For this recipe, I wanted a nice down-the-middle American Pale Ale, to use up some of my hops on hand and also to emphasize the pine/citrus flavors I love. I’ve brewed something in the Sierra Nevada Pale Ale territory before, so this time around I wanted to do something a touch different. I looked in the Craft Beer for the Home Brewer book, where I found the “Capt’n Crompton’s Pale Ale” recipe from Epic Brewing. The reference to Crompton made me think of the famous paleontologist “Fuzz” Crompton, for whom Lanasaurus is named, and then I remembered that this is the junior synonym for Lycorhinus, and there we are with the final name!
The recipe is pretty similar to the original, except I made some minor substitutions for hops (Crystal instead of Mt. Hood, and I upped the Amarillo a little). For the dry hop addition, I used the very latest 2022 Cascade hops from my dad’s bines in South Dakota. They were under two weeks past picking when I added them to the beer!
Lycorhinus Pale Ale
6 lb. Finest Pale Ale Malt, Golden Promise (Simpsons)
6 lb. 2-row malt (Rahr)
0.5 lb. Caramel Munich 60L malt (Briess)
0.5 lb. Carapils malt
1 oz. Centennial hop pellets (8.1% alpha), 60 minute boil
0.5 oz. Crystal hop pellets (4.5% alpha), 30 minute boil
1 Whirlfloc tablet, 5 minute boil
0.5 oz. Amarillo hop pellets (9.5% alpha), 5 minute boil
0.5 oz. Centennial hop pellets (8.1% alpha), 5 minute boil
1 pkg. American West Coast Ale yeast
1 oz. Cascade whole hops, dry hop in keg
1.058 o.g., 1.012 f.g., 6.0% abv, 39 IBU, 7 SRM
Claremont tap water adjusted to 78 ppm Ca, 21 ppm Mg, 92 ppm Na, 188 ppm SO4, 110 ppm Cl, 30 ppm HCO3
Full-volume mash, no sparge, at 152° for 60 minutes
I heated 7.25 gallons of water to 158°, adding 6 mL of 88% lactic acid to neutralize the carbonate.
I adjusted the pH to an estimated 5.35, using 88% lactic acid. I adjusted the mash to 152° for 60 minutes, and then raised the mash to 168° for an additional 10 minutes, all with recirculation.
After the mash, I pulled the grains. In total, I collected 6.25 gallons of runnings with a gravity of 1.049, for 64% mash efficiency.
I added 4 g of gypsum and 4 g of epsom salt, to adjust the water.
I brought the runnings to a boil, adding hops per the recipe. After a 60 minute boil, I turned off the heat and then chilled to ~82°. I transferred to the fermenter, and then chilled in the fermentation chamber to 66° before pitching the yeast.
Starting gravity was 1.058. I brewed this beer on 3 September 2022, and fermented it at 66°.
On 17 September 2022, I transferred the beer to the keg, and used 1 oz. of the 2022 South Dakota crop of Cascade to dry hop in a bag. I dry hopped the beer at room temperature for 3 days before removing the hops and carbonating at 34°.
Final gravity was 1.010, for 6.3% abv.
Deep gold beer with a slight haze. The medium-sized ivory head is quite persistent.
Light citrus hop aroma, with a slight caramel malty note. Clean yeast character.
There is a perfect proportion between malt and hops. The overall flavor tilts bitter, but the malt backbone is fantastic, with aspects of bread, bread crust, and a slight hint of caramel. The hops are citrusy, and the fermentation profile is pretty clean.
Medium-light body, with a slightly dry finish. Moderate carbonation.
Would I Brew This Again?
Yes! This is a tremendous recipe, and the beer itself has matured into a super nice example of a classic America pale ale. It took a few weeks after kegging for the beer to mature and the haze to settle, but right now it’s a perfect beer. It is incredibly drinkable, and probably one of the best American pale ales I have made.
As mentionedpreviously, Yakima Valley’s HOPBOX is a good way to sample fresh and interesting hops. My first box included Strata and El Dorado; I’ve brewed with the latter previously, but not Strata. I was noodling about for a recipe that would have tropical-type notes, and these seemed to be a good way to achieve that goal.
The base recipe is a fairly standard American pale ale; I aimed for the lighter side of the style, with a very deft touch of caramel malts. To maximize the hop character, I dosed all of the aroma hops in the whirlpool and the dry hop additions. Otherwise, there’s not a ton of note in the recipe design.
Stratigraphic Pale Ale
7.25 lb. 2-row pale malt (Rahr)
4 lb. Maris Otter malt (Crisp)
5 oz. crystal 15 (Great Western)
4 oz. caramel 10L (Briess)
0.25 oz. Bravo hop pellets (14.2% alpha), 60 minute boil
1 oz. El Dorado hop pellets (16.2% alpha), 15 minute whirlpool
1 oz. Strata hop pellets (13.7% alpha), 15 minute whirlpool
1 pkg. Safale American Ale yeast (Fermentis US-05)
1 oz. El Dorado hop pellets (16.2% alpha), dry hop in keg
1 oz. Strata hop pellets (13.7% alpha), dry hop in keg
1.053 s.g., 1.011 f.g., 5.5% abv, 5 SRM, 38 IBU
Full volume mash, 60 minute mash at 152°, 10 minute mash-out at 168°
Claremont tap water adjusted to hit target of 71 ppm Ca, 6 ppm Mg, 91 ppm Na, 154 ppm SO4, 85 ppm Cl, 144 ppm bicarbonate, RA=63.
