Written by Brewd Magazine
Producing quality session ales in the 3–4% alcohol range has been a challenge for brewers, even the most experienced of brewers. It is something I am still trying to master! However, in my pursuit for perfection I have found some key factors that has significantly improved my results.
CONSIDER THESE 3 FACTORS THE NEXT TIME YOU’RE LOOKING TO BREW A QUALITY SESSION ALE.
1. Malt selection
The quickest way to have your session ale fall short is by lacking malt profile. Therefore by broadening your malt selection, you will increase complexity and create an overall more interesting beer.
If you’re looking to produce a lighter styled session beer, aim to have a broad selection of base malts. Maris Otter, Vienna and Munich are great examples of this. For darker styles, be sure to include a broad range of specialty malts specific for the style you’re aiming to create.
2. Yeast Selection
Selecting a low attenuating yeast, in my opinion, is a must. As a result, this choice helps retain some sugars and will provide the beer with the required body and sweetness. On the counterpart, too dry and the beer is left with a thin and watery mouthfeel.
On a further note, generally speaking, lower attenuating yeast strains are of English heritage. Therefore by selecting these stains, you will further add some more complexity as they tend to produce subtle fruity notes when fermented at higher temperatures.
Carbonation plays a huge role in the final impression of any beer style. Whether it be 3% alcohol or 10%, play close attention to your carbonation levels. By lowering the carbonation of your session ale, this will have a huge impact on the desired mouthfeel of the final product. The reduced carbonation will allow the malt profile to become fully expressed, whilst also helping to create a full mouthfeel. However, too much carbonation will produce a hardness that will thin out the mouthfeel and leave the beer lifeless and dull.
Take these tips on board as you look to create the perfect session ale!