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Citra Burst Pale Ale

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I’ve yet to sort out my refrigerator woes from last week, but there’s still beer that needs brewed. My Crossfit box, East Valley Crossfit is hosting a huge breast-cancer fundraiser called Barbells for Boobs on October 6th. Here’s a link to the event page on Facebook if anyone is interested; it’s a pretty cool event that raises money for breast cancer exams. The event centers around the Crossfit workout ‘Grace’, which is 30 Clean and Jerks (ground-to-overhead) @ 135lbs for time. Since this is one of only 10 stops on the Pink Bra Tour, there are going to be a TON of people there, so I’m brewing 10 gallons for this, knowing even that won’t be close to enough.

 

Most everyone at our Crossfit gym loves IPAs, so I want to do something hoppy. I started flipping through my brew log, and found the perfect recipe. A little over a year ago I made a beer I called ‘Citra Burst Pale Ale’. It was a 5.3% ABV hop-bursted pale ale that showcased Citra, but blended in some Amarillo and Simcoe. The beer turned out pretty incredible; it had a massive tropical fruit and citrus aroma with low bitterness and a clean finish. It needed a few tweaks though. First, the malt profile wasn’t big enough to support the massive amount of hops I added, and secondly, I didn’t include a charge of bittering hops, which I felt the beer needed after tasting it.

 

So I revised the recipe around the same hop schedule. We first bumped up the gravity from 1.053 to around 1.060. Secondly I included a pretty big percentage of Munich malt to give the beer some much needed malt character. Finally, I included a pretty big bittering charge of Warrior to help balance the beer out. The hop schedule for this beer is a little out of the ordinary for me, as I typically don’t like frequent additions near the end of the boil. That is because I don’t feel they make much difference, and I’m particularly lazy. I decided to stick with the intent of this recipe, which was to continually increase the hop additions leading up to flameout.

 

Since I don’t have a 10 gallon boil kettle, nor a place to keep 10 gallons (or 5 gallons at the time being) of fermenting wort cool, Greg lent me a big helping hand with this batch. Brew day went really smooth on his system. We mashed for 60 minutes, sparged, then boiled for 60 minutes as well. I recirculated the wort after flameout for 10 minutes before kicking on the chilling water. We knocked the wort out at 60F into two fermenter buckets, and pitched 17grams of re-hydrated US05 per 5 gallons. Finally, we set his fermenting fridge to 62F, and cleaned up the mess. I followed my typical fermentation schedule with US05. I kept it at 16.7C (62F) for the first couple days of fermentation. Once the beer hit high krausen, I raised it to 18C (64.5) for a day, and then 20C (68) until it fermented out.

Brewed: 09-10-12
Dry Hopped: 9-16-12
Kegged: 9-24-12
OG: 1.060
FG: 1.010
ABV: 6.5%
IBU: ~58
12 Gallons


20.5lbs 2-row
4lbs Munich
20oz C15
Mash @ 152
1.4oz Warrior @ 60
Blend: 4oz Citra, and 3oz ea Amarillo and Simcoe.
Add:
2.66oz @ 15
3.33oz @ 5
4oz @ 0
3 packs of US05 (California Ale Yeast) pitched at 62F and slowly raised to 68F
Dry Hop:
3oz Citra
1.5oz Amarillo
1.5oz Simcoe

photo+2.jpgThis batch had a pretty tight schedule, but it worked out alright. I added the half of the dry hops to the primary on day 6, and then the other half of the dry hops on day 10. Then I kegged it, fined, carbed and served.

 

The beer reeks of tropical fruit, as the Citra and Amarillo stand out. There’s a slight tartness in the aroma from my heavy hand with Citra in the recipe; it almost comes off catty, but thankfully that faded as it sat in the keg. The flavor is citrus, mango, and sweet malt. The beer finishes very crisp thanks to the low FG, and moderate carbonation. The bitterness is very firm, but it doesn’t push the malt out of the way.

 

All in all, I’m thrilled with how this beer turned out. It definitely straddles the line between an American Pale Ale and IPA, but it sure is delicious

12 thoughts on “Citra Burst Pale Ale”
  1. Max Kravitz 04.02.2013 on 9:31 PM Reply

    looking to make a very similar beer and love what you got here. a little worried by the excessive munich malt though. you have your's clocked in at ~15%. do the hops shine through that much munich in this pale ale?

  2. Scott 04.02.2013 on 11:46 PM Reply

    It works really well. There's definitely a nice malty backbone, but it isn't overboard. The malt character is almost identical to Mission Street Pale Ale (Trader Joe's) or Firestone Walker's Pale 31 (they are nearly the same beer). My recipe has a little more crystal, but it tastes very similar.

    This beer is all hops though, sweet, juicy, fruity, citrusy hops. If you can get your hands on Citra, Amarillo and Simcoe, this one won't disappoint.

  3. Max Kravitz 04.03.2013 on 11:11 PM Reply

    OK! sounds good! i responded back to your reply to your bertusbrewery gmail acct. oh and by the way, what lovibond of munich do you regularly use for your pale ales?

  4. Scott 04.07.2013 on 3:10 AM Reply

    10L for everything.

  5. m 07.30.2013 on 12:40 AM Reply

    If you were bringing it to your box you could have named it Paleo Pale. That would have put a smile on everyone's face even before the 6.5 ABV did.

  6. Beergineer 07.31.2013 on 4:18 PM Reply

    Hi Scott, I brewed this about a month ago, but my LHBS didn't have Amarillo and I subbed Mosaic instead. Mosaic is pretty similar to Citra, so I wasn't too concerned about it. One comment that I received from a taster is that they detected a catty smell. Did you get any of that in yours? I had some issues getting all the hops to drop out, so there is a chance that has an effect on the cattyness.

  7. Scott 08.01.2013 on 2:38 AM Reply

    I wish I would have thought of that!!

    I'm definitely naming my next crossfit beer 'Paleo Pale Ale'

  8. Scott 08.01.2013 on 2:39 AM Reply

    Simcoe can definitely come across as catty. I've found my Simcoe-dry hopped beers are a little catty when they are super young, but I've found it fades very fast. How many days into the keg/bottle are you?

  9. Gold Robber 10.21.2013 on 3:46 AM Reply

    Hi Scott,

    If I turn this into a 3 gallon batch, do I scale the hops like I do with the grains, for the 15, 5, 0 and dry hop additions, or do hops not scale the same as grains? That being dividing everything by 4 for this particular recipe. THX

  10. Scott 10.21.2013 on 5:01 AM Reply

    Yup, just scale them linearly just like you would the hops.

  11. Duncan Forbes 12.31.2013 on 4:47 AM Reply

    G'day Scott, I noticed you pitched 17g per 5 gallons for this brew? How did you arrive at this amount?

    I use a fair bit of S05 and tend to stick to MrMalty calcs (assuming 20 billion cells per gram of dried yeast) however, based on your volume and OG MrMalty ends up at 12 grams of yeast.

    Keep up the good work with the blog!

  12. Scott 02.12.2014 on 3:51 PM Reply

    My pack was a little old, so I upped the 12-13g that Mr. Malty recommended. I also wanted a littler cleaner flavor, and overpitching is a good way to reduce esters (although it does have it's downsides).

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