The cost of good beer is out of control. I am sick of paying $12 for a 6 pack of decent microbrewed ale. It's even worse if you like quaffing 22 oz bottles. No way am I going to pay over $100 for a gallon of beer, ever again.
Last week, I literally dusted off my old homebrewing gear and made my first batch of ale in 15 years. There's nothing like the aroma of boiling wort and full flower hops in the kitchen. I had to replace a few items, like my old tubing and sanitizers, but all my other equipment cleaned up rather nicely.
I decided to make an classic American Pale Ale (partial mash) first, because it's a fairly fool proof recipe. I've also been inspired by the Pale Ale and Brown Ale at Moat Mountain Smokehouse in North Conway, NH, this winter and they're my preferred styles at the moment. The Moat brews on premises and has some fantastic beer. The food is also great and not expensive. I highly recommend that you stop in for a meal if you're staying overnight near Pinkham Notch, in the White Mountains.
Here's the American Pale Ale recipe that I brewed up for this batch. After we bottle it, I'll probably brew up a Brown Ale and then a batch of mead with by sister-in-law, who is a beekeeper.
Beerhiker American Pale Ale
- 6.5 lbs of amber dried malt extract
- 0.5 pounds of Crystal Malt 80, crushed
- 1. 5 oz Centennial hop flowers (7.8%), boiling [27.2 IBUs]
- 1.0 oz Centennial hop flowers (7.8%), aroma [3.7 IBUs]
- Safale US-50 dry ale yeast
- Boil 2.5 to 3 gallons of water in a big pot
- Add malt extract and mix until chunks are fully dissolved
- Add Crystal Malt and boiling hops in separate muslin bags for 55 minutes. Maintain low boil throughout.
- Scoop out 1/2 cup of wort for yeast starter and store in a capped, sanitized bottle. Chill down to 75 degrees by immersing in cold water.
- Remove Crystal Malt and boiling hops after 55 minutes and add muslin bag containing aroma hops for 5 minutes.
- Remove aroma hops
- Pour wort into a sanitized carboy, and top off with cold water to bring total amount to 5 gallons. Cap with stopper and airlock. Let cool overnight to 75 degrees.
- When yeast starter reaches 75 degrees, add yeast.
- After 12 hours, add yeast starter to carboy. Store carboy out of direct sunlight in a location between 60 and 75 degrees.
- Ferment and bottle after 2 or more weeks.
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