First entry of 2019 is going to be for the tasting of the Oat Pale Ale we brewed more than a year ago and that is already finished. But before getting into it, I would like to take this opportunity to wish every reader of this blog a great new year, hopefully drinking a lot of great home brews.
The reason for this to be the first entry of 2019 is in part due to chance, but I’m glad this beer is the one that starts this year since it has been our favourite beer from all the ones we’ve brewed through these years. We liked it so much that we have decided to make a series of beers following the scheme of this one (we’ve already brewed the second one, I will write about it in a few weeks) whose name is going to be OP Series (Oat Pale Series).
As those of you who read the entry about brewing this beer would remember, we took inspiration from a beer from Pilot we drank in Scotland. Our objective was to brew a low alcohol beer, with a smooth mouthfeel and lots of aroma.
Appearance, as expected from the high percentage of malted oats, is hazy, with a nice golden colour. Foam is white, with medium-high retention.
Very fresh citric and tropical notes in aroma. Citra hops, that smelled beautifully when we opened the bag on brewday, really paid off. There are also some esters probably from the yeast (Vermont IPA) and some hints from the malt. Aroma diminished with time, but this loss was less marked than with other hop forward beers we’ve brewed.
More or less the same characteristics are found in flavour, with Citra as the star of the show. Lots of tropical fruits, some citric notes and a bit of peach, the latter maybe produced by the yeast. Bitterness is on point and it balances sweetness from the malts very well. Base malt and malted oats give some biscuity and bready notes.
In spite of the great aroma (really great when the beer was fresh) and flavour, what we liked most about this beer was its mouthfeel. It has a spectacular texture, pretty smooth from the high percentage of malted oats. A medium carbonation complements this mouthfeel in a very good way. Body is medium-high, which masks its low alcohol content perfectly (a beer of only 3% ABV).
All of the above is what made this beer so special for us. As commented before, we will work with new versions of this recipe to try different malts and hop combinations, keeping the proportion of malted oats and the yeast (at least in the first versions). The only drawback of this beer was that maybe it would be rounder if we had had a better efficiency (the theoretical ABV was 4.4%). For future brews of this series we will look for some trick to improve this aspect (well, at least on the third one, since we had the same problem with OP Series #2). Milling barley malt and malted oats separately could be a good starting point, since the size of these grains is quite different. Whatever we do, we will tell you about it. Again, happy 2019 to all of you. Cheers!