Reinvention – New England Style American Pale Ale

DSC_1051This beer was brewed on 04/30/16.  This is a new recipe that I’m trying for what will become something of a house pale ale I may brew whenever the need for a easy drinking hoppy beer may arise.  This beer should be light, but not thin.  It should lean towards hop forward without being hop juice.  And it should sessionable without being a light beer.   Though its a recipe I’ve never tried, its certainly not a departure from my wheelhouse of New England Pale ales.  I titled this beer Reinvention.  My personal life has seen a number of changes lately, so I figured this would be an appropriate name for this beer!  Beyond my personal reasons, I feel like these new breeds of New England style hoppy beers are reinventing what American hoppy beers can be like.  Gone is the focus on clarity and assertive bitterness, instead focusing on hop saturation in the flavor and aroma along smooth drinkability.  I’ve grown so bored with the typical copper colored IPA, the standard West Coast version.  Ok, so maybe reinventing hoppy beers is a stretch, but they’ve certainly rejuvenated my interest in them.

This beer is a New England style take on an American Pale Ale.  Think something along the lines of Trillium’s Fort Point Pale Ale, but scaled down a bit and with some different hops, or Hill Farmstead’s Edward .  I’m not going into detail about the New England style of APA/IPA/DIPA, I feel like I’ve covered it at length in some other blog posts on here, but this beer should certainly fit right into that style.

The base of this one is good old 2 Row, with some White Wheat to add some body and mouthfeel to the beer.  I added some carapils to enhance that effect.  I went with a higher dose of Light Caramalt in this one than I typically do with my IPAs and DIPAs to add a level of balance to this one.  It’s going to be a juicy, hop forward beer for sure, but I want there to be a nice malty sweetness to act as a good backbone.


Mashing in!





Enjoying a Surly during brew day, need to stay hydrated after all!

The hop bill on this beer should wind up fairly fruity.  Citra, Simcoe, and Amarillo all play well together.  The Simcoe should take on a pineapple, citrus, and a bit of pine when paired with the more citrus forward Amarillo.  The Citra should add even more citrus, a bit more tropical fruit, and maybe some dankness.  I’m excited to use more Simcoe here, I’ve phased it out of my latest take on my DIPA, White Death, but its still a hop I enjoy, especially when paired with even more fruit forward varieties.


The boil!

This was the second half of my 4/30/16 brew day, I started this one immediately after completing my latest batch of White Death.  I had a little more company for this batch, and had a bunch of fun with my friends while I brewed.  It was a couple of their first times at a brew day, and it was fun to show them the process, though I could see the life draining from their eyes as I explained the ins and outs of the process in painful detail to them, I’m sure they’ll never be back!  Oh well, I’ll just bribe them with beer!  Anyway, despite the friendly distractions,  I was on my game the second batch of the day as well as the first.  I mashed at 153, just a degree short of my intended goal of 154.  I sparged and got my boil going with no issues.  I hit all my hop additions, and then cooled the beer to 180.  I did a 30 minute hopstand at 180, and then chilled the rest of the way down and pitched the London Ale III yeast at about 70 degrees.

I was just one gravity point shy of my intended SG of 1.056, coming in at 1.055.  I’ll take that any day, especially the first time brewing a recipe!  I filtered out as mush hop sludge as I could and into the carboy it went.


White Death on the left, Reinvention on the right

This will ferment next to its stronger, older, brew day brother at 68 degrees.  The first round of dry hops will be at day five, the second will come when I transfer to kegs at day ten.




Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM)
White Wheat Malt (2.4 SRM) Grain
Caramalt (Thomas Fawcett) (15.0 SRM) Grain
Carapils (Briess) (1.5 SRM) Grain


Kegging Update:  This beer was transferred to the keg onto the second round of dry hops on 05/11/16.  The FG of the beer was 1.013, giving me an ABV of 5.5%, right around what I was hoping for with this beer!  The hydrometer sample tasted really good, there was nice balance to it, and I’m very anxious to try this carbed up!

Tasting Notes 05/27/16:

Appearance:  This beer pours deep gold with hints of orange.  This one’s hazy, but not quite at the level of some of my other beers that use Wyeast 1318 and a bunch of hops.  The head is white and sticks around the edges of the glass, leaving a good amount of lacing.  A really nice looking brew.

