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Author Topic: DrSmurto's Golden Ale - variations and musings  (Read 16522 times)

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Offline DrSmurto

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DrSmurto's Golden Ale - variations and musings
« on: November 21, 2012, 09:22:14 AM »
To save people wading through 44 pages of discussion on AHB I thought i would distil my thoughts on this beer and its evolution from kit beer to the variation i tend to brew at the moment. WARNING - long post follows.

The golden ale started out life as a JSGA clone on homebrewandbeer.com and was initially posted by a brewer called Pale_Ale. It didn't contain wheat or crystal and possibly used the kit yeast. Over time on that forum it evolved and I took it under my wing and turned it into the kit recipe you now see listed on AHB and other places.

1 can Coopers Sparkling Ale (can be subbed for Coopers Lager for a lower IBU)
1 can Coopers Wheat Malt
250g crystal (caramalt, caramunich, carabohemian, light/medium english crystal)
20g Amarillo @ 15 and 0 (sometimes listed as 15g @ 10, 5 and dry hop, i prefer the former)
US-05
Topped up to 20L (not 23L).

This can be converted to full extract by replacing the hopped kit with the same quantity of unhopped extract (1.7kg liquid extract) and adding a bittering hop at 60 min to 30 IBu total.

The 1st AG version which was brewed October 2007 (and no, not my 1st AG, it was my 4th).

55% Pils
20% Munich
20% Wheat
5% Caramunich II
(All Weyermann malt)
Amarillo @ 60 to 31 IBU
0.75g/L @ 10, 5 and dry hop
US05
Mash - 66C for 90 mins, 78C mashout.

The first major variation was several months later when i replaced the Pils with JW Trad Ale and caramunich with JW caramalt. I also had by now gotten over the tendency of new brewers to dry hop everything so the late hop schedule had become 1g/L at 20 and 0. This version was the one entered in ANAWBS in 2008 and scored 46/50 winning its category (english bitter) and beer of show. As an english bitter it exploited a loophole in the guidelines which allowed american hops. I had entered it as an APA in SABSOSA earlier that year and it scored 31.75/50 in the APA category with comments of lacking hop flavour and aroma and more of an english pale ale than american. I took that information on board and the loophole in ANAWBS and entered it as an english bitter and the rest is history. To be fair, the golden ale is not that different to an english summer ale where the beers tend to be lighter in colour and higher in hop flavour and aroma.

Over the years i have used this recipe to try out new grains, hops and yeast using the ideology that by changing 1 variable at a time you get a better understanding of the contribution of each new ingredient. Different base malts, crystal malts, hops, yeast and even water chemistry have been used. I kept the % of grain the same, the g/L of late additions the same so whilst it has changed over time to not resemble the original in many ways the ideology behind the recipe remains the same - balance. Easy drinking, balanced beer with plenty of hop flavour and aroma but also with a great malt backbone that carries through. In reality, the philosophy is english in style but using more aromatic hops (american, australian, NZ).

I used this recipe for a homegrown hop series a few years ago to compare the flavour and aroma of my homegrown hops and used the results of that to decide whether to keep or dig up hops. As a consequence of that series i now only have Victoria and Chinook in the garden. Not that the other hops were bad, they weren't, it was just a matter of space vs how much homegrown hops i wanted. For those who have seen the growth i get from a few hop plants you'll understand and I didn't want to get to the point where i felt obliged to use my hops all the time to use them up.

So to my current and favourite variation.

55% Ale (normally TF FM MO or GP)
20% Vienna (german)
20% Rye
5% Carabohemian
Magnum @ 60 to 30 IBU
Victoria 1.5g/L @ 20 and 0
WY1272 American Ale II
Water chemistry - CaSO4 and CaCl2 added to achieve ~ Ca 90 ppm with the SO4:Cl ratio at ~1:1 starting from rainwater so no Na, Mg or CO3.
Mash - 67C for 90 mins, 78C mashout.

Carabohemian is easily my favourite spec malt. It has 90% of the flavour of caraaroma minus the burnt toffee notes and ~ half the EBC.

Rye is an amazing grain and ever since trying my first beer with it in it (Boilerboy/L.W. American Rye IPA) I have been hooked. At this % it does increase the mouthfeel a bit making it seem more full bodied and the spicy, earthy characters comes through.

Vienna over Munich was something i stumbled upon when i ran out of munich once. Munich adds a bready/toasty character whilst Vienna is more smooth honey like whilst still adding plenty of malt backbone. I found it allowed the rye to shine through a bit better than munich.

MO and GP - This beer is balanced between malt and hops so it needs a good malt backbone and over the years I have come to the conclusion that Australian malt can't provide that. It's not malted with that in mind; no commercial beer brewed on a large scale has a real malt backbone (IMHO). English beers have that character in spades and hence their malt is malted with that in mind. The same philosophy applies to Vienna and Munich malts which are available in Australian versions but I find them lacking. I prefer quality over cost saving.

