Category Archives: Pale Ale

Session Brett IPA

Lately I’ve been making other people’s recipes rather than designing my own from scratch. My intuition has been a little off with recent beers. I’m still learning, of course, but I’ve not been impressed with some of my recent recipes. Every once in a while I’ll make a beer and afterwards go “what the hell was I thinking?” once it’s done fermenting. So I started looking to other brewers for inspiration, filtering their recipes through my brewing intuition. The past few recipes I’ve brewed from Brulosopher have been great, so I think I’ll continue on this path for a little while this year.

It’s been a while since I brewed something with Brett, so I did some searching online for some Brett recipes. This one came from Meek Brewing Co’s blog, for a Brett IPA. I scaled it down to 4 gallons, and adjusted the acid malt to get my pH right around 5.3.

  • 5 lb US 2-row pale
  • 1 lb Red Wheat
  • 0.4 oz Carafoam
  • 0.1 oz Acid malt
  • 0.3 oz Amarillo @ 60 min
  • 3 oz Amarillo @ 5 min
  • WLP650 Brett Brux (1L starter)

// Mash-in w/ 3.5 gal at 152F for 50 minutes, mash-out, sparge to collect 4.8 gallons. Boil 75 minutes, collect around 3.5 gallons 1046 wort. Brewed 1/15/17. //

The expiration date on the Brett vial was pretty close (Jan 27 ’17), so I made a starter; it took a good week for it to fully attenuate. Tasted good in the end though – plenty of funk with some fruit too.

1/19/17:  Airlock slowing down, gravity down to 1013. Incredible peach/mango aroma. Flavor is slightly tangy, but good fruity/hop flavors. Not much funk at all. Added 0.75 oz citra and 0.5 oz amarillo to carboy.

1/25/17: A little funk coming through! Crash cooled for 2 days then kegged. Tasting notes soon.

4/2/17  Keg kicked before I could get around to some real tasting notes. Overall the level of funk was was low and would’ve liked more. My old vial of Brett may have had something to do with this. The citrus hop character was pleasant but had a slight attack to it, would’ve preferred if it were somewhat cleaner – maybe not using Amarillo as the bittering hop and using something like Magnum instead would help with this. I would up blending this with another Belgian Pale Ale I had on tap to create a more balanced, hoppy, not-funky beer.


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Filed under All-grain, Belgian, Funky / Sour, Hoppy, Pale Ale

US/EU Pale Ale


This is another one from Brulosopher’s website, titled “Tiny bottom pale ale”. The combination of American malts and European hops intrigued me, so I decided to give it a shot.

  • 8.6 lb 2 row
  • 11 oz Vienna
  • 0.5 lb Crystal 15
  • 0.5 lb Victory
  • 0.3 lb Crystal 60
  • 0.5 oz Magnum (60 min)
  • 0.4 oz Perle (25 min)
  • 0.5 oz Fuggles (10 min)
  • 0.5 oz Fuggles (2 min)
  • WLP090 San Diego Super Yeast (1L starter)

// Mash-in w/ 4.5 gal at 154 for 60 minutes, mash-out at 168F for 5 minutes. Sparge w/ 3 gallons to collect around 6.5 gal 1044 pre boil wort. Boil 60 minutes, collect 5 gallons 1052 wort. Chill to 60F, pitch whole starter. Let to ferment around 69F. Brewed 12/11/16. //

2 tsp Gypsum to mash.

12/12/16:  Good airlock activity by next morning.

12/14/16: Gravity down to 1016. Still slightly sweet and yeasty. The hop flavor does not appeal to me right now- kinda earthy, dirty. Gave the carboy a good shake to help it finish.

12/16/16:  Gravity down to 1013. Flavor improved, thinned out more, yeast dropped out a bit, less dirty hop flavor but it’s still there. Gave the carboy another good shake.

12/18/16: Moved carboy to fridge to crash cool.

12/19/16: Added gelatin to carboy.

12/21/16: Kegged.

12/27/16:  Finished carbonating. Great crisp flavor, very “old school” craft pale ale vibe going on. Tasting notes soon.

1/2/17:  I brewed this for my in-laws to put in their kegerator, so I didn’t get to experience a ton of it, but boy was it tasty. It was hoppy, but only in a crisp/bitter sort of way – not much discernible hop flavor, but its presence was felt. That quality allowed the malts to be more in play, and it was a beautiful graham cracker-y breaded experience. The clarity was stellar and attenuation was high making it super clean and refreshing without seeming thin. I really enjoyed this beer but also thought that the Fuggles could be replaced by something a little more modern, i.e. Amarillo or Simcoe or Cascade, to add a nice spritzy burst of citrus. Otherwise, this recipe was on point!

