Houston, We Have a Pale Ale… an APA Recipe

Since I am exploring water issues, and recently purchased several pounds of high-alpha American and New Zealand hops… I thought I would calibrate on a hoppy Pale Ale. The title really references hops varieties that make me think of space and NASA, as well as the problems I have been having with my water profile and efficiency.

While I am fairly carefree when brewing, estimates abounding – I was extremely careful about measuring water amounts, pH at various stages, minor salt additions, etc. I also performed a modified hop stand (we can get into how I do that in a later post) where I pulled the temp down to 80-ish over 30 minutes in the kettle. Since I brewed a few days ago – this is still in the fermenter at 68F, and will be through the next couple of weeks. Will also dry hop this batch.

I run through a pump into the paint strainer bag, which holds all of my hops, including the boil hops. This catches most of the hot break, as well as any cold break if I cool during recirc.


Recipe Specifications
Boil Size: 12.10 gal
Post Boil Volume: 11.60 gal
Batch Size (fermenter): 11.00 gal   
Bottling Volume: 10.90 gal
Estimated OG: 13.176 Plato
Estimated Color: 10.0 SRM
Estimated IBU: 35.7 IBUs
Brewhouse Efficiency: 65.00 %
Est Mash Efficiency: 65.9 %
Boil Time: 60 Minutes

Amt                   Name                                     Type          #        %/IBU         
15.20 gal             The Colony, Bastrop Texas - Aqua Water   Water         1        -             
2.00 tsp              Calcium Chloride (Mash 60.0 mins)        Water Agent   2        -             
1.00 tsp              Gypsum (Calcium Sulfate) (Mash 60.0 mins Water Agent   3        -             
22 lbs 8.0 oz         Brewers Malt 2-Row (Briess) (1.8 SRM)    Grain         4        90.9 %        
1 lbs                 Caramel/Crystal Malt -120L (120.0 SRM)   Grain         5        4.0 %         
12.0 oz               Biscuit Malt (23.0 SRM)                  Grain         6        3.0 %         
8.0 oz                Acid Malt (3.0 SRM)                      Grain         7        2.0 %         
0.50 oz               Summit [17.00 %] - Boil 60.0 min         Hop           8        14.5 IBUs     
0.75 oz               Apollo [18.00 %] - Boil 45.0 min         Hop           9        21.2 IBUs     
2.00 Items            Whirlfloc Tablet (Boil 15.0 mins)        Fining        10       -             
1.00 oz               Bravo [15.50 %] - Aroma Steep 30.0 min   Hop           11       0.0 IBUs      
1.00 oz               Columbus (Tomahawk) [14.60 %] - Aroma St Hop           12       0.0 IBUs      
1.00 oz               Summit [17.00 %] - Aroma Steep 30.0 min  Hop           13       0.0 IBUs      
1.0 pkg               American West Coast Yeast (Lallemand #BR Yeast         14       -             
2.00 oz               Apollo [18.00 %] - Dry Hop 7.0 Days      Hop           15       0.0 IBUs      

Mash Schedule: Single Infusion, Medium Body
Total Grain Weight: 24 lbs 12.0 oz
Name                     Description                             Step Temperat Step Time     
Mash In                  Add 31.34 qt of water at 167.3 F        152.0 F       60 min        
Mash Out                 Add 17.32 qt of water at 202.8 F        168.0 F       10 min        

Sparge: Batch sparge with 3.00 gal water at 168.0 F


Had many issues, despite a fairly smooth brew day. Hitting mash pH took a very long time, and required salt additions in the mash. To eliminate any variability, as I will brew this again with RO water, I preheated the mash tun with the strike water, and then added the grist during recirc. I also batch sparged, eliminating another possible variable. I normally use a hybrid sparge method, but it’s too finicky to expect the same result next time.

In about a week, I will dry hop on 2 ounces of Apollo for 7 days.

First time using BRY-97, and will repitch the yeast after washing and rebuilding to the same sized starter.

The wort came out much darker than anticipated. I used Crystal 120 because I had it sitting around. I would use Crystal 40 or 60 instead. The biscuit came through really nicely in the wort – surprisingly so.