Thursday, June 4, 2015

Angel's Share

A while ago, there was a restaurant in Leesburg named "Vintage 50", and my wife and I liked to go there now and again.  The food and atmosphere were good, and we enjoy getting out.  I had just started drinking beer, and there was a brew there named Angel's Share that both of us really much so that my wife purchased a growler.  I really enjoyed it with the BBQ chicken flat bread that they had on the menu...the beer had a subtle sweetness to it, and it went really well with the BBQ sauce, and was a good counter to the goat cheese in the flat bread.

Like I said, we really liked this beer...and like most things I've really liked (Trader Joe's had a really awesome lentil soup packet for a while...), they stopped making it.  At one point when the restaurant expanded to include a location in South Riding, I'd either ask the manager at the local restaurant or call the "mother ship" and ask them if they'd be brewing it again.  I even asked the owner, who at one point said, "yeah, in a couple of weeks".  This was early spring several years ago.  Ah, I thought...good.  After "a couple of weeks", I called the main restaurant, and was told that no, they didn't have any plans to brew it.

Lately, as I've gotten into home brewing, I started asking again...but over time, people have moved on, locations were moved or closed, and when I did ask the staff, they'd pull out their smart phones and search on Google for "Angel Share" and get all kinds of results.  I recently found this description of the beer, and thought I'd give it a shot trying to make something that is close enough to enjoy.

From the description, this one sounds pretty interesting.  I have some golden LME and some NorthernBrewer SuperStructure on-hand, so I may start with that for the first attempt.  Another option would be to use the golden LME as a base malt, and then do a late addition of 1/2 lb of golden DME.

Saaz - easy enough, I have some of this on-hand, at least enough for a pale ale, and I can get more pretty quickly.  A recent trip to Kettle and Grains revealed that they had more than enough available.

This calls for a Belgian yeast, and being a small batch brewer, I'm not really thinking about purchasing some liquid yeast suitable for a 5 gallon batch...I'll do that once I get something close to what I'm interested in.  Right now, though, I have some Safbrew Abbaye and one Danstar Belle Saison packet, and I have some Safbrew T-58 on the way.

I recently ordered some Mangrove Jack M27; the reviews on this one sounded pretty good, so I purchased some, and may give it a shot.  I got two, so that I could try one for the Angel's Share, and maybe use the other for a Belgian-inspired ale.

Reviews of the Safbrew T-58 yeast indicate that it imparts a spicy, peppery flavor to the beer, so I was thinking that I'd use this for a rye pale ale, something to accentuate any spice in the rye.

First Attempt

Okay, here's my first shot at the recipe...gotta start somewhere, right?

Brew day - 3 June 2015
45 min boil/5 qts of water

1.6 lb Gold malt extract syrup
2 oz light Belgian candy sugar (@ 45 min)
7 g Saaz (@ 45 min)
7 g Saaz (@ 15 min)
7 g Saaz (@ 0 min)

Cool wort to ~ 80 deg F (ice bath in the sink).  Transfer wort to fermenter, pitch 1/2+ packet of Safbrew Abbaye yeast.

This one won't have a secondary; I'll bottle on 17 June (or within a few days), and let it sit in the bottles for at 2 1/2 - 3 weeks before I try one.  I'm thinking that it'll really be good around 4 weeks in the bottle.

I checked on the beer this morning, less than 12 hrs after putting it into the fermenter.  The image to the left shows you why it's a good idea to put the fermenting beer in a tub in a spare bathroom.

16 Jun: Bottled

Addendum, 1 July: This one isn't bad, although it didn't turn out like what I was looking for.  Definitely drinkable, with a bit of a spicy flavor, telling me that I need to back off of the hops a bit.  Very much a pale ale, although the effects of the Belgian yeast (albeit a dry one) are not really present.  For the next attempt, 7 g of Saaz hops at the beginning of the boil should be enough.

I had used the same yeast on this one as I had on the Tripel, but the time sitting in the fermenter was much shorter.  Perhaps a partial mash with munich, crystal and pale malts, with less extract, would get me a bit closer on the next attempt, as well as perhaps a move to a different yeast, even a liquid one.  Again, I may be able to use Safbrew T-58 for this one.

No comments:

Post a Comment