Pale Ale #1 (Batch C)

Recipe Pale Ale #1 (Batch C) Style American Pale Ale
Brewer Clinton Ebadi Batch 5.00 gal

Recipe Characteristics
Recipe Gravity 1.056 OG Estimated FG 1.014 FG
Recipe Bitterness 45 IBU Alcohol by Volume 5.4%
Recipe Color 12° SRM Alcohol by Weight 4.3%

Quantity Grain Type Use
0.50 lb Crystal 20L Grain Steeped
0.75 lb Crystal 60L Grain Steeped
7.00 lb Light malt extract Extract Extract
Quantity Hop Type Time
0.50 oz Cascade Pellet 0 minutes
0.75 oz Cascade Pellet 10 minutes
0.75 oz Nugget Pellet 60 minutes
Quantity Misc Notes
1.00 unit Wyeast 1272 - American Ale II Yeast Activator Pack <>

Recipe Notes

First batch of beer in *five* years (I'm getting old, jesus), and the first with a full rather than a partial boil. Bittering hops have been downadjusted by 25% to compensate revealing that with a partial boil this pale ale actually was not in IPA bitterness range.

Previous batches used White Labs WLP0008 (East Coast Ale Yeast) and a very cool fermentation, but fermentation conditions at my current dwelling are suboptimal and warm so we'll see how this supposedly fruity Wyeast strain works out.

All DME has been eliminated as it appears there is actually no real difference when brewing, and a 33 pound bucket of LME was far more economical than purchasing smaller amounts. The lack of amber extract has been compensated for with the addition of a bit of 60⁰L Crystal Malt and a slight reduction in the amount of 20⁰L Crystal malt.

Batch Notes

Recipe was for 13.2% Fuggles and 6% Cascade. Actual were 13.7% Fuggles and 5% Cascade. I left the quantities the same since they were close enough. Theoretical original IBU of 44, adjusted IBU 45.

Idealized brewing schedule:

Fill bucket with 6 gallons of water and remove chloramine with 1/4 campden tablet

Steep grains in 1/2 gallon unmodified water (strike temp 165F, goal 160F) for 30 minutes
Sparge with 1 pint 170F water
Measure gravity

Bring 5.25 gallons water to boil, kill heat, add LME, specialty grain water, and 2g of water crystals
Return to boil
Hop additions &c

Crash cool with wort chiller
Rack from kettle into carboy once temperature hits ~70-72F
Take gravity reading
Pitch yeast


Brew day (2010-11-09):

15:42 Treated water with 1/2 campden tablet and then ran various errands for missing bits and pieces

16:49 Steeped specialty grains (1qt water) in metal pot within a 170⁰F pot. Strike temp = 168⁰F, Initial temp = 164⁰F. Removed 30 minutes later (temp = 158⁰F), and allowed grain bag to fully drain. Rinsed with one pint of distilled water @ 165⁰F. SG of specialty grain wort = 1.032

17:42 Began heating 5.25 gallons of water on my fancy new propane burner. Treated with 2g of 'Water Crystals' (8:1 CaSO_4:MgSO_4) (see for water modification charts for Raleigh water) owing to obscenely low (read: basically no) sulfate levels leading to concerns about hop bitterness not working out too well.

18:07 It turns out I forgot to take the yeast out of the fridge. Removed, smacked, and placed into a pot of 85⁰F water!

18:15 Water begins to boil. Still taking care of miscellaneous tasks.
18:30 Start wort boiling. Wort boil goes as well as can be expected, but should have been more vigorous (wort scorched!)

19:00 Added wort chiller, but this killed the boil. Turned the burner up and things were back on track within three minutes. Boil definitely was not strong enough--the next brew we boiled more vigorously and the addition of the wort chiller caused no disruption to the boil.

