Thursday, September 22, 2011


I have returned to brewing! Actually, about two weeks ago I returned to brewing. Just moved a pale ale into the fridge for some cold crashing before kegging. I realized, when planning this batch, that in more than five years of brewing I've never done a standard pale ale. I went from ambers to porters and stouts, with various lager attempts like California commons and maibocks, straight into the world of IPAs. No pale. No need, really, since hop bombs were what I was going for. Now, having become a little tired of high alcohol IPAs, and doubles/imperials, I've made a pale that's sitting right around 5.5%abv, with just about 67 IBU's. A little high for a pale, but hey, I like hops. The real point was to get something that I could drink a few of without getting drunk.

On a separate note, I'm sick of Black IPAs! Seriously, they aren't that interesting. You could make the argument that the astringency of the dark malts would help accentuate the hop character. I would counter and say the astringency serves to accentuate...nothing but itself. Great experiment, glad everyone gave it a try, but lets move on to something else. Something that doesn't have a roasty flavor, sometimes bordering on acrid, as a substitute for making a solid IPA.

For those who might be interested, the recipe for the pale was as follows:

7 lbs (3.18kg) Pale 2 row
1/2 lb (227g) C20
1/4 lb (113g) Munich

1.25 oz Summit @ 60 min
1.0 oz Crystal @ 10 min
.25 oz Summit @ 10 min

WLP-001 California Ale Yeast
OG 1.047
FG 1.006 (might have finished a bit drier than expected due to high fermentation temps)

In case you were trying to do the math in your head, that's roughly an 82% efficiency of extraction during the mash and lauter. Not bad on a homebrewing scale.

Oh, and one last thing. Found a guy who will do a free acid analysis for my mystery hops, so I can better utilize them for hopping. The only drawback is the sample size he needs is roughly half my crop, which wouldn't leave me enough to do a whole batch.

Cheers, and happy beering.

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