With my last couple beers being high gravity/high alcohol IPAs, and the next few beers planned are high alcohol IPAs, I need to squeeze in a beer that's a little more drinkable. It's been almost a year since I last brewed my Pale Ale, so I figured I would knock out a batch before my Fiance and I run back to California again this weekend. It just so happened that August (Owner of our Crossfit gym) picked up a Kegerator for the gym a few days ago. So I made this a 12 gallon batch, rather than the 6 gallons planned, so that we have beer on tap at the gym in a few weeks.

 I've been tweaking this Pale Ale recipe for the past two years. The changes this time around were very slight though, as we're getting this recipe dialed in. I'm using a little less Crystal and a little more Munich now. Still using the same amounts of hops, 1oz @ 60, 2oz @ 10, 3oz @ 0, and 4oz dry hopped.The change being a little Centennial at flameout, rather than just straight Simcoe.

It was a very hot June night to brew. I think the high was around 108* when we mashed in at 4:30, and it was still 103* when we finished up at 8:30. Greg and I enjoyed some 10th Anniversary Stone Ruination (Amazing beer by the way. I'm going to bring more back from Cali this weekend) while we were brewing, and changed my oil as well. Other than the heat, the brew day went smooth. 60 minute mash, then a 60 minute boil. Chilling the wort definitely took longer than normal because our tap water is around 90* this time of year. Oh well. On to the recipe...

Brewed: 06-21-12
Dry Hopped: 07-01-12
Kegged: 07-05-12
ABV: 5.8%
IBU: ~35
12 Gallons

17.5lbs 2-Row
3lbs Munich
1lb Crystal 40
Mash @ 153*
1oz Warrior @ 60
1oz Centennial @ 10
1oz Amarillo @ 10
2oz Simcoe @ 0
1oz Centennial @ 0
Dry Hop: 2oz each Amarillo and Simcoe
2 Packs US05 fermented at 62F

We mashed this for 60min, and boiled for 60 as well. There was a 10 minute whirlpool rest after adding the flameout hops, before chilling the wort. This fermented out in around 6 days. I started dry hopping it around day 10, then kegged and fined with gelatin on day 16.

I'm very happy with how this turned out. The additional Munich makes the beer taste maltier, but since there's less crystal, it's more drinkable. The hops definitely dominate the aroma and taste, but they aren't quite as overpowering as an IPA would be.  There's just enough of a malt profile to keep everything balanced. I really don't foresee any changes to this recipe, as it's really great how it is. I might try mashing at 154*, or I'd be interested to see what this would taste like fermented with WLP007. Either way, it's still an awesome beer.


  1. Looks good! What kind of Munich did you use? The color seems very light with 13% Munich and 5% 40L in it.

    1. The lighter 8-10L Munich. It has a very similar malt character to the Firestone Walker APAs and IPAs. I'm not sure if you've had any of their beers, but that would give you a good reference.

  2. Scott,

    I just brewed this recipe last night. I did a small 1 gallon BIAB batch as I'm learning to brew and don't want to mess up 5 gallons of beer. Treated Poland Spring water for a hoppy light beer water profile. But planning wasn't very good and I didn't realize I didn't have enough Munich. So I used Vienna instead (why, I don't know)? Any issues there you think? I used Beersmith and just made up the difference of Munich with Vienna. There was a low percentage (3.9%) of Munich. I hit all the numbers, cooled and pitched rehydrated US-05. I'm fermenting at 66 since the another beer in the fridge is fermenting at that temp. Came home from work today and the smell coming out of the fermentor was awesome.
    By the way, your blog is great. And I'm glad your back to posting again.

    1. You'll be fine with Vienna, it'll add a nice touch of maltiness. Hopefully the beer turns out well for you.

  3. Wow...just bottled this yesterday and the flavor and aroma were great! The Vienna worked out fine like you said. Just so you know, I've tried many APA's and IPA's before this one and have been having trouble getting the hop aroma and flavor to stand out. Your post on water was very helpful. Also, having a good recipe to work from; I may finally turn the corner on my pale ales.

  4. Scott,

    Thanks for posting this great recipe! My wife and I tried a couple bottles last night and it was great...I'm going to brew up a 2 gallon batch and I bought some Munich to do it right.
    This next time I was going to try cold crashing and gelatin. I don't keg and have to cold crash in the fermenter and the one time I tried it the star-san in the air lock got sucked back into the beer. Would you say I could put a screw cap on the thing (I use 1 gallon jugs that have threads on them)? Would the pressure be too much? I always test 3 days in a row to make sure the beers fermented out all the way.

    1. I crash starters in that fashion. I don't screw the caps on fully, so that if some pressure builds up, it can get out.

  5. Thanks Scott.

    I cold crashed two one gallon jugs of Dry Stout that way and everything went fine. I actually put the lids on hand tight and just loosened them every now and then to relieve any pressure. Not sure I needed to as it had hit final gravity and I'm a little worried loosening the lids on my hoppy beers may cause oxidation. I can only dream of kegging some day. Tomorrow night, I'll brew up the second batch of Bertus Pale ale.

    Can't wait to hear how your Citra/Amarillo Enjoy By turned out...as I'm really liking the lower gravity hoppy beers lately....I get my hop fix and don't wake up with cotton mouth in the middle of the night.

  6. Glad to see your back! Just tasted a sample from the fermentor (hit 1.011 and ready for cold crash) of the third batch of this beer that I've brewed. It's become a go to recipe. Thanks again for the blog!


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