The yeast choice is quite simple. US05 is clean, easy to use and reliable but adds nothing to the beer. WY1272 adds an extra dimension with ester production. I also find it clears better.

Homegrown Victoria hops are amazing. The first time i tasted a beer that used this hop (Jeff/Boston now head brewer @ MVBeer) it screamed Loquats (citrus, mango, peach). Goes beautifully with rye and I get enough from my plants to brew a number of batches each year.
So there you have it, my take on the golden ale.



Offline Jamdfingr

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Re: DrSmurto's Golden Ale - variations and musings
« Reply #1 on: November 21, 2012, 10:28:55 AM »
Awesome write up DrSmurto....

I am even more interested to get into AG and experiment with the differences you explained from one recipe to another.

I have tried a few different recipes in extract but because they change everything, I dont get the understanding of what each change does.

As you said, changing one thing at a time on a solid recipe like the golden ale allows you to see what difference it brings.

Offline muckinfuggle

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DrSmurto's Golden Ale - variations and musings
« Reply #2 on: November 21, 2012, 01:27:01 PM »
Thanks for that Dr S. so the Munich has been swapped out for Vienna now and the Wheat remains with n'er a hint of Rye even now....?
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Offline Malted

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Re: DrSmurto's Golden Ale - variations and musings
« Reply #3 on: November 21, 2012, 01:32:45 PM »
Thanks for that Dr S. so the Munich has been swapped out for Vienna now and the Wheat remains with n'er a hint of Rye even now....?
So to my current and favourite variation.

55% Ale (normally TF FM MO or GP)
20% Vienna (german)
20% Rye
5% Carabohemian
Magnum @ 60 to 30 IBU
Victoria 1.5g/L @ 20 and 0
WY1272 American Ale II
Water chemistry - CaSO4 and CaCl2 added to achieve ~ Ca 90 ppm with the SO4:Cl ratio at ~1:1 starting from rainwater so no Na, Mg or CO3.
Mash - 67C for 90 mins, 78C mashout.

Rye is an amazing grain and ever since trying my first beer with it in it (Boilerboy/L.W. American Rye IPA) I have been hooked. At this % it does increase the mouthfeel a bit making it seem more full bodied and the spicy, earthy characters comes through.

« Last Edit: November 21, 2012, 01:34:52 PM by Malted »
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Offline Pvt. Parts

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Re: DrSmurto's Golden Ale - variations and musings
« Reply #4 on: November 21, 2012, 06:00:38 PM »
Hi,

Great write up, thanks for taking the time.

So im just putting this into Beersmith and im a bit confused with the revised GA IBU's and its hopping schedule using BS's default Alpha Acid ratings.

For example my batch size is 27L

Magnum (14%AA) @ 60 to 30IBU = 20.53gm
Victoria (13%AA) @ 20 (adds 18.5IBU) = 40.5gm
Victoria (13%AA) @ 0 (adds 0IBU) = 40.5gm

So the IBU's will be 48.5IBU.. am i getting something wrong? is it 1.5mg/L split over the 20min and 0min additions? 20.25gm each
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Offline DrSmurto

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Re: DrSmurto's Golden Ale - variations and musings
« Reply #5 on: November 21, 2012, 07:34:22 PM »
Magnum @ 60 mins to 30IBU means use the 60 min addition to adjust total IBU to 30.

Always start the hop addition part of your recipe from the 0 min addition and work your way back to 60.

In my case, with victoria set to 11%aa I used very little magnum, ~7g from memory.

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Re: DrSmurto's Golden Ale - variations and musings
« Reply #6 on: November 21, 2012, 07:38:37 PM »
ahh, I see.. I'm always learning from you guys.  :08:
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Re: DrSmurto's Golden Ale - variations and musings
« Reply #7 on: November 21, 2012, 08:18:57 PM »


An interesting chronological timeline on what has probably become one of Australia's most famous home brew recipes.

I am so tempted to make it because I've put my heart and soul into getting lager beers right over the last few years, my last ale was so bad it became lawn food. I now consider myself hopeless at ales which is bad.

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Re: DrSmurto's Golden Ale - variations and musings
« Reply #8 on: November 22, 2012, 03:01:19 PM »
Thanks for that Dr S. so the Munich has been swapped out for Vienna now and the Wheat remains with n'er a hint of Rye even now....?
So to my current and favourite variation.

55% Ale (normally TF FM MO or GP)
20% Vienna (german)
20% Rye
5% Carabohemian
Magnum @ 60 to 30 IBU
Victoria 1.5g/L @ 20 and 0
WY1272 American Ale II
Water chemistry - CaSO4 and CaCl2 added to achieve ~ Ca 90 ppm with the SO4:Cl ratio at ~1:1 starting from rainwater so no Na, Mg or CO3.
Mash - 67C for 90 mins, 78C mashout.