I heated 7.25 gallons of water to 159°, and mashed in with the grains to hit a target mash temperature of 152°. I added 7.5 mL of 88% lactic acid to adjust the pH. I held it here while recirculating for 60 minutes, before raising the temperature to 168° for a 10 minute mash-out.
I removed the grain basket and brought the kettle to a boil. In total, I collected 6.4 gallons of runnings with a gravity of 1.048, for 70% mash efficiency. I added 5 g of gypsum to the boil kettle, to adjust the mineral profile of the water.
I added hops and finings per the recipe, with a 60 minute boil. After 60 minutes, I turned off the heat, added the whirlpool hops, and whirlpooled for 15 minutes.
After the whirlpool, I chilled and then transferred to the fermenter.
I chilled the wort down to 66° in my fermentation chamber, before pitching the yeast. I fermented at 66° also.
I brewed the beer on 29 January 2022. I kegged it on 8 March 2022, adding the dry hops to the keg.
Final gravity was 1.012, for 5.4% abv.
Gold beer, slight haze; pours with a persistent fine white head.
Citrus/orange prominent, with a bit of tropical fruit and strawberry also. Light malt aroma. Clean yeast character.
Light malty flavor, against a moderate bitterness. The hop flavor is citrus, tropical fruit, and strawberry. Very nice!
Medium body, medium carbonation, slightly dry finish.
Would I brew this again?
Yes! This is a nice hop combo. I ding the beer slightly for the haze, but otherwise this is a great recipe for tropical-type hops. I enjoyed Strata–the strawberry character really is something!
American pale ales are one of my favorite styles, if only because there are so many interpretations. You can get the classic almost-amber, slightly caramel versions with Cascade and other “legacy” hops, or you can get the fairly dry, almost IPA, pale and tropical hop versions loaded down with Mosaic and the latest fad hop, or any other number of versions in between. I love Sierra Nevada’s pale ale–it is such a consistently enjoyable and reliable beer, and also easy to find. For my next pale ale, I didn’t want a clone of Sierra Nevada, but I did want something in that general flavor sphere.
I turned to Brewing Classic Styles, which has two pale ale recipes. One is a bit drier and lighter in malt, and the other throws in some extra crystal malt and a bit of Munich malt to up the body and dark the color. I chose the latter version, but made some slight modifications. First, I used Maris Otter instead of American two-row as the base…I thought it would provide an even maltier backbone. Because I just got a shipment of this season’s Cascade hops from my dad in South Dakota, I used Cascade only for the late hop and dry hop regimens. Details are below!
Cascade Pale Ale II
10 lb. Maris Otter malt (Crisp)
0.75 lb. Munich Light (Chateau)
0.75 lb. caramel 40 (Briess)
1 oz. Magnum hop pellets (10.1% alpha), 60 minute boil
2 oz. Cascade whole hops (est. 5.5% alpha), dry hop in keg
1.052 o.g., 1.011 f.g., 5.4% abv, 42 IBU, 8 SRM
Full volume mash at 152° for 60 minutes, with 10 minute mash-out at 168°
Claremont tap water adjusted with gypsum to hit water profile target of 102 Ca, 11Mg, 93 Na, 203 sulfate, 105 Cl, 156 bicarbonate, 49 RA, 128 alkalinity
I mashed in with 7.3 gallons of water at 158°, to hit a mash temperature of 152°. I added 7 mL of 88% lactic acid as a pH adjustment, and recirculated the mash at 152° for 60 minutes.
Next, I raised the mash temperature to 168°, held it there for 10 minutes, and then removed the grains.
I collected 6.2 gallons of runnings at a gravity of 1.047, for 68% mash efficiency.
At this point, I added 2 tsp. of gypsum and brought the runnings to a boil. I added the hops and other ingredients per the recipe, boiling for 60 minutes.
After 60 minutes, I turned off the heat and chilled the wort to 80°. Next, I transferred it to the fermenter, and chilled to 66° in my fermentation chamber, before pitching the yeast.
My original gravity was 1.052–exactly on the mark! I brewed the beer on 4 September 2021, and fermented at 66°.
On 11 September 2021, I pulled the fermenter out to ambient (~70° to 75°) to finish out.
I kegged the beer on 17 September 2021, adding whole Cascade hops to the keg at this point. Final gravity was 1.012, for 5.3% abv.
This is a deep gold beer with slight haze; it pours with an ivory and modestly persistent head.
Light caramel malt aroma, with a modest orange/citrus hop aroma and clean yeast character.
Light caramel and moderately malt-forward beer; bitterness is moderately high yet clean, with an orange/citrus-type flavor.
