I’m on a quest to brew a really tasty low gravity Pale Ale. I want something in the 1.035-1.037 range that has the hop quality of an IPA. To be perfectly honest, this recipe has been harder to put together than I thought it would be. Last time I brewed this, it was a little rough around the edges. I’ve since tweaked the recipe some, and we’re giving it another go.
I didn’t make too many drastic changes. I’m throwing a pound of C20 at the recipe to hopefully increase the body, and give the beer more drink-ability. I’m also dropping the Nelson Sauvin, as I didn’t like what it brought to the table. Aside from that, I kept everything else the same. The goal was to have the FG come in around 1.010-1012 for a 3.2-3.5% ABV beer.
Prior to brewing this batch, it’s been a mad rush to finish the beers for the wedding. Our weekend was surprisingly not too busy, so I squeezed this batch in so I’d have some beer once we got back from California.
The Summer heat finally broke here in Phoenix, and it’s been absolutely fantastic out. Highs in the low 90s with lows in the 70s. Fall is finally here, and brewing outside feels great. For those that live in cold weather states, we love Fall like you love Spring. Anyway, I mashed this for 60min at 155, then boiled for 60 before a short five minute whirlpool. After that I chilled it down to 62, and pitched a single vial of WLP090.
Mash @ 155*
6g Apollo @ 60
1oz Falconer’s Flight @ 15
1oz ea Amarillo & Centennial @ 0
WLP090 -San Diego Super Yeast
Dry Hop: .75oz ea Amarillo/Centennial + .25oz CTZ
This fermented out a bit too well, as I was surprised to see the FG at 1.008. I’m severely underestimating how well these low gravity beers attenuate. I tossed the hops straight in the primary for a week, and then crashed the beer 24hrs before racking it to keg.
I’ve had it on tap for just about 2 weeks, and it’s coming along. Appearance is a hazy pale orange color with a very nice head for a low gravity beer. Aroma is mostly hops. Sweet citrus with lots of grapefruit. It has a squirt soda kind of thing going on. There’s a little malt underneath that, but the aroma isn’t overwhelming by any stretch. The flavor is pretty similar, some sweet hops, and mild malt flavors. Mouthfeel is fairly thin and watery despite the fact it’s well carbonated.
I’ll be perfectly honest, crafting this recipe has been far from a slam dunk; it still needs some work. This batch is by all means a decent beer, but for lack of a better work, it’s pretty blah. There just isn’t enough flavor going on, and the mouthfeel doesn’t help the beer’s case. So where do we go from here? I’m going to up the carapils and the mash temperature to increase the dextrines. I’m also thinking about adding a small amount of rye for some beta-glucans, maybe about 10% or so. Not enough where the rye is that noticeable, but hopefully enough to add more body. I’m also going to throw in some hops with more character. I’m thinking adding some Citra and increasing the CTZ will give the beer a little more of a leg to stand on.
So stay tuned, as this is a recipe I’ll be continuing to work on over the next few months. Although, this beer is proving to be elusive, I hope it doesn’t turn into a unicorn for me.