Adalatherium Pale Ale

This is another kitchen sink beer, clearing out some malt and hops. In terms of overall goals, I aimed for a session beer with a bit of malt character, and hops that were present but not overpowering. The recipe is a mix of English and American ingredients, with Windsor yeast and citrusy American hops. I did a “Short and Shoddy” approach (ala Brulosophy), with a 30 minute full volume mash and 30 minute boil.

The name honors the recently named Adalatherium–an unusual mammal that lived in Madagascar around 70 million years ago. The skeleton used to sit across the hall from my office in grad school, and I spent more than a bit of time in the original field area as a student. In Malagasy, “adala” means “crazy”, and that also seemed to match up with the scattershot blend of ingredients here.

Adalatherium Pale Ale

  • 6.75 lb. Maris Otter malt (Crisp)
  • 2.75 lb. Superior Pilsen malt (Great Western)
  • 0.5 lb. Vienna malt (Great Western)
  • 0.5 lb. crystal 40 2-row (Great Western)
  • 0.85 oz. Warrior hop pellets (15.8% alpha), 30 minute boil
  • 1 Whirlfloc tablet, 5 minute boil
  • 0.5 oz. Simcoe hop pellets (13.6% alpha), 5 minute whirlpool
  • 2 pkg. Windsor yeast (Lallemand)
  • 1 oz. Citra hop pellets (12% alpha), dry hop in keg
  • 1 oz. Mosaic hop pellets (10.9% alpha), dry hop in keg

Target Parameters

  • 1.048 o.g., 1.013 f.g., 4.5% abv, 36 IBU, 7 SRM
  • Infusion mash, 156° for 30 minutes, full volume
  • Claremont tap water adjusted with lactic acid and mineral additions, to achieve calculated water profile of 56 ppm Ca, 24 ppm Mg, 94 ppm Na, 107 ppm sulfate, 110 ppm Cl, 210 ppm bicarbonate, 172 ppm Alkalinity


  • I mashed in with 8 gallons of unadjusted tap water at 161° and 0.5 tbs. of 88% lactic acid, to hit a mash temperature of 155°. After 30 minutes, it was down to 154°.
  • I vorlaufed, and collected the runnings, with 6.6 gallons into the kettle and a gravity of 1.046, for 77% efficiency.
  • As I brought the runnings to a boil, I added 3 g of epsom salt and 2 g of gypsum.
  • I boiled for 30 minutes, adding hops and finings as in the recipe.
  • At the end of the boil, I added the Simcoe hops and whirlpooled for 5 minutes, before chilling.
  • I chilled down to 75° or so, and transferred to the fermenter (with aeration). Once the fermenter was down to 66°, I pitched the yeast.
  • Starting gravity was 1.052. I brewed this beer on 3 May 2020.
  • After 6 days at 66°, I pulled out the fermenter and let it finish at ambient temperature.
  • I kegged the beer on 30 May 2020, adding the dry hops in a baggie and 3 oz. of corn sugar (in a cup of boiling water). I sealed the keg, added a bit of CO2, and let it condition at room temperature for 2 weeks.
  • Final gravity was 1.013, down from 1.052, for 5.1% abv.


  • Appearance
    • Medium gold in color; after about 2 weeks on tap, it has dropped clear. The head is off-white and modestly persistent.
  • Aroma
    • Plenty of yeast character, with some definite pear ester alongside the hop aroma. The hops have a bit of tropical fruit character.
  • Flavor
    • Hop bitterness is moderately high, but well balanced against the malt. The malt comes through with a bit of biscuity flavor, which is pretty nice. I get a lot of the pear-like yeast esters, which almost swamp out the citrus note on the hops.
  • Mouthfeel
    • Medium body, smooth finish without being biting. Moderate carbonation.
  • Would I brew this again?
    • If I did, I would steer clear of Windsor, and use US-05 or a similarly clean yeast. The yeast character on Windsor is interesting, but the esters clash with the citrusy, tropical notes on the hops. The malt bill is good, and I think makes a nice base otherwise. I would try this recipe pretty close to what it is, just with different yeast. I’m also disappointed by how Windsor clears, or doesn’t clear. It was a hazy mess when first on tap, and took two weeks to really clear up. I expected a bit more to drop out in the fermenter, and that just didn’t happen. The esters are super interesting, and I might poke at them for some other recipes, but as a whole I think I prefer Nottingham for my English ale needs.
  • Overall
    • 5.5/10

Andy’s Pumpking Ale 1.0 Update

I only recently realized that I didn’t post details on the fermentation and bottling of my pumpkin ale.

