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Mystery Hop Pale Ale

mystery-hop-ale-01Having recently moved to a different state, I didn’t have access to my previous years wealth homegrown hops. However, a friend happened to have a ton of hops growing in his back yard that were planted for decorative purposes. We don’t exactly know what they are… but that shouldn’t stop me from trying to make beer with them!

It takes about a year to forget what a pain in the ass it is to pluck hops from the vine.  It’s hours of slow, sticky work.  That said, I got a ton!

I haven’t had great success in the Pale/IPA category, but try, try again…  I’m not exactly sure why I picked what I picked for this recipe, but we’ll pretend I had a good reason.

All-Grain Recipe: Mystery Hop Pale Ale



  • 9 lbs. – German Pilsner
  • 7 oz. – Crystal Malt 10°L
  • 6 oz. – Caramunich
  • 5 oz. – Crystal Malt 60°L

Hop Additions / Boil Additions:

  • 1 oz. – Cascade (5.5%) – added during boil, boiled 60 min
  • 1 oz. – Cascade (5.5%) – added during boil, boiled 30 min
  • 1 Whirlfloc Tablet & Wort Chiller – added during boil, boiled 10 min
  • 4 oz. – Wet Mystery Hop (~1 oz. dry) – added during boil, boiled 10 min
  • 5 oz. – Wet Mystery Hop (~1 oz. dry) – added end of boil, at flame-out



  • Safale US-05

Additional Details / Notes

  • OG 1.061 / TG 1.008
  • 6.95% ABV | Color: 10.6 °SRM | ~44 IBU’s
  • Brewed 09/02/12, Secondary ?, Bottled & Kegged 09/30/12
  • Mash Temp: ~151°, Thickness: 1.35 qt/g, Efficiency 85%, Attenuation 87%

Brewing the Mystery Hop Pale Ale


Interesting process on this batch.  I had spent so much of the day messing with the dang hops, that my mash ended kind of late in the afternoon.  I had errands to run, so I left my drained wort to cool in a covered container.  I had planned to boil the next day, but I ended up getting scared and starting the boil late in the evening.  Things went fine, it was just under the cover of darkness.  Nothing a cigar and a couple beers can’t help, however.

The Mash. Called for 3.4 gal. of strike water at 165°, using 1.35 qt/lb to get the temp to 151°.

The Boil. Done hours after the mash ended.  Used Cascade hops in pellets for the bittering additions.  Fresh hops used at 10min and flame out.  I didn’t have a clue on bittering for the Fresh Hops, so I used them for the flavor and aroma additions.  I roughly figured 4-6oz of wet hop to equal 1oz. of dry.

mystery-hop-ale-06Cooling. Used the wort chiller hooked up to the outdoor spigot.  Added 30-40 seconds of oxygen.

Fermenting. New packet of dry Safale US-05 yeast.

Racking to Secondary & Bottling. I don’t have notes about a secondary on this batch, and I was out of town two weeks in.  I have a feeling this sat on yeast for 4 weeks until it was kegged and bottled.

Drinking the Mystery Hop Pale Ale


This batch was never really bad or good.  I had a run of a few batches that had a weird green apple character, and this was one of them.  It wasn’t foul, just not really great to drink.  I don’t love fresh hop beers, so maybe I just wasn’t a fan of this one for that reason.

This batch eventually got drank, but not because it was great… I still need to dial in a good Pale or IPA base so I have a better starting point when it comes to batches like this.


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