Real Fermenting: Pale Ale Tasting Notes

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Pale Ale Tasting Notes

My original hopped beer has now all been drunk. It was a Pale Ale, intended to be an American Pale Ale, which turned out a little more like an English Pale Ale. Insert joke about me being British and living in California here.

It does exactly what it says

The low final gravity (1.006) of this beer means it was always going to be dry. Following that lack of sugars was a lack of maltiness. Don't get me wrong. I have enjoyed this beer and savored every glassful, but it was not excellent. It tasted like beer. Even fairly decent beer.

Good points

Appearance: It looks the part. It is a pale amber color and even has a slight head, which doesn't survive too long after pouring. And it is clear as a bell.
Carbonation: Perfect level for me. Not harsh, but instead a light to medium fizz.
Hoppiness: Both a good floral aroma and a decent piney bitterness. Kind of hard to tell about how well the bitterness would have played out against a fuller malt background.


Bad points

Body: Thinner than a American pale ale should be. Well, I've learned my lesson. It's at least steeping grains for me from now on.
Dryness: It was overly dry, but it wasn't actually too far off in the end. It's drinkable. And actually quite refreshing.

So you live and learn. This brew was a great first lesson for me. I thought the hop schedule actually worked very nicely, so I am encouraged in that part. I am interested to take these lessons into a gruit ale brewed with specialty grains at some point. My next two beers are both made with hops. A Robust Porter and a California Pale Ale

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