Monday, March 2, 2015

Tonga, Rustic Pale Ale & Tasting Notes

So what's a Rustic Pale Ale?  I have no idea, but if it was a style, this beer would be in the style guidelines.  I lusted to create what I envisioned as a perfect pale ale, in fact a perfect beer in general, crafted for me.  Light, a little rough around the edges (to satisfy my Sour/Siason needs) and hoppy on the back end.  So I guess calling it a Rustic Pale Ale fits for me, and isn't that the point? 

Aroma:  Medium to low "hop aroma" but well balanced with rye peppered notes pairing into soft green grape stem-ish aroma coming from the Nelson hops.  Medium to high hop aroma.

Appearance:  Golden Yellow, brilliantly clear.  Fluffy white head, lingers longer than I've seen on a pale ale.  The lacing down the glass is textbook.  Everything about this beer screams "Drink Me!" Don't the carbonation bubbles traveling up the glass in that shot look quaffable?

Flavor:  This is not a "showcase" of hops, it just has what it needs to be interesting and inviting.  The rye malt really dominates the flavor profile.  As with most Nelson hops, I'm getting some white wine characteristics appearing at the end, which adds to the perception of a somewhat dry finish. The Nelson paired with the Rye malts really play well together.  Giving a spicy, peppery, white wine like profile.  Perfect flavor for having a couple of pints in a row after a long day.  No off flavors or astringency noted.

Mouthfeel:  Medium to thin body, having a bigger than (per style) carbonic bite.  I think the rye adds to this perception.  The bubbles kinda bounce around in my mouth.  The beer finishes quickly and cleanly.

Overall Impression:   This is a perfect beer for my personal style. The color, the clarity, the ABV%, its all perfectly crafted for me and my drinking style.

Brewing Timeline/Notes:  This was brewed back on December 14, 2014 so I could have it around during Christmas time.  Fermented it long and slow like I normally do for my hoppy beers.  This was tapped and finished over my 3 week Christmas break, so I have to say it was well received. 

This is basically my 3 Brewers Recipe with a couple tweaks along the way.  Balancing the Pale malt (about 66%) with the Rye/Pils malts seems to give me the best results along the way. Pairing that with Nelson hops you can't go wrong.  Or simply Nelson + Rye Malt = BOMB! 

Tonga (Rustic Pale Ale)
Rustic Pale Ale
Type: All Grain Date: 14 Dec 2014
Batch Size (fermenter): 6.00 gal Brewer: Chris Lewis
Boil Size: 6.86 gal Asst Brewer: Eric, Sisco and Alex
Boil Time: 60 min Equipment: Lewys Tower
End of Boil Volume 6.24 gal Brewhouse Efficiency: 85.00 %
Final Bottling Volume: 6.00 gal Est Mash Efficiency 85.0 %
Fermentation: Ale, Two Stage Taste Rating(out of 50): 30.0
Taste Notes: This is a perfect beer. I don't know what else to say. The interplay between the Rye and the Nelson is on point.
Amt Name Type # %/IBU
8 lbs Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM) Grain 1 66.7 %
2 lbs Rye Malt (4.7 SRM) Grain 2 16.7 %
1 lbs Pilsner (2 Row) Ger (2.0 SRM) Grain 3 8.3 %
8.0 oz Acid Malt (3.0 SRM) Grain 4 4.2 %
8.0 oz Caramel/Crystal Malt - 20L (20.0 SRM) Grain 5 4.2 %
0.80 oz Apollo [17.00 %] - Boil 60.0 min Hop 6 42.3 IBUs
0.40 oz Apollo [17.00 %] - Boil 20.0 min Hop 7 12.8 IBUs
1.20 Items Whirlfloc Tablet (Boil 15.0 mins) Fining 8 -
0.50 oz Nelson Sauvin [12.00 %] - Boil 5.0 min Hop 9 3.7 IBUs
1.50 oz Nelson Sauvin [12.00 %] - Steep/Whirlpool 0.0 min Hop 10 0.0 IBUs
1.0 pkg San Diego Super Yeast (White Labs #WLP090) Yeast 11 -
2.00 oz Nelson Sauvin [12.00 %] - Dry Hop 4.0 Days Hop 12 0.0 IBUs
0.50 oz Centennial [10.00 %] - Dry Hop 4.0 Days Hop 13 0.0 IBUs
Beer Profile
Est Original Gravity: 1.059 SG Measured Original Gravity: 1.059 SG
Est Final Gravity: 1.010 SG Measured Final Gravity: 1.009 SG
Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 6.4 % Actual Alcohol by Vol: 6.6 %
Bitterness: 58.8 IBUs Calories: 195.7 kcal/12oz
Est Color: 5.4 SRM
Mash Profile
Mash Name: Temperature Mash, 1 Step, Full Body Total Grain Weight: 12 lbs
Sparge Water: 4.55 gal Grain Temperature: 72.0 F
Sparge Temperature: 168.0 F Tun Temperature: 72.0 F
Adjust Temp for Equipment: FALSE Mash PH: 5.20
Mash Steps
Name Description Step Temperature Step Time
Saccharification Add 15.00 qt of water at 162.5 F 151.0 F 60 min
Mash Out Heat to 168.0 F over 10 min 168.0 F 10 min
Sparge Step: Batch sparge with 3 steps (Drain mash tun , 2.62gal, 1.93gal) of 168.0 F water
Mash Notes:
Carbonation and Storage
Carbonation Type: Keg Volumes of CO2: 2.3
Pressure/Weight: 10.59 PSI Carbonation Used: Keg with 10.59 PSI
Keg/Bottling Temperature: 41.0 F Age for: 30.00 days
Fermentation: Ale, Two Stage Storage Temperature: 41.0 F
Fermentation Notes
Primary Fermentation:   Pitched at 63° hold 3 days, then raised over the next 10 to 75°
Created with BeerSmith


  1. Your blog website provided us with useful information to execute with.

  2. Your blog is very nice Wish to see much more like this.

  3. I think it tastes good. Thanks for sharing that recipe. pool deck builder


Thanks for Commenting, Prost!