Tonight I brewed up a recipe that I have been mulling over for quite some time, a juniper Rye pale ale. The idea is merge a floral hoppiness of a pale ale with the unique juniper aroma and essence. The following is a summary of the boil and pitch process. Just as the northern lights can be a splash of color and life during a long, cold winter, I want the Northern Lights Juniper Rye PA to be a bright, vibrant brew that awakens a winter palette that has been overwhelmed with thick stouts and complex porters. I will, as always, keep everyone up-to-date as this beer ferments, ages, and is consumed.
For this particular brew, I am using two hop varieties that I have not previously used; the Magnum and Motueka (a New Zealand variety). Another first for me is the use of Juniper Berries, which should lend a pleasant, bitter-sweet aroma which reminds me of gin. The berries are sweet, with a hint of pine and turpentine. This ingredient is traditional in the Scandinavian beers…the homeland of the northern lights.
2 lbs. – Rye Male
7 lbs. – Pale Liquid Male Extract
2.0 oz. – Magnum 13.5% AA – 60 minutes
1.0 oz. – Motueka 8.9% AA – 15 minutes
1.0 oz. – Motueka 8.9% AA – 5 minutes
White Labs American Irish Ale (WLP004)
Steep rye malt for 30 minutes at ~150 F.
Add pale liquid malt extract, and return to boil. Add 2 oz. of the Magnum hops to the boil. A heavy curtain of hop aroma steams up from the kettle. Add 1 oz. of Motueka hops (whole leaf) in steeping bag. Steep the juniper berries in a small pot and pour mixture into a food processor. A quick pulse will crack the berries and create a juniper “slurry”.
With 5 boil minutes remaining, place the remaining 1 oz. of Motueka hops to another steeping bag. Pour the juniper “slurry” through the hops into the kettle and let the berries fall into the bag. Let the entire mixture steep in the boiling wort for the remaining time.
Cool the wort, place into the fermenter, pitch the yeast, and wait for the bubbles.