I'm a few days late for Session Beer Day, but I haven't had much time to sit down and take notes on this beer, even though we've been drinking it for most of the past week.
As I said when I brewed it, my goal for this beer was to incorporate the lessons I learned trying to clone Bitter American and make my own American Session Pale. I wanted something light in alcohol (4.5% abv or so), crisp on the palate and bursting with hop character.
Aroma: Pure hops, a mix of spice and pine. There's a touch of onion in there, but it's way in the background. Maybe a little toast from the malt, but this smell is focused on hops.
Appearance: Light gold/copper. There's a hint of red in there, but not much. The head is just a shade away from pure white and is pretty fluffy. It dissipates to thin layer of foam as the beer settles.
Flavor: Starts off with a firm bitterness backed by a touch of sweetness. Bitterness carries through to the finish, but it doesn't linger for long. There is sweetness enough to keep the hops from being overbearing, but it's in the background. The palate clears quickly, and I'm ready for another sip. Although there's nothing but Simcoe and Amarillo in here, I don't pick up the citrus notes that I would expect. This isn't a grapefruit IPA.
Mouthfeel: Nicely carbonated, medium body. It's not astringent, too watery or too heavy. Right in the middle.
Overall: Obviously I'm pretty happy with this batch. It's almost exactly where I'd like to be, and I'm looking forward to drinking this keg over the next few weeks as the weather warms up. Wouldn't surprise me if I made another batch as soon as I can.
Nonetheless, there are a few small tweaks I'd make. The grist is fine, I think, but I will probably decrease the bittering addition. The recipe calculates 28 IBU and I think something in the low 20s might be better. The hop aroma give so much perceived bitterness that I should decrease the actual bitterness.
And as I learn more about hop stands, I'd probably increase the amount of flame out hops by 50% - 100%. That's something that I'll have to figure out as I play more with the technique.