Lately, I’ve had a soft spot for “classic” American pale ales, from the era before Citra, Mosaic, and Simcoe were a thing. I love the more subtle flavors of Cascade and Centennial…and the cheaper price point for those hops doesn’t hurt, either. I recently got a shipment of the new Cascade crop from my dad in South Dakota (he raises them for his own brewing), and decided to do another iteration of my Classico Pale Ale. Aside from the hops (Cascade instead of Falconer’s Flight), the only other change is upping the percentage of Maris Otter versus 2-row, from around 50/50 to 66/33 in the current recipe.
I know that you’re not supposed to put crystal malts in pale ales and IPAs, but I’ve decided that piece of advice is bunk in a well-brewed recipe with modest amounts of crystal malts. For this formulation, I think they add a subtle but important character, and I ain’t likely to remove them for future brews!
Cascade-o Classico Pale Ale
- 7 lb. 0.5 oz. Maris Otter malt (Bairds)
- 3 lb. 9 oz. 2-row pale malt (Rahr)
- 8 oz. caramel 40 (Briess)
- 4 oz. caramel 60 (Briess)
- 0.70 oz. Warrior hop pellets (15.8% alpha), 60 minute boil
- 1 Whirlfloc tablet, 10 minute boil
- 2 oz. Cascade whole hops (~5.5% alpha), 5 minute boil
- 1 pkg. Safale American ale yeast (US-05)
- 2 oz. Cascade whole hops (~5.5% alpha), dry hop in keg
- 60 minute infusion mash, 152°, batch sparge
- 1.058 o.g., 1.013 f.g., 46 IBU, 8 SRM, 6.0% abv
- Claremont water with 1 tsp. of gypsum added during boil
- I mashed in with 3.2 gallons of water at 162°, to hit a 152.5° mash temperature.
- After 60 minutes, I added 0.8 gallons of water at ~185°, let sit for 10 minutes, vorlaufed, and collected the first runnings.
- Next, I sparged with 3.4 gallons of water, let it sit for 10 minutes, vorlaufed, and collected the second runnings.
- In total, I collected 6.2 gallons of runnings with a gravity of 1.048, for 71% efficiency.
- As I heated the runnings to a boil, I added 1 tsp. gypsum. Once the boil started, I added the various hops and Whirlfloc per the recipe.
- After 60 minutes, I turned off the heat and chilled the wort. I transferred to the fermenter while aerating, and pitched the yeast. I am fermenting at 68°.
- The beer was brewed on 24 August 2019, and fermentation signs were quite visible by the next morning.
- I kegged the beer on 6 September 2019. Final gravity was 1.011, down from 1.058, for 6.2% abv. The dry hops were added to the keg in a mesh bag.
- Pours with persistent ivory-colored head; brilliantly clear and copper-colored beer
- Lightly caramel, citrus/piney aroma
- Slightly grainy, caramel flavor, with firm bitterness. Bitterness is slightly piney
- Medium-light body, moderate carbonation, off-dry finish.
- Would I brew this again?
- Yes! This is a nice base recipe, and a good way to highlight classic American hops. I feel like it could use just a touch more body, so might mash at 154° next time. It might be interesting to try this with 100% Maris Otter or even Vienna malt, too, to give a bit more malt character I love how clear this beer has turned out–it clarified really quickly and nicely, to make an incredibly pretty brew.