I have been dreaming up recipe combinations and thinking of ingredients I haven’t worked with yet. That has brought me to rye malt. I recently had some Harpoon Rye IPA and really enjoyed it. Perhaps that was a kick in the memory bank that I’ve never brewed with rye, for I know I have had other beers brewed with rye as well.
Well here is a rough sketch of a recipe ideas, not a defined recipe as of yet.
Certainly I am thinking of going to 25-35% rye malt in the base, with a simple US-2 row to compose the rest of the base. I am not looking to make a traditional Roggenbier. More of an American inspired Rye Pale Ale.
For an initial attempt I might shy away from 50% or more rye to avoid body and lautering issues. To complement that rye I was thinking of perhaps 5% Special B, mainly because I love the color and second the flavor I’d expect from it. Maybe a 2% or so addition of crystal for some backing sweetness, or 2% victory or biscuit malt to drive a more bready character home.
For hopping I was thinking some combination of NortherBrewer and Chinook. These two might play together nicely to help drive home that anticipated spicy character one expects out of rye malt.
I’d expect on the first run to go with a neutral American ale yeast, or maybe one of these new “San Diego” or “West Coast” type yeast strains I randomly see popping up. No matter the yeast choice I think its best to work hard to drive attenuation to its max, get that beer as dry as possible to wring out the rye flavor…I guess that might exclude the idea of crystal malt in there, eh?
Well, that’s a snapshot of the inner workings of my mind on recipe generation. This will be one to revisit once the promise of spring really starts to rear its head.