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Golden Ale

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locost

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CAMRA's Champion Beer of Britian is Crouch Vale's Brewers Gold, the first time a beer from what is essentially a newly recognised style (Golden Ale) has won the award.

Also known as British Summer Bitter (a sub-category of blonde ale) by the BJCP, Golden Ales only have a 20 year history in the UK with the first such Ale being Hopback's Summer Lightning.

The point seems to be to create something of a cross-over style, that is an ale based alternative to your Bog Standard Eurolager during the summer months.

Continental hopping seems a very popular (but not necessarily compulsory) characteristic of these beers, along with grist bills dominated by very high proportions of Pale Ale Malt, and fermatation using standard English yeast strains.

From what I can tell, Brewers Gold is a 4%ABV, beer made from 100% Marris Otter and hopped with German sourced Brewers Gold hops.


So has anyone tried to formulate one of these babies, or do you have any more data points to add?

http://www.crouch-vale.co.uk/Crouch-ValeBeers.htm

http://www.beer-pages.com/protz/news/festival-2005.htm

http://www.camra.org.uk/SHWebClass.ASP?WCI...Doc&DocID=11986
 

colinw

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locost said:
CAMRA's Champion Beer of Britian is Crouch Vale's Brewers Gold, the first time a beer from what is essentially a newly recognised style (Golden Ale) has won the award.

Also known as British Summer Bitter (a sub-category of blonde ale) by the BJCP, Golden Ales only have a 20 year history in the UK with the first such Ale being Hopback's Summer Lightning.

The point seems to be to create something of a cross-over style, that is an ale based alternative to your Bog Standard Eurolager during the summer months.

Continental hopping seems a very popular (but not necessarily compulsory) characteristic of these beers, along with grist bills dominated by very high proportions of Pale Ale Malt, and fermatation using standard English yeast strains.

From what I can tell, Brewers Gold is a 4%ABV, beer made from 100% Marris Otter and hopped with German sourced Brewers Gold hops.


So has anyone tried to formulate one of these babies, or do you have any more data points to add?

http://www.crouch-vale.co.uk/Crouch-ValeBeers.htm

http://www.beer-pages.com/protz/news/festival-2005.htm

http://www.camra.org.uk/SHWebClass.ASP?WCI...Doc&DocID=11986
[post="74280"][/post]​
I have a book called Real Ales For the Home Brewer by Marc Olloson (a Welsh HBS owner), which includes recipes for some British summer ales. The book includes clones for some of the Crouch Vale beers. I'll have a look when I get home and post something if it has any relevant recipes.

You can buy the book here. I find it just as useful as the Wheeler & Protz books when formulating English recipes. It has a lot of clone recipes for more obscure UK regional breweries, rather than just focusing on the big names.

cheers,
Colin
 

mje1980

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I brew a house ale that is 4kg Maris, 200g munich, 200g cara pils. FWH'd cascades, aim for 1040, and 30 ibu's, ferment with essex ale for a dry finish. Maybe not exactly to the "style", but a horrendously easy beer to drink, while having a top flavour and very light. Perfect for summer. Maybe i will look up the actual style guidelines and have a proper crack.
 

colinw

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I don't think this is a terribly well defined style anyway. Anything which uses 100% English pale malt, or just a little bit of crystal or carapils, has mid 30 IBUs and non-traditional hops (European or American) should fit the bill. The "Real Ales For the Home Brewer" book gives a few recipes for non-traditional pale golden ales which are hopped with Saaz, Hallertauer, Mt Hood and in one case Cascade. All the similar recipes in the book are in the 1.042 - 1.048 range, mostly 100% pale malt or include a little bit of crystal or carapils, and a fairly cool (65C) mash for a fairly dry finish. None have any darker malts.

The book I mentioned above has a similar beer by Crouch Vale called Millenium Gold, but it uses more conventional English hops. I'd suggest given the similarity of names replacing the Challenger & Goldings with a Hallertauer variant or Northern Brewer may provide interesting results.

From Real Ales For the Hope Brewer:

Crouch Vale Millenium Gold
For 23 litres

4730g Pale malt
Mash at 65C for 90 minutes

Boil for 2 hours!

72g Challenger plugs/flowers at start of boil
14g Goldings plug/flower at 15 minutes

OG 1.042, FG 1.009, 35 IBUs

I'm suspicious of the amount of bittering hops given. When I plug this into ProMash with normal 6%+ Challenger I get about 55 IBUs!

cheers,
Colin
 

kook

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I don't really have any brewing tips, apart from use copious amounts of american hops ;)

I've had a fair few (over 70) of these, and to be honest they're a mixed bag. Many brewers over here are making one purely because they feel they must have one for summer. That said, it takes care (expecially during fermentation) to make a good Golden Ale. Many reak of dicetyl, and some are just plain boring.

The best ones I've tasted have been 100% Pale Malt, with american hops such as amarillo. Clean (18degree) british ale yeast fermentation, making sure the time is taken for any dicetyl to be eaten up.

