Thursday, July 16, 2015

Angel's Share #2

My first attempt at replicating the Angel's Share brew was  not a failure as a beer, but it did miss mark with respect to what I was aiming for, per my the tasting notes.  From the web site where I found the description of the beer that I'm attempting to replicate; not a recipe but just a description:

Our version of a Belgian-style Pale Ale. Brewed with pale, crystal and munich malts and a touch of flaked barley and then spiced with a light touch of Saaz hops. This beer is then fermented with a Belgian yeast strain from the A Chouffe brewery in the Ardennes region. Light burnished bronze in color with an accent on malt sweetness and a focus on fruit flavors from the yeast’s fermentation.

This description explains why we liked the beer so much.  Also, I thought it went very well with the BBQ chicken flat bread that was on the menu; it had a sweetness from the BBQ sauce, as well as some goat cheese and red onion, and the beer went very well with all of that.

Brew Day: 15 July 

Malt Bill
½ lb FB CaraMunich 80L
½ lb Rahr 2-row
½ lb German pale malt
½ lb Belgian Munich malt
½ lb GoldPils Vienna malt

Total weight of grain: 41.1 oz

Note: This is my first attempt at an all-grain recipe, using a brew-in-a-bag approach (methodology below).  I was able to find a 2 gal RubberMaid cooler with a spigot, and after cleaning and sanitizing it, I used it for this brew.  I'm hoping that the end product will not only be closer to the Angel's Share I remember, but also exhibit some lacing.

Bring 4 qt water to 156 deg F, add to cooler and then add grain (in a bag).  After 30 min, add 1 qt water at 160 deg F.  At approx. 50 min, begin manually cycling the wort through the cooler.  Bring 2 qt of water in the brew kettle to 170 deg F.  At 60 min, steep the grain bag in the kettle water for 10-15 min.  Remove grain bag, add wort (total volume of wort was slightly more than 3 qt).  Bring to low boil for 60 min.

2 oz light Belgian candy sugar (@ 60 min)

Hops: 4 g Czech Saaz (@ 60 min)

Yeast: Safbrew T-58

9 hrs after boil, bubbling away
Addendum, 31 July: Bottling day.  I did something a little bit different this time around.  I boiled a cup of water, and put a spoon in it to sanitize the spoon and container.  I then poured out 1/2 of the water, and dissolved 1 oz of table sugar in the water.  I put that in a water bath for a few minutes while sanitizing a clean fermenter, and once it was cool, I added the priming sugar to the clean fermenter.  I then transferred the beer to the clean fermenter and let it set for about 15 - 20 min.  I then bottled the same way I always do, but without adding fizz drops.  I ended up with 10 good bottles, and they're conditioning.  

Addendum, 20 Aug: Taste test - beer pours with a brown amber color and a beige, non-persistent head.  Minor, non-persistent lacing.  Good carbonation.  Malt forward, slightly sweet flavor with some mild spice.  Overall, not bad but still not close to what I was trying for with respect to flavor.  The darker color and the caramel malt flavor comes primarily from the CaraMunich malt, so I'll need to back off of that in the future.  The flavor of the beer has a very mild malty sweetness, and a very little bit of spice...maybe moving to an Abbey-style yeast will be the way to go going forward, to maybe pick up a little sweetness or fruitiness from the yeast.

Something else to cover here is the priming sugar used during bottling.  My very first batch was 5 gal, and I used the 5 oz of priming sugar provided in the recipe kit.  After that, when I moved to 1 gal kits and used the primer tablets, I wasn't entirely happy with the level of carbonation in the beer.  The biggest recommendation I received from folks was to let the brew bottle condition longer, and what I've done is hold on to a bottle or two of some of my beers for future taste testing.  However, I used the priming sugar method for this brew, and was very happy with the level of carbonation during this first taste test.  


  1. sounds great. Might have to try this one.

    1. David, thanks for the comment. I'll be posting tasting notes when I get a chance to try it.

      As a side note, I opted to contain all information regarding each brew on their own web page, including tasting notes, as there are services you can use that will convert the blog to a book.