Tag Archives: homebrew

American Pale Ale (All Grain)

apaWell, it had to come to it. After a year’s worth of style exploration, barleywines and imperial stouts, it was time to take a crack at the baseline of American craft beer: the American Pale Ale. This style has been one that I’ve put off for a while, not because I don’t like it, but like most homebrewers, I was enjoying the chase of the unusual and the exotic (and the high-gravity).

Having reached a point where it was time to start nailing down some regulars, and being summer (albeit in Maine), it was time for a more sessionable beer. I have to admit, after all the procrastination, I was a little bit anxious about this beer. After all the practice, I can’t screw up on a pale ale, right?

Well, I consulted all my favorite books before starting the recipe build, and decided to take the non-crystal malt approach. I wanted a dryer, crisper beer, one that would be refreshing and not too sweet. I also wanted to focus on hop flavor, so I left the grain bill rather mild to leave room for some dry-hops to shine.

Recipe Overview

UK Pale Ale Malt 11.32 lb (79.0 %) In Mash/Steeped
German CaraRed 1.00 lb (7.0 %) In Mash/Steeped
UK Munich Malt 1.00 lb (7.0 %) In Mash/Steeped
UK Wheat Malt 1.00 lb (7.0 %) In Mash/Steeped

US Centennial (8.5 % alpha) 1.24 oz Loose Pellet Hops used First Wort Hopped
US Cascade (5.9 % alpha) 0.99 oz Loose Pellet Hops used 10 Min From End

Yeast: Wyeast 1318-London Ale III

After cool fermenting the beer (I wanted to minimize ester production by the english yeast), I let it lager for a couple weeks while I waited for keg space to open up. In this time, I decided to go for another first: dry-hopping in the keg. My buddy has been doing this recently with a massive tea ball he got for a gift, and I was hopeful that I could pull off the same approach by using a muslin bag for grain steeping. I sanitized the bag by soaking it in Star-San for a few minutes, then filled it with about 3oz of Cascade and Centennial hop pellets, then twisted it closed, doubled over the bag, twisted closed, then tripled it over. I took this sock-full of hops, and shoved it (gently) under the dip tube of my Corny keg.

After two days, I tried a sample. Wow. That fresh hop taste coming from the keg is awesome, and without the added transfers and delays of a secondary. I’ll definitely be doing this again. Oh, and the recipe. Well, it turned out more like an amber. Good, but a little sweeter than I had hoped for. I’ll be cutting the CaraRed in half next time.


Hopped-Up Amber Ale


This past weekend’s brew was an enjoyable one and a learning experience. Once again, I modified my recipe based on available ingredients. I wonder if there’s a niche for that?

I had intended a brown, but the lack of crystal malt made me rethink my plans, and I ended up doing some kind of IPA/Amber hybrid ale. Who really knows what it is.

This time, I also tried the technique of dumping some un-mashed grains on the top of the mash before batch sparging. As of yet, I haven’t tasted the fermented wort, but my initial experience was that it added a significant amount of aroma of the malt that was unmashed (which happened to be CaraRed).

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Independence IPA

Tomorrow’s batch will be both the first holiday batch. Recipe will be as follows:

Recipe: Cascade Amarillo IPA

Final Batch Volume: 5.00 US gals
Expected OG: 1.075 SG
Expected FG: 1.024 SG
Expected ABV: 6.9 %
Expected IBU (using Tinseth): 97.3
Expected Color: 13.0 SRM
Boil Duration: 90.0 mins

UK Pale Ale Malt 14lb 0oz (92.6 %) In Mash/Steeped
UK Dark Crystal 1lb 2oz (7.4 %) In Mash/Steeped

US Cascade (5.0 % alpha) 1.00 oz Loose Pellet Hops used First Wort Hopped
US Amarillo (8.0 % alpha) 1.00 oz Loose Pellet Hops used First Wort Hopped
US Amarillo (8.0 % alpha) 1.00 oz Loose Pellet Hops used 60 Min From End
US Cascade (5.0 % alpha) 1.00 oz Loose Pellet Hops used 60 Min From End
US Amarillo (8.0 % alpha) 1.00 oz Loose Pellet Hops used 15 Min From End
US Cascade (5.0 % alpha) 1.00 oz Loose Pellet Hops used 15 Min From End

Yeast: DCL S-04-SafAle

Schedule Name:Single Step Infusion (64C/147F)
Step: Rest at 147 degF for 60 mins

Updated to reflect actual attenuation, final gravity and efficiency for myself.

AG porter is almost gone

The porter I made is nearly gone, and has been the most popular AG beer so far amongst family and friends. It is a very smooth porter, mellow, easy drinking, with a wonderful roasty aroma and finish, well balanced. Here’s the second to last bottle — cheers!