Claremont Summer Ale Bottled

Tonight I bottled the Claremont Summer Ale (with the able assistance of brew pal Brian). The final gravity (after 8 days in the secondary) was 1.014, unchanged from when I transferred it from the primary. Given the starting gravity of 1.052, the estimated ABV is 5.0%. The flavor of the uncarbonated beer is remarkably clean, with a slightly nutty finish; the color is golden. This is going to be a real gem once it matures, I think!

I carbonated with 3/4 cup of corn sugar (plus a few tablespoons). The total bottle yield was 28 12-oz. bottles, 5 16 oz-bottles, and 4 22-oz. bottles.

Claremont Summer Ale Update

This afternoon I transferred the Claremont Summer Ale over to the secondary fermenter. The gravity right now is 1.014 (down from 1.052), so the current ABV is 5.0%. The beer has a nice straw color and a pretty clean taste (just a hint of ester that I think should mature out). I will probably bottle next weekend, so that the beer will be carbonated, conditioned and ready to drink by Easter (April 8).

The only minor hitch was the stopper for the airlock slipping into the secondary. Fortunately I had a spare, but it will be quite a trick to get the other stopper out in the end.

Claremont Summer Ale

The brewing season is nearing an end here in southern California, so it’s time to stockpile some refreshing beers for the coming warm months. I also had a few packages of grains and hops pellets sitting around that needed to be used up. The result: a recipe for Claremont Summer Ale. I built the recipe in BeerSmith, using the Blonde Ale style as a rough guide.

Claremont Summer Ale

  • 6 oz. 20°L crystal malt
  • 8 oz. carapils malt
  • 8 oz. Munich malt
  • 3 pounds light dry malt extract
  • 3 pounds pale (extra light) dry malt extract
  • 1 oz. Cascade pellet hops
  • 1 oz. Mt. Hood pellet hops
  • 1 tsp. Irish moss
  • 1 package East Coast Ale Yeast (White Labs #WLP008)


  • I heated 3 gallons of water to 158° F, and steeped the grains at this temperature for 1 hour (plus or minus a few degrees).
  • Then, I sparged the grains with a gallon of water, bringing the brew kettle up to 4 gallons total. Upon heating the mixture to boiling, I turned off the heat, added the DME, and brought it all back to boiling again. The Cascade hops were added.
  • After 45 minutes of boiling, I added the Irish moss.
  • After 58 minutes of boiling, I added the Mt. Hood hops.
  • After 60 minutes of boiling, I removed all of the hops and chilled the wort.
  • I decanted the mixture (except 0.5 gallons of trub) into the primary fermenter, and topped up with water to 4.75 gallons. The temperature was 68° F, and I pitched the yeast directly in.
  • BeerSmith estimated my starting gravity to be 1.057 (slightly outside the blonde ale style), with 18.1 IBUs, a color of 6.7 SRM, and estimated ABV at 5.5%. The actual starting specific gravity was 1.052, and I expect the color will be a little lighter than estimated too. The most likely reason for this is that I poured off such a healthy amount of trub. The end result is that I should be within the style for a blonde ale (for whatever that’s worth).

California Summer Ale Bottled

This afternoon I (with the assistance of my buddy Matt) bottled up the California Summer Ale – the final yield was 41 bottles. Three of these were 22-oz., and 11 were 18-oz. So, that’s a lot of beer! The brew has a nice hoppy taste and a golden-copper color. Can’t wait to see how it turns out after a few weeks of carbonation and conditioning!

This will likely be my last batch until next fall – the daytime temperatures in my apartment are just a little too warm now. Fortunately, I’ve got a nice supply of home brew laid away in my closet.

California Summer Ale Update

Tonight I transferred the CSA into the secondary fermenter. The beer has a nice light color, but is nowhere near settled yet. I’ve read that this strain of yeast has low floculation, so we’ll just have to see how the end result looks in terms of clarity.

Right now, the gravity reads 1.010. Slightly lower than I was expecting, so I double-checked the temperature and my measurements, and all is correct. This gives me about 3.3 percent alcohol at present.

The taste of the beer so far is light and mildly hopped. It promises to be very good in the end!