This blog provides information for educational purposes only. Read our complete summary for more info.
A pale ale is a perfect beer style to enjoy as the summer months are approaching. Here in Asheville, North Carolina, we’ve been enjoying steadily rising temperatures that have made us all want to drink something a bit more light and citrusy, so we brewed an Amarillo Pale Ale. This homebrew recipe will make a bright hop-forward beer that anyone can enjoy during the spring and summer months. Here in the mountains, we like to brew this recipe and enjoy it during the home stretch of a long hike.
Brew Day Video
We brewed this beer with Clawhammer Supply's 10 gallon 120 volt BIAB system. Watch us use it in this video.
We started this brew day with 7.3 gallons (27.6 liters) of Asheville City Water. We did not adjust our water chemistry when we brewed it, but we recommend that you do. Usually, we use Bru’n Water to get our water chemistry right. Bru’n Water is free software that you can download and use alongside BeerSmith in order to get all your numbers right.
Filling the kettle with water
The grain bill for this recipe is as follows
Pale Malt - 8 lbs 12 oz (3.97 kg)
Flaked Wheat - 1 lb (.45 kg)
Caramel / Crystal Malt 20L - 8 oz (226.8 grams)
Caramel / Crystal Malt 60L - 8 oz (226.8 grams)
We mashed at 152° F (66.7° C) for 60 minutes.
Pouring our crushed grain into the kettle
Turning our pump on to start recirculation.
After our 60 minute mash, we pulled the grain basket out and hooked it above our kettle to let all the wort drain out. As the wort was draining, we cranked our element up to 100% of power so we could start a boil ASAP.
Pulling the grain basket alone can sometimes be difficult, so we recommend you buy a brewing pulley for when you can't convince a friend to help you.
Putting our 120v digital brewing controller to 100% of power
At the top of our boil, we added .75 ounces (21.26 grams) of Chinook hops. These hops have 12.7% alpha acids and should add just the right amount of bitterness to our beer.
45 minutes into our boil we did a 15-minute addition of a whirlfloc tablet and a .5 ounce (14.2 grams) addition of Amarillo hops. Whirlfloc tablets help clarify beer, so they’re good to use when you’re not making a hazy style. Our Amarillo hops have 7.7% alpha acids and should give our beer a distinct citrus flavor with hints of orange and lemon.
Adding a whirlfloc tablet to our boil
At the end of our boil, we turned the heat off and added our last .5 ounce (14.2 grams) of Amarillo hops as a whirlpool addition. We did this for 15 minutes before turning our cooling water on and chilling our beer down to a fermentation temperature of 70° F (21.1° C).
Whirlpool hop addition of Amarillo
We use a plate chiller to cool our wort down
Yeast and Fermentation
We used WLP001 California Ale Yeast from White Labs to ferment this beer. This was the first strain of yeast ever made by White Labs and according to their website it’s “known for its use in hoppy beers, it accentuates hop flavors and aromas and attenuates well, even for high gravity beers.” We let this ferment for two weeks at 70° F (21.1° C).
Pitching our yeast
Putting our wort into the fermenter
This turned out to be a phenomenal pale ale. We first noticed how bitter it was, which we really liked, and then we noticed all the floral flavors and aroma. This is basically a pale ale you can drink all summer long, and we recommend you brew it this summer! This is actually a recipe we've brewed a few times here in the office just because we like it so much. Trust us, you can't go wrong with this Amarillo Pale Ale recipe.