Smell:  Pineapple, papaya, citrus, and a hint of pine, floral, and berry are the predominant aromas I pick up in this one.  I love the pineapple and candied fruit aromas that Simcoe takes on in addition to the pine when used with other fruity hops.  There a pleasant undertone of sweet malt just barely perceptible under the hops.

Taste:  Very mild bitterness, but nice hop flavor.  Its not as saturated with hops as some other pales I’ve brewed, and I’m not sure why.  I’m being picky though, this is a fine beer and I’m really happy with the flavors.  I get a lot of citrus, some orange and grapefruit, some pineapple, and some grainy sweetness from the balanced malt profile.  While hop forward, its not hop juice.  A hint of resiny pine in the flavor as well.

Mouthfeel:  medium bodied and medium carbonation.  Its smooth, but it still finishes dry and crisp.  This one is very easy drinking, and is really nice as the weather is FINALLY warming up around here!

Overall:  A really nice pale ale.  Not sure how much I can really improve upon it.  The recipe is mostly sound, I did well on brew day, and the only hiccup I had was some keg sealing issues that I got sorted.  I don’t think I detect any oxidized hop flavors, but I thought the hops might pop just a bit more.  I think upon re-brewing this I’ll cut the caramalt down to a half pound.  I’m wondering if the sweetness is whats keeping the hops from popping more.  I’m not trying to be negative though, I’m still pretty damn pleased with this, and will certainly come back to it again!


Brewz Grump-American/English Pale Ale

Brewz glass 1Brewz glass 2

Brewz Grump

Another small batch in the books!  This beer was brewed on  01/25/15.  This one is the next in our dog series of brews after Doodleface.  To be honest, this beer was a fridge and grain bin clearer, as I had a bunch of odds and ends from prior batches like specialty grains and hops, so I just needed yeast and base malt.  I had just enough left over hops and specialty grains to put together a 2.75 gallon batch.  This beer is named for my wife’s parents dog and frequent house guest of ours, Blu Belle.  Blu is a sweet, smart, somewhat gassy cross between an English and American bulldog.  My wife came up with the Brewz Grump name, and I thought it fit Blu well with her grumpy looking bulldog face.  To honor her being an English and American mix, I though it would be cool to cross ingredients from the UK and American ingredients.  I tend to do this with most of my pales anyway since I love UK base malts, but I thought it was a cool idea.

I started with a Golden Promise base.  I’ve become a big fan of Golden Promise and Pearl malts as the base of my pale ales.  They have more bread like malt character than standard two row, and I can get more malt flavor without too much reliance on specialty grains, which can sometimes muddle the hop flavors if used in excess.  I had some leftover caramalt and carapills, and then tossed some oats in for added body.  I also added a bit of American Munich malt for some added malt flavor and color.  The hops were all from prior batches, most being fairly fresh.  I had originally wanted WLP 007 Dry English Ale for the yeast, but my LHBS was out.  The guy there knows what he’s doing so I respect his opinion, and he recommended Wyeast 1068 English ESB.  Its what’s supposedly used in Three Floyd’s Zombie Dust, so it obviously can complement hops well.  I’ve never used this yeast, but it was fun going into this batch with an open mind and no real expectations of exactly how I wanted this to turn out.

Nothing outside the ordinary on this brew day, just another stove top batch.  I mashed at 154, boiled for 60, then did a 20 minute hop stand.  My OG came in right on the money at 1.057

My water profile on this one was:

Ca+2     Mg+2      Na+      Cl-       SO4-2
151.2     0.0          0.0        67.1     271.5

Batch Size (fermenter): 2.75 gal
Estimated OG: 1.057 SG
Estimated FG: 1.018 FG
Estimated Color: 5.9 SRM
Estimated IBU: 58.8 IBUs
Brewhouse Efficiency: 75.00 %
Boil Time: 60 Minutes

Amt Name Type # %/IBU
4 lbs Pale Malt, Golden Promise (Thomas Fawcet Grain 1 71.0 %
8.0 oz Munich Malt – 10L (10.0 SRM) Grain 2 8.9 %
8.0 oz Oats, Flaked (1.0 SRM) Grain 3 8.9 %
4.0 oz Caramalt (Thomas Fawcett) (15.0 SRM) Grain 4 4.4 %
4.0 oz Carapils (Briess) (1.5 SRM) Grain 5 4.4 %
2.1 oz Acid Malt (3.0 SRM) Grain 6 2.3 %

