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Old 08-13-2012, 01:29 PM   #1
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Default Pale Ale Technique and Recipe's

Just wanted to get a thread going on simple, sessionable American Style Pale Ale's. It seems that the pale ale has been flying under the radar and been getting overlooked more and more recently for more "extreme" brews. I am one of the lucky folks that has my own beer on draft at all times and I will tell you, a well executed pale ale is invaluable. I also like to have some crazy beers available, but %10 abv and 100 IBU is something that you can only drink in limited quantities.

Here are some of my thoughts some of the characteristics that I like in a pale ale:

1. sessionable, %5.5 abv and less
2. Finishes dry
3. Firmly bittered with excellent hop flavor and aroma
4. Eneough malt back bone there to help tip the scales away from hop bomb.


I have come to find an excellent grain bill or template for a pale ale, IMO.

75% Pale Ale Malt or Two Row
20% Munich or Vienna
05% Crystal Malt (Anything C80 and Below)
Mash at 152 to 154 (the lower the original gravity the higher the mash temp)
OG = 1.045 to 1.050
FG = 1.008 to 1.011
Attenuative Yeast WLP001/1056 or WLP007/1098
I like right 35-40 IBU with the more IBU for the higher OG version

Hop it how you will, its almost cliche' at this point, but the most popular all around pale ale at my place is always loaded with late boil cascade , whirlpool/steep cascade and cascade dry hops.

something like this:

1/2 oz millenium or magnum to bitter
1 oz cascade at 15
1 oz cascade at 5
1 oz cascade at whirlpool
1 oz cascade in the serving keg


I will have to say that this makes a nice pale ale, I find late hopping with columbus to make it more like an IPA (too dank), but summit, chinook, centennial among others (amounts adjusted for AA%) make a great beer too. summit especially (tangerine).


If anybody else cares to contribute opinions or tips on APA that would be excellent. Thanks!

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Old 08-13-2012, 02:35 PM   #2
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The dry hopping might get a little grassy. If you like Cascades, Centennial is the "Super Cascade."

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Old 08-13-2012, 02:36 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by ludomonster View Post
The dry hopping might get a little grassy. If you like Cascades, Centennial is the "Super Cascade."

I forgot to mention that the dry hop is done at serving temps in my insantce and it is actually quite subtle.

For IPA's and such I dry hop at or near fermenting temps after the yeast has dropped and it is much more dramatic
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Old 08-13-2012, 06:24 PM   #4
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I just brewed a batch with no crystal whatsoever; instead, I used a tiny bit of chocolate malt for color. I FWH'd the bittering addition, which might have smoothed out the bitterness a little too much. However, w/o any crystal or other dextriny malts, it didn't end up sweet. It's just really crisp and clean and bright, with a nice cascade/citra fruit punch on the front end and a dry finish. I think next time, I might only toss half the bittering hops in during the sparge and add the other half as a typical 60 minute addition. It's 5% ABV, and it tastes fantastic. Definitely my best brew so far.

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Old 08-13-2012, 07:08 PM   #5
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This is something I'm interested in too. I think of it as taking what I like in an IPA and adjusting the recipe so I can have several pints.

Mashing a little hot and using darker base malts will help with #4. Vienna, MO, faux-English malts like Briess Special Pale, etc... Obviously, you'd want to leave out simple sugars as well. Clean yeasts are fine, but I like to play with fruitier ones to accentuate the West Coast hops. After adjusting the bittering hops, I'd still end up blasting the beer with flameout and dry hops just like you would for an IPA.

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Old 08-13-2012, 07:22 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by kingwood-kid View Post
This is something I'm interested in too. I think of it as taking what I like in an IPA and adjusting the recipe so I can have several pints.

Mashing a little hot and using darker base malts will help with #4. Vienna, MO, faux-English malts like Briess Special Pale, etc... Obviously, you'd want to leave out simple sugars as well. Clean yeasts are fine, but I like to play with fruitier ones to accentuate the West Coast hops. After adjusting the bittering hops, I'd still end up blasting the beer with flameout and dry hops just like you would for an IPA.
I just did my first Mild Ale AKA:English Brown, just for this reason.... I hopw to keg it this weekend.

With it's low alcohol I am hoping it will be ready after 4 weeks...
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Old 08-13-2012, 07:26 PM   #7
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sounds like the recipe I'm brewing tomorrow....
http://www.brewersfriend.com/homebre.../palatino-pale

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Old 08-13-2012, 07:29 PM   #8
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I've been working on making the perfect session IPA and session APA for several years.

This is as close as I got:

11 lbs Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM) Grain 1 56.0 %
4 lbs 8.0 oz Pilsner (2 Row) Bel (2.0 SRM) Grain 2 22.9 %
1 lbs Cara-Pils/Dextrine (2.0 SRM) Grain 3 5.1 %
1 lbs Caramel/Crystal Malt - 40L (40.0 SRM) Grain 4 5.1 %
1 lbs Wheat Malt, Ger (2.0 SRM) Grain 5 5.1 %
1 lbs Wheat Malt, Pale (Weyermann) (2.0 SRM) Grain 6 5.1 %
2.1 oz Acidulated (Weyermann) (1.8 SRM) Grain (for mash pH adjustment)

1.00 oz Magnum [11.60 %] - Boil 60.0 min Hop 20.3 IBUs
0.50 oz Simcoe [11.90 %] - Boil 20.0 min Hop 5.7 IBUs
1.00 oz 7 C's Falconers Flight [9.90 %] - Boil 10.0 min Hop 6.3 IBUs
0.50 oz Chinook pellets [11.50 %] - Boil 10.0 min Hop 3.6 IBUs
2.00 oz Cascade [5.50 %] - Aroma Steep 0.0 min Hop 0.0 IBUs
0.50 oz Centennial [10.40 %] - Aroma Steep 0.0 min Hop 0.0 IBUs
0.50 oz Simcoe [11.90 %] - Aroma Steep 0.0 min Hop 0.0 IBUs
1.0 pkg Denny's Favorite 50 (Wyeast #1450) Yeast
2.00 oz Falconers Flight [11.40 %] - Dry Hop 7.0 Days 0.0 IBUs
1.50 oz Centennial [10.40 %] - Dry Hop 5.0 Days Hop 0.0 IBUs

10.5 gallons
OG 1.049
FG 1.012
ABV 4.9%
IBUs 36

I've used other hops than the Falconer's Flight- most often amarillo. I love this beer!

