Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Brew Day: Summer Somewhere 2017 (British Golden Ale)

British golden ale is a style I first learned about when the draft version of the new Beer Judge Certification Program style guidelines were published in 2014. The style developed in England as a summer seasonal. Light in color and body, British golden ale is perfect for the summer. Unlike traditional bitters which are primarily malt focused, golden ale has a similar hop character to an American pale ale. 

This is my third batch of Summer Somewhere. Every year the ingredients have changed, but the recipe has been mostly the same: 95% base malt, 5% flaked maize, British yeast. In 2015 I used Irish Stout Malt, Irish Ale yeast, and Galaxy hops, while last year I used Munton's Propino malt, London Ale III yeast, and Styrian Bobek hops with Cluster for bittering.

While rushing to brew Summer of Jennie, Transistor Radio, 'Murica and another beer for Homebrew Talk, I decided to brew Summer Somewhere as an extract batch. The thinking was that I could more easily brew an extract batch on a double brew day. I ended up brewing the batch while bottling and racking several other batches.

In keeping with previous recipes I used Munton's Extra Light extract to give the beer a British malt flavor, but keeping the color as light as possible. I added half of the extract at the beginning of my boil, and the other half at the end to guard against the extract caramelizing in the kettle.

I did steep a little bit of leftover Propino malt from last year to try and impart some fresh malt flavor and aroma from the freshly cracked malt. There are conflicting reports about steeping as opposed to mashing base malts. I made sure to steep the malt in a temperature range where the starches had a chance to convert. In lieu of flaked maize I used simple corn sugar to lighten the body. 

Munton's is the only extract I'll use in British styles.

Steeping just a little base malt.
With my malt and yeast I also took the easy route. I harvested some Ringwood Ale yeast from Transistor Radio, and used some of my bulk Centennial hops as the single hop

This batch is ready to bottle as soon as I dedicate some time to bottling. I want to enter it into a competition in July and have some time off coming up next week. I did rack the beer to a secondary to help it clear. This batch should be ready to go for July 4 and my homebrew club's summer cookout. 

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