0.25 oz Apollo [17.00 %] – Boil 60.0 min Hop 7 28.1 IBUs
0.25 oz Apollo [17.00 %] – Boil 30.0 min Hop 8 21.6 IBUs
0.38 oz Centennial [10.00 %] – Boil 10.0 min Hop 9 9.1 IBUs
0.50 oz Cascade [5.50 %] – Boil 0.0 min Hop 10 0.0 IBUs
0.25 oz Apollo [17.00 %] – Boil 0.0 min Hop 11 0.0 IBUs
0.25 oz Citra [12.00 %] – Boil 0.0 min Hop 12 0.0 IBUs
0.25 oz Mosaic (HBC 369) [12.25 %] – Boil 0.0 mi Hop 13 0.0 IBUs
0.25 oz Simcoe [13.00 %] – Boil 0.0 min Hop 14 0.0 IBUs

0.25 oz Columbus (Tomahawk) [14.00 %] – Dry Hop Hop 16 0.0 IBUs
0.25 oz Apollo [17.00 %] – Dry Hop 4.0 Days Hop 17 0.0 IBUs
0.25 oz Citra [12.00 %] – Dry Hop 4.0 Days Hop 18 0.0 IBUs
0.25 oz Mosaic (HBC 369) [12.25 %] – Dry Hop 4.0 Hop 19 0.0 IBUs
0.25 oz Simcoe [13.00 %] – Dry Hop 4.0 Days Hop 20 0.0 IBUs

1.0 pkg London ESB Ale (Wyeast Labs #1968)

Mash Schedule: Single Infusion, Medium Body, Batch Sparge
Total Grain Weight: 5 lbs 10.1 oz
Name Description Step Temperat Step Time
Mash In Add 7.04 qt of water at 165.9 F 154.0 F 60 min

Bottling Update:  This beer attenuated more than I expected it to, but had a nice flavor at bottling.  It tasted a bit maltier than expected, but still very nice.  The FG came in at 1. 012.

Brewz bottling

Bottling up Brewz Grump while enjoying a Zombie Dust, not a bad Sunday afternoon!

Tasting Update on 02/20/15:  

Appearance:  Brewz Grump poured with a nice fluffy white head that sticks around.  The body of the beer is a golden color with some orange/copper hues to it.  The beer has a bit of haze from the dry hops and oats, but its still somewhat transparent due to how fast this yeast drops out.  All in all a nice looking pale ale.

Smell:  The aroma of this beer is pretty hop forward.  The nose is citrus, specifically some orange notes, but there is a general fruity aroma.  There are also some slight earthy pungent hop notes.  There’s also a slight crackery malt aroma that’s just behind the hops.

Taste:  There’s a pleasant bitterness up front, then that quickly fades into ripe citrus and fruity hop flavors like orange, tangerine, and a hint of pineapple.  There’s a solid malt base to this beer too.  The malt flavors have a cracker and bread like quality, not really caramel like sweetness.  The flavors in this beer have a nice balance to them.  Its hop forward, but its not a total hop bomb.  The yeast profile is pretty clean, but there’s a bit more flavor contribution than American yeast.  The yeast does a bit to accentuate both the hops and malt, so it fit this beer well.

Mouthfeel:  The beer has a dry finish, but its not thin due to the caramalt, carapils, and oats.  To be honest, I’m surprised it got as dry as it did, maybe I need to check how many degrees I lose during the mash a bit more carefully.  I was hoping for a creamy texture on this one, and it didn’t quite get there.  Maybe more chloride in the mash would have helped too.

Overall:  For a thrown together recipe intended to clear out some leftover ingredients, I couldn’t really have asked for much better.  I’m not sure if I’d brew this again over some of my previous pale ales or ideas for future ones, but I’m very happy with the way this turned out, and if I have these ingredients left over again, I’d brew it.  The beer dried out a bit more than I wanted it to, but there’s still some nice malt flavor and body to it.