My favourite of these is Crouch Vale Brewers Gold Extra. It's 5.2%, and absoultely bloody brilliant. Second to that would be Crouch Vale Amarillo. CV really seem to know how to do their golden ales.

Other Notables:
Dark Star Hophead
Kelham Pale Rider
Crouch Vale Brewers Gold
Milk Street Amarillo


The taste is very reminiscent of an APA, only with fuller body and great british malt and yeast flavours.

edit- Oh, and theyre either cask or bottle conditioned, of course! Which also makes a big difference to the flavour profile. If you're going to force carbonate, make sure it's a low level of carbonation (same if you're bottle conditioning).

Personally I'd just drink it out of secondary ;)
 

Sean

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locost said:
CAMRA's Champion Beer of Britian is Crouch Vale's Brewers Gold, the first time a beer from what is essentially a newly recognised style (Golden Ale) has won the award.
One hopes it's not the death of them. Winning CBoB is generally bad news for a micro-brewery. A 2nd or 3rd place is much better.

Also known as British Summer Bitter (a sub-category of blonde ale) by the BJCP, Golden Ales only have a 20 year history in the UK with the first such Ale being Hopback's Summer Lightning.
Not true. There are UK beers that would fit any reasonable definition of the category that have been around for years such as Landlord and Bathams Bitter. Other micros were experimenting with the style before Hop Back brewery was founded. Summer Lightening was one of the beers that popularised the style, but Exmoor Gold was at least as important, and I'm 90% sure predates Hop Back brewery, let alone Summer Lightening. It was certainly a well known beer before Summer Lightening.

The point seems to be to create something of a cross-over style, that is an ale based alternative to your Bog Standard Eurolager during the summer months.
Not convinced about that either. Some are, some aren't.

Continental hopping seems a very popular (but not necessarily compulsory)
I'd guess it's a minority. Most use goldings or other quality English or English-replacement hops (though rarely Fuggles).

characteristic of these beers, along with grist bills dominated by very high proportions of Pale Ale Malt,
Mostly straight Pale Ale Malt or Pale Ale Malt plus a bit of wheat. Occasionally straight lager malt. Sometimes just a touch of one crystal or toasted malt.


and fermatation using standard English yeast strains.
Not much choice. Very few English breweries brew anything with anything other than their standard yeast strain.

So has anyone tried to formulate one of these babies, or do you have any more data points to add?
My personal one ('inspired' by Exmoor Gold):
Lyonesse Gold
90% Pale Ale Malt (English or Powells)
10% Wheat Malt
1.045 OG
Mash at 66
Hops (for 25 litres):
60g Northdown for 90mins
40g Northdown for 15mins
20g Northdown in the hopback.

(Note most of these beers are not dry hopped.)



The book I mentioned above has a similar beer by Crouch Vale called Millenium Gold, but it uses more conventional English hops. I'd suggest given the similarity of names replacing the Challenger & Goldings with a Hallertauer variant or Northern Brewer may provide interesting results.
As far as I can see Millennium Gold started life as Millennium 991 (to celebrate 1000 years after we got our arses kicked by the Vikings at the Battle of Maldon - incidentally the last interesting thing to happen in the town), became Millennium Gold for the year 2000, and then mutated into Brewers Gold.
 

johnno

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I am currently drinking this beer I made back in April.
I wanted to make a lower gravity beer. I has been a while carbonating and is very easy to drink. Very lightly carbonated. Goes down very easy.
Its a nice golden color as well


3.00 kg Pale Malt, Traditional Ale (Joe White) (5.9 EBC) Grain 85.7 %
0.25 kg Crystal (Joe White) (141.8 EBC) Grain 7.1 %
0.25 kg Wheat Malt, Malt Craft (Joe White) (3.5 EBC) Grain 7.1 %
24.00 gm Challenger [7.00%] (60 min) Hops 19.0 IBU
14.00 gm Ahtanum [6.00%] (50 min) Hops 9.0 IBU
14.00 gm Ahtanum [6.00%] (15 min) Hops 4.7 IBU
7.00 gm Nelson Sauvin [12.70%] (5 min) Hops 2.0 IBU
1 Pkgs British Ale II (Wyeast Labs #1335) Yeast-Ale (1.5 litre starter)



Beer Profile

Est Original Gravity: 1.039 SG
Measured Original Gravity: 1.038 SG
Est Final Gravity: 1.010 SG
Measured Final Gravity: 1.005 SG
Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 3.8 % Actual Alcohol by Vol: 4.3 %
Bitterness: 34.8 IBU


cheers
johnno
 

Jazman

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I love that Kiwi hop nelson sauvin
 

Ross

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i've been drinking a "summer ale" made from 100% marris otter & challenger hops - lovely, spicey, refreshing drop - After trying the crouch vale at the GBBF, i reckon my next brew that will be finished with amarillo should give a similar taste...
The best english beer at the festival IMO was Dark Star's hophead bitter - brewed in a small Brighton pub, the Evening Star (Camra Surrey/Sussex pub of the year 2005) - This beer is similar to brewers gold, but much hoppier & balanced to perfection... :D
 

kook

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Did you make it down to the Evening Star Ross?

