Monday, 2 February 2009

Pale Rye Ale

As my darling wife was still away yesterday, I took the opportunity to do another brew. It's not often that I brew two weekends in a row. I had toyed with the idea of doing a Roggenbier as I had bought 5kg of malted rye, but as rye has a reputation for being incredibly sticky in a mash, I decided I'd wait till I had some rice hulls to keep it loose. So, that's for another day. What I did do, with the moral support of a few friends from work, was a pale ale with a healthy dose of rye, just to see what it'd bring to the party.

It looked a bit like this:
  • 3.2 kg Pale Ale Malt
  • 0.9 kg Rye Malt
  • 0.5 kg CaraCrystal
  • 20 g Challenger (5.8%) - 60 min
  • 20 g Challenger (5.8%) - 30 min
  • 20 g Challenger (5.8%) - 5 min
  • Fermentis Safale US-05

I ended up with 22 litres of wort at 1.051 (crazy high efficiencies I'm getting), so we're looking at something about 5% with an estimated IBU of 29. Not the bitterest beer I've made (that would be around 106), but that's fine, as I wanted to see what the rye would add.

We also bottled the smoking gun stout. Pretty black stuff. Thom wondered if I overdid it on the roasted malts, and I have a feeling I may have, but more on the fact that the roastiness may obliterate the rauchmalz. A couple of my colleagues did comment on being able to pick out smoked ham flavours though. The gravity didn't drop below 1.018, so it feels rich allright, but I'm afraid the heavy roasts will scare some people away. Time will tell. It may be a different beast when it's conditioned a bit. Still, it's fun to experiment on my colleagues

So, my wife arrived home this afternoon after visiting her parents, and with her she brought a box of beers as a gift from her sister's boyfriend who grew up in east Germany. A selection box of 15 beers from that area, and I only know one of them; Köstritzer. Thanks Chris!

Even with 20% rye the mash was well sticky. A bit like wallpaper paste I thought, but the guys seemed to like the taste of it. Rye porridge. Yum.


Velky Al said...

I wonder how difficult it would be to send a couple of bottles of the stout to Prague....

Adeptus said...

They might have to be hand-delivered :D

Mail me your address and I'll czech it out.

Sorry :D

The Beer Nut said...

"Pale Rye Ale" sounds like something Dexy's Midnight Runners would drink.

"What'll it be?"
"Can I have fourteen Pale Rye, Pale Rye, Pale Rye, Pale Rye Aaaaaales?"

Adeptus said...

Damn you. I'll be humming that in my head all day now.

E.S. Delia said...

I've only come across a couple of ales brewed with rye, but have loved the layer of complexity it adds. Looking at some pale ale recipes in a homebrew magazine recently, I'm almost inspired to throw in some rye myself for an upcoming batch, maybe more towards the spring/summer.

Between you and Velky Al, I've also got smoked malt on my list as well. And thanks to Beer Nut, I also have a beer-infused version of "Come On, Eileen" on the brain.

Adeptus said...

I can't recall ever having a beer with rye before, so I'm pretty curious myself.

As for the rauchmalz, I plan on getting more and doing something a bit more like a classic rauchbier, although probably a top-fermenting version due to temperature control problems. Mmmm, bacon.

Too many beers to brew, so little time, that's the problem :)