Monday’s Brew: English Pale Ale

I had forgotten to blog this at brew time, so here’s the post-game with all the brew details. In truth, I had a particular recipe in mind going into the brew store, but based on what they had, I made alterations. Looking back on the ingredients, this is leaning toward a pale ale.

Ingredients:

  • 6.6 lb golden LME (liquit malt extract)
  • 2 oz Aurora hops (8.1% alpha)
  • 1 packet dry British ale yeast
  • 1 lb Crystal 10-degree Lovibond
  • 1 lb Vienna malt
  • 1 lb wheat

The schedule began with a 20 minute “tea”, which involved steeping the Crystal, Vienna, and wheat malt in a grain sock in about 3 gallons of 160 degree water. Once the tea was done, I lightly compressed the sock and ran the hot tea through it a bit as a bit of a faux sparge to release any remaining sugars into the tea.

I then brought the tea to a boil and added the LME along with 1 oz of the Aurora hops. I find that with extracts, it’s best to add hops as soon as possible to prevent boil-over. Something about the hop oils seems to calm the beer down as it approaches boiling.

Once at a boil, I set the timer for 30 minutes, at which time I added another 0.5 ounces of Aurora hops. Then set the timer for 28 minutes, at which the remaining Aurora was added for the final 2 minutes of boil.

At the 0-minute mark, removed from flame and removed the hop bags. With wort chiller, chilled down to 70 degrees, aerated the wort heavily and dry-pitched the yeast. I’ve had a lot of luck with dry-pitching, though over the past year or so the beer’s been slower to really start fermenting. But, it does ferment.

Original gravity was 1.062.

Final reading on bottling night (last night) was 1.014, yielding a nice 6.3% ABV IPA. The color is a bit on the deeper side, though not quite brown or amber. The beer has some strong bitter characteristics with mild maltiness behind it. At room temp and flat (and unconditioned) it was fairly good, but Angelos and I both agreed that once conditioned, carbonated and cold, this would be a fine brew. We shall see!

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