Monday, November 12, 2007

Sterling Pearl

For Teach a Friend to Homebrew Day, I decided to invite a handful of friends and some new folks I've met recently. I had a great time sharing this experience with them. Everyone had great questions, perused the brewing literature, and had a small hand in the process.

Sterling Pearl is intended to be an easy drinking session style beer, with a pleasant burst of hop flavors and aroma. It'll be nice to chug down a couple of these in-between sips of heftier brews made for the cold season.

Malts are kept light yet medium sweet in flavor. Though mild, its medium body should help support brisk hopping. Hop presence will come from an aggressive "late-hopping" strategy. Hop flavor and aroma should be intense, and the bittering, smooth and mild. I became aware of late-hopping through Mr. Malty, and it appeals to me for a few reasons. 1. Minimal oxidation by an absence of dry hops. 2. No need for secondary fermenting or extended aging with dry hops. 3. Also, I'm very interested in better ways of gaining much more "floral/spicy" aroma.

I've had a late hopped beer before, and the body was way too thin. So I'm hoping to get enough body into this lighter style. A higher temp for the saccharification rest will provide more unfermentables. Suspended proteins from flaked barley should help too.

Originally, the sharp/minty qualities of Perle hops were in my mind for this ale. But after getting some Sterling in the mail, I prefer their fresher/brighter aroma. In addition, I've only read good things about Sterling, so they will provide the largest contribution to the hop presence. Kept a little Perle for its herbal accents.

Sterling Pearl

7.0 lb. Organic 2-Row
.60 lb. Amer. Crystal 20L
.30 lb. Organic Crystal 60L
.25 lb. Belgian Biscuit
.30 lb. Flaked Barley

0.75 oz. Sterling pellets, 5.3%, 20min
0.25 oz. Perle pellets, 7.7%, 20min
1.50 oz. Sterling pellets, 5.3%, 10min
0.30 oz. Perle pellets, 7.7%, 10min
1.75 oz. Sterling pellets, 5.3%, KO
0.35 oz. Perle pellets, 7.7%, KO

Wyeast 1332: Northwest Ale (Sediment from 2 step 1.5qt yeast starter)

Brew Day Stats

Brewed: 11/11/07
Racked: 11/23/07
Bottled: 12/4/07

Water Adjustment: ¼tsp Gypsum & ¼tsp CaCl in strike & sparge

H2O/Grain Ratio: 1.4 qt/gal
Mash Ph: ---
Sacch. Rest Temp/Time: 154°F/1 hour
Mash Out Temp/Vol: 211°F/1.3 gal
Mash Out Temp/Time: 166°F/10min w/vorlauf

2nd Batch Sparge Temp/Vol: 176°F/3.25gal

Pre-Boil Vol: 6.25 gal
Pre-Boil SG: 1.041
Boil Time: 1.5-2 hours
Post-Boil Vol: 4.75 gal

OG: 1.055
Plato: 13.63°
IBU: 37
Color/SRM: Pale-Golden/5-7
Mash Efficiency: approx. 85% (same value from tastybrew & promash)
FG: 1.014
ABW: 4.3%
ABV: 5.38%

Fermentation Temp: 12 days @ 62°F;5 days @ 70°F;7 days @ 55°F
Cost: $25.50, .50¢/12oz., $3.00/6-pack

Tasting Notes

Appearance: Bright & pale golden color with a touch of copper/orange, hazy, a strong white head forms and hangs around a while till it falls into good lacing patterns
Aroma: Fresh, vibrant, citrus blend, floral, sweetness like soft honey
Taste: Bright, very hoppy upfront, soft bittering allows sweet and light malts to balance the fuller fresh hop flavors
Mouthfeel: Sweet residuals and full carbonation give this beer a moderately full and rich mouthfeel
Aftertaste: Balanced beer with a clean aftertaste, perhaps some citrus
Drinkability: Very drinkable and nearly everyone at my New Years chili party wanted much more than one, its just too bad there was only a very limited supply.


Travis said...

What sort of flavors would you say the flaked barley lends to the recipe? I have some flaked barley and flaked rye left over from a few recipes and I have not been able to figure out what brew to add them to.

Ted Danyluk said...


Flaked barley in this recipe is to add some body and head retention, much like CaraPils would do. I use one or the other, or sometimes both.

At only 3.6% of the grist, I don't expect any noticeable flavors. 10% and above, and you may get some flavor. Only once used it at/above 10% was in a roasty dry stout, so I didn't notice anything. I've only read that it can contribute a "grainy" flavor. I suppose oats or wheat could be smoother. But I went with the barley.

I also noticed a ton of hot-break material in the boil. A lot more than recipes without the flaked grain.

Adam said...

I like the fact that you keep track of the cost. There's been some interesting discussion over at pfadvice about this. You know, can you save money by brewing your own. I say yes.

Ted Danyluk said...


It's all part of the stats that go into each batch. Some cost quite a bit, and some are great tasting, cost saving, quickie beers that you feel extra good about.

I'm currently finishing up a geeky/fun post that details the cost of 3 methods of making beer called "Cheapest Batch." Stay tuned for that.

Travis said...

I'll second that.

One the subject of price, any insight on what the hop shortage is going to do to home brewers? Obviously it effects the micro-brews and their bottom line, but I was thinking that an additional $.50 per ounce of hops could add up in a 10 gallon batch.

Ted Danyluk said...

It will probably cause an increase in the price of hops for home brewers and in a more serious angle...any micro-brewery that doesn't have a secure/long-term hop supplier contract.

So, what can we do? I suppose several things...

1. Reduce cost of brewing (efficiency, batch size)
2. Make beers low in IBUs (Scottish Ales)
3. Look at alternative bittering agents
4. Getting creative & brewing no-hop beers
5. Grow your own hop vines

This is just something we have to get used to. It's a cause to be creative with our brewing. Are we up to the challenge?

Travis said...

I am actually a big fan of the low hop lagers and hybrids. It does suck though.

I planted three vines out side of my house this year, Centenial, Cascade and Fuggles. This was a pretty bad year, but I have heard that the first year is always pretty weak.

There are also some local hops growers (here in the NE anyway where there is little to no commercial hops grown) who are farmers that just like to grow the stuff. There are a few guys around here I found a little late and they had just cut them down. I told them next year I would take them off their hands.

I am up for creativity, maybe when the prices start to jump we can trade some recipes around our blogs.