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Pale Ale Brewday

Posted in Craft Beer, on 8 June 2016, by , 1 Comments

Where We’re At – Feeling Pale

As you probably know by now, when we’re Pilot Batching, it means we’re probably going insane for one reason or another, today the end result is a Pale Ale.  Lately that means holdups that are out of our control: Permits, and Loans.  One of the standard sayings in starting a brewery is that budget double any expense you plan, and plan for three times as long as any schedule you expect, well we’re about there.

  1. Our Federal Permit (TTB) is in the final stage awaiting final approval from the final inspector so we can have our Final Final Final, err our Permit.
  2. Our State Permit is in limbo, each of our investors were fingerprinted a month ago, and at this point we’re just awaiting guidance for what round of forms we need to plow through next.  I think its safe to say New Jersey is very thorough when it comes to their background checks and approvals.
  3. Lakewood has been phenomenal to us, with plenty of places and helpful figures trying to find ways to help and potential places to have us on tap including the Historical Theater “The Strand” as well as at our local Minor League Baseball Stadium First Energy Park home of the Lakewood Blue Claws.
  4. Money: Well if you have ever bought a house and thought that closing process was difficult, I would not suggest applying for a SBA loan, we are now 6 months into our Loan Closing, it gets awfully difficult to finish purchasing equipment and pay for all the nice things we need.  But we should be close which means a lot of movement soon.

While running a brewery might be 75% Janitorial Work, 20% Administrative, and 5% Brewing, starting a brewery is more 75% Acting like a Lawyer, 20% Being a banker, 4% Drinking the sorrows of bureaucracy, and 1% Brewing (Today).

The Brewday

Galena Pale Ale – The Idea

Now that the weather is getting nicer out there is nothing we love drinking more than a Fresh Hopped Pale Ale, so naturally we decided to brew a Fresh Hopped Pale Ale.  Personally I like my Pale Ales relatively simple, probably a result of studying in England, with the delightful simplicity English Pale Ales and Bitters have to offer.  English Pale Ales and Bitters tend to be slightly lower in alcohol, maxing at around a 5%, we were aiming for more of a hybrid, with and English style malt bill but American strength, American hops, and American yeast, the best of both worlds.

Malt Bill

So based on this I created my malt bill with a strong base of English Maris Otter (71%) which gives more character, nuttiness, and biscuit flavors than a standard American two-row malt, and Munich (18%) which provides a maltiness and a slightly amber color to be rounded out by Carapils (7%) for body and foam retention and Caramunich (4%) for a slight caramel hint.  The goal was to hit 5% ABV with very little residual sweetness and achieve that perfect Pale Ale color: darker than straw but lighter than amber.

Galena Pale Ale Malt Bill

Finishing the Pale Ale Sparge, you can see just how Pale the malt bill is

Hopping the Pale Ale

The main thing we were trying to highlight in this beer was the Fresh Hops.  We were gifted a batch of last years crop of Galena which was both dried and frozen whole cone to be preserved.  Fresh hops while harder to work with thanks to their bulk, absorption, and havoc they play on pumps are absolutely delicious when used properly.  As they are less processed than pelletized hops they have more preserved Hop Oils which make for a beautiful but delicate aroma.  The main descriptors for Galena are “Citrus, Spicy, Fruity” but I’d describe it most similarly to a Pineapple mixed with Blackcurrants, not sure my description is any easier to imagine.  I paired this with Azacca, a new hop to me which packs an intense mango/papaya aroma and flavor with it.  Rather than go with the standard American west-coast American style of hopping this to the point of puckering, I went with 45 IBUs which while relatively bitter can still be balanced by the malt profile and instead used a lot of the hops on the back-end for additional aroma.

Fresh Galena Hops

Whole Cone Galena Hops

Whats Next: Fermentation and Dry Hops

To compliment the Malt Bill and Hops we went with American Ale II for the yeast which while clean produces some nutty and fruity esters reminiscent of an Irish Ale Yeast without the intense dryness.  We went toward the upper range of he suggested Fermentation temperature scale, at about 69°F for a week.  At the end of the week we dropped the temperature slightly to 60°F to drop some yeast before we could begin the dry hop.  After dropping the initial yeast we added in additional whole cone Galena and pelletized Azacca for an additional 3 days before final cold crashing.  While it is sitting in Corny kegs carbing at the moment, the smell going into the kegs was absolutely insane, just blasts of Pineapple and Roses, extremely excited to try this when it is ready.


Post Pale Ale – What’s Truly Next:

Hopefully our next update has a lot more happy statements about how thrilled we are to be finished with our State/Federal permits and our bank account is looking a little nicer with this loan finally closed.  As soon as the loan closes we can pay our Contractor to build out our Tasting Room and additional bathroom as well as have our wiring and plumbing run for our Brewhouse.  We’re close, real close.  Beer Soon.


Beers on Deck to be Brewed:

Galena Pale Ale
Smoked Pilsner

Ginger-Grapefruit Witbeer

Chipotle Porter

Currently Fermenting:

Sweet Potato Pale

Currently in Barrels:

Imperial Coffee Rye Porter


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