Good Riddance Pale Ale

Time to line up another hoppy beer for the fermenter! This particular American pale ale is named in honor of the end of 2016; the year can’t end soon enough for many fans of pop culture! At least in the USA, there is a general opinion that a few too many notable folks have died this year–so, hopefully 2017 will be a bit better in that regard (even if it likely won’t be any better in terms of broader world events). Good riddance to 2016, here’s hoping for better things on the horizon. The name also matches the “clean-out-the-brewing-supplies” nature of my recipe. I’m using this as an opportunity to use up a few ingredients (specifically, crystal 45, some more of my Magnum hops, and a lingering pack of Falconer’s Flight hop blend that dates back to 2015). The core recipe is modified from a recipe in Brewing Classic Styles, “American Pale Ale with Caramel.” The gist in mine is the same; I’ve just switched up the hops and hopping schedule (and swapped crystal 45 for crystal 40).

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Good Riddance Pale Ale

  • 9 lbs. California Select 2-row Brewer’s malt (Great Western Malting Co.)
  • 0.75 lbs. 45°L crystal light malt (Crisp)
  • 0.75 lbs. 10°L Munich I malt (Weyermann, 7.1 SRM)
  • 0.58 oz. Magnum hop pellets (13.2% alpha), 60 minute boil
  • 1 oz. Cascade whole hops (5.5% alpha), 10 minute boil
  • 1 oz. Amarillo hop pellets (7.0% alpha), 5 minute whirlpool
  • 1 oz. Falconer’s Flight 7C’s Blend hop pellets (10.3% alpha), 5 minute whirlpool
  • 1 Whirlfloc tablet, 10 minute boil
  • 1 tsp. Fermax yeast nutrient, 10 minute boil
  • 1 pkg. California ale yeast (White Labs WLP001)
  • 1 oz. Amarillo hop pellets (7.0% alpha), 5 day dry hop
  • 1 oz. Falconer’s Flight 7C’s Blend hop pellets (10.3% alpha), 5 day dry hop

Target Parameters

  • 154° mash, 60 minutes
  • 1.053 o.g., 1.013 f.g., 5.3% abv, 41 IBU, 7 SRM, 5.5 gallons into the fermenter

Procedure

  • Four days in advance, a I prepared a 1.5L starter from a culture of WLP001 that I had saved from the last time I used it (this is the third round for this particular culture). I set aside a portion (calculated as approximately 100 billion cells), and the remainder (0.9 L) was cold-crashed in the flask until brew day.
  • I changed my mash procedure a bit here — instead of adding water to the grains, I added my strike water first, let it cool (down to around 170°, as indicated roughly by BeerSmith), and then added the grains. This seemed to work reasonably well, although I wasn’t as precise with my temperature as I would have liked. I set the mash tun temperature to 60°, which was probably a mistake. I should have set it to match the strike water temperature I wanted. What I will do next time is to iterate my mash tun temperature until the calculated strike water temp and mash tun temperature match within a degree or two. I’ll then use that as the strike water temperature, and hopefully land a bit closer. The overall idea with this is to avoid preheating my mash tun with a separate volume of water (especially as I have done more with reverse osmosis water these days).
  • For this recipe, I adjusted my water by diluting the carbonate-heavy Claremont water approximately 50/50 with reverse osmosis water.
  • I mashed in with 3.5 gallons of water at 170°. This hit a mash temperature of 156° or so. I let the mash tun sit open for a few minutes until the mash temperature dropped down to 154°. Just for “fun”, I measured the mash pH on this batch–this ended up around 5.2 or 5.3.
  • The overall mash was down to 152 after 55 minutes. At this point, I added 1.25 gallons of water at 180°, let sit 10 minutes, vorlaufed, and collected the first runnings. I then added 3.5 gallons of water at 180°, let the mash sit for 10 minutes, vorlaufed, and collected the second runnings.
  • In total, I collected 6.7 gallons of wort at 1.048 gravity — 83% efficiency!
  • Once the boil was started, I added hops and other items per the schedule.
  • I checked the gravity about 40 minutes in, and found that it was already at the target of 1.053. Rather than overshoot my target, I added a quarter gallon of RO water to bring things back into alignment.
  • After a 60 minute boil, I added the final charge of hops, let things sit for a few minutes, and then started cooling. I was able to get the wort down to about 75°.
  • I transferred the wort to my primary while aerating, and pitched the yeast.
  • Starting gravity was 1.053, right on the nose for my target (thanks to that extra bit of RO water). I brewed this on 28 December 2017, and will be fermenting at 66°.
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