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Old 03-15-2007, 06:26 PM   #1
CAlexander
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Default American Pale Ale Recipe Advice

Hey guys:

Done about a half a dozen different kinds of beer so far, and last night I did my first repeat. One of my first brews was an American Microbrew-style Pale Ale kit from Brewers Best. It's a very light, easy to drink beer that's nice to kick back with. It has been the biggest hit among my friends and is my personal favorite, so I picked up another kit to brew it again and took note of all of the ingredients. Now I'm curious how I can improve on it. It was a bit cloudy before, so this time I'm going to let it sit in a secondary for a couple weeks before bottling. Still, I wonder if there are any additional (or different) ingredients that could make it a bit better next time. This is what is included:

6.6 lbs Coopers Light Malt Extract
12 oz Crystal Malt
1-1/2 oz Northern Brewers Hops (bittering)
1-1/2 oz Willamette Hops (finishing)
1 packet Nottingham Dry Brewing Yeast

Note: I typically tend to be a little light with the hops, adding about 1.25 ounces or so of each and it worked well in the first batch.

Are there any hops that would make it a bit better? Maybe a different type of yeast? Let me know what your ideas are.

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Old 03-15-2007, 06:46 PM   #2
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That looks like a good recipe to me. The crystal is in a good proportion IMO. You could try a different hop schedule, such as the classic bittering with Chinook (or Columbus) and finishing with Cascade. Or you could try a single variety hop such as Columbus or Amarillo.

You could add another dimension by dryhopping with 1/2oz of hops.

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Old 03-15-2007, 06:48 PM   #3
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You can easily use a different yeast. There are several good dry yeasts out there. US-56 is a great one.

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Old 03-15-2007, 06:53 PM   #4
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Hrm well, I dunno. I tend to view it as if you like it and it is sucessful why change it? That being said, if you like the way the hops are going perhaps there is something you can tweak with your additions rather than change the type. In other words, perhaps adding a flavoring hop addition. One good method is to add a partial amount of both bittering and finishing hops in for the flavor addition.

You can always experiment, but make sure you have the original recipe safe and secure.

In the case of the APA, yeast generally isn't in the spotlight so I wouldn't change that, but there is room to play there too. If you want to play around a good place is to try different amounts of the crystal malts perhaps in combinations (of the same total amount in the grainbill, in this case 12 oz.). Like maybe 8 oz. of Crystal 10 and 4 oz. of a darker one. It will affect the caramel flavors and color to a degree, so steer clear of using too much dark crystal malts. Even something like 2 oz. or a dark malt can actually make a difference in something like an APA that isn't too complex to begin with.

Some other great hops for APA's are Colombus, Crystal, Cascade, Chinook etc. Try changin your finishing hops with Cascade and see how you like it.

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Old 03-15-2007, 07:27 PM   #5
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I'm a bonafide hop head so I dry hop most of my APA's and IPA's I would use 1/2 oz or so of cascade in the secondary.

next thing would be maybe try LME versus the DME. It's always seemed a little better to me but as always YMMV

I also would shy away from the dry yeast and make a starter. wyeast 1056 will probably produce similar results, while 1272 my clear a little quicker.

you could also try 2112 (this will dramatically change this beer however!) that recipe is similar to a steam I made once with good results.

cheers!

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Old 03-15-2007, 07:30 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kripy d
I also would shy away from the dry yeast and make a starter. wyeast 1056 will probably produce similar results, while 1272 my clear a little quicker.

you could also try 2112 (this will dramatically change this beer however!) that recipe is similar to a steam I made once with good results.
FWIW, I disagree. Some dried yeast are sub-par, but Nottingham or Safale US 56 (or whatever they changed the name to) or 04 are good quality yeasts that will do just fine for an APA. You can go with liquid if you like, but it's not necessary in this case.

Now, if you want to do Belgians, or Bavarian Hefeweizens, etc., then you have to go with liquid.
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Old 03-15-2007, 08:12 PM   #7
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Hey guys, thanks for all of the replies. Some really good stuff in here. Now I've never done any 'dry hopping' before, what exactly is involved? Is it just adding hops to the secondary? In what ways does it change the flavor as opposed to just adding more to the brewpot?

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Old 03-16-2007, 12:53 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CAlexander
Hey guys, thanks for all of the replies. Some really good stuff in here. Now I've never done any 'dry hopping' before, what exactly is involved? Is it just adding hops to the secondary? In what ways does it change the flavor as opposed to just adding more to the brewpot?
I've only made one batch of beer, so I am speaking more from theory than practical experience. With that said, dry-hopping produces a very different effect than adding hops to the brewpot during the boil. When you dry-hop, you add the hops to either your primary or secondary fermentation (I have read about both, but if/when I try it it I will be adding to the secondary).

In order to add bitterness, hops have to be boiled - when you dry-hop, you are not adding bitterness, which is why you wouldn't add them directly to the brewpot; what you are doing is adding hop flavor & aroma to the beer without adding bitterness.

Here is an article I read a while ago on dry-hopping that I found useful:
http://byo.com/departments/1105.html
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