Rye is an amazing grain and ever since trying my first beer with it in it (Boilerboy/L.W. American Rye IPA) I have been hooked. At this % it does increase the mouthfeel a bit making it seem more full bodied and the spicy, earthy characters comes through.
Apologies for my apparent myopic inadequacies but I've realised now in extended threads such as this my iphone/Tapatalk tends to truncate the thread so I actually only read the first half when I commented, thanks for pointing that out Malted!
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Offline b0neski

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Re: DrSmurto's Golden Ale - variations and musings
« Reply #9 on: November 22, 2012, 08:23:06 PM »
Well thanks, Doctor. That's an excellent writeup.
It'd be interesting to see how something like the latest version of the recipe would go on my only just ranged in RIMS system.
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Re: DrSmurto's Golden Ale - variations and musings
« Reply #10 on: November 23, 2012, 07:09:16 PM »
just finished my double batch of smurtos golden ale,
 i have made this quite a few times, always nice.
 i have never put the 0 min hops in as i N/C and didnt think that it would suit the N/C method.
no facts for this reasoning its  just what i did. still turned out one of my favourites .
  This time however i have two seperate 23 liter fermenters full of beer.
One of them i tossed in the 0 min hops after a week in the fermenter, the other i left as usual with no o min additions.
 I have had them fermenting for nearly 2 weeks so today i also dropped the temp in my fermenting fridge down to 2 deg.
 i am going to leave it like this for two days, maybe 5 days if i dont get around to kegging on sunday otherwise i wont get a chance until wednesday.
 i will keep this thread updated once i try both beers.
 Mark do you have an opinion on this.

   fergi

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Re: DrSmurto's Golden Ale - variations and musings
« Reply #11 on: December 01, 2012, 07:39:59 PM »
OG 1047 yeah?

Nothing in the op Dr.... re OG.
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Re: DrSmurto's Golden Ale - variations and musings
« Reply #12 on: December 14, 2012, 12:16:35 PM »
I should have said it earlier but great write-up!

What are my chances of getting the dry hopped version into the keg before Christmas?

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Re: DrSmurto's Golden Ale - variations and musings
« Reply #13 on: December 14, 2012, 12:19:00 PM »
Pretty good if you stick the hops in the keg :)
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Re: DrSmurto's Golden Ale - variations and musings
« Reply #14 on: December 14, 2012, 12:23:12 PM »
11 days till festivus. Ferment for 5 days, dry hop for 3, crash chill for 3. Rack into keg, force carb, drink.

Not ideal (in my anally retentive, OCD world,) but doable.

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Re: DrSmurto's Golden Ale - variations and musings
« Reply #15 on: December 14, 2012, 12:36:53 PM »
11 days till festivus. Ferment for 5 days, dry hop for 3, crash chill for 3. Rack into keg, force carb, drink.

Not ideal (in my anally retentive, OCD world,) but doable.

Excellent, Thanks! Late night tonight it is!

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Re: DrSmurto's Golden Ale - variations and musings
« Reply #16 on: December 14, 2012, 01:30:15 PM »
Force carbing a keg of DrS's GA for cricketers Sat night. tasted great out of the fermentor last week.

Went cascade as my late additions.
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Re: DrSmurto's Golden Ale - variations and musings
« Reply #17 on: December 18, 2012, 07:48:20 PM »

I am really keen on having a go at this using the first AG recipe of DrSmurto. I will leave it to Autumn though when I can brew at ambient temperatures - or at least have to use minimal temperature control.

In the meantime, ( I don't want to push the envelope here, but) I wondered if it could be brewed as a lager, making the least number of changes to the base recipe and process as posible that are required of lager brewing. Has it already been done?

Just wondering
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Re: DrSmurto's Golden Ale - variations and musings
« Reply #18 on: December 19, 2012, 05:26:45 AM »
Should be fine as a lager, just adjust mash temp to counter any change in yeast attenuation so it stays balanced.
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Re: DrSmurto's Golden Ale - variations and musings
« Reply #19 on: December 19, 2012, 06:40:35 AM »

I am really keen on having a go at this using the first AG recipe of DrSmurto. I will leave it to Autumn though when I can brew at ambient temperatures - or at least have to use minimal temperature control.

In the meantime, ( I don't want to push the envelope here, but) I wondered if it could be brewed as a lager, making the least number of changes to the base recipe and process as posible that are required of lager brewing. Has it already been done?

Just wondering
-=Steve=-

absolutely can be done as a lager. as Raven said check attenuation on the yeast to manage balance issues BUT in saying that it will work out fine anyway. I have done a lot of 'ales' with lager yeast and they turn out fine really allowing the malt and hops to shine without interference from ferment related flavours
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