Sydney Rae Session Rye
Style: 15D. Roggenbier (German Rye Beer)
Brew Date: 5/13/2014
Serve Date: 6/17/2014
Expected FG: 1.011
Approximate ABV: 3.1
There is not much foam when I pour this beer. Disappointing, as it is similar to hefeweizen, which would normally have very high carbonation. I didn’t give this any extra priming, but maybe I should have. It is carbonated and definitely tingles as you drink it, but it could be livelier.
This beer is very cloudy with a tan color. It sports orange highlights and could even look brown in lower light. It is cloudy like a hefeweizen, not like that way too old Kölsch from the other week. It almost looks like an Arnold Palmer.
It is definitely not that sweet, but it has sort of a lemon zesty-taste you might expect from an Arnold Palmer. The weizen yeast is prominent, but the spicy rye brings out a different twist. There is some clove upfront followed by banana, but it seems more acidic. That is where the lemon comes in. It’s fruity but it seems acidic giving it a bit of citrus. It is somewhat dry and definitely leans more toward that lemon than sweet orange or bitter grapefruit.
All of that comes through in the aroma and the flavor. It smells and tastes great. As it hits the back of the palate, though, it seems a little thin. This is a very low gravity beer and that comes through late. I’m definitely glad I used Munich Malt in place of the Pilsner I originally planned. I’d like it to look a lighter, but the added body and hints of bread are needed to keep this from being too light on the palate.
There is no trace of hops in this beer. While I obviously didn’t want it to be a hoppy beer, I think a bit more bitterness could have helped balance it better and some minor spicy Tettnang or Saaz hop flavor could have helped give it some complexity in the finish. I calculated this at 15 IBUs, I would probably bump that up to about 20, maybe with a small charge of Tettnang hops around twenty minutes from the end of the boil.
The low carbonation is not ideal, either. I’d definitely try to carbonate closer to hefeweizen level next time.
Despite these issues, though, this is an enjoyable Summer session beer and a nice change of pace from the wheat beers that pop up everywhere this time of year.