After brewing on 13 October 2014, and ~2 weeks of fermentation and conditioning, I bottled on 26 October 2014. Final gravity was 1.012, down from a starting gravirty of 1.060. This works out to 6.3% abv.
I primed a mini-keg (5 L) with 1.5 tbs. of corn sugar, and filled up the keg. I had 3.5 gallons left, and wanted to aim for 2.4 volumes of CO2. Thus, I carbonated with 3 oz. of corn sugar boiled in 2 cups of water. The end yield was 18 12-oz. bottles, 5 22-oz. bottles, and 6 18-oz. bottles.
After a few weeks of conditioning, I sampled some bottles. The beer is more carbonated than I like–I suspect this may be due in part to not stirring the beer sufficiently after adding the priming sugar. I also suspect some secondary fermentation is involved, due to the high carbonation in the keg, too.
I took a bottle to my local homebrew club meeting, and the brew overall got pretty decent marks from the crew. Our club president deemed it as nicely balanced, and I would tend to agree. This is definitely a recipe I’ll be trying again!
A formal tasting evaluation will follow later.

Andy’s Pumpkin Ale 1.0

In the continued quest to expand my brewing repertoire, while also focusing on styles that I like to drink (sorry, lambics and barleywines), today I took aim at a pumpkin ale. This was inspired by the efforts of my paleontological brewing colleague Penny Higgins, as well as by a recent issue of Brew Your Own (BYO) magazine.

Grinding the Cinnamon
The recipe itself was based on BYO’s recipe for a Smuttynose Brewing Co. Pumpkin Ale clone. I tweaked the hops a bit based on my supply (and the desire not to open an extra bag if I didn’t have to). Additionally, I decided to increase the amount of pumpkin over the original recipe; 4 oz. of puree just didn’t seem like much, and I wanted a distinct pumpkin flavor. We had some homemade pumpkin puree in the deep freeze, so I thawed that out for this recipe.
So the spices…the recipe called for 0.14 oz. each of ground cinnamon and nutmeg, with a pinch of ground cloves. I grated up the appropriate amount of nutmeg from a fresh nut, and decided to grate up a stick of cinnamon bark too. However, after “grating” ended up more as “shredding”, I elected to use the trusty mortar-and-pestle for the cinnamon as well as the cloves. The result was a whole pile of absolutely delicious smelling (and fresh!) spices.
Andy’s Pumpkin Ale 1.0 (modified from Smuttynose Pumpkin Ale Clone)
  • 10.75 lbs. 2-row malt
  • 0.9 lbs. Carastan malt
  • 0.25 lbs. 60°L crystal malt
  • 12.5 oz. (0.78 lbs.) homemade pumpkin puree
  • 0.5 lbs. rice hulls
  • 1.25 oz. Cascade hops (whole; 75 minute boil)
  • 0.25 oz. Liberty hops (4.5% alpha, 3.5% beta; pellets; 15 minute boil)
  • 0.75 oz. Cascade hops (whole; 10 minute boil)
  • 0.75 oz. Liberty hops (4.5% alpha, 3.5% beta; pellets; added at flame-out)
  • 1 tsp. Irish moss (10 minute boil)
  • 0.14 oz. ground cinnamon bark
  • 0.14 oz. ground nutmeg
  • 2 cloves, ground
  • 1 vial California Ale yeast (White Labs #WLP001), in 1.5 L starter
  • 1 tbs. of 5.2 pH stabilizer

  • The day before brewing, I made up a yeast starter. See this post for details.
  • I added the rice husks to the mash tun, and then added the milled grains. I mashed in with 3.75 gallons of water at 172°. After this, the temperature was a little high (~160°), so I added an extra 0.25 gallons of cold tap water to bring the mash temperature down a bit, to 158°. After 10 minutes, the mash had stabilized to 154°, and to 150° after 60 minutes. Note to self–next let the mash sit a bit longer before worrying about lowering the temperature with cold water. I probably would have been okay without futzing with it.
  • I added 0.5 gallons of water at 195° and let it sit for 15 minutes. From this, I collected ~3.1 gallons of wort over 15 minutes. It had a delicious, sweet flavor–definitely pumpkin!
  • Then, I added 3.25 gallons of water at 186°, and let it sit for 15 minutes. The temperature was around 165°. Then, I collected the second runnings.
  • I collected a total of 6.5 gallons of wort, with a gravity of 1.051 at 60°. This works out to a mash efficiency of ~77%. I can live with that!
  • Once the wort was at a boil, I added the first round of Cascade hops. Additions proceeded per the schedule above.
  • Upon flame-out, I added the final addition of Liberty hops as well as the spices. I gave it a good stir, and let it sit for around 15 minutes.
  • Next, I cooled the wort using my chiller. I had recently read that siphoning ice water through the copper coil can help drop the wort the last few degrees needed for fermentation. So, I tried this trick, and it worked quite well! I was able to knock another 10° off the wort temperature at the end, quite quickly, down to 74°.
  • I pitched the yeast starter, which brought the volume in the fermenter up to 5 gallons exactly. Then, I placed the fermenter in my fermenting chamber, which is set at 68°.
  • The starting gravity is 1.060 (at 60°). I brewed this batch on 13 October 2014.
  • The wort is a gorgeous orangish color, with a distinct yet not overwhelming spice taste and aroma. I hope that this holds through fermentation!