Brew Day: Galloupe St Gold

There really is something to be said for any brewer or beer drinker to have a house beer. A house beer being a beer that is kept in the house at all times. It’s the beer you go to if you want to relax on a Tuesday night after work. For a craft beer drinker that can mean keeping a six or twelve-pack of a house beer in the fridge; for a homebrewer it’s a beer brewed with some regularity and kept in stock.

In the past I tweaked and tweaked my milk stout recipe to perfect it. After continually tweaking, before finally dumbing it back down to a degree I am happy with the recipe. I haven’t brewed a milk stout since Curly’s Pumpkin Milk Stout. Partly that is due to my hiatus from brewing, but mostly milk stout isn’t something I want to drink all of the time.

When we moved to our new home, and I built my keener, Jennie suggested brewing an easy-drinking beer to have as a house beer. Jennie came up with the name Galloupe Ave Gold. When we brewed together more, Jennie was always coming up with names for beer. The easy thing would have been to brew a British Golden Ale, but that is a style I brew every summer for the summer. I decided to look farther afield from the name of the beer for inspiration.

The first beer that came to mind for inspiration was New Glarus Spotted Cow. The Beer Judge Certification Program lists Spotted Cow as a commercial example for a Cream Ale, however the brewery bristles at that designation and calls their beer a “Wisconsin Farmhouse Ale”. The grist in Spotted Cow is Wisconsin-malted barley, flaked corm as corn is widely grown in Wisconsin, and flaked barley. Several years ago we brewed Northern Brewers Speckled Heifer kit, a beer that as the name indicates is inspired by Spotted Cow. New Glarus holds their recipes close to the vest, but the ingredients in the kit gave me an idea of where to start.

Working for Muntons, and being well-stocked with Muntons’ products, my house beer has to use Muntons malt. I took the domestic malts in the Northern Brewer recipe and substituted in Muntons malts. I’m using Muntons Propino Pale Malt as the base, Muntons Caramalt in lieu of Carapils, Muntons Brewing Wheat in exchange for flaked barley, only keeping the flaked maize. This grist looks an awful lot like an English Pale Ale. The color was a touch light for the style so I added a very small amount of Muntons Roasted Barley for color adjustment.

If I really wanted to be married to the style I would probably use Fuggle or Kent Golding hops. Having plenty of American hops in my inventory, and wanting my beer to have a bit of an American hop flavor, I used Columbus for bittering and Cascade for flavor. Both hop additions were small enough that our house beer should still be approachable.

Final volume was short. The heat wrap around the carboy
helped the beer ferment at ale temperatures in my cold basement.

My brew day went fairly well until it was time to add the beer to my fermenter. I was well short of five gallons. I’m still not dialed-in brewing outside with a propane burner. Instead of topping off with water, I just went with what I had. The beer did finish a couple points higher than estimated which isn’t the worst thing in the world. On packaging day there was enough beer to fill a three gallon keg and a half gallon growler.

This is the first iteration of the beer. I am not married to the recipe and will tweak it until I feel I’ve nailed it. I could try using traditional English hops. I could use a darker crystal malt if the malt flavor is too generic. I think some amber malt could add a nice biscuit flavor.

What Jennie wants and I am trying to achieve with this beer is drinkability and approachability. I will know I have perfected this beer if it is a beer that both craft and non-craft drinkers enjoy.

As for the name, our house is on Galloupe Avenue, but when the city replaced the street signs the new signs initially said “Galloupe St”. There was also some confusion with the direction of the street. I’m glad I snapped a photo so this multi-faceted fail can live on.

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