A Not So Pale Lager and A Hefty Tripel

It's time for a beer update. Before I go anywhere, I should like to note that I am a beer brewer and not a beer judge so my descriptive terminology may not be official or even accurate. Now, let's talk about victory; victory and beer.

I cracked open the first bottle of my, supposed to be pale, lager last Saturday to mixed feelings of joy and disappointment. Upon pouring the beer from bottle to glass, it was immediately obvious that my attempt at making a pale lager did not come out very pale. My goal was to produce a very pale lager of 2-4SRM but the result is far closer to 8-12SRM. Accepting that the color might be off but it might still taste like a Pale Lager, I moved on to tasting. Upon tasting the lager, it was clear that I had not accomplished the crisp, clear pale lager style but managed a heavier, hoppier style of lager. Although the beer is in no way pale, it is nonetheless very good; it is an acceptable mistake. I believe that my mistake probably arose from two problems: my malts were too dark and my lagering was not cold enough. I like the beer and I figure it makes for a valiant first attempt at a lager but I will be trying again to see if I can manage a pale lager at some point in the future.

On Tuesday, as a birthday present for myself, I finally tapped my tripel ale keg. Filling a glass, I was greeted with nothing less than a complete fulfillment of my hopes and aspirations. The beer is clear of any haze and has a very nice amber color, give or take, about 15SRM. There is a very pleasant aroma, somewhat fruity and almost candy-like. Upon tasting, I knew that I had met and exceeded my expectations; the flavor is that of a Belgian white beer, smooth, fruity and with a low bitterness, but has the strong malt overtones of a barleywine or conventional tripel ale. The malty character is more subdued and less over powering than that of most barleywines or tripels I have encountered, which suits my preferences. The beer's alcohol content of about 9-12% is very well masked by the flavors of the beer and puts it slightly out of the standard range of a tripel ale, into that of barleywines and quadrupel ales. This beer is, in my opinion, a phenomenal sipping beer, with a heck of a kick to it; it's easily one of the best tripel or quadrupel style ales I've ever had. I will definitely be keeping this recipe and hopefully I'll have ample opportunity to use it again in the future.