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Style of the Week: American Pale Ale

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October 17, 2014 by fhsteinbart


APAWhile this may seem to be a simple and straightforward beer, it can be one of the trickiest as well. I made over 100 different variations of my APA recipe until I found the best combination for my tastes. Of course YMMV, but I’ll bet that you have at least a couple different recipes for this most ubiquitous of beer styles. My own recipe was derived from the beginning to be able to make a beer that had both a solid malt framework upon which to build a flavor and aroma profile that would match the hops. While most recipes will tell you that a BU:GU ratio of 0.6~0.8:1 will get you a nicely balanced APA, I tend to go lower on the bittering, and focus more on the later additions for flavor and aroma. Below is my recipe for a nicely hoppy APA.

Extract version:

OG: 1.054 TG: 1.012

6 lbs. Light DME

½ lb. Victory Malt

½ lb. Crystal/Caramel 40L

½ lb. Honey Malt

½ lb. Red Wheat Malt

1 oz. Magnum hops for 60~90 minutes

½ oz. Crystal hops for 20 minutes

½ oz. Magnum hops for 20 minutes

1 Whirlfloc Tablet or ½ tsp. Irish Moss at last 15 minutes

2 oz. Citra hops at 7 minutes

¾ gm. Burton Water Salts per gallon (~3.75 gms. or 1 level tsp.)

Wyeast 1056, WLP001, or US-05 yeast

2 oz. Nelson Sauvign hops dry hopped for 7~11 days

Procedure:

  • Heat 2-5 gallons of water to 165°F.
  • Turn off heat and add malt extract, stirring until fully dissolved.
  • Return to Heat, bring to boil for 10~15 min. then add bittering hops.
  • At 20 minutes before end of boil, add the flavor hops
  • At 15 minutes before end of boil, add Whirlfloc tablet or Irish moss.
  • At 7 minutes before end of boil, add the aroma hops.
  • At knockout (0 minutes), turn off the heat, then cool the mixture by placing kettle in an ice bath or use a wort chiller.
  • Add the mixture to the fermenter, removing the hops, and bring total volume to 5 gallons using distilled, bottled, or filtered tap water.
  • Aerate unfermented wort (shaking works well).
  • Pitch yeast and ferment at 65°F to 69°F. for up to 4 to 5 days, before adding dry hops, then packaging up as usual.

All Grain version:

OG: 1.054 TG: 1.012

9 lbs. Gambrinus 2-Row Pale Ale Malt

½ lb. Victory Malt

½ lb. Crystal/Caramel 40L

½ lb. Honey Malt

½ lb. Red Wheat Malt

1 oz. Magnum hops for 60~90 minutes

½ oz. Crystal hops for 20 minutes

½ oz. Magnum hops for 20 minutes

1 Whirlfloc Tablet or ½ tsp. Irish Moss at last 15 minutes

2 oz. Citra hops at 7 minutes

¾ gm. Burton Water Salts per gallon (~3.75 gms. or 1 level tsp.)

Wyeast 1056, WLP001, or US-05 yeast

2 oz. Nelson Sauvign hops dry hopped for 7~11 days

Procedure:

  • Infusion mash at 150°F for 90 min.
  • Sparge until 6~6½ gal wort has been obtained.
  • Add the Burton Water Salts after the boil commences.
  • Boil for 1 to 1½ hours.
  • Then add the bittering hops after 15 minutes boiling and continue to boil for 60 more minutes.
  • Add the flavor hops at 20 minutes remaining.
  • Add Whirlfloc or Irish Moss at last 15 minutes.
  • Add the aroma hops at 7 minutes remaining to the boil.
  • Gravity may vary depending on system efficiency, so adjust accordingly.
  • Add dry hops at 4th or 5th day of fermentation for 7~11 days.

Package up as usual; bottled versions should use 112 gms. corn sugar (approx. ¾ cup), or kegged to 20 psig, and allow two weeks to come into condition. Serve at 48~54°F in a 20 oz. Imperial Pint glass, share and enjoy!

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