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Brewday

Brewing Late April English Pale Ale

After 7 years of living in London, I have to admit I’ve spent a good amount of time in the pubs. I have this nostalgic feeling of being in a pub and holding a pint of semi-warm bitter. English accent chatter around. And the aroma of the pub mixing with earthy floral beer notes as I move the beer closer to my mouth. Uniquely English. And I’m not even going to start about real ales, that’s topic on its own.

English style beers are one my favorite and I always try to have one on tap. This pale ale recipe is in the English style, using English hops and English yeast, but cheating a bit with EU malts. The result however works well.

One thing to note is that there does not seem to be an officially clear distinction between an English Pale Ale and a Bitter. To me, a bitter will have more crystal malts(in color and taste), less carbonation, and served with a beer engine, but other than that it’s pretty much the same thing.

Recipe

Late April English Ale

English-Style Pale Ale
  • Volume 25 l
  • OG 1.047
  • FG 1.014
  • IBU 32
  • ABV 4.33 %
Fermentables
  • 1.2 kg
    Pale Ale
    Germany Weyermann
    22.64 % GP 11
  • 1 kg
    Carapils
    Germany Weyermann
    18.87 % GP 9
  • 3 kg
    Vienna
    Netherlands The Swaen
    56.6 % GP 27
  • 0.1 kg
    Crystal Extra Dark
    United Kingdom Crisp
    1.89 % GP 0
Hops
  • 25 g
    Target | First Wort 60min
    United Kingdom
    Pellet AA 11 % IBU 26
  • 20 g
    Fuggle | Boil 15min
    United Kingdom
    Pellet AA 4 % IBU 4
  • 25 g
    Fuggle | Boil 5min
    United Kingdom
    Pellet AA 4 % IBU 2
Yeast
  • 1 pkg
    WLP013 London Ale Yeast
    White Labs
    Attenuation 71.0 %

Process

All malt added to the grain mill.
I’m not using a drill to run this, after I started malt conditioning it was too much for the drill and now I’m keeping it manual.
Malt crushed with a 1.4mm mill gap and malt conditioning applied. I found this setup working well with the 20L Braumeister
For a ~5kg grain bill I use 32l of water heated to 70C. After adding malt the temperature falls to the target 66C
Measuring out the hop portions
A hop schedule with three additions. The 60 minute one is actually FWH
StarSan bath before filling up the fermenter
Nice hot break forming
WLP013 yeast starter
After filling up the fermenter at around 22C I used the SS temperature controller to drop it further down to 16C. That’s where I added the yeast starter and oxygen
After all done I’ve set the temperature to 19C and let it do it’s magic
Transferring to keg using the closed transfer method, SS fermenters make this process super easy
One of my handy 2kg co2 cylinders, for the kegerator I’m using a 10kg one, that one is better left in one place
FG reading is off target by one point. I’m not bothered
Color is nice although I was expecting to get a clearer beer from WLP013 at this point. It might be due to the yeast being ‘resurrected’ from my kegerator’s yeast collection. This one was well over a half-year-old

Early tasting notes:
– Moderately sweet with a bitter finish. Reminds me more of a German kellerbier.
– Quite yeasty
– Medium body
After burst-carbing I moved it to the kegerator for lagering

Result

After one week of conditioning it’s ready to drink

Tasting notes:

Appearance

Golden-amber. Fairly clear. Moderate carbonation.

Nose

Floral, malty sweetness, citrus, and biscuit.

Taste

Balanced floral and earthy hoppiness. A touch of citrus.

Mouthfeel

Medium-bodied with a medium bitterness. Nicely balanced.

Summary

A great-tasting and well balanced English Pale Ale. It presents a nice not overpowering hop aroma with floral, earthy qualities. It’s medium body and under 5% ABV strength makes it a very good every-day beer.

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