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Filed under All-grain, Hoppy, Pale Ale

Topaz/Centennial APA

After my Galaxy/Cascade APA placed in competition, I was awarded 1 oz of Australian Topaz hops (schwingggg). Having never used this variety, I considered making a SMaSH beer to get a feel for it, but couldn’t find any more of it at my LHBS so I decided to mix it in with a quick 3 gallon APA recipe.

  • 6.3 lb US Pale 2 row
  • 0.4 lb Crystal 40
  • 0.1 lb Crystal 80
  • 0.12 oz each Topaz, Centennial (20 min)
  • 0.25 oz each Topaz, Centennial (10 min)
  • 0.12 oz each Topaz, Centennial (8 min)
  • 0.5 oz each Topaz, Centennial (5 min)
  • WLP008 East Coast Ale

// Mash-in 1.5 qt/lb at 152F for 1 hr, sparge to collect around 3.5 gallons wort. Boil 60 minutes, add ice to collect around 3 gal wort at 120F. Chill in fridge overnight to 62F. Collected around 2.5 gal (lost a bit to trub) 1062 OG. No starter, no oxygenation. Brewed 11/25/16. //

1.5 tsp Gypsum to mash.

11/30/16:  Airlock activity slowed, beer started drop clear. Gravity at 1017. Rounded hop flavor, fair malt component too but slightly sweet. Gave the carboy a good shake to help it finish out. Likely having trouble finishing since I didn’t oxygenate.

1/1/16:  Decided it needed more hop flavor, so I added 0.25 oz each Citra and Cascade dry hop (pellets).

1/3/16:  Move to fridge to crash cool.

1/4/16: decided to try gelatin fining: added 1/2 tsp in 1/4 cup water, heated in 7 second bursts to 145 then right into primary.

1/6/16:  started to clarify but only got about halfway and stopped. Kegged anyway. 


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Filed under Hoppy, Pale Ale

3×3 Super Session IPA

Testing the limits of first wort hopping in a low gravity IPA. 3oz at first wort, 3oz at whirlpool, and 3oz dry hop. Second batch on the new Grainfather system.

  • 7.5 Golden Promise
  • 0.3 Carapils
  • 0.3 Amber malt
  • 3oz each Amarillo Simcoe and Citra (FWH)
  • 3oz each Amarillo Simcoe and Citra (whirlpool)
  • 3oz each Amarillo Simcoe and Citra (dry hop)
  • WLP001 (no starter).

Mash-in 1.75qt/lb At 154 for 40 minutes. Mash out at 168 for 5 min. Spargw to collect 6 gallons wort.’boil 60, collect 5.75 gal 1040 wort 86F. Chill overnight in fridge. Got down to 56F overnight, took out of the fridge, oxygenated and pitched yeast. Brewed 8/31/16.

9/5/16:  Fermentation was quick, finished within a few days. Sharp hop taste, gravity at 1013. Added dry hops, shook once a day for the next few days to mix it up. Tons of airlock activity after each shake.

9/8/16:  Moved to the fridge after 3 days dry hopping. Gravity at 1012.

9/10/16: Interesting flavors. The fermentation character seems peachy, and the hops still have a piney kind of impression. Good amount of body. Kegged, tasting notes soon.

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Filed under Hoppy, IPA, Pale Ale

Galaxy/Cascade APA – Tasting Notes

This won first prize in the American Pale Ale category of the Battle of the Bubbles Homebrew Competition. I’ll add some of the judges notes once they come in. Here’s the recipe.

Appearance: Orange with some burnt highlights. Moderately cloudy. Fluffy white head that leaves good lacing.

Aroma: Grapefruit, mango, grass, and some cookie malts.

Mouthfeel: Medium body up front to a somewhat dry finish.

Flavor: Excellent balance of malt and hops. The hops stick out first with the malts quickly behind, with mostly a breaded malt-forward finish. Clean, bright flavors.

Overall: The flavors of this beer changed several times on tap. At first, with some of the yeast still suspended, it had an amazing peach and hop “juice” flavor – incredibly fruity and bursting with aroma. This faded as the beer clarified, and gave way to the more traditional characteristics of the Galaxy and Cascade hops – tons of citrus and pine. Despite the magnitude of hop flavor, the malts were still wonderfully displayed and provided balance with some prominent graham cracker-like biscuit flavors. Thoroughly enjoyed this, and will be making it again!



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Filed under Hoppy, Pale Ale, Summer, Tasting

Galaxy/Cascade APA

Spring is upon us and I’m craving some hoppy beers. I remember good things about a hoppy pale ale I brewed a few summers ago, so I decided to do a rendition using Galaxy hops since I haven’t used them that much. I also wanted a fairly short brew day, so I decided to try a minimal sparge technique with a 5 gallon BIAB method. Brewed 4/23/16.

  • 12 lb 2-row pale
  • 2 lb Munich 10L (Breiss)
  • 0.3 lb Crystal 60
  • 0.25 Cascade, 0.5 oz Galaxy FWH
  • 0.5 Cascade, 1 oz Galaxy 20 min
  • 0.5 Cascade, 1 oz Galaxy 10 min
  • 0.75 Cascade, 1.5 oz Galaxy flameout
  • Wyeast London ale III

// Mash-in 2.1 qt/lb (7.5 gal) at 154 for 40 minutes, dunk grain bag in 1.5 gal 170F water for sparge. Collect around 7.75 gal 1040 wort. Boil 60 minutes, add flameout hops and let stand for 30 minutes at 170F. Chill to 75F. Collect around 5 gallons (about 1 gallon leftover of hop/trub) 1051 wort. Rack directly onto yeast cake from pale jaryllo. //

// Water: 4 tsp Gypsum to mash. //

4/24/16:  Fermentation was quick (started almost immediately after pitching) and out of control – after just one day it appeared to be close to finished. Gravity at 1013 and tastes wonderful. Slightly dry, but crisp and hoppy. Still very cloudy. Added 1 oz of Galaxy dry hops to the primary.

4/25/16:  Transferred carboy to fridge to crash cool. Tasting notes.

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Filed under All-grain, Hoppy, Pale Ale, Summer

Hoppy Pale Ale / Sour Dark Ale – Split Batch


Another 10 gallon batch split into two drastically different beers! One half will be a hoppy, light pilsner-ish beer and the other a sour dark ale, hoping to be something like an Oud Brun. Brewed 4/14/16.

Both beers (common mash):

  • 20 lb Pils
  • 2 lb Dark Munich (10L)

// Mash in 1.5 qt/lb at 152F for 50 min, mash out, sparge to collect 13 gal 1046 wort. Split into two pots //

Pale half:

  • 0.25 oz Jaryllo @ 75, 40, 20 min.
  • 0.5 oz Jaryllo @ 10 min
  • 0.6 oz Jaryllo @ 5 min
  • WYeast 1056 & London Ale III

// Boil 75 mins. Chill to 70. Aerate 60s pure O2. Pitch saved yeast from American golden. By the next morning there wasn’t any activity, so pitched a packet of London Ale III that I had leftover in the fridge. Activity within the next hour. Ferment at 60F. //

Sour dark half:

  • 1 lb Chocolate malt
  • 0.25 lb Caramunich III
  • 0.25 lb Black malt
  • 1 lb uncrushed pilsner malt (for souring)

// Steep dark grains in post-sparge wort for 25 minutes at 155.  Boil for 10 minutes, chill to 110 add Pils grain sack and seal with plastic wrap. //

4/17/16:  boil and finish the dark sour half. Collected around 4 gallons 1070 wort. Chill to 80, pitch bottle dregs from Lindemans cuvée Gueuze.

4/19/16: I tasted my other bottle-dreg-only sour and didn’t like the results, so I chickened out and just added a vial on the White Labs Flemish ale blend.

4/21/16:  Fermented pale at 60F for 5 days, then brought upstairs to finish at 70. Good light pils malt flavor, a little grassy/metallic in the finish of the first sip, hope this will be less noticeable chilled and carbed. Not much hop flavor/aroma/character other wise, mostly malts. Dark half has a think chalky white layer and is bubbling slowly.

4/25/16:  Thicker brown yeast layer has formed on the sour half. Gravity at 1050, bubbling slowly every 30s or so.

5/27/16: Tasting notes for pale half.

6/24/16: Added 3 lb of thawed frozen dark sweet cherries from wegmans, and a vial of Brett Lambicus. Fermentation started up again fairly quickly.

7/18/16:  Wonderful nose, similar to a rodenbach – slight vinegar with dark fruit, very typical Flanders red character. Flavor follows – pleasant sweetness from cherries and sour finish, with some chocolate in the finish. This is so good as is, I could keg it now but have no room on the taps! I think the Brett could use a little more time to work on the cherries – they’re a little too sweet but tolerable. Cherries have also added a nice burgandy note to the color.

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Filed under All-grain, Hoppy, Pale Ale, Pilsner, Sour, Split Batch