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West Coast Golden Strong Ale

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TasunkaWitko View Drop Down
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    Posted: 22 August 2017 at 12:58

Brooklyn Brew Shop's West Coast Golden Strong Ale - Tips and Advice

One of my upcoming brews will be a West Coast Golden Strong Ale, from Brooklyn Brew Shop. This is a pre-packaged mix that I bought for my oldest son to commemorate a trip that he took to Seattle.

I can't say for sure, but my guess is that this is a Belgian Strong Ale with West Coast soul, which is provided by the clean-fermenting yeast and the Cascade Hops. Brooklyn Brew Shop describes this beer as "super light-bodied and easy-drinking, deceptively high in alcohol, full of hops and citrus."

I bought this one-gallon mix some time ago; in fact, it has been discontinued by Brooklyn Brew Shop. Since the mix is a little old, I will use fresh yeast and hops. Thinking Belgian, I asked Brooklyn Brew Shop if S33 would be a good yeast to use; their reply was that it would do in a pinch, but for this particular beer, their own yeast would be better, so I will use that. It is clean-fermenting yeast that lets the hops shine, as I recall; I don't know the actual strain of their yeast, but it is pretty fast-acting. As for the hops, they said that I should use 0.5 ounces of Cascade hops, divided equally into 4 additions at 60, 30, 10 and 0 minutes.

I don't have too many stats on it, but it is advertised at 7.25% ABV; to help boost the ABV, clear Belgian candi sugar is added at the end of the boil. Also, my correspondence with Brooklyn Brew Shop tells me that the intended IBUs are 27.3, with a lot of aroma and flavor.

That's about all I know, for now; there will be more to follow, as it happens. I will design a label and post about the brew when I can.

Ron



Edited by TasunkaWitko - 16 November 2017 at 13:59
TasunkaWitko - Chinook, Montana

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 November 2017 at 13:05

As I get closer to BrewDay, here is the label that I created for this beer:

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote d4570 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 November 2017 at 13:39
Good job.
 Looks great.
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Thanks, D!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 February 2018 at 10:57

I brewed this beer yesterday, 11 February, and all went well with it. It was like the planets were perfectly aligned or something, because it was nearly a flawless brew day with no complications that I can think of.

Mash - My mash temperatures seemed to hold well in the 146-152 range, which was right where I wanted them. The grains smelled incredibly good, in spite of the fact that this pre-packaged mix is at least 3 years old.

Sparge - smooth and easy; no sticking, no complications.

Boil - Hop additions were all on time; I followed the hops schedule as indicated in my opening post, using fresh Cascade hops that were bursting with citrus and floral notes. At the end of the boil, I added the Belgian candi sugar as directed.

Chill-down - I got a great cold break and the wort chilled down in seemingly record time. I transferred the wort to my fermenter without incident through a fine-mesh screen on my funnel, which helped to oxygenate it for healthy yeast growth. Everything went very well, and I ended up just a bit over the 1-gallon mark, which was exactly where I wanted to be.

Pitching the yeast - As noted above, I was advised by Brooklyn Brew Shop that - in this case - their own yeast would be the best choice for the intended outcome for this beer. With this recommendation, I pitched a package of fresh yeast and agitated it for about 3 minutes until it was completely dissolved into the beer; the agitation of course also served to further oxygenate the beer.

I then set up my blow-off tube, and placed the fermenter in a dark area of our bedroom closet. I placed it in a bin and insulated it as well as I could in order to keep the temperatures stable. We're holding within a degree or two of 65 degrees, depending on the time of day, and that works for me.

I took a look at my beer this morning, and it looks to be doing great fermentation is in its beginning stages and I am confident that when I get home from work this evening it will be chugging right along.

On BrewDay+3, I will remove the blow-off tube, replace it with an air-lock and allow the yeast to do its work. My current plan is to bottle the beer after 3 weeks, then sample it 3 weeks after that. If anything noteworthy happens before then, I'll post about it here.

More as it happens, etc. &c....

Ron

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 March 2018 at 10:10

On 10 March, I bottled this beer, after cold-crashing it for a few days. I was able to get 9 bottles, with just a scant slug left over for a sample. I think this should be very good beer.

The clarity was pretty good - better than I expected, and the colour was a nice, deep gold, just as one would want with a beer that has a name like this. it had a very nice, enticing aroma that left one wanting more; the mix of malts and cascade hops in this beer is proving to be a great one, with both aspects prominent but neither too assertive.

It's still too early to know how the final, carbonated beer will taste; however, so far it seems like it will be very good-tasting beer, as it is a reflection of the aroma. I was struck by the way that the malts and hops complimented each other and can't wait to try it when it is carbonated and conditioned.

More later -

Ron

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 April 2018 at 10:49

I had intended to sample my first bottle of West Coast Golden Strong Ale this coming weekend; however, my oldest son, Joe - whom I originally bought this mix for - surprised us last night with his presence by driving up from Great Falls. Because of this, it seemed like an auspicious time to open some up and give it a shot. I'll try to get a photo next time, but I will summarize by saying this was one dang good beer; for those who are looking for a good "bridge" to share with their friends who have not yet come over to craft or home-brewed beers, this might be a great choice; having said that, it stands well on its own, as well.

The beer poured very well and looked great; there was a nice, white head on it that wasn't quite fluffy, but definitely was soft and long-lasting, with fair lacing as the beer was consumed. The colour was a beautiful golden that was very inviting. the beer was crystal-clear in the bottle, but lost a little of that clarity when it was opened and poured; not much, though, and I really found myself enjoying the look of this ale.

I'm not exactly sure of the exact malts that Brooklyn Brew Shop used for this beer mix, but based on other recipes for strong ale, I am guessing that it is a simple grain bill, with Belgian Pilsner, light caramel and little else, if anything. In any case, a clean maltiness is provided that is strong and rich without being heavy at all. The Cascade hops - to a tune of about 25 IBUs -  provide just the right balance, in my opinion, and accentuate the refreshing qualities of this ale. It is very, very drinkable, and at 7.25% ABV, a person could get themselves into a lot of trouble enjoying this beer.

In all, a very good beer - made even better by the presence of my first-born, who was the inspiration for buying it and brewing it. It is really too bad that this particular mix is discontinued by Brooklyn Brew Shop, but I'll bet that it - or something very close to it - could be re-created easily enough. It would certainly be worth the effort.

Ron

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BEAR Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 April 2018 at 13:40
Sounds like you and son got to celebrate you B'day a little late but with 'refreshments".
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Yessir! Smile
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 April 2018 at 12:16

Here's a photo of the beer, taken Thursday, 5 April:

 

 

As you can see, it looks pretty good! It tastes great too, although my dad mentioned that it could use a little bit of something at the end, to provide a finish; I didn't notice this at first, but once he mentioned it, I could see what he was saying. Maybe just a touch more hops at the bittering addition?

 

In any case, I was pretty impressed, and would like to brew this (or something similar) again.

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