Final Beer Stats:
Measured OG: 1.057
Measured FG: 1.012
ABV: 6.0%
IBU: 58
SRM: 5.9

Serrated Summer Ale—APA

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Serrated Summer Ale (1)

When I actually document a brew day in the future when I brew a batch, I’m going to try and post pictures of the brew day, talk about how the day went, and I’ll update the post later with a pic of the finished beer.  Basically, these brew logs will be much more detailed with more current brews.  I brewed this batch in may, so I just remember a bit of the session.  It was the last one in my brother Kevin’s house, so it was a bit bittersweet.  It was always a fun day there when we’d drink and brew, but I relocated to a house of my own, so I finally had room to put all my brewing equipment and supplies.

The day went really smooth, but I ended up with a higher OG than anticipated.  I’m still dialing in my system, and with a lighter batch I seem to get near 80% efficiency.  What was supposed to be a 5% abv beer turned into a 5.5%.  Oh well.

Here’s the recipe for Serrated Summer Ale

Type: All Grain
Batch Size: 5.75 gal
Equipment: My Equipment
Efficiency: 80.00 %
Amt Name Type # %/IBU
8 lbs Brewers Malt 2-Row (Briess) (2.0 SRM) Grain 1 84.8 %
12.0 oz Carapils (Briess) (1.5 SRM) Grain 2 7.9 %
8.0 oz Caramel/Crystal Malt – 10L (10.0 SRM) Grain 3 5.3 %
3.0 oz Acid Malt (3.0 SRM) Grain 4 2.0 %
0.25 oz Zythos [10.00 %] – Boil 60.0 min Hop 5 9.1 IBUs
1.00 oz Zythos [10.00 %] – Boil 10.0 min Hop 7 13.1 IBUs
0.75 oz Citra [12.00 %] – Boil 10.0 min Hop 8 11.8 IBUs
1.00 oz Citra [12.00 %] – Steep/Whirlpool 0.0 min Hop 9 0.0 IBUs
0.50 oz Galaxy [14.00 %] – Steep/Whirlpool 0.0 min Hop 10 0.0 IBUs
0.50 oz Nelson Sauvin [12.00 %] – Steep/Whirlpool 0.0 min Hop 11 0.0 IBUs
0.50 oz Zythos [10.90 %] – Steep/Whirlpool 0.0 min Hop 12 0.0 IBUs
1.00 oz Zythos [10.90 %] – Dry Hop 5.0 Days Hop 14 0.0 IBUs
0.50 oz Citra [12.00 %] – Dry Hop 5.0 Days Hop 15 0.0 IBUs
0.50 oz Galaxy [14.00 %] – Dry Hop 5.0 Days Hop 16 0.0 IBUs
0.50 oz Nelson Sauvin [12.00 %] – Dry Hop 5.0 Days Hop 17 0.0 IBUs

Gravity, Alcohol Content and Color

Est Original Gravity: 1.048 SG
Est Final Gravity: 1.009 SG
Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 5.1 %
Bitterness: 34.0 IBUs
Est Color: 3.8 SRM
Measured Original Gravity: 1.050 SG
Measured Final Gravity: 1.008 SG
Actual Alcohol by Vol: 5.5 %
Calories: 163.7 kcal/12oz
Mash Steps
Name Description Step Temperature Step Time
Mash In Add 11.79 qt of water at 161.4 F 150.0 F 60 min
Yeast:  Safale S-05
Tasting Notes:
Appearance:  Pours a nice gold color with decent white head.  The beer was decently clear, but had a bit of haze that I’d like to get rid of in future batches, and I’m sure that come from using some white wheat I had on hand in place of carapils.
Aroma:  Tropical fruits from the hop combo.  Smelled like fresh fruits.  No malt aroma.
Taste:  Again, tropical fruit.  There was just a hint of malt sweetness, but this bad boy was almost all hops.  Almost like a session IPA, but not quite that level of bitterness.  Speaking of bitterness, it was pretty smooth since most of the IBUs came from late hop additions.
Mouthfeel:  It was a bit thin and dry, but that was kinda the point.  This is an easy drinking summer beer, and it turned out as such.
Overall:  Really liked this one, and I’ll definitely brew it again.  It says carapils in the recipe, but I used White Wheat because its what I had on hand.  I regret that choice as it probably contributed to the haze.  So really the addition of carapils is the only change I’d make, that and trying to get the OG down a bit.