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>Pale Ale #1 (House Pale Ale) Recipe & Tasting


This is another recipe I’ve been trying to refine over time. To me, a good pale ale is a way to really measure the skill of a brewer; if a brewer can make a pale ale that really stands out, you know he/she has talent. I’ve had a lot of success with variations on this recipe in the past, and I’ve been edging ever closer to my ideal pale. This rendition of the recipe is closer to what I want, but a flawed fermentation with a new yeast strain made this an overall unsuccessful batch. Drinkable, but unsuccessful.

This was the last in my series of batches made with strains from East Coast Yeast, and as with the others, pitching the entire vial (cube?) of yeast resulted in an overpitch. With previous batches, the only harm that came from overpitching was an underwhelming ester profile. This batch was hampered by the fact that ECY10 is an English-style yeast, which produces considerably more diacetyl (perceived as a buttery or butterscotch flavor) than American or Belgian yeasts. Normally, when an appropriate pitching rate is used, diacetyl is reabsorbed by the yeast at the end of the fermentation cycle. When overpitched, according to Chris White of White Labs,

“yeast do not grow though a complete growth cycle. This results in few new yeast cells, which makes for unhealthy yeast and low viability by the end of fermentation”

This batch Is the perfect example of this. Another reason to make SURE you use proper pitching rates!

My other issue is the hopping. I wanted this to be in between an american (fruity, resiny hops) and English (biscuity, caramelly malt, more body) pale ale, but it ended up leaning much more English than I would’ve liked. I also designed this recipe for maximum turnaround speed, so I opted for a big charge of hops at flameout to avoid dry-hopping. I still think that’s a good plan, but I still need more if I’m going to get that nice hop aroma I’m after.

2011-015 Pale Ale #1 (House Pale Ale)

Brewed: 03/25/11

Racked to secondary: n/a

Kegged/Bottled: 03/21/11

Ready: 03/26/11

Batch Info


Batch Size: 2.5 Gallons

Extraction Efficiency: 82%

OG: 1.052

FG: 1.013

IBU: 25

SRM: 7.3

Boil Length: 90 minutes

Grain Bill


UK Maris Otter: 4lb (82%)

US Caramel 40: 4oz (5%)

Belgian Cara-Vienna: 4oz (5%)

US Carapils: 4oz (5%)

US Rye Malt: 2oz (2.5%)

Hop Bill


US Columbus (14.4%AA): 2g @ 90 minutes

US Amarillo (9.4%AA): 3g @ 30 minutes

US Columbus (14.4%AA): 3g @ 30 minutes

US Amarillo (9.4%AA): 3g @ 15 minutes

US Amarillo (9.4%AA): 7g @ 0 minutes

US Columbus (14.4%AA): 7g @ 0 minutes

US Centennial (8.7%AA): 7g @ 0 minutes



Irish Moss: 1 tsp @ 15 minutes

Servomyces: 1 gelcap @ 15 minutes



75% Carbon Filtered San Bernardino Ground Water

25% RO Water



East Coast Yeast ECY10 Old Newark Ale

Mash Schedule


Sacch Rest: 154F for 90 minutes

Batch Sparge

Fermentation Schedule


Pitch @ 66F, freerise for 10 days



Quick Carb: 35psi, shake for 60 seconds



Pitched an entire vial (cube?) of ECY10 Old Newark, therefore overpitching.



Appearance: Copper, bordering on amber. A nice one-finger white head has solid staying power. Good clarity after just over two weeks in the keg.

Aroma: Biscuity malt and caramel. Butterscotch (uh oh….). Some floral hop, but not a lot. Very malt-forward.

Taste: More toasty and caramel malt. Some resiny/piney hop in the middle. More diacetyl. Some tart green

apple. Firm bitterness, but well balanced.

Mouthfeel: medium-light body. Proper carbonation. Medium-dry finish.

Thoughts: Unfortunately, it’s obvious the yeast didn’t finish the job at the end of fermentation. A proper pitching rate would definitely solve this. A bigger charge of hops at flameout is also necessary if I’m gonna avoid dry hopping.

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