With the second runnings of the inaugural batch of Old SMaSHy, I brewed this Belgian Pale Ale. Or at least that is what I called it. Belgian Pale Ale is not a style that I’m very familiar with and this beer was basically an American Pale Ale fermented with Belgian yeast.
The yeast in question was White Labs’ Belgian Golden Ale, or Duvel’s strain. This yeast is normally used in much higher gravity beers and usually with some sugar adjuncts. I was interested to see what it would do in a lower alcohol beer with a quick turnaround.
Keeping with the theme of the single malt and single hop Barley Wine, I stuck with a single hop for this beer, too. Pacific Jade is not a hop that I was familiar with (sensing a theme here…) and that is why I picked it. I wanted to test it out. Then I came up with the name Jade Otter and knew that I had made the right choice.
The recipe formulation was not as well thought out, though. The beer ended up way too bitter and the actual flavor and aroma of the hops (and even the yeast) were mostly lost. This is the same issue I had with Biere De Table Cat and after this, I finally learned my lesson. I cut out the sixty minute addition and added all of my hops within the last fifteen minutes of the boil on this year’s Table Cat and the results were great. I plan to copy that idea for this year’s Jade Otter as well.
I ended up with about a case of this beer and drank a good bit of it, but managed to hold onto some. I recently drank a bottle and was surprised by how good it was. The hops were gone but that included the overly bitter bite, which allowed the yeast to shine. The body is a little fuller and there is obviously a lot less alcohol, but the Duvel yeast character really did finally come through. I will do tasting notes with another bottle soon.
Despite turning out well in the end, I am drastically overhauling the recipe for this year’s batch. This is still a smaller change than I originally planned, though. The idea was going to be to try a different hop each year with the second runnings from Old SMaSHy, but I don’t think Pacific Jade got a fair shake last year. Also, I just love the Jade Otter name and label.
Jade Otter (2013)
Style: Belgian Pale Ale
Brew Date: November 27, 2013
Serve Date: December, 2013
100% Maris Otter
Hops (approximately 2.5 gallon batch):
.25 oz Pacific Jade @ 60 min
.75 oz Pacific Jade @ 15 min
1 oz Pacific Jade @ Flameout
White Labs WLP570: Belgian Golden Ale (Duvel)