AG#53 – Harvest Pale Ale

This beer is just for me and the missus. A nice hoppy, easy drinker after all the sweet and malty beers I brewed during Autumn and Winter. I’m essentially using my Gale Force Cream Ale recipe, but this time I’m cutting the amount of pilsner with some Crisp Maris Otter in an effort to calm the intense, malty sweetness you get with pilsner malt. I’m also reducing the gravity as I want to make this a bit more sessionable. To do this, I’m simply omitting the corn sugar. For hopping, I’m going to keep things simple by using 100g bag of 2015 harvest Cascade. The additions will all be in the kettle and most will be late kettle additions, in an effort to keep the bitterness low. I’m using dried yeast in the form of Safale US-05 which attenuates like crazy, so I’ll try to keep the mash temperature around 67-68C.
Every few months there seems to be some new variety of hop available, even Citra is deemed passé these days thanks to new hipster varieties such as Belma, Mandarina Bavaria, Equinox, Hull Melon etc. But for me, the Cascade hop takes some beating. It’s old-school, but it delivers a citrus hop punch that reminds me of why I fell in love with craft beer in the first place. I got my hands on a couple of bags of 2015 Cascade so I’m calling this “Harvest Pale Ale” in honour of these spanking-fresh hops. I probably won’t use all of the hops in this batch, as I want an easy drinker, but I’ll make that call on brew day. I’ll probably get carried away by the powerful aroma and end up dumping the lot in! This is also my first use of leaf hops in a long, long time.

Recipe Specifications

Boil Size: 27.90 l
Post Boil Volume: 23.40 l
Batch Size (fermenter): 19.00 l
Bottling Volume: 17.00 l
Estimated OG: 1.047 SG
Estimated Color: 8.3 EBC
Estimated IBU: 33.0 IBUs
Brewhouse Efficiency: 59.00 %
Est Mash Efficiency: 69.9 %
Boil Time: 90 Minutes


4.000 kg Pilsner (2 Row) Bel (3.9 EBC) Grain 1 79.2 %
0.450 kg Maize, Flaked (Thomas Fawcett) (3.9 EBC) Grain 2 8.9 %
0.300 kg Munich Malt (17.7 EBC) Grain 3 5.9 %
0.300 kg Wheat Malt, Bel (3.9 EBC) Grain 4 5.9 %
18 g Cascade [6.00 %] – Boil 60.0 min Hop 5 15.8 IBUs
0.50 Items Whirlfloc Tablet (Boil 10.0 mins) Fining 6 –
50 g Cascade [6.00 %] – Boil 10.0 min Hop 7 8.0 IBUs
75 g Cascade [6.00 %] – Steep/Whirlpool 10.0 Hop 8 9.3 IBUs
1.0 pkg Safale American (DCL/Fermentis #US-05) Yeast 9 –
50 g Cascade [6.00 %] – Dry Hop 5.0 Days Hop 10 0.0 IBUs

Mash Schedule: Bubbles’ Single Infusion, Light Body, Batch Sparge
Total Grain Weight: 5.050 kg
Mash In Add 14.14 l of water at 71.2 C 65.0 C 60 min

Sparge: Batch sparge with 2 steps (Drain mash tun , 19.32l) of 77.0 C water

07/02/2016 Brew Day – Good brew day. Got a huge amount of cold break in the boiler, but an extremely clear wort. This might explain lack of head retention in my cream ale, the last time I used the Heidelberg malt. Wort from the mash tun wasn’t much darker, but the runoff from the boiler was considerably darker, probably from all that hop material. OG was spot on, but I only got 17 litres into the fermenter. I’d completely forgotten how much wort is soaked up when using large amounts of leaf hops. Great aroma. Rehydrated a sachet of US-05 and pitched. Fermenting cool.

03/03/2016 – Bottled with 112g glucose. When I removed the bag of dry hops, I realised that I had less volume than expected. I got 30 x 500ml bottles so the carbonation is going to be livelier than intended. Taste was quite grassy and harsh, but I had just removed the bag of dry hops.

13/03/2013 – First taste and although far too young, it’s got a very promising flavour. Not quite as hoppy as I was expecting though.

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