It's a very cool cozy pub. The manager there is a good bloke, always trying to find new foreign beers to sell there!
 

Ross

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kook said:
Did you make it down to the Evening Star Ross?

It's a very cool cozy pub. The manager there is a good bloke, always trying to find new foreign beers to sell there!
[post="74363"][/post]​
yes kook, got there 2 nights before i left - booked into the local travel lodge & spent a wonderful evening there - fantastic range of beers & probably the most interesting oddball set of characters I've met, in 1 pub :D

edit: Was such a good night, didn't even get back to the travel lodge ;) but then that's another story...
 

locost

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So:-

A target gravity of 1.045
About 30 IBU's (say Challenger for Bittering and East Kent Goldings for flavour and aroma for a more British feel; or, American/German hops if you're feeling the need to play)
A grist bill of 80% Pale Ale Malt, 15% Pils Malt, 5% wheat malt
Mashed at 66oC to 67oC
Fermented on the cool side with any decent British ale yeast.

That sound about right?

PS how are these beers percived in the UK?

I'm hearing some noise that a few traditionalists hate the buggers.
 

Ross

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Locost,

Sounds good, but on the info I found, they normally use 100% pale...

Finding popularity & this years win should really start to gain it some admirers - unfortunately, a lot of the ones I tried on my recent visit, were rather insiped, sweet & lacking the hop profile this style really requires - When done right it's an awesome drop...
 

locost

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I was thinking of 100% Pale Ale, but I'm planning to use JW which is a tad darker than English ale malt, and I always think a dash of wheat is a nice touch in this kind of ale
 

colinw

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locost said:
I was thinking of 100% Pale Ale, but I'm planning to use JW which is a tad darker than English ale malt, and I always think a dash of wheat is a nice touch in this kind of ale
[post="74439"][/post]​
I've noticed the same with with Joe White Trad. Ale Malt. Definitely darker than the English pale malt I've been using, and seems to impart a heavier malt character more like a vienna or pale munich.

I've found I get a more accurate imitation of English malt character if I use a 50/50 mix of JW Trad Ale Malt and JW Export Pils, but like Fawcett's malts better anyway - just bought a bag of Fawcett's Halcyon.

cheers,
Colin
 

warrenlw63

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Make the most of the Fawcett's Colin, it's good stuff. :beerbang:

Unfortunately Maltcraft in all their infinite wisdom have decided to switch back to crappy Baird's again. Why?? :unsure:

Hazy beers are here again. The skies are full of cheer again. :angry:

Warren -
 

locost

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Mixing JW Taditional Ale and Export Pils as high as 50/50 to substitute for British Ale Malt? :unsure:

It makes some sense, I think JW's Ale malt is designed to mimic a Belgian ale malt more than a British :D
 

colinw

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warrenlw63 said:
Make the most of the Fawcett's Colin, it's good stuff. :beerbang:

Unfortunately Maltcraft in all their infinite wisdom have decided to switch back to crappy Baird's again. Why?? :unsure:

Hazy beers are here again. The skies are full of cheer again. :angry:

Warren -
[post="74449"][/post]​
:( The Fawcett's malts I've used are a cut above the equivalent Bairds products - the difference between the Fawcett's 55L crystal and Bairds 55L is "chalk & cheese".

Mind you, I've been brewing with Bairds Maris Otter and haven't noticed any problems with haze or flavour, although I've only used it in darker brews which nearly always come out haze free for me anyway.

This will be the first time I've used Halcyon, so I'm not quite sure what to expect compared to Maris Otter (yum!) or JW Traditional Ale Malt.

locost said:
As high as 50/50?

It makes some sense, I think JW's Ale malt is designed to mimic a Belgian ale malt more than a British
[post="74453"][/post]​
I simply haven't experimented with different proportions. The first 50/50 brew happened by accident - I ran out of Trad. Ale Malt and threw in Export Pilsner. The resulting English Pale Ale was far closer to the commercial prototypes than the all Trad. Ale Malt versions I had been brewing before which were all too malty with an almost Munich like nutty character. For English Pale Ale, when I'm not using UK malts I now use 45% Trad. Ale, 45% Export Pils, 3% English 55L Crystal and 7% Flaked Maize, then darken to desired colour with a trace of chocolate or black malt. For UK malts its 90/3/7 and add the dark malts where necessary.

cheers,
Colin
 

kook

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locost said:
PS how are these beers percived in the UK?

I'm hearing some noise that a few traditionalists hate the buggers.
I don't know where you're hearing that from, I've seen people of all ages drinking them. The CAMRA senior judges seem to love them too.

One good point about them though, is that they're attracting new cask drinkers. People who wouldn't normally drink a bitter will happily try something like Fullers Discovery as it's pale and has more in common with lager.

They're not that new as Sean pointed out, it's just that in the last few years everyone has jumped on the bandwagon in creating one.

Personally, I think the good ones (such as listed earlier) are brilliant beers. The others are really quite average, boring "pseudo cask lagers".
 
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