Monday, August 16, 2010

West Coast Pale Ale

What's the difference between a west coast pale ale and an ordinary American Pale Ale? About 5-10 IBU. West Coast pale ales tend to be a little hoppier (though not always). In the same way, a Californian Red Ale will almost always be hoppier than a pacific northwestern Amber Ale (though they are both technically American Amber Ales).

This was an "on the fly" brew, so there was no time to make a starter, and I used a single packet of US-05 yeast to ferment this badboy. This was made with recently-arrived Cascades, and an unopened 2 oz pack of Zeus. I hit my temps fine, and everything has gone smoothly with this beer, though my efficiency is still at just 75%, which leads me to believe that the new LHBS crushes a bit less fine than F. H. Steinbart's up in Portland (where there is an adjustable grain mill).

So this recipe is pretty standard, though it has a couple classic, "homebrew" recipe quirks, namely that I used 1 lb of Belgian Aromatic malt, rather than 2 lbs of American Munich malt (which would likely lead to a similar resulting melanoid-driven maltiness), and I used significantly more late-kettle hops than most professional breweries would put into a medium-gravity beer like this one. The final product should be great, if a little "ordinary" (nothing remotely experimental about this recipe). All together, this beer cost me under $20 to brew up 5 gallons, which brings the six-pack price to $2.50, and the pint price to 50¢ - that's less than a candy bar.

Since it is a little amber in color, I am following the norcal tradition of naming the beer, "Red" followed by the name of an animal. In this case, I decided to go for the Red Panda, because they are cute.

Red Panda Beer (American Pale Ale)

9 lbs Great Western 2-row
1 lb Dingemans Aromatic Malt
1 lb Hugh Baird Crystal 75L

.5 oz CTZ (15% AA) 90 min
1 oz Cascade (5.7 % AA) 15 min
1 oz Cascade (5.7% AA) 5 min
1.5 oz CTZ (15% AA) 0 min
1.5 oz Cascade (5.7% AA) 0 min
1 oz Cascade (5.7% AA) Dry-hop
.5 oz CTZ (13.2% AA) Dry-hop

Mash at 151F for 60 min

US-05 yeast

OG 1.055
Expected FG (I will change this if it comes out different) 1.011
IBU ~44
SRM ~12
ABV ~5.9%