Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Golden Ales

Ah, Golden Ales. A beer that belies its simplicity with elegance. As of yet, it's the only style that's inspired me to make several iterations.

I find this surprising in that they're often thought of as beers that aren't terribly interesting. However, they are an excellent way to gauge one's brewing progress. If you can brew a tasty beer with one or two malts, one hop variety, and a fairly neutral yeast, I'd say you're well on your way to becoming a great brewer.

The last Golden Ale I brewed had a slight off-aroma that I'm still puzzled over. I feel as though I should be able to nail it on the head as I've gone through the BJCP exam twice now and have been judging and brewing for about two and a half years now. However, I'm still at a loss to describe it to my satisfaction. My best guess is that it's a fusel alcohol aroma that I had not come across before. It smells to me as I imagine fermented corn sugar would smell. I'm not sure precisely where I got this notion, but it's the one firmly implanted in my head.

All that being said, I think I'm going to make many more Golden Ales in the future. I don't have a signature beer, but I think with some work, this could be it. There could be a whole series of them. It would also serve as a great way to really get to know my base grains and hop varietals.

The first will be Maris Otter and homegrown Centennial. I'll update as things progress.


Iliketoeatpi said...

sweet deal man. yeah, im going to say I agree. I get that fusel aroma occasionally on lighter beers, perhaps because bolder flavors hide it in others? perhaps I consistently do something wrong (recall I bottled that last golden ale...but I was really careful! i promise!)...I'm going out today and getting my brew equipment, if all goes well, I'll brew this weekend (likely a dunkelweizen, or a bock of some sort)


Hannah said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hannah said...

how do you think that fusel alcohol aroma got in your golden ale? it couldn't have been your priming sugar, could it? was it present before secondary?

(please be patient with my silly questions! i'm just getting (back) into brewing.)