Thursday, March 31, 2011

Brewday - Frontiersman Pale Ale (All-Grain)

The Frontiersman has been one of my favourite beers since the first time I brewed it and thus I've never really toyed with the recipe too much. At my recent Tasting Shindig it received a lot of good comments but only placed in a tie for fifth after the scores were tallied. I mostly chalked this up to the fact it is more of a drinking beer, the beers that placed higher were all extreme and unusual, which is the kind of thing that will probably stand out at a non-vertical tasting. (a tasting that features many different styles) Nonetheless, I still wasn't completely satisfied with this beer and this time I wanted to make some bigger changes.

I've always brewed the Frontiersman as a partial mash, a brewing technique that combines grain brewing with the use of malt extract. I've found that partial mashes seem to be the most successful when used to make hoppier beers. When it's used for beers that showcase malt it seems the extract twang and lack of complexity show through to a much greater degree, something I found in previous beers of mine. The Frontiersman is a Northwest pale ale and thus its balance leans more towards hops, a fact that contributes to its success when brewed with a partial. However, the extract flavour and residual sweetness is still definitely there and so I decided to try brewing an all-grain version. Because I have found that extract provides a slightly darker colour than pale 2-row malt, I increased the amount of crystal malt and included some dark crystal, both for colour and complexity of flavour. I also included more front end Cascade hops, as I wanted a bit more citrus hop flavour and aroma, and I will increase the amount of dry-hops used to round out its citrusy bouquet. Although I was (as usual) tempted to increase the bitterness I held off as I didn't want to start turning this into an IPA. I'm intrigued to see if this will stand up to its earlier incarnations when the time comes for a taste test.

Geek Info

Method: All-Grain
Target Original Gravity: 1.054                Actual Original Gravity: 1.056
Target Final Gravity: 1.010                     Brewhouse Efficiency: 72%
Target Alcohol by Volume: 6.2%           Bitterness: 43.1 IBUs
(based on actual OG)

12 lbs pale 2-row                      94%
The Frontiersman
8 oz. Crystal Malt (60 L)             8%
4 oz. Crystal Malt (120 L)           4%

2 oz. Cascade (whole cone)   60 mins
0.5 oz. Perle (whole cone)      15 mins
1.5 oz. Cascade (whole cone) 3 mins
1 oz Cascade (pellets)           dry-hop

Wyeast 1056 American Ale

1 tsp. Irish Moss                      10 mins

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