Wednesday, February 20, 2013

“Wisconsin Winter Pale" Ale

Feb. 17, 2013
#15 - 4.5 gal BIAB

I am excited, people! I tried my first "Sexual Chocolate" Porter two days ago, and it is everything I was hoping for. Really great. (Do I sound turned on?) Given that I was fist pumping the air after my first few sips, I decided to keep the good feelings rolling and brew this weekend -- even though I didn't have a recipe planned and am still waiting on my dry stout in secondary.

Scanning recipes, I came across the AHA blog for Amarillo Pale Ale. Perfect. I've been wanting to use Amarillo hops for some time and like the idea of a golden pale ale. My recipe definitely draws inspiration. Looking at the hop bill, I wasn't sure I wanted mine to have quite the same level of IBUs, so I scaled it back a bit while emphasizing a citrus note from first wort hopping with centennial and cascade. The Amarillo comes in during the boil and at knockout.

I also ramped up to sparge again, and mashed using a 2.2 qt/lb ratio. I'm hoping this helps improve and stabilize my extraction rate, which has been all over the map since I haven't really settled on a mash method and schedule yet. Thank God for that refractometer!

The wife dubbed it Wisconsin winter pale ale, since it has about as much color as we do at this time of the year. Sigh, German-Irish-Russian heritage. We may not be known for our tanning abilities, but we can drink!

Brewing tunes: The Beatles "Help" and "Beatles for Sale." I don't know why, but these albums have always evoked feelings of "winter" for me. Given the season and name of this brew, it seems right.

  • 3.75 lb 2-row Brewers Malt
  • 3 lb 6-row Brewers Malt
  • 0.5 lb Vienna Malt
  • 0.5 lb Munich Malt
  • 0.5 lb Maris Otter Malt
  • 0.5 lb Red Wheat Malt
  • 0.5 oz Centennial (9.7% AA) (First wort hop) (leave in boil)
  • 0.25 oz Cascade (6.2% AA) (First wort hop) (leave in boil)
  • 0.5 oz Amarillo (10.7% AA) (60 min)
  • 0.25 oz Amarillo (10.7% AA) (1 min)
  • 1 t Irish Moss (20 min)
  • 1 t Gypsum (½ in mash, ½ in sparge)
Wyeast 1056 American Ale (2nd generation)*

*1000 mL yeast starter made 2/16. Used the 10-to-1 ratio described by Mr. Malty's Proper Yeast Pitching Rate. Add 100 g DME and 1000 mL water to Erlenmeyer flask. Mix well. Gently boil for 10 min. Chill and pitch. Swirl occasionally to oxygenate. Hours before brewing, put flask in fridge to settle out yeast, brought back up to temp hour before pitching. Decanted. This yeast is a second generation from the 1056 I pitched into the Sexual Chocolate Porter.


Add 0.5 t gypsum to mash and 0.5 t to sparge water. Heat 5 gal water to 110 'F. Add grains. Stabilize temp at 104 'F. Rest 20 min. Heat mash to 153 'F. Rest 60 min. 10 before end of mash add first wort hops. Mash out at 168 'F for 10 min. Remove grain bags and add them to separate pot with 2 gal sparge water at 168 'F. Sparge 15 min. Lauter. Bring approx 5.25 gal wort to boil. Add Amarillo hops. Add Irish moss 20 min before end of boil. Add Amarillo hop 1 min before end of boil. Knockout and let sit for 10 min. Chill wort to 66 'F. Add approx 4.5 gal wort to fermentor and pitch yeast. Ferment at 64-66 'F.


OG: 1.054
Target gravity: 1.051
Pre-boil gravity (first runnings): 1.056
Pre-boil gravity (second runnings): 1.020

Appears very pale yellow. General bitterness, but not overly so. Do detect some of that citrus note on the nose.

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