Beer Tasting: Good Riddance Pale Ale

20170218_163101This pale ale has disappeared surprisingly quickly; with only a little bit left in the keg, it’s a good time to do a quick tasting.

  • The Basics
    • O.g. = 1.053; f.g. = 1.011; 5.6% abv; estimated IBU = 41; 7 SRM.
  • Aroma
    • Orange and grapefruit, with a hint of tropical fruit at the background — a nice, medium-strong hop aroma.
  • Appearance
    • When poured, I get a tall, off-white head that is pretty persistent and medium-fine. The beer itself is a burnished gold color and fairly hazy (but not opaque like a NEIPA).
  • Flavor
    • The balance is towards the hops (which have a definite grapefruit character), but the malt character is still pretty nice–slightly grainy.
  • Mouthfeel
    • Bitterness is moderately high, but not over the top. The finish is a touch thinner and drier than I care for, which could be corrected by mashing a degree or two higher or adding in an extra quarter pound of crystal 20. That said, the finish is also nicely balanced between hops and malt, and isn’t puckeringly bitter like some other beers I’ve made.
  • Would I brew this again?
    • This beer was a real surprise! I like it much more than I thought I would. Considering that the main aroma hops were coming up on two years of ago, they held their own really well. I suppose the combination of vacuum seal+deep freeze paid off! This is definitely encouraging for other hops in long-term storage. Overall, the base recipe is another good one to add to my repertoire of American pale ales, with just a few minor modifications for mash temp and hops.
  • Score
    • 7/10

Update: Good Riddance Pale Ale and Eagle Face Oatmeal Stout

Tonight it was time to keg my most recent pale ale and my annual oatmeal stout batch.

Good Riddance Pale Ale, after 20 days in the primary fermenter, was down to 1.011 from a starting gravity of 1.053. This equates to 5.6% abv. As I kegged the beer, I added a weighted mesh bag with the dry hops (1 oz. Amarillo hop pellets, 1 oz. Falconer’s Flight 7C’s hop pellets). I’ll be letting this sit at ~68° under carbonation pressure for at least a few days before serving.

Eagle Face Oatmeal Stout (1.4) had been in the primary fermenter for 15 days. It had a starting gravity of 1.060 and a final gravity of 1.019, equal to 5.4% abv. The gravity was a few points more attenuated than expected–most likely due to the slightly lower-than-normal mash temperature for this particular iteration.

This whole undertaking was a good reminder of why I am glad I was able to switch over to kegging–it took barely an hour to sanitize the kegs, keg the beers, clean my transfer equipment, and set the fermenters to soak! I would have needed up to twice that time for bottling!

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).


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


  • 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°.