the Malto Dextrin had a bit of effect, plus it was probably a bit much to ask that kit yeast to chomp through so much sugar. That said, I was hoping to get down to the 1.009 calculated, or at least around 1.015. Not to be.

As usual I tasted the gravity sample. First up it was bad. Lots of apple sweet flavour and not nice yeast. After it sat for about 20 or so minutes the taste was a lot better. Still not great, but I could finish drinking the small sample. This one will take a while to condition properly probably a month or more.

Nothing brewing at the moment. Thinking of doing a couple really small batches. Maybe cider with the brewing caps. Maybe finally getting around to those ‘not beers’. Will keep you posted.

-Mikey

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New year brew, extra pale two

Hello and happy new year. Apologies for the break between posts, nearly four weeks! Back on board and, more importantly, back to brewing. Sunday the 11th was the first brew for the year and Chas came over to lend a hand. Always a fun day when Chas makes it.

Extra Pale Ale 1 bottled

Extra Pale Ale 1 all bottled and capped

There was some tasting of the Pale Trial Zwei beers and bottling of the Extra Pale Ale #1. Although only four litres, we still bulk primed. In hindsight that might have been a bit over the top for 10 bottles.

Gravity reading came in at 1.010 pretty much smack bang on what I was aiming for. Alcohol calculated at exactly 8% after bottle conditioning. Nice and strong.

The flavour was a bit of a mix. There was some some apple aroma and other fruit. Taste was much the same with a slight round, but clear, yeast flavour. Quite possible there’s some acetaldehyde and the yeast was stressed out by being forced to work so hard. Plus it was kit yeast, and that’s not usually good.

Extra Pale Ale 2 OG

Extra Pale Ale 2 original gravity reading

The brew for the day was straight forward. Almost identical to Extra Pale Ale #1. This time added more sugar and some malto dextrin. The sugar should push up the alcohol towards the 10% region, while the malto dextrin should help it hold together.

  • 4 litre boil
  • 300 grams Pilsen Light DME @ 40 mins
  • 200 grams Malto Dextrin @ 5 mins
  • 500 grams raw sugar @ 5 mins
  • 2 grams Warrior hops @ 30 mins
  • 3 grams Amarillo hops @ flame out
Extra Pale Ale 2 ready to go

Extra Pale Ale 2 in the fermenter in the pot and ready to go

Ice was dumped directly into the pot during the ice bath. That helped cool the brew and topped up for water lost in the boil. In the end it was a bit too much liquid and the fermentation vessel was fuller than I would have liked. And, yes, it did cause a blow out in the air lock.

The wort was dumped straight onto the yeast cake of the last brew. There should be plenty of yeast to eat through the large amounts of sugars there. Gave it a very good shake up, going to need all the oxygen it can get.

The gravity reading came in at 1.087 which is exactly what I calculated. Nice to finally hit a target OG for the first time ever, even if there was to much water.

It’s been nearly two weeks already. Bottling will be soon, maybe end of the long weekend. Should get some idea how it will taste. Hoping that the Malto Dextrin gives it some body to help balance out the large amount of sugar added.

For the next brew? Not sure yet, but likely this year will continue the experimentations and small batches. Temperatures are still pretty hot in Melbourne and it’s hard keeping fermentation vessels cool enough.

-Mikey

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A little Christmas, extra pale ale

I couldn’t let December go by without doing a brew. So, decided to brew up a nice dry light body pale ale. Really simple and really easy. Knocked it over in about an hour.

Extra Pale Ale OG

Extra Pale Ale original gravity reading

After the Summer Ale turned out to be bigger than expected, I wanted to go basic. The best option was a simple malt base, simple hops and simple yeast. I deliberately aimed for something that would be dry and low in flavour. Welcome the Extra Pale Ale. In theory this will be the Summer beer that the Summer Ale wasn’t.

Recipe

  • 2.5 litre boil, topped up to 4 litres at end.
  • 300 grams of Pilsen Light dry malt extract @ 30 mins
  • 300 grams or raw sugar @ 10 mins
  • 2 grams Warrior hops @ 30 mins
  • 3 grams Amarillo hops @ flame out
  • Bit over a teaspoon of kit yeast
  • Teaspoon of yeast nutrient

The original gravity came in at 1.069 which is a fair bit higher than the 1.059 calculated. Most likely due to loss of water / not adding enough water at the end. That doesn’t worry me.

The colour turned out a lot closer to what I wanted than the Summer Ale did. Very light straw colour. Hope it thins out a bit more. Will be fine if there’s very little body in this.

Extra Pale Ale staying cool

Extra Pale Ale carboy in pot of water staying cool

The sample tasted pretty good. Yep, there was a lot of sugar in there but that doesn’t take anything away from the yummy Amarillo flavours. IBU should be around 16 which should help make this drinkable. I have seen a few of my beers turn out a lot bitter than planned. I’m hoping I’ve gone low enough on this one.

Big challenge now is keeping it cool. The carboy is sitting in water and the next couple days I can keep replacing ice packs in there. Fingers crossed. Will find out in the New Year.

-Mikey

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