This batch of beer has been a long time coming. I had planned on brewing it a few months back when I wrote my original post, but haven’t been able to pull it together. I finally kegged and carbonated it a few days ago and I’m ready to sample the goods!
This was the first time I successfully used a liquid yeast strain after a few bad shipments in the middle of summer from a Toronto area home brew shop. I made a starter a few days before with a smack pack of Wyeast #1056 & hit my target starting gravity of 1.053. I wasn’t 100% sure if I should pitch the entire contents of the starter. It was still fermenting when it came time to pitch it, so I assumed that most of the yeast was still in suspension. I first decanted the liquid, but then noticed at the bottom was a nice slurry of yeast, so I pitched that as well. It ended up lowering my original gravity by 0.003 points which was a drag, but it wasn’t the end of the world. I’ve since done some more research on using starters and have a better handle on what to do next time. (I’ll post about that in the coming weeks) Regardless, the fermentation took off like a rocket, and looked very healthy. I’ve kept the yeast and rinsed it properly for use in some future batches.
So let’s get to the beer…
- poured a nice fluffy white head
- very floral and fruity hop aroma
- very clean
Hoptomology’s Sierra Nevada Pale Ale:
- foam not as fluffy or large
- hop aroma was slightly less aromatic but had the same aroma profile
- colour was a few points darker
- the bitterness from the hops was slightly higher than the original (I added 0.5 grams of gypsum per gallon to my water which I think accentuated the bitterness. Next time I will leave the water as is)
BREWING NOTE: Some of my base malt and hops are pushing on in age and I’m starting to notice that their quality is diminishing. Fortunately, I have very little left and I’ve got a new supply coming in a week or two. I used a generic, domestic 2 row in this batch, but I would like to try it again with a fresher, higher quality base malt. Sierra Nevada is known for their intense dedication to quality, so as someone who wants to brew outstanding beer, I should do the same. I also used hop pellets where Sierra Nevada uses only whole hop cones, another possible area for improvement.
CONCLUSION: I think by adjusting the colour, omitting the gypsum and by using fresher ingredients, this recipe will be spot on. I will definitely be brewing this again. It’s a great go-to beer to have in stock at all times. Thank goodness I can make it, because we still can’t get Sierra Nevada up here in Canada!!
Here’s the revised recipe: