Old Ale

Fermenting: 31/01/2006 Bottled: 17/02/2006

Wal's Old Ale CanDark Amber SugarWillamette hops

I decided to put the summer wheat on hold for another couple of weeks, and get into some real ale brewing while the weather is appropriate. The summer wheat comes with a belgian witbier yeast, and I don’t know if Belgium has ever seen temperatures over 25°.

So instead, I’m making a dark ale, something with a bit of body and character to it. As a base I’ve used Wal’s Old Ale, from The Country Brewer as usual. I then added a Dark Amber sugar mix to it: 500g dextrose, 300g light malt and 200g dark malt. This should help the brew have “a creamy head and roast flavour.”

In a day or two I’ll add some Willamette hops as well. By doing so after the first couple of days of vigourous fermentation have elapsed, it will hopefully allow the beer to keep more of it’s hop aroma.

Willamette hops are a bit interesting. American, rather than British, they are still appropriate for this style of ale as they are a “Triploid daughter of Fuggles – Low alpha and mild aroma similar to Fuggles.” The two main sort of hops traditionally used for British ales are Fuggles and Goldings. The proprietor at the homebrew store told me that Williamette hops are pretty good, and a good alternative for something a little unique, but are often overlooked as they are at the end of the list (alphabetically) and not as well known.

Maybe another reason I am making an ‘Old’ is because it is my 28th birthday in a couple of weeks. I’ll think of a gag to put in here later.

Bottling notes: Tasted a bit like dark chocolate – bitter, rich in flavour and not remotely sweet.

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