As mentioned previously, 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!