Style guidelines on A.Ale

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by Scrumpy, Jan 24, 2013.

  1. Scrumpy

    Scrumpy New Member

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    I switched things up on my good ol' American Ale recipe, and added a bunch of orange zest at flameout. It actually tastes great, I was wondering if this is still technically an American Pale Ale, or have I just made a cat20 fruit beer? :?:
     
  2. Head First

    Head First Well-Known Member

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    Ale in Germany = water, barley,hops and yeast. Ale in the good ol' USA = ? From what I've read we have a variation of all styles here. In competition, good luck. I think ya went fruity.
     
  3. Scrumpy

    Scrumpy New Member

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    .....not the first person to say I went fruity. :?
     
  4. chessking

    chessking New Member

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    In competitions organized by style, If the addition is faint and barely noticeable, then you can submit it in its style category. If the added flavor is dominant, then It should be submitted in the appropriate category such as Fruit/ spice/ smoke/ or special.

    Scotch ale by its BJCP description has a " Peaty aroma is sometimes perceived as earthy, smoky or very lightly roasted. " However this smoke aroma is slight and in most recipes this comes from the roasted malt and the melanoidans in the boil, and not from smoke or peated malt added to the mash. If you add smoke malt to the mash, and the smoke flavor/aroma is anything other than slight, its a " 22. Other Smoke Beer".

    If the Judge tastes a stout and perceives a slight chocolate flavor it may improve his scoring, however if the chocolate flavor is strong and dominant he will score it down as inappropriate to the style.

    Taste your beer with the orange zest and imagine you didn't know what was in it. Or have someone else taste it and don't tell them anything. Then ask them to describe it. Is the flavor/ aroma up front and noticeable? Then its a "20. Fruit/ 23. Special beer". If its only slight or not noticeable at all then its an American Pale Ale. It doesn't matter what you put in the beer, its the taste of that beer when its done.

    Also important is if you enter this in the American Pale Ale category, don't mention the zest addition. You don't want to put anything in the judges head before the beer is tasted.
     
  5. Scrumpy

    Scrumpy New Member

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    Chessking,
    Thank you very much for the helpful response, just the advise I was looking for!
    The zest addition tends to not be noticed unless I tell the drinker prior. It actually compliments the hops well, enhancing the citrusy varieties used. My main concern was, would I be "cheating" by calling this a pale ale? It sounds like I'm in the clear. Now that this is settled I can RAHAHB. Cheers
     
  6. Scrumpy

    Scrumpy New Member

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    A follow up just for shits and grins-
    I ended up entering this beer as an American Aleā€¦and it kind of bombed. It scored on the high side of "good" but the worst of my 3 entries. I did not mention the orange peel as advised, and it's very interesting what was perceived. All four judges commented on citrus qualities, and two judges noted the citra and simcoe hops. (only cascade and centennial were used.) One says, "too many IBU's for style", another "well presented and a good representation of style"
    It's biggest downfall was 'astringency', and 'dryness'. I think the astringency is the orange peel, possibly too much pith? The dryness is my own devising and I will never apologize for it. I LIKE DRY BEER! I purposefully mash at low temps because I hate sweet ales. (1.010, yum, sign me up!) I know I'm unique in this preference, give me a nice dry Orval over a black butte porter or cloying lactose stout any day of the week! (Okay, I like sweet BW's and RIS and doppelbocks)
    Anyhoo, thanks for reading my rant, a bit frustrated at the moment. The orange ale been a house favorite. (I'm drinking my last pint as I write.) What's great is the 'never requested' syrupy sweet entry of mine won a blue ribbon, go figure.
    In conclusion..I'm going to keep brewing for me and my tastes. (last sip of the batch, ahhhhh :) )
     
  7. chessking

    chessking New Member

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    Brew what you like to drink. Always!
    But entering competitions requires pleasing judges, and conforming to style. Two different worlds.
     

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