So, What’s on Tap?

The taps are just a little thin, in anticipation of an in-progress experiment (more on that soon).  But for now let me tell you about two English ales that are gracing the old beer fridge.

The first one is called “B-52”, which I brewed on my birthday. Care to guess which one?  It aspires to be an English IPA, but it is a slightly odd bird. The grist is almost 90% Maris Otter malt, with a little Crystal 10 and 60 malts, and a touch of English brown malt and a little wheat malt.  The hops are mostly East Kent Goldings (51 IBUs, calculated) with Palisade at flame out and Styrian Goldings for dry hopping.  The result is a very satisfying pale ale.  The malt flavor tends toward the dry cracker end of the spectrum, but even the moderate alcohol level (5.5%) provides a nice sweetness to match.  The hop character is particularly satisfying to me, substantial but not overwhelming in the base bitterness, and with enough flavor to make things interesting without wiping out the taste buds.  The Palisade hops seem to add a mellow and unobtrusive citrus and stone fruit flavor that is particularly appealing.

The second beer is a complete rip-off of the beer called “Landlord”, brewed by Timothy Taylor in Keighley, UK.  They characterize the beer as a ‘strong pale ale’, and I found a clone recipe in the book Brew Your Own British Real Ale by Wheeler and Protz.  The beauty of the recipe: one malt.  Timothy Taylor uses Golden Promise,  a barley malt made in Scotland.  I used my house English malt, Munton’s Maris Otter.  Beyond that it is simply some East Kent and Styrian Goldings as kettle hops and a little Kent Goldings at 15 minutes.  I used Wyeast 1469, West Yorkshire yeast which is the Timothy Taylor strain.  The result is a classic British session beer – full of subtle flavors that don’t get in the way of enjoying a pint or two – but flavors that can also provide the focus for a moment of contemplation on what a fine drink beer can be.

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