I have been trying to find a good pale ale recipe for a while and finally wheeled out the beer gear a couple of weeks ago for the latest attempt. I must say, I like this beer quite a bit. The impetus for this beer came from Deschutes Brewery. I really like their Fresh Squeezed IPA and wanted something with a similar hop profile. I did some research on their website and found they use a combination of Nugget, Mosaic and Citra. On their “homebrew” page they recommend an American yeast strain. I had a pitch of Pacman from Wyeast from a previous batch, so I thought I’d put that to use.
For the grain bill I searched a ton of pale ale recipes online and in books. I settled on a gold medal winning recipe from Eileen Haynes published on the AHA website. I scaled it up a little for my system and substituted one of the crystal malts because I wanted a little more color.
The brew day was good. No real issues. I sparged pretty slowly on this batch which yielded a higher efficiency than I usually get, so my gravity was higher than I expected. I decided to just go with it and not top up with water. That is my one mistake with this beer. I ended up with an original gravity of 1.060. Pretty big for a pale ale. After fermentation finished, I calculated 6.43% abv. The higher gravity and bitterness lead me to initially name it , Accidental IPA. After about a week however, the bitterness subsided. It now tastes like an American pale ale despite the 6.43% ABV.
All in all, the beer came out nicely. I wanted those tropical fruit flavors and aromas found in Fresh Squeezed, but with a littler lower alcohol. I failed miserably on the lower alcohol, but there is a lot of that bright, fruity hop character from the Citra and Mosaic. The grain bill provides a nice soft, bready back drop for the hops. I can absolutely see why Eileen won gold for her recipe at NHC.
I will definitely rebrew this one again. Its a great beer as is, but it would be nice to have the abv below 6%. Also I think instead of the first wort hop addition, I’ll keep all the hops to the last 20 minutes of the boil to reduce the bitterness just slightly.
Check out the recipe. If you brew it please let me know how it turned out for you.
Batch Size: 6 gallons
Yeast: Wyeast Packman 2nd generation with 1800 ml starter
10.5 lbs Two Row Pale Ale (Great Western)
12.5 oz Light Crystal 20-30 L (Bairds)
8.5 oz Wheat (Weryerman)
6 oz Crystal Vienna (Briess)
6 oz Crystal 80 (Great Western)
First Wort Hop addition: 1 oz Nugget pellet hops (13.3% AA)
15 minute addition: .5 oz Citra pellet hops (14.5% AA)
15 minute addition: .5 oz Mosaic pellet hops (11.7% AA)
5 minute addition: .5 oz Citra pellet hops (14.5%AA)
5 minute addition: .5 oz Mosaic (11.7%AA)
Hop back (Blichmann Hop Rocket) for approximately 5 minutes after flame out: 1 oz Citra whole leaf hops (11% AA) + 1 oz Mosaic whole leaf hops (12% AA)
Fermented for 5 days at 65 F. Raised temperature to 70 F for 3 more days. Transferred to keg after gravity read the same for 3 consecutive days. It finished out at 1.011.