Sunday, November 27, 2011

Blackberry Pacific Gem Pale Ales

A few new types of hops are coming out of New Zealand these days and landing in my local home brew stores. These hops have a completely different set of flavors from the Noble German Hops, or the 'C' hops of the Pacific Northwest. One of the hops I'd like to try out in a beer is the Pacific Gem breed. This breed is said to 'fill the brew house with enticing aromas during kettle additions and has been described as producing oaken flavors with a distinct blackberry aroma.' This description could make this the perfect hop to make a black berry pale ale. A nice hoppy beer with bitter and sweet properties from a hop whose flavor should lend blend with the fruit addition for a nice complexity. If both the bitterness from the hops and the sweetness from the fruit can come through in the final product this brew could be a winner.

(read more after the break.)

I want a subtle smoother bitterness, which will require a bittering addition, a nice flavor addition to showcase the hop's flavor, and a generous portion of aroma hops to really add those blackberry aromatics. My concern for this brew is that the malt profile would in any way inhibit the subtleness of the hops or the aromatics of the fruit; for those reasons I'm going to deviate from my normal 90-5-5 malt profile to 85-7.5-7.5.  I wanted the head to retain well and I used Cara-red as my caramel malt to accent the colors of the berries.

For my pale ales(all types) I try to shoot for a FG of 1.012, this leaves the beer with the right amount of mouth feel, dryness, and refreshment. For the beer part of this recipe I am going to undershoot that and count on unfermentable sugars from the fruit to make up 1-2 gravity points in the finished product. According to the Curious Cookbook by Harold Mcgee 8% of the fresh weight of blackberries is sugar, with 1.5% coming from fruit acids, I'll assume most of the rest is water. This should give me a good guess at the tartness the berries will create as well as their affect on the alcohol of the beer.

Boil Size: 1.14 gal 
Estimated OG: 1.049 SG 
Estimated Color: 19.8 SRM 
Estimated IBU: 32.5 IBUs 
Brewhouse Efficiency: 72.00 %

1 lbs 8.0 oz Pale Malt (2 Row) (2.0 SRM) 50.0 % 
2.0 oz Cara-Pils/Dextrine (2.0 SRM) 4.2 % 
2.0 oz Carared (20.0 SRM) 4.2 % 
0.05 oz Pacific Gem [15.00 %] - Boil 40.0 min 13.7 IBUs 
0.05 oz Pacific Gem [15.00 %] - Boil 20.0 min 9.4 IBUs 
0.10 oz Pacific Gem [15.00 %] - Boil 8.0 min 9.4 IBUs 
0.10 oz Pacific Gem [15.00 %] - Boil 0.0 min 0.0 IBUs 
0.2 pkg Safale American (DCL/Fermentis #US-05)
1 lbs 4.0 oz Blackberry Puree (30.0 SRM)  41.7 % 
0.20 oz Centennial [10.00 %] - Dry Hop 3.0 Days 0.0 IBUs 
0.20 oz Citra [12.00 %] - Dry Hop 3.0 Days 0.0 IBUs 
0.20 oz Galaxy [14.00 %] - Dry Hop 3.0 Days 0.0 IBUs 

Saccharification Add 6.07 qt of water at 162.4 F 156.0 F 60 min 
Mash Out Heat to 168.0 F over 7 min 168.0 F 10 min 

Brewing and fruiting:
The brewing of this went smoothly and I let it ferment out for 3 weeks then I made a mistake. My mistake was that I dry hopped the wrong beer. I put a dry hopping charge that was meant for an imperial red I am making into the wrong bottle. Oops. I was going to rebrew this but then I found blackberries on sale for really cheap; 10 oz for 1 dollar. I was willing to give it a try for 2 dollars.

Blackberries, Unintegrated, Shaken Up, and Few Days Later
Firstly I cleaned my knife and cutting board with starsan, Then I washed the berries in fresh clean water to get as much dirt, preservative, pesticide, and wild yeast off as I could. I then pureed the black berries being careful not to lose the valuable juice this created. I used a funnel and a makeshift plunger to press the berries down into the carboy. When fermentation had kicked back off and CO2 had been coming out of solution for a few hours I gave the jug a shake to integrate the berries into the wort. I waited to minimize the amount of oxidation from the extra moving step.

1 comment:

  1. I'm glad I stumbled upon your blog. I've been looking for one-gallon recipes and if I'm reading right, your smaller batches are one gallon? This seems like a really cool recipe and I've bookmarked it as a future possibility as I continue learning this hobby!