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Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Costa del Sol

The Draft Label from 2007
I travel to Mexico often for work so I have a certain affinity for Mexican light lagers, especially on a hot day.  For the most part they are a clean refreshing beer that I would take any day of the week over anything from the macro lagers.  These days I only really drink them in Mexico.

It’s definitely a style I’ve wanted to brew for a while as I have draft labels for my own Mexican style light lager (Costa del Sol) going all the way back to 2007.  I believe I wanted this to be my second brew I brewed on premise but by the time I got around to doing it again I decided to do an oatmeal stout.

The name of this beer has always been Costa del Sol, the name translates to coast of the sun and is taken from a small beachside town from one of my favorite games of all time Final Fantasy VII. It’s funny how some things stay with you.  

The Final Label from 2011
When I started brewing at home I kicked around the idea for a while but nothing really solid came up for 2 reasons. 1) It’s a lager and I at the time, had no way of controlling the temperature in the lager range and 2) the yeast to use for it WLP940 Mexican Lager is a platinum series yeast and only available once a year from March to May.

Filled out in the Shop
I put together a pretty basic malt bill and targeted keeping it under 4% ABV so it could be included in my Scott's Session Series.  Going into AHP I had no idea what hops to use but decided to play around with the hops and put a Northwest feel into to it in honor of my Bonnie, whose birthday I am brewed it for.   To that end I used Falconer's Flight which was released this year by Hopunion to honor the legacy of Northwest brewing legend, Glen Hay Falconer.  It is said to be a blend of Citra, Simcoe, and Sorachi Ace along with experimental hops and numerous other NW varieties.  People have actually been suggesting as a sub for either Citra or Simcoe, but I would caution against using it as an outright sub.

The final product really surprised me as I tasted it along the way I was never overly impressed, it was thin and watery with very little nose. Once carbonation took hold it turned into a completely different beer. It was a hit with my wife and everyone who tried it.  I decided to BeerGun a few bottles for the OC Fair and it ended up taking second in its category. 


Yeast and Hops

Great color, by far the
lightest beer I brewed.
Costa Del Sol
Premium American Lager
Type: Extract
Date: 3/13/2011
Batch Size: 5.00 gal
Brewer: Scott Bennett
Asst Brewer: BrewDog
Boil Size: 4.0 gal
Boil Time: 60 min

Beer Profile
Est Original Gravity: 1.043 SG
Measured Original Gravity: 1.052 SG (Hmm, how did I manage this.)
Est Final Gravity: 1.011 SG
Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 4.17 %
Bitterness: 25.7 IBU
Est Color: 4.0 SRM


Amount Item Type % or IBU
4.00 lb Extra Light Dry Extract (3.0 SRM) Dry Extract 67.80 %
1.00 lb Rice DME (7.0 SRM) Dry Extract 16.95 %

Steeping Grains 160 for 30 Minutes
0.60 lb Pilsner (2 Row) Ger (2.0 SRM) Grain 10.17 %
0.30 lb Vienna Malt (3.5 SRM) Grain 5.08 %

0.40 oz Falconer's Flight [10.50 %] (60 min) (First Wort Hop) Hops 13.8 IBU
0.40 oz Falconer's Flight [10.50 %] (20 min) Hops 8.4 IBU
1.20 oz Falconer's Flight [10.50 %] (2 min) Hops 3.5 IBU
2.00 oz Cascade [5.50 %] (Dry Hop 21 days in Secondary)
1.00 oz Summit [14.00 %] (Dry Hop 21 days in Secondary)

1 Pkgs Mexican Lager (White Labs #WLP940) Yeast-Lager

1.00 items Whirlfloc Tablet (Boil 15.0 min) Misc
1.00 tsp Yeast Nutrient (Boil 15.0 min) Misc 

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