There’s been a rise of a new pseudo-style in Australia: the XPA (Extra Pale Ale). I thought it would be a fun twist to brew a beer that looks like an American Light Lager, but with the hop presence of a stronger Pale Ale / Session IPA.
General perceptions of a light coloured beers are that they’re going to be crisp and devoid of any significant hop flavour and aroma.
|Batch Size||Boil||SRM||Est. OG||Est. FG||Est. ABV|
I went slightly heavier on the Gypsum (Calcium Sulfate) to accentuate the bitterness/crispness opposed to my regular balanced water profile.
|Light Lager Malt (Gladfield) – 1.4SRM||4kg||74.1%|
I sourced the lightest coloured malt available to me (1.4SRM) for use as the base malt. I then padded out the grain bill with both flaked rice and corn in quantities typical for an American style adjunct lager.
Single infusion mash @ 65C for 60min.
|Simcoe||Whirlpool – 15min @ 80C||50g||13%||??|
|Citra||Whirlpool – 15min @ 80C||25g||13%||??|
|Vic Secret||Dry Hop (Day 6)||125g||15.5%||??|
|Simcoe||Dry Hop (Day 6)||50g||13%||??|
Vic Secret has become one of my favourite dry hops of late. The current crop is exceptionally fruity, whereas in the past I’ve had it express a lot of dank/pine type of aromas. Although as previously mentioned, I almost exclusively use it as a dry hop due to its cohumulone content.
This was one of the first brews I put through my new 65L BrewZilla. Although the system is an overall step-down in quality from the Grainfather, it allows me to easily brew 50L+ of moderate gravity wort.
The unit itself worked flawlessly during the brew (although I do have a few tips for usage I’ll share in a future post), and the bottom screen filtered out a huge amount trub from getting into the fermenter.
I wanted a clean fermentation, so naturally opted for US-05. I pitched the yeast into 18C wort and placed in my fermentation fridge. After 72 hours of vigorous fermentation I ramped the temp to 22C (my typical ale schedule for beers I want to turn around in a decent time).
As I was brewing a double batch (50L), I used my pressurised Kegmenter. 6 days into fermentation I dry hopped the beer with Vic Secret and Citra.
On day 10 I set my fermentation fridge to -1C and let the beer cold crash. The first sample I poured from the fermenter at about 48 hours into the cold crash revealed something interesting; the beer was incredibly hazy. Although the beer had a reasonably high dry hop I wasn’t expecting it to be as cloudy as it was.
I had planned to using fining agents to make the beer as bright as possible (to accentuate the lightness), but thought this was a perfect example to demonstrate the effects of Biofine.
The photo below shows the beer 48 hours after cold crashing, and the beer 36 hours after a moderate addition of Biofine:
Smell: This beer smells wonderful – vibrant tropical fruits, some citrus, and a hint of supporting pine.
Appearance: A pale straw with reasonable clarity. Looks great in the glass.
Taste: Punches well above it’s weight due to the whirlpool and dry hop quantities, approximating to a much stronger Pale Ale or Session IPA type of balance. It was a very active ferment so presents very clean.
Mouthfeel: Finishes quite dry (more than you’d expect), which is probably due to use of adjuncts and the elevated Sulfate balance. Keeps you coming back for another sip.