Medium body, medium carbonation, pleasantly lingering bitterness on the finish.
Would I brew this again?
Yes? This is a very 1990s type of pale ale, and would be typical of what you might find in a brewpub during the late 1990s/early 2000s. I like less caramel-forward pale ales in general, but this is nice as a variant on my usual. Next time, I might ditch the Munich or else swap the Maris Otter for the 2-row malt, to moderate the maltiness just a touch.
It happened…I’ve given in to a brewing trend, and am trying a recipe with kveik. As you’ll see in some upcoming posts, I’ve in fact tried a few kveik recipes at this point. This is my first one, and admittedly not my favorite.
For those not familiar with it, kveik is essentially a Norwegian farmhouse ale culture, with a rich cultural history that has likely been over-analyzed by those outside of the original neighborhoods where the yeast originated. I’ve been intrigued by their stated qualities of fermenting cleanly in excess of 90°, which almost sounds too good to be true. It wasn’t, in the end!
The recipe is inspired by a kit recipe from Atlantic Brew Supply, with major adjustments to pretty much everything. Many of the kveik-centered recipes out there are super-high alcohol, and that just doesn’t interest me. Session ales forever! I looked around at a few different kveik strains, and Hornindal from Omega seemed to hit the balance of a citrusy character that I wanted. I went with my usual session pale ale strategy of Vienna plus some Munich and a little crystal malt. For the hops, I grabbed a South African experimental variety, U1/108, from my local homebrew shop.
Kveik Pale Ale
8 lb. Vienna malt (Weyermann)
1 lb. Munich light malt (Chateau)
0.5 lb. Crystal 40 malt (Great Western)
0.75 oz. Magnum hop pellets (13.2% alpha), 30 minute boil
1 tsp. Fermax yeast nutrient, 10 minute boil
1 Whirlfloc tablet
1 oz. African Experimental U1/108 hop pellets (15.0% alpha), 5 minute boil
1 oz. African Experimental U1/108 hop pellets (15.0% alpha), 15 minute whirlpool
3 oz. African Experimental U1/108 hop pellets (15.0% alpha), dry hop in keg
1 pkg. Hornindal Kveik (Omega OYL-091)
1.043 s.g., 1.011 f.g., 4.3% abv, 6 SRM, 41 IBU
Infusion mash, 156°, batch sparge; 45 minute boil
Claremont water, with Campden tablet to remove chloramines and 2 g of gypsum added to boil kettle.
I mashed in with 3.25 gallons at 168°, to hit a 158° mash temperature. I also added 4 mL of 88% lactic acid to the mash, to adjust pH.
The mash temperature was down to 156° after 45 minutes. At this point, I added 1.5 gallons for the first sparge, which raised the temperature to 162°. After 10 minutes, vorlaufed and collected the first runnings. Next, I added 3.6 gallons for the second sparge, with a vorlauf after 10 minutes.
In total, I collected 7 gallons with a gravity of 1.039, for 77% mash efficiency.
In the kettle, I added 2 g gypsum, and the broil everything to a boil. I boiled for 45 minutes, adding hops and other items per the schedule.
After flame-out, I chilled the wort to below 185° and then added 1 oz. of whirlpool hops. Hops were between 175° and 180° for 10 minutes. Then, I continued chilling.
After I chilled the wort down to 90°, I let it settle for 1 hour and then transferred to the fermenter and pitched the kveik.
The fermenter showed minor activity within 6 hours, and vigorous bubbling within 18 hours. At this point, I measured ~85° degrees for fermenter temperature, with 80° degrees ambient in the garage. I started fermentation on September 5, and fermentation seemingly was done by 9 Sept 2020.
I kegged the beer on 13 September 2020, adding dry hops in a baggie at that time. As has been my usual practice lately, I did a mixture of keg priming and force carbonation, targeting 2.7 volumes of CO2. I added 2.8 oz of corn sugar dissolved in one cup water for this first stage, and after a week topped up the CO2 using my cylinder.
Final gravity is 1.017, for 3.6% abv.
A hazy gold beer, with a pillowy, fine, and very persistent white head
Aroma is malt-centered, very bready and showing a bit of caramel. Hop aroma is surprisingly low.
Very hoppy, with a slightly rough bitterness. The malt in the background has a bready and toasty quality.
Light bodied, slightly astringent finish, probably from the dry hops. Moderately high carbonation.
Would I brew this again?
Not with this particular hopping regimen. The malt character is fine, and the yeast character is fantastically clean for having been fermented at high temperature, but the hops just don’t do it for me. I wonder if it’s a combination of the hop variety with the low starting gravity, so that the hops aren’t balanced more by the malt. I also think I overhopped on the dry-hopping, so I can’t blame it all on the hop variety. Honestly, the beer was far better before I added the dry hops! That said, I’m super impressed by the yeast, and harvested a ton for use in some upcoming batches.
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
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.
Medium gold in color; after about 2 weeks on tap, it has dropped clear. The head is off-white and modestly persistent.
Plenty of yeast character, with some definite pear ester alongside the hop aroma. The hops have a bit of tropical fruit character.
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.
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.