Homemade Beer - How to Make Your Own Pale Ale by primusboy


									Homemade Beer - How to Make Your Own Pale Ale
Have you ever wanted to make your own pale ale but just can't find a good
recipe or are kind of unsure of your skills when it comes to homemade
beer? This article will walk you though your first pale ale from recipe
design all the way to brewing.
I am going to assume that you have brewed a batch or two before and are
somewhat familiar with the brewing process.
The Homemade Beer Recipe
For this homemade beer I am assuming that you are a beginner brewer and
are not set-up to do all grain brewing. Therefore this recipe will be an
extract recipe with some specialty grains being steeped.
We will also be doing a partial boil and topping off in the fermenter.
Some people find this method to be "taking the easy way" out but most
beginning brewers don't have an eight gallon brewing kettle they can boil
in. If you do, great then do a full boil but if not don't worry about.
The first step in doing a recipe is to identify the style guidelines.
Note that some people who make homemade beer don't really follow any
style guidelines but I find it helpful to do so. Since we have decided on
a pale ale style beer we know that we have to hit the following numbers:

Original Gravity: 1.032 - 1.040
Final Gravity: 1.007 - 1.011
IBUs: 25 - 35
SRM: 4 - 14
If you don't know what all these numbers mean let me clarify it for you.
Original Gravity is the gravity of the beer before it ferments. Final
Gravity is the gravity of the beer after it ferments. By looking at the
difference between original gravity and final gravity we can estimate our
alcohol content.
IBUs are International Bittering Units and are a measure of how bitter a
beer is. The higher the IBUs the more bitter taste present in the beer.
SRM is the measure of a beer's color. The higher the SRM the darker the
I know this is an overly simplified explanation but the purpose of this
exercise is to learn the process. We can also add the understanding of
the science later.
Next we need to determine our batch size. For this article I am going to
assume that we are doing five gallons per batch.
Now that we have our style guidelines and batch size it's time to pick
out the ingredients. The actual calculations for determine if we hit our
style guidelines is beyond the scope of this article. If you are really
interested in the calculations I suggest picking up a good homemade beer
book. However, understanding that is not really all that important as
most recipes are already calculated for a five gallon batch.
So our ingredients are going to be as follows:

6.25 lbs of Briess Light Dry Malt Extract
4.5 ounces of Cascade hop pellets
1.0 lb of Crystal 15L malt
0.6 oz of Chocolate malt
Nottingham Dry Yeast
Once you have your ingredients picked it it's time to establish the hop
schedule or at what points during the boil you are going to add hops.
Some beers have you add all the hops at once when the beer starts boiling
but the majority of beer recipes have you add hops at various intervals.
The reason for this is that the longer hops are boiled the more
bitterness they impart to the beer and the less aroma. That is why you
frequently hear people talking about bittering hops and aroma hops.
We will be adding the hops according to this schedule.

1.5 oz at 60 minutes
1.5 oz at 10 minutes
1.5 oz at 1 minute
The times are notated as time remaining so you will add 1.5 oz at the
start of the boil, 1.5 oz when there is 10 minutes left in the boil, and
1.5 oz for the last minute of boiling.
That's it - we have designed a pale ale homemade beer recipe. It's time
to move on to the brewing process.
The Homemade Beer Brewing Process
Note: I am going to skip over the sanitation part of the process. If you
have never brewed before you need to sanitize everything that will touch
the beer with a chemical sanitizer such as OneStep. Your local home brew
store will have more information.
The first step is to crush your specialty grains. I prefer to use a
rolling pin for this part. If you picked up a grain bag you can just
place all your grains in the bag, tie it off, and crush with a rolling
pin. If you didn't then put the grains in a plastic bag, crush, and dump
in the kettle.
If you went with the second option you will have to strain the grains
before you boil the beer. If you boil the beer with the grains in the pot
you will get a really astringent off flavor.
Since we are doing a partial boil we need to fill our four gallon stock
pot about 3/4 of the way with clean water. Put the pot on the stove on
high heat and bring to a boil. Once boiling, remove from heat and add the
dry malt extract.
Stir really well so as to dissolve all the clumps that will form. A word
of caution - dry malt extract is extremely sticky. Once the extract is
fully dissolved bring the pot back to a boil.
Once a boil is reached, add the first hops to the kettle and sit a timer
for 60 minutes. At the 10 minute mark, add the second hops to the kettle.
At the last minute (literally) add the remaining hops.
Your kettle will want to boil over but since it makes a huge mess I
highly recommended stirring frequently to keep it from doing so. That
first hop additional is going to be especially eventful - the foam on top
will turn green and start expanding rapidly.
Once the timer goes off we will need to cool the beer down to 70 degrees
as fast as possible. I recommend an ice bath in the sink. Fill the sink
with cold water and ice cubes, then cover the kettle and let sit. It
takes about 20 to 30 minutes to cool the beer down if you change water
and ice every ten minutes.
If your kettle is an enamel kettle it is going to take closer to an hour
to cool it down to the proper level.
After the beer reaches 70 degrees pour it into the fermenter. At this
stage we want to aerate the beer as much as we can to help fermentation
to start. I prefer to whisk the beer to aerate and some advanced brewers
use an aquarium pump to pump air into the beer.
Once the beer is aerated top off the five gallons and take a hydrometer
reading. To take the reading fill up your sample tube from the fermenter
and place the hydrometer in the tube. Let it float for a minute and then
take a reading from the water line. This is going to be your original
Sprinkle the yeast on top of the beer in the fermenter and stir well.
Seal it up the fermenter and place your airlock (half full with water) in
the hole in your lid. Place the fermenter in a dark location that is a
steady 68 to 70 degrees.
Congratulations! You just brewed a batch of homemade pale ale beer.
Jesse Seymour is an avid homemade beer maker who loves to teach the craft
to others. Get more of his helpful advice at his homemade beer blog.

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