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Old 08-13-2012, 07:57 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yooper View Post
I've been working on making the perfect session IPA and session APA for several years.

This is as close as I got:

11 lbs Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM) Grain 1 56.0 %
4 lbs 8.0 oz Pilsner (2 Row) Bel (2.0 SRM) Grain 2 22.9 %
1 lbs Cara-Pils/Dextrine (2.0 SRM) Grain 3 5.1 %
1 lbs Caramel/Crystal Malt - 40L (40.0 SRM) Grain 4 5.1 %
1 lbs Wheat Malt, Ger (2.0 SRM) Grain 5 5.1 %
1 lbs Wheat Malt, Pale (Weyermann) (2.0 SRM) Grain 6 5.1 %
2.1 oz Acidulated (Weyermann) (1.8 SRM) Grain (for mash pH adjustment)

1.00 oz Magnum [11.60 %] - Boil 60.0 min Hop 20.3 IBUs
0.50 oz Simcoe [11.90 %] - Boil 20.0 min Hop 5.7 IBUs
1.00 oz 7 C's Falconers Flight [9.90 %] - Boil 10.0 min Hop 6.3 IBUs
0.50 oz Chinook pellets [11.50 %] - Boil 10.0 min Hop 3.6 IBUs
2.00 oz Cascade [5.50 %] - Aroma Steep 0.0 min Hop 0.0 IBUs
0.50 oz Centennial [10.40 %] - Aroma Steep 0.0 min Hop 0.0 IBUs
0.50 oz Simcoe [11.90 %] - Aroma Steep 0.0 min Hop 0.0 IBUs
1.0 pkg Denny's Favorite 50 (Wyeast #1450) Yeast
2.00 oz Falconers Flight [11.40 %] - Dry Hop 7.0 Days 0.0 IBUs
1.50 oz Centennial [10.40 %] - Dry Hop 5.0 Days Hop 0.0 IBUs

10.5 gallons
OG 1.049
FG 1.012
ABV 4.9%
IBUs 36

I've used other hops than the Falconer's Flight- most often amarillo. I love this beer!
Have you ever experimented with switching the pils to pale malt ratios, or perhaps swapping one of those with vienna, or munich? Do you feel you get the benefit of <2% acidulated malt with that grist? It's fairly light. I was under the impression that darker grists benefited more from an acid adjustment. Also, isn't Weyermann a German maltster? Therefore, 1 lb. German wheat vs. 1 lb. Weyermann wheat would be the same. I would rather have more wheat and 0% carapils, since you're already going that direction; plus, I would get more character out of the wheat with no suffrage of head retention and body if the mash temp is on point. What do you think?

Just trying to clear this all up for my own purposes. Thinking of reducing abv and bitterness in the future since I mostly brew the heftier/bracingly bitter IPAs.
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Old 08-13-2012, 08:52 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by bobbrews View Post
Have you ever experimented with switching the pils to pale malt ratios, or perhaps swapping one of those with vienna, or munich? Do you feel you get the benefit of <2% acidulated malt with that grist? It's fairly light. I was under the impression that darker grists benefited more from an acid adjustment. Also, isn't Weyermann a German maltster? Therefore, 1 lb. German wheat vs. 1 lb. Weyermann wheat would be the same. I would rather have more wheat and 0% carapils, since you're already going that direction; plus, I would get more character out of the wheat with no suffrage of head retention and body if the mash temp is on point. What do you think?

Just trying to clear this all up for my own purposes. Thinking of reducing abv and bitterness in the future since I mostly brew the heftier/bracingly bitter IPAs.
Oh, yes, I've used Munich and Vienna (as well as maris otter). I have the German wheat twice, but it's all Weyermann. I like the carapils in there for the body, although it's one of the only recipes (besides BoPils) I have that uses any carapils at all.

I wanted a medium/light body with lots of hops, like an IPA, but without the high ABV so this recipe works very well for me. When I add "maltier malts", it seems to be too heavy. Which is counterintuitive, I know. I always thought that I should add more heavy hitters and not less for the malt backbone, but lately I've found that the crispness I get with this is more IPA-like.

The 2 ounces of acid malt gets my pH right to 5.4 with that recipe and preboiled tap water (to precipitate bicarb). When I use RO water, I don't need as much but I don't have that recipe annotated on this computer. But it's actually the lighter grists that benefit most from acid malt as there is no roast/dark malt to lower the pH. You can use phosphoric acid or lactic acid for tweaking the mash pH, but I find that I don't have to with the correct amount of acid malt.

I'm such a hophead that I want to only drink IPAs, but my 135 pound frame just can't handle multiple glasses of 7+% beer all night. For several years (at least 5) I've been really trying to nail the best session IPA beer I can. It's been harder than I planned, as beer really is all about balance, even the unbalanced ones!
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