Brew Day: American Pale Ale (Beer #33)

February 13, 2012 by Jack

Vital Stats:
Target OG: 1.056 Actual OG: 1.058
Target FG: 1.012 Actual FG: 1.011
ABV: 6.3%
Color: 6.5 SRMĀ (Calculated)
Bitterness: 42 IBU (Calculated)
Yeast: Wyeast 1056 American Ale

On January 27th, 2012 I brewed up a batch of American Pale Ale. This was the second time I brewed this Brewing Classic Styles recipe, but a lot is different this time around. The first time I brewed it I used my home-grown Centennial hops (and a dash of home-grown Willamette) for flavor & aroma (along with the Cascade pellets called for in the book). This time around I used all Hop Union pellets and also dry-hopped the beer. I didn’t dry-hop it last time.

The first attempt was good, but far from great. It had a lot of diacetyl that manifested as a strong butterscotch note. The aroma carried a strong washed-rind cheese smell. It wasn’t foul; it actually worked well in the beer. But it was kind of unexpected. This time I’m hoping for it to be much cleaner and more predictable.

To try to take care of the diacetyl issue, I ramped the fermentation temperature from 67°F to 69.5&def;F when fermentation began to slow (after three days) and increased it again to 72°F 24 hours later. I held it there for three days before racking to a secondary fermenter for dry-hopping. I dry-hopped with 14g (1/2 oz.) each of Cascade & Centennial for five days before crash-cooling and kegging. I kegged it yesterday. It should be ready to start tasting next weekend. I didn’t detect any diacetyl in the sample I took before kegging.

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