Entrepreneur. Cocktail and spirit champion. Old world wine provocateur.
This was the first recipe I ever wrote on my own for an all-grain home brewing batch. It went over quite well, so I thought I’d share it with you.
I was aiming for something along the lines of a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale in terms of hop bitterness (IBU), but a little bit darker than SNPA. I like aggressive pale ales like Sierra or Troegs, but I prefer a bit more balance from slightly deeper malts. I wanted it both ways – a bit of color in the malt chart and a nice aggressive hoppiness.
This is the first time I’ve posted a homebrew recipe in full, so if you have questions or need clarifications, comment away and I’ll get back to you. And even though it’s like starting dinner with dessert, here’s a pic of the final product.
8.5 lb Briess Pale Ale Malt / 0.5lb Two Row Pale Malt / 1lb Caramunich (60 degrees L) Malt for a total of 10lbs.
I used a water to grain ratio of 1.25qt/lb, which turned out to be a little bit low. I’d recommend a 1.5qt/lb ratio so you can end up with a full five gallon batch. My batch ended up being about 4 gallons. Nevertheless, with 10lb of grain and a 1.25 ratio I mashed in with 15 qts of water, which is approximately 3.75 gallons, at 153 degrees for 60 minutes.
To sparge, I used an additional 2.25 gallons of water at a strike temperature of 175 degrees. This brought my total volume to about six gallons pre-boil.
I did a 60 minute boil with the following hop addition:
0.5 oz Centennial @ 60 minutes / 1.25 oz Cascade @ 30 minutes / 1 oz Kent Golding @ 10 minutes / 1 oz Kent Golding @ Flameout / 0.5 oz Cascade for dry hopping
According to my calculations, that hop schedule should put this beer at about 35 IBUs. Enough to balance the malt bill, not too much to overwhelm the palate.
Cooling, Racking and Fermentation:
At the end of the boil, I cooled the batch as quickly as possible in an ice bath. It took about 30 minutes to get the temperature down to the low 70’s, after which I transferred the beer to the plastic fermentation bucket. I took a small sample to get my original gravity measurement, which landed at 1.072. A bit higher than expected, but that was fine.
I pitched a smack pack of White Labs American Ale Yeast and let it get to work. Fermentation started within 18 hours and it settled in at a comfortable 75 degrees on the first day. After three days, I added my dry hops and I gave it an additional 10 days in primary fermentation.
After 13 days in primary it was ready to bottle. I added 3.75oz of cane sugar to 1.5 cups of water until it dissolved, then racked the beer to the bottling vessel along with the sugar solution. After bottling, it took about five days to carbonate and after 10 days total, it was ready to drink!
The final product was similar to what I was looking for, although a bit less hoppy than anticipated. It’s almost an amber color (think Stone Pale Ale) and has a nice malty backbone that is really well balanced by the hops. My final gravity was 1.025 (higher than I wanted, but in the appropriate range) so the beer comes in at about 5.9% ABV. Overall, a very drinkable and quite delicious American Pale Ale!