Oh the humble pale ale!
While it is in fact lager that is the most widely made and consumed beers, it’s probably the pale ale that has the most variants and allows itself the most experimentation – at least according to me.
Because of this, the pale ale is great place for experimentation and a great way to learn more about the craft of beer making. While Mikey and I have done quite a few brews, of course we still have quite a bit to learn. So it’s been decided to make the most basic of basic pale ales and work our way up from there.
Keep in mind, yes, Mikey has been been experimenting with “basic” pale ales. His is an exercise in playing with different hops, seeing how they go as a single hop, and seeing how they interact. This is an exercise in making a very basic recipe, and building on that very same recipe.
Yes, this is a basic one – just some traditional pale ale malt and some hops. What hops to use was an educated guess. We’ll see how it tastes and develop from there.
The Basic Pale Ale
The following is for a four litre batch.
- 1 kg traditional ale malt
- 4 grams Chinook (bittering – 60 minutes)
- 4 grams Cascade (taste – 20 minutes)
- 4 grams Citra (aroma – 2 minutes)
- US05 Ale Yeast
The malt was mashed at 65 degrees in five litres of water for 90 minutes. We felt this was a pretty good rule of thumb to start with. As mentioned, this recipe will be the skeleton for what will be developed into a unique recipe.
After the initial mashing, we sparged with another 1.5 litres of water.
This left us with 6.5 litres at the start of the boil, noting that this is a recipe for 4 litres! Unsurprisingly we lost a fair bit of water in the boil and ended up with about 3.5 litres when it was added to the carboy.
We were aiming for an American Pale Ale style of hopping. According to our calculations, the IBUs came in on the top end of the style, which is fine, especially as there will be some other great fruity, tropical, and pine flavours coming through with the hops.
I’m really keen to see how this turns out. I’m sure there will be some more flavours that we’ll want to add in there, but we’ll let the first batch tell us what those are and go from there.