To ring in 2020, I did some “kitchen sink” brews to finish out some of my grain and hop stash. One of these was a mixed English/American pale ale, brewed using Brulosophy’s “Short and Shoddy” technique–essentially, using a 30 minute full-volume mash and 30 minute boil to reduce the brew time. It was a quick-turnaround, and has been a pretty good (even if not perfect) batch.
Kitchen Sink Pale Ale
- 10.25 Maris Otter malt (Crisp)
- 0.5 lb. Caramel Munich 60°L malt (Briess)
- 0.25 lb. Caramel 20°L malt (Briess)
- 0.80 oz. Warrior hop pellets (15.8% alpha), 30 minute boil
- 1 Whirlfloc tablet, 5 minute boil
- 2 oz. Cascade whole hops (est. 5.5% alpha), 5 minute boil
- 1 pkg. Safale American Ale yeast (US-05)
- 2.25 oz. East Kent Goldings hop pellets, 4 day dry hop in fermenter
- 30 minute full volume infusion mash, 154°
- 1.050 o.g., 1.012 f.g., 5.0% abv, 39 IBU, 9 SRM
- Claremont tap water, with 1 tsp. of gypsum added to boil
- I mashed in with 7.75 gallons of water at 160°, and hit my target temperature of 154° pretty closely. I added a scant 1 tbs. of 88% lactic acid to the mash, to bring the pH down to acceptable levels.
- After 30 minutes, I vorlaufed and collected the runnings. I ended up with 6.6 gallons of runnings at a gravity of 1.049, for 77% mash efficiency. That’s a bit better than I usually expect for this kind of mash, more typically around 70 to 72%.
- I added the gypsum to the kettle, brought everything to a boil, and added hops as required by the recipe. After 30 minutes, I turned off the heat and chilled down to 72°.
- I transferred to my fermenter, noting a fair bit of trub loss due to the whole hops. I’ll want to remember to adjust accordingly for future recipes that use lots of whole hops!
- Starting gravity was 1.050, right where I wanted it.
- I started the fermentation on 2 January 2020, fermenting at ambient temperatures of around 56° to 60°. On January 6, ambient was down to 58°, so I moved the beer into the fermentation chamber and set the temperature for 66°.
- On 12 January 2020, I added the dry hops.
- On 13 January 2020, I cold crashed the beer.
- I kegged on 16 January 2020, using a partial closed transfer into a CO2-purged keg.
- Final gravity was 1.010, for 5.3% abv.
- Gold, slight haze, with persistent off-white head.
- Slightly spicy hop aroma, with light caramel aroma alongside that.
- Moderately bitter, with hop qualities in the realm of slightly woody and herbal. The malt character is somewhat bready, with a bit of caramel (likely from the CaraMunich).
- Medium-light body, only slightly dry; really nice on this count, actually! Moderate carbonation.
- Would I Brew This Again?
- This is a pretty decent beer, and is quite drinkable, but there’s nothing that really jumps out at me. As a pale ale, it’s very much in the realm of qualities that I like–not overly bitter, some malt character, some interesting hops in there too. But, there’s nothing that wows me, either. So, I can say this was a good way to use up some ingredients, but nothing to put on the “must brew” list. On the plus side, the short-and-shoddy technique worked just fine on this batch!