19:33 Killed boil and started chilling

20:17 Back yard is now a bog, wort chilled to 81⁰F. Giving up. Preparing fermenter &c
20:40 Racked into carboy, still at 81⁰F. Final volume is a hair over five gallons. OG = 1.056. Perfect! Moved carboy up to fermentation closet. Sealed with a plastic cap (sanitized, naturally), and placed into a tray of water with a tshirt over it and a fan blowing away from it.


04:18 Returned from post-brewing "well the wort is too hot to pitch the yeast who wants to get drunk instead of waiting" gathering. Pitched yeast. Carboy internally @ 72⁰F. Turned fan off for now.

13:25 Spotty krausen forming, airlock bubbling every 10-15 seconds. Fermentor @ 68⁰F. Leaving fan off. Bubbling increases to once every five seconds by 13:40.

14:22 Activity level similar, starting to cool (fan at middle setting whatever that implies).

18:25 Carboy @ 66⁰F. Increasing fan speed a bit to get down to 62-64.

21:27 Last time peeking tonight... temperature between 64 and 66. Bubbling more active (1/second). Returning fan to middle setting to see if things will stabilize around 64.


11:30 Temperature down to 62⁰F. Setting fan to lowest setting to prevent cooling it too much.


17:12 Turned fan off last night. Temperature is holding steady at 62⁰F. Fermentation is less active, but steady (airlock bubbling once every two seconds). Removing water from tray and swapping wet for a dry tshirt.


14:22 Fermenter has been at around 64-65⁰F, Now at 67⁰F. Bubbling not so often, but krausen has yet to be reabsorbed.


21:41 Fermenter has risen over the last 48 from 66⁰F to 68⁰F. Krausen began dissipating today.


19:34 Fermenter was left in the house between 11-21 and 11-26 at 66⁰F and has stabilized at this temperature. Will be bottled shortly assuming gravity is on target.

Will be aiming for 2.5 volumes of CO₂. Calculating corn sugar addition given a five gallon volume and fermentation having taken place at an average of 65⁰F. Priming with 4.28 oz. (121g) of corn sugar.


14:55 Took gravity reading, 1.010@68⁰F (Attenuation = 82%!) Beyond typical attenuation for this yeast (72-76%). ABV = 5.9%

Pours a mostly clear copper with a strong initial fresh hop aroma with a bit of a grain note. Somewhat sweet, resiny flavor that gives way to a brisk but pleasant bitterness. Slight bitterness lingers afterward. The body is thin, but has a slight grain thickness already present so I think it will carbonate rather well.

19:00 Bottled. Primed with 121.6g of corn sugar dissolved in two cups of distilled water boiled from ten minutes (probably overmuch, but eh). Got 44 12oz bottles--drank first 12oz (probably oxidized to Hell), lost 12oz during capping (justin was clumsy), and got a final half bottle but didn't cap it.

Taste test #1

Cracked one open for a taste test. I tried one a few days earlier, but it was still oversweet and appley tasting.

Served in a tulip.

Pours a slightly hazy copper with a fingertip white head. Fades at a reasonable pace and remains as a thin cap (but this is true of almost every beer with this glass). Initial aroma is slightly grainy and citrusy with perhaps a hint of green apple and sweetness remaining (not quite three weeks of conditioning). Carbonation levels are adequate. The body is about right--maybe a quarter pound more crystal malt could be used. The flavor is initially rather malty (fresh bread, caramel), giving way in the end to a brisk bitterness. There is a slight hop resin flavor/feeling that builds over a few sips.

Initial impression: The taste is actually pretty well balanced--the malt is strong enough to force the bitterness into the background until after swallowing. The body so far is pleasant; the carbonation and 60⁰L Crystal Malt seem to contribute to a rather good mouthfeel that is not thin, but also not sickly sweet and syrupy (something I dislike strongly). The weak aroma and indistinctness of the hop flavor are its most noticeable defects.

Quaffable, if not amazing. We'll see what the masses say.

More end of boil (with a fast cooling time) hops, and perhaps dry hopping for a week seem like good ideas for next time.