Beermas 2013-2014 – Day 11 – Blitzen – Steamworks Brewing Co.
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Stats: 650ML / 9% alc. vol / 20 IBUs / Pilsner Malts / Fuggles Sterling Hops / Candi Sugar
I’ve got my dad to thank for Today’s brew.
I thought I’d investigate the ingredients in this beer to help gain a better understanding of what certain malts and hops taste like so that I could imagine it when I read the bottle.
What of the Pilsener Malts you say? I looked at a few links, ukmalt.com has a lot of in depth information on malts and malting but the summary that best describes it in simple terms is from drinks.seriouseats.com
Don’t let the name fool you: Pilsner malt can be used in a wide variety of beer styles—not just pilsner. But its delicate flavor and pale color make it prized for the production of clean lagers. The lightest in color of all malt types, you’ll see pilsner malt pop up not only in lighter lagers like (yes,) pilsner and Münchner Helles, but also in heftier lightly-colored styles like Belgian strong pale ales.
To taste it, try a maltier Czech-style pilsner—German pilsners carry a bit more perceived hop bitterness, and its the malt we’re looking to taste here. Finding an unskunked Pilsner Urquell (look for cans!) would be an excellent way to taste the grainy, honeyed flavor characteristic of pilsner malt.
And the hops? According to the Hop Guide on the Beer Advocate website.
Fuggles: Fuggle is an aroma-type cultivar selected in England as a chance seedling in 1861. It reached its peak in the U.K. in 1949 when 78% of the English crops were grown as Fuggle. It is also marketed as Styrian (Savinja) Golding in the Slovenian Republic. In the USA it is grown in Oregon and Washington State.
Superb in English-style ales, and lends a unique character not imparted by the more subtle American-grown Fuggles. (alpha acid: 3.8-5.5% / beta acid: 1.5-2.0%)
Sterling: Sterling is an aroma cultivar, a diploid seedling made in 1990 with a 21522 female plant and a 21361 male plant. Its parentage is 1/2 Saazer, 1/4 Cascade, 1/8 64035M (unknown German aroma X open pollination),1/16 Brewers Gold, 1/32 Early Green, and 1/32 unknown. (alpha acid: 4.5-5.0% / beta acid: 5.0-6.0%)
And the Candi Sugar? Wikipedia states it is a Belgian sugar typically used in dubbel and trippel brews.
Tying all that together, I’d guess this beer is going to be a Belgian style Strong Ale with some English hops – though the IBU’s are low so… Oh well, let’s stop with all the science and experience the beer.
The beer pours pure gold with a thumb and a bit of head and a fair amount of activity in the glass.
Smells like a Blegian dubbel.
Tastes like a mildly spiced Belgian beer but finishes off like a pilsener… Interesting – I like it. The beer is indeed mildly hopped. It’s well balanced and goes down smooth.
Rebuy status achieved.
Cheers and see you on Beermas Day 12.