Below are my tasting notes for my Premium American Lager. Below that are the score sheets I got for the beer from the Mount Hope Brewfest homebrew contest where it placed second in the Light Lager category.
Original Post: Elkland Golden Lager Brew Day
Style: 1C. Premium American Lager
Brew Date: March 19, 2014
Tasting Date: June 16, 2014
This beer is well carbonated and pours with a nice head, though it doesn’t last long. It is pretty clear, but a little darker in color than is standard for this style. It is bright yellow.
The aroma is minimal but there are hints of grain. There is also apple aroma there, which is out of place, but I find it’s pretty minimal.
The first sip is crisp and immediately refreshing. The apple comes in for the aftertaste. It is a problem, but again, it doesn’t linger too much. The beer still leaves refreshment as the main impression. This is a crushable beer.
It shows it’s size very little. It is definitely not a lite beer and while that may not be a surprise, the 5.3% ABV may be surprisingly noticeable after you’ve had several. By “may be,” I mean is. From experience. You may not think an extra 1% ABV makes a big difference, but this feels like a beer to drink in six pack increments. That 1% ABV adds up quick on a hot Summer day of drinkin’ and sweatin’. 4.5% ABV makes a lot of sense as the Session Beer cut off, but that is another topic.
Anyway, I thought some of the off flavor in the finish of this beer may have been related to the rice, which I’d never used before. As you can see from the score sheets below, though, more knowledgable beer judges attribute it to fermentation issues. Even with the flaws, though, I enjoy this beer. I’m not done playing with the recipe, though.
I think I’ll drop Munich Malt next year and substitute it and a good portion of the 6 Row Pale Malt with Pilsner to get it a bit lighter and round out some of the edges. I also think I’ll up the hopping rate a bit. This is not necessary, I think the hops are perfectly suitable for this style, but I want to see what happens with a little bit more flavor from the Cluster hops.
As you can probably tell, I’m pretty interested in this beer and this style. Don’t write off American Lager, it doesn’t have to be a lite beer. It has its place and that place is in the backyard on a hot Summer day.