Monday, 19 October 2009

Pale ale ponderings

Me and the lovely Lisa went to the Crown in Horsell on Saturday night. After extensive research we've decided that it's the only decent pub in walking distance. The beer of the night for us was Itchen Valley Pure Gold. I'm sure all my fellow beer nerds can guess what this was like just from the name: yes that's right its pale and hoppy. We found it to be a good example of the style and it went down very nicely. The fact that like most golden ales it had a slight haze to it got me pondering though.

Why are the golden ones usually a bit hazy? Is it just because they're paler so it's easier to spot? Or does the lack of dark malts mean that the mash pH is too high and more tannins are extracted leading to more protein-polyphenol complexes in the beer? Should the brewers chuck in a bit more AMS/CRS to the mash liquor to bring the pH down for gold beers?

Down the pub it may have looked like I was just staring into space after my third pint but these are the important questions that were going round my head.


  1. Im sure most brewers would have upped the hardness alittle for paler beers. I recon it was probably cos the yeast hadnt fully floculated.

  2. Good point, at the unrighteous brewery I used to work for the salts added to the grain grist (DWB/DLS) were upped a bit for the golden ale.

    I'm not sure about the yeast though, I see golden ales having a slight haze so much more often than in brown beers I do wonder if there's more to it than that.