Sunday, August 2, 2009

Rye or Die

The Ruff Ryders! (What!?!) The Ruff Ryders! (repeat 4 times)

Unfortunately this post will not be about the classic (too far?) 1999 single released by the Ruff Ryders (ah yes, senior year of high school was fun).

Rye, a frequently overlooked grain that has been gaining acceptance in the craft brewing scene. Mention rye and the average person thinks of dense and flavorful bread, crispy crackers and various types of distilled spirits. Rye's ability to thrive in poor soil conditions and cold temperatures has made it a staple in the northern climate zones. Rye has long been associated with beers from Scandinavia, Germany, and Russia.

I personally enjoy rye as a fermentable agent. Rye lends a light, dry, spicy taste to a beer. In the last 5 or 6 years some American craft brewers have taken to brewing hoppy beers with rye. Bear Republic is well known for their Hop Rod Rye IPA. Terrapin Brewing makes a fantastic Rye Pale Ale as well as a big 'ole DIPA dubbed Rye Squared.

Well I experimented with rye last year when I brewed up a continuously hopped IPA named Kelly's R.I.P.A. The comments I received on that beer were largely complementary. About five weeks ago I decided to brew up a rye pale ale. I based it largely on a pale ale I brewed last year. Recipe as follows:

Minimash @ 156 F
-3 lbs. Rye Malt
-1 lbs. German Munich Malt
-.25 lbs. Special B (Super Secret Ingredient, now revealed)

Boil for 60 mins

-5.5 lbs. of extra light DME
-1 oz. of Summit Hops @ 60
-1 oz. of Cascade Hops @ 20
-1 oz. of Summit Hops @ 20
-1 oz. of Cascade Hops @ 0
-1 oz. of Cascade Hops for dry hop in secondary

Yeast - Safale US-05

OG - 1.058
FG - 1.010

ABV - 6.3%

The ABV came out a little higher than I planned, I was shooting for ABV at about 5.8%, but the wort boiled down faster than anticipated and I wound up with less liquid, thus making it more dense.

I kegged and bottled (split the batch) this last week, but unfortunately I haven't had much opportunity to review it so far. The tasting I did over the course of kegging was pretty enjoyable.

Live and let rye,


No comments: