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Just ten years ago it seemed that a trip to America meant drinking a lot of low-grade, fizzy, rice-filled lager, seeking out a few bottles of Anchor Steam or Sierra Nevada Pale Ale if you were lucky enough to be on the West Coast, or plumping for some form of Sam Adams as the best of the rest if you were weren’t. Now of course things are very different, and I’d have to say that along with Belgium, Germany and of course good ol’ Blighty, the US of A stands out for me as one of the very finest beer producing nations on Earth. If you’re fortunate enough to pitch up in Boston, San Francisco or any enlightened city in between these days, chances are you won’t just find a pub serving great ale – you’ll find dozens of brewpubs,  serving dozens of great ales, all on draught and all as hoppy as your head can handle.

As you’ve probably guessed by now, I’m very definitely an American Pale Ale convert. I was even among the grinning fools stumping up £4.50 a pint for the stuff at the Great British Beer Festival despite the many hundreds of perfectly decent British beers on offer at much more reasonable prices. It’s not hard for me to work out why I like them so much, but some of the reasons aren’t exactly, well, CAMRA. I like Pale Ales that are more golden than just plain pale. I seem to love any pint that packs American aroma and dual purpose hops such as Mount Hood, Amarillo, Centennial, Sterling, Liberty and of course Cascade. And, except when within shouting distance of St. Albans, I quite like my Pale Ales served colder than your average British cellar. Not much colder – but a keg in a shed in early November is about right for me.

Anyway, enough of the paff- here’s the recipe brewed today. It’s basically a stronger, more bitter, hoppier version of Ollosson’s famed Townes IPA, but I’ve allowed plenty of headroom for inefficiencies resulting from batch sparging. It’s stronger than my usual brews because it uses a larger grain bill than I normal would opt for. But it’s main charecteristics will stem from some stonking fresh 7.3%AA green Cascade hops, pulled from a large foil pocket when the mash was already on, thanks to my friend Tom, who brews his ales on an altogether higher plane than me in his own purpose-built micro.
 

 

Boxshed Premium APA
Date: 20/11/2008
Style: American Pale Ale
Batch Size: 23.00 L
Boil Volume: 32.00 L
Boil Time: 90 min
Brewhouse Efficiency: 65.0 % (well… …it’s higher really, but I was allowing myself to batch lazily)

Ingredients
6.5Kg Pale Malt (2 Row) UK (5.9 EBC) 96.3%
250g Wheat Malt (3.9 EBC) 3.7%
Protofloc Tablet (15 min)
1 Pkgs S-05

Hop profile
Cascade, 7.3%AA, 45g at 90 min
Cascade, 7.3%AA, 25g at 15 min
Cascade, 60g at flame out

Batch Sparge
Mash Grain Weight: 6.75kg Mash PH: 5.4 PH
Grain Temperature: 13.0 C
Mash In Add 17.5L of water at 71.3C (65C) 90 min
Step Add 14L of water at 77.1 (70C) 10 min
Step Add 10L of water at 87.1C (75C) 10 min

Beer Profile
Estimated Original Gravity: 1.057 SG
Estimated Final Gravity: 1.017 (yeah, right)
Estimated Color: 11.4 EBC
Bitterness: 47.8 IBU
Alpha Acid Units: 3.0 AAU
Estimated Alcohol by Volume: 5.3%

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