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Style of the Week: Extra Pale Ale!

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May 27, 2016 by fhsteinbart


extra pale ale

Typical EPA served in a sleeve type glass.

I was asked recently by a customer about making a drier version of his American Pale Ale (APA) recipe. When I looked at his proposed malt and hop bill, I was surprised to see that he had enough crystal malt to make an Amber or Red Ale! So I naturally asked if he didn’t mind the omission of the crystal malt in favor of some other character malt like Victory, or Melanoidin Malt. His response was that he always uses crystal malt in all of his recipes! No wonder his beers were always so full bodied! Since he wanted to make a drier, more drinkable beer for the upcoming warmer months coming up, I suggested that he make an Extra Pale Ale (EPA). What makes an EPA different from an APA is that the extra pale ale is drier with a lower terminal gravity than that found in a typical pale ale. As a consequence of this dryness, they tend to taste hoppier even though they are the same IBU bitterness. Below is a recipe of mine (which is also on the turnstile of recipes in the grain room) that will make for a crisp, dry, clean EPA that will be very thirst quenching, and drinkable.

 

Extract:

  • 6 lbs. Extra Light DME
  • ½ lb. Victory Malt
  • ½ lb. Melanoidin Malt
  • 1 oz. Goldings Hops (Bittering)
  • 1 oz. Willamette Hops (Flavoring)
  • 1 oz. Goldings Hops (Aromatic)
  • Whirlfloc tablet or Irish Moss
  • ¼ oz. Calcium Chloride Salts in the boil.
  • Wyeast 1056, WLP001, Imperial Flagship, or Safale US-05 yeast

Instructions:

  • Heat 2½ gallons of water to 155°F.
  • Turn off heat and add DME, stirring until fully dissolved, then add water to volume.
  • Return to heat, bring to boil for 10 min., then add bittering hops.
  • At 20 minutes remaining in the boil, add the flavor hops.
  • At 15 minutes remaining in the boil, add a Whirfloc tablet.
  • After boil has finished, turn off heat, add the aroma hops, and cool wort by placing kettle in an ice bath or use a wort chiller (0 min).
  • Add mixture to fermenter, removing hops, and bring total volume to 5 gallons using non-distilled bottled water or filtered tap water.
  • Aerate unfermented wort (shaking works well).
  • Pitch yeast and ferment at 68° F until completed (about a week).
  • Allow to age an additional four to six weeks before packaging up as usual.

All Grain:

  • 9 lbs. Pale Ale Malt
  • ½ lb. Victory Malt
  • ½ lb. Melanoidin Malt
  • 1 oz. Goldings Hops (Bittering)
  • 1 oz. Willamette Hops (Flavoring)
  • 1 oz. Goldings Hops (Aromatic)
  • Whirlfloc tablet or Irish Moss
  • ¼ oz. Calcium Chloride Salts in the mash and in the boil.
  • Wyeast 1056, WLP001, Imperial Flagship, or Safale US-05 yeast

 

Procedure:

Infusion mash at 150°F for 1 hour, using a standard (1.33 qt./lb.) mash. Sparge to 6.5 gallons of wort, and bring to a roiling boil. Add the bittering hops 15 minutes into the boil. At 20 minutes remaining, add the flavor hops. At 15 minutes remaining add the Whirlfloc tablet or Irish moss. At 0 minutes (knockout), add the aroma hops, then cool the mixture by placing kettle in an ice bath or using a wort chiller. Add mixture to fermenter, removing hops, and aerate unfermented wort (shaking works well). Pitch yeast and ferment at 68°F. Gravity may vary depending on system efficiency, so adjust accordingly, using malt extract if needed.

Package up as usual; bottled versions should use 100 gms. corn sugar (approx. ¾ cup), or kegged to 20 psig, and allow two weeks to come into condition. Serve at 50°~55°F in an American Pint glass, share, and enjoy! This beer will continue to evolve and change over the coming months, so make enough to last you through your next brew.

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