American Ale, Homebrewing

Paler then Paul Ale : A Sierra Nevada Clone

I posted a 1 gallon recipe for Sierra Nevada Pale Ale from BYO Magazine – subscribe! I finally got around to trying it. I had put it off because I needed a scale and I was not thrilled about wasting ingredients. One night, while running errands, I found myself at Target, so I picked one up for under $30. It works to 0.1 ounce or gram -which is close enough for me- and it goes up to 11 pounds. I went to Southwest Grape and Grain for my ingredients and finally went in their grain room.  This is only the specialty grains – the base grains are on the left of the wall.

The specialty grains at Southwest Grape and Grain.

The specialty grains at Southwest Grape and Grain.

I got 2 pounds of 2 row and Crystal 60L. I only needed 2.2 ounces so I weighed it out on my new scale.

Crystal 60L on my new scale.

Crystal 60L on my new scale.

I made a thick mash for this batch. MY smoked wheat batch was thin and since I was not thrilled with that brew I went back to a thick mash with more sparge water.

Mashing at 1:1

Mashing at 1:1

I kept my drinking to a minimum while brewing this beer. It looked good so I am optimistic. One thing that went wrong or not to plan was that the final wort was just over half gallon. The 90 minute boil time really increased the amount lost to evaporation – and I didn’t take this in to account. I topped off the wort with tap water once in the carboy.  I had to make a change to the recipe. My LHBS was out of S-05 yeast, which I wanted because it seemed to work well at higher temperatures without too much off flavor. Instead I picked up a Danstar Nottingham yeast. It says it is a neutral for ale yeast so we will see. I think this will be my go to recipe for experimentation and for fine tuning my techniques. In an ideal world, I would brew this repeatedly until it was second nature and I could breeze through the process. The recipe cost me about $13 with left over Crystal, Hops and Yeast. For $3.99 I could whip up another batch. It sure beats the $20+ I was paying for one gallon kits.

Need a mesh bag for the hop pellets, these things break up like crazy.

Hops make a mess

Hops make a mess

The yeast went to work and it smelled good in the closet – a bit fruity